For the macarons:
For white chocolate ganache:
For colouring (optional):
For the macarons:
1. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. If you have the time and are so inclined, draw 1" circles on the back of each sheet, spacing the circles at least 1/2". apart so you can pipe the macarons out into these circles. Remember to draw the circles on the reverse side of your parchment to avoid ink or pencil stains on your macarons. Keep aside.
2. Combine the almond flour and icing sugar and sift using a fine sieve. Sieve mixture twice to remove all lumps. Reserve in a large mixing bowl.
3. Combine the egg whites and caster sugar in a large glass or steel mixing bowl and whisk using an electric mixer, until they form stiff peaks.
4. Add the desired food colouring and mix for another 20 seconds.
5. Add egg mixture to the almond mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold mixture together about 30-50 times to make a smooth viscous batter. Be careful not to overwork the batter or there will be loss of aeration causing your macarons to be flat.
6. Gently transfer batter to a prepared piping bag and pipe the batter onto your prepared baking sheets, within the circles drawn.
7. Keep aside trays of piped macarons at room temperature for about 1 hour so a skin can form on their surface. You can tell they are ready, when the macarons are not disturbed on slight touch.Also, they will look glossy on the surface.
8. Meanwhile,preheat the oven to 150°C.
9. Bake the macarons for 20 minutes.
10. When done, the macarons should be smooth on top, have a thin frill called 'feet' at their base and easily slide off the baking tray. If they don't, bake for a few more minutes.
For the white chocolate ganache:
1. To make the ganache, place the white chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Combine cream and butter in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat immediately and pour over the white chocolate.
2. Using a metal spoon, stir until the white chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Choose a flavour from rose petals, cardamom, saffron or cinnamon to match the colour of the ganache. Place in fridge for 20 minutes or until almost firm.
3. Gently spread ganache onto the base of a macaron and sandwich with another that is the same size. Repeat with remaining macarons and white chocolate ganache. Serve.
4. Store in an airtight container for up to two days. Consume in 2 days.
Vary the colours and flavours to make your own combinations of macarons. Try dark or milk chocolate in the ga nache for variation.