I'm more than halfway through French week! I've never managed to get my macarons super smooth and with feet but hey, they always taste good. I didn't expect smoothness with these ones either, as I used homemade almond meal that has flecks of almond skin in it, much heavier than pure blanched almond flour. The almond meal was made from dehydrating almond pulp, which was a byproduct from making almond milk - The Minimalist Baker is an expert at this and her recipes are easy to follow.
The egg whites are leftover from making the creme patisserie I used in my eclairs. Such is the delicious culinary circle of French patisserie: you make custard with yolks and then need to use up the whites. In this case, macarons, but meringues, friands and pavlova are also great options! This recipe is adapted from Cookie Madness.

Makes 24 shells (12 filled macarons) 

1 1/3 c almond meal or almond flour

2 c icing sugar

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

few drops yellow food colouring


150 g white chocolate

1/2 c cream or coconut cream, warmed

1 1/2 tsp dried raspberry powder

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Sift almond meal and icing sugar into a small bowl.

In a large bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff. Mix in vanilla and food colouring. Fold in almond mixture with a spatula. The batter should be thick and ribbon-like but not runny.

Spoon the batter into a piping bag with a 2 cm round nozzle and pipe 3-5 cm wide circles on the baking sheet. I didn't have any piping bags so used a thin plastic bag with a piping nozzle. It burst! Sticky mess everywhere. So I just used 2 teaspoons to spoon circles onto the tray, and used wet teaspoons and fingers to tidy up the shape and flatten any bumpy bits.

Let the shells sit at room temperature for an hour. When you use fine almond flour (made from blanched almonds), your macarons have a better chance of forming a skin as they set. It is unlikely this will happen with almond meal as the batter is not smooth to begin with.

Preheat oven to 200C. Put macarons in and immediately reduce temperature to 150C and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops appear set. 

Let cool completely on the tray before peeling off the baking paper.

Make the ganache by melting the chocolate in a small bowl then stirring in the warmed cream and raspberry powder. If the ganache becomes oily, just warm the bowl again and maybe add a bit more warmed cream.

Sandwich 2 macarons together with ganache and chill in fridge before serving. You can also freeze them in an airtight bag.

Postscript: when I made raspberry rose macarons in 2017, our 5-year-old said it was the best thing I'd ever made! When she had one of these ones, she again proclaimed, "this is the best thing you've made!". I'll take that.