Prue’s macarons are bold and orange both in colour and taste. They should be crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle, and have a nice kick from the beautiful dark chocolate ganache on the inside. Prue’s top tip for this recipe is that they will turn paler as they bake, so you need to make the mix more orange than you’d think.
For the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate, butter, cream and orange zest in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of gently simmering and stir until melted. Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then chill until set to a piping consistency.
For the macarons, heat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6. Draw sixteen 4cm circles, on a sheet of baking paper, evenly spaced apart. Turn the paper over so the pencil is underneath, then place on a baking sheet.
Sieve the ground almonds and icing sugar together twice into a bowl. Add half of the egg white and mix together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Add the food colouring paste and mix to a bright, vivid orange colour.
Tip the caster sugar and water into a small pan, bring to the boil and boil until the temperature on a sugar thermometer reaches 115°C.
While the sugar syrup is boiling, tip the remaining egg white into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attached. Whisk to soft peaks.
With the mixer on medium speed, carefully and slowly pour the hot syrup over the egg whites, taking care to avoid the whisk. Increase the mixer speed to high and whisk for 3 - 5 minutes until the meringue is stiff, glossy and cool.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the meringue into the orange almond mixture until thoroughly combined and the mixture reluctantly falls off the spatula.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain pipping nozzle.
Pipe the mixture into the 16 circles.
Place in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
For the decoration, melt the chocolate in a small bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring until melted then spoon into a piping bag fitted with a number 1 writing nozzle.
Spoon the chocolate ganache into the piping bag fitted with a 1 cm piping nozzle. Peel the macaron shells from the baking paper.
Place 8 of the macarons shells upside down and pipe the chocolate ganache over the shells, then sandwich together with the remaining macaron shells.
Pipe fine lines of melted chocolate up and down the left had side of each macaron and backwards and forwards across the top of the macarons, then sprinkle with red and yellow sugar sprinkles to decorate.