1 Preheat oven to 160c.
2 In a food processor grind together the icing sugar and ground almonds/almond flour for 2 minutes until fine.
3 In a separate grease-free bowl, starting at a medium speed, whisk 60g egg whites and slowly add the granulated sugar, 1 tbsp at a time. Once sugar is dissolved, increase whisk speed to high (this is where you can add colouring to the egg whites if desired) until you have achieved stiff and shiny peaks.
4 Using a sieve, sift the almond and icing sugar mix into the egg whites.
5 Assuming all ingredients have been weighed correctly and stiff shiny peaks have been achieved with the meringue - the mixing is the most important part in determining how your macarons will come out of the oven. The aim is to incorporate all ingredients and slightly deflate the meringue, yet not allow the mixture to become too runny.
6 Using a flexible spatula, begin to fold the almonds and sugar in to the egg whites by scraping along the bottom of the bowl and folding, after each fold swipe the spatula through the mix. Once all of the ingredients are combined check the consistency, it should flow off the spatula and create a ribbon effect. If it isn't quite ready, check after each new fold and swipe, as it happens very quickly.
7 Once the mix is ready transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Pipe rounds of 2.5cm on to baking paper or a silicone sheet.
8 Knock the trays on to the work surface a few times to help trapped air bubbles escape the macarons.
9 Leave for around 30 minutes - until a thin skin has formed on the shells - when touched lightly your fingertip should come away clean.
10 Place in oven and immediately drop temp to 150c - bake for 15 minutes.
11 Whisk 3 large egg whites in a bowl along with 30g caster sugar until you have achieved soft peaks.
12 Place the remaining 150g caster sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan along with 30g water. Place over low heat and gently swirl the pan until sugar has dissolved - then increase the heat to high until the temperature reaches between 110c -118c.
13 Continue to whisk the egg whites on high and slowly pour in the sugar syrup to combine.
14 Continue to whisk for around 5 minutes until the mix has cooled then gradually add 250g of butter one cube at a time - adding the next cube only when the previous one is incorporated in to the mix.
15 As you get towards the end of the butter the mixture will quickly turn from deflated meringue to a thick fluffy buttercream. Don't worry if the mixture curdles - the ingredients are just trying to reach the same temperature as each other - continue mixing, it may just take longer.
16 Add around 3tbsp of elderflower cordial (or add to desired taste) and colourings of your choice to the buttercream and continue to whisk.
17 Once ready, pipe rounds of buttercream in to the centre of each macaron shell.
18 Halve the Pink Lady® apple. Then using a peeler, create thin shavings of the apple which will fit the diameter of the macarons, place the apple slices between the macaron shells so you can see the pink peel at the edges and sandwich together.
Recipe courtesy of Pink Lady®