Happy Easter everyone! I hope you're all making the most of the long weekend! If you follow me on Instagram then you'll have seen that over the last few days I've been doing quite a lot of baking, so today seemed like the perfect opportunity to share one of my new favourite recipes with you. Taken from another title from The Great British Bake Off series, this recipe tackles traditionally tricky macarcons and makes them easy. Having attempted to make them a couple of times in the past, I'd become pretty wary of macarons, primarily because all of my previous attempts had turned out to be complete disasters- rapidly making their way from oven to bin and leaving me pretty confused as to where I'd gone wrong. Understandably then, I approached this recipe with some caution, thinking that I'd once again be left with a pile of goo which looked nothing like Ladurée's famous creations- but I was pleasantly surprised (some might even say flabbergasted!) by how well the final products turned out:
Makes 10 pairs
For the shells
2 large eggs, at room temperatures, with whites and yolks separated
a good pinch of salt
60g caster sugar
65g ground almonds
Food colouring of your choice
For the filling
75g good quality white chocolate
75ml whipping cream
10g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1) Only the egg whites are used in this recipe, so separate from the yolks with care. Put the whites into a large mixing bowl and add the salt, whisking with an electric mixer or handheld whisk on high power until the egg whites are thick and opaque.
2) A spoonful at a time, whisk in the caster sugar. After all of the sugar has been added, the whites should have taken on a meringue-like consistency, standing in stiff peaks and passing the upside down bowl over your head test with ease. If they do not quite have this consistency, whisk for another twenty seconds. If you wish to add food colouring to your mixture then do so here.
3) Gently sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into the egg white mixture.
4) Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold the almonds and icing sugar into the whisked egg whites. Do this extremely carefully, taking care not to lose any of the air which you have whisked in. Continue folding until everything is incorporated.
5) Taking a baking sheet lined with baking paper, draw twenty 5cm circles on to the paper in pencil (I used a biscuit cutter as a stencil), before turning the paper over so that the pencil lines are only just seen and the are facing downwards onto the baking sheet.
6) Take two spoons to transfer the macaron mixture from the bowl onto the baking sheet, keeping inside the circles as much as possible.
7) Once all of the mixture has been used up, lift up the baking sheet and bang it down on the worktop to get rid of any air bubbles.
8) Leave to stand for thirty minutes so the macarons can form a skin, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan)/Gas Mark 4.
9) Bake the macarons for fifteen to twenty minutes, until firm.
10) Remove the baking sheet from the oven, lifting the baking paper on to a wire rack. Leave the macarons to cool completely.
11) To make the filling, break up the white chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a low heat until bubbles appear at the edge and then carefully pour the cream over the chocolate. Leave for two minutes before adding the butter, stirring until melted. Allow the mixture to cool until it becomes thick enough to spread.
12) Once fully cooled, carefully peel the macarons off of the baking paper. Add the filling to one shell from each pair at a time, carefully sandwiching together before serving or storing in a covered container at room temperature.
So, whether you're determined to master macarons or are at a loss for some Easter baking, definitely give this recipe a try- and let me know how you get on!
Do you like making macarons? Have you tried this recipe?
(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)