This could be a flying success or more realistically a complete and utter failure. But not being one to shrink away from something new, I’m going to give it a go, now when I say ‘a go’, I mean a go involving four children on their school holidays kind of go…maybe it would be wiser to have a little patience and wait another three weeks. When my kitchen is only hosting me and my youngest helper, age three. But then patience isn’t my best quality, so here I am making macarons for the first time….with interruptions guaranteed.
CHOCOLATE AND STRAWBERRY MACARONS
The strawberry ganache filling
40 ml cream
70 g strawberry jam (or indeed pulverised fresh strawberries, for a less sweet version)
1 tsp of vanilla bean paste
200 g white chocolate
65 g of butter
170 g icing sugar
160 g ground almonds
4 egg whites separated into two and two
160 g sugar
50 ml water
1/2 tsp of red food colouring
1 tbsp cocoa powder
To make the ganache
Place the jam and cream in a small pan and bring to the boil. When the jam has melted add the broken white chocolate and mix in till thoroughly melted. Add the vanilla paste and cool till skin temperature then beat in the butter. Cover with cling film and leave to cool.
Grease and line two baking trays. Mix together the icing sugar and almonds along with two of the egg whites to make a thick paste, leave aside. In a saucepan melt the sugar and water together and boil until syrupy. In a clean metal bowl start to whisk your final two egg whites till soft peaks form then drizzle the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl whilst continuing to whisk the egg whites until its all stiff and shiny. Halve the almond mixture, mixing cocoa powder into one half and red food colouring into the other. Fold half the meringue into the cocoa batch and the other half into the red batch. Make sure it’s well incorporated but not over mixed as it will go thin and runny. Fill your piping bag with one mix and without a shaped nozzle, pipe rounds onto the paper giving a twist as you lift off. Leave at least an inch in between each macaron. Give the tray a few taps off the counter. Pipe your other batch the same and leave for 30-60 minutes until it has formed a skin and is dry to the touch. Preheat your oven to 160 C. Bake for 14 minutes, they should be crisp on the outside with a little ‘foot’ at the bottom and slightly chewy on the inside. Leave to cool. When the ganache and macarons are completely cooled, pipe the filling in between two macarons.
Oh how pretty….and don’t panic if like me they cracked a little and the foot wasn’t very big (all be it because I was in a rush and was late for a tinker bell party, so I didn’t leave enough time for the skin to form before baking) they tasted pretty yummy and next time I’m gona smash it….when I do you’ll know because I’ll leave you a picture!