This year, I decided to make my Mum a mini afternoon tea for Mother’s Day. I baked all afternoon and conjured up some Raspberry and Chocolate Macarons, alongside scones with clotted cream and jam. Not complete without a huge teapot of loose-leaf tea!
Safe to say, I’m extremely proud of how the macarons turned out after I saw how technical they were to make! I even had to rush out last minute and purchase myself a sugar thermometer, which, at first, seemed like quite a daunting piece of kitchen equipment.
Anyway, they were were so delicious and incredibly rich! The macaron shells had a great crunchy top and were chewy in the middle, sandwiched together with dark chocolate fondant and raspberry jam. Sheer heaven!
The recipe comes from BBC GoodFood and all in all wasn’t too hard, I just made it ten times harder for myself by trying to bake scones at the same time. (I wouldn’t recommend- I felt exhausted afterwards!) The most stressful part was definitely trying to juggle whisking the eggs whites whilst ensuring the sugar syrup didn’t over boil… But hey, you can see for yourself! Find the recipe here.
- 170g icing sugar
- 160g ground almonds
- 120ml egg whites from about 4 medium eggs, separated into 2 equal batches
- 160g granulated sugar
- ½ tsp red food colouring
For the filling:
- 120g double cream
- 110g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 25g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 75g raspberry jam
How to make them:
Place the icing sugar and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 times until fully combined. Sieve this mixture into a large bowl, discarding any particles that stay in the sieve. Add the first batch of egg whites to the almond mixture, mix to form a thick paste and set aside.
Tip the second batch of egg whites into a spotlessly clean, heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk at the ready. Place 50ml water and the granulated sugar into a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C, using a sugar thermometer, at which time start to beat the egg whites on high speed. Once the syrup is at 118C pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the moving whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture – the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm. Add the colouring and whisk to combine.
Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter – it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula (A). The ribbon should also fade back into the batter within about 30 secs – if it doesn’t, fold a few more times.
Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3-4. Line 3 baking sheets with baking parchment. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds about 2.5cm in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets (B). Leave to rest for 30 mins out of the fridge, or until the macaroons have developed a skin.
Bake the macaroons for 14 mins (this needs to be precise so you could test a macaroon first). Immediately slide the parchment onto the work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling the macaroons off the paper.
To make the filling, place the cream in a small saucepan and the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream just to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for a few mins, then stir to combine. Add the butter and stir until smooth, then leave to set until thickened. Place the chocolate mix into a clean piping bag with a smaller nozzle and pipe around the edge of half the macaroons (C). Fill the centre with jam and sandwich with another macaroon shell.