Need I say anything else, no. Thought so. I was going to make some macarons for some guests I had coming over. For some reason though, there are no ground almonds anywhere in the UK. I decided to take it on myself to try something new. Some chopped hazelnuts were the best I could do, and thought they would help add a lovely taste to the final macaron. I have my way of cooking these, some tricks like ageing egg whites is just an old wives tale.
I choose not to add food colouring, I know they look amazing, but. We don’t give children E numbers anymore so I believe we should follow suit. To that end, I’m perfectly happy making almond, hazelnut and pistachio macarons which each have their own colour and taste. Just follow the recipe below with whatever nut you want to use and they’ll be fine.
It could be arranged that I can send some(boxes of 10) to people in the UK. If you are interested drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you with flavours and prices. They’ll obviously be cheaper than anywhere else. Work schedule permitting.[purerecipe]
- 2(60g) Egg Whites
- 2 Tbsp Caster Sugar
- 85g Ground Nuts
- 120g Icing Sugar
- 100g Sugar
- 150g Condensed Milk
- 50g Salted Butter
Salted Butter Caramel
- Firstly, and most importantly. Place nuts and icing sugar in a food processor. Process until the blade stops moving the mixture around. This ensures the sugar and nuts are a super fine powder which creates the smooth tops.
- Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, add the caster sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks. With a hand held electric whisk this takes about two minutes. At this stage add food colouring if using.
- Add half the nut/sugar mixture, fold in with a metal spoon. Continue to fold in the remainder until the ribbon stage( leaves a light trail). Add to a piping bag. The mix should just run out of the bottom under their own weight.
- Pipe 2 cm circles onto Baking Parchment, not greaseproof paper or anything else for that matter. Let the mix spread out. Tap on surface to let air bubbles escape(these cracks your macarons)Leave out for at least 30minutes before adding to a 120°C Fan oven for 18-20mins. Everyones ovens are different. Even the shelves are different, so if cooking for the first time don't be scared to take them out every few minutes after 15mins. You need to open the door and let steam out after 10minutes anyway. They are cooked once they pop off the trays. I use a rubber mat which doesn't transfer heat as well as a metal baking tray so mine take a little longer. Let cool on the tray.
- For the caramel, add sugar to a pan with two tablespoons of water. Heat until caramel smell and colour appears. Take off the heat, add the condensed milk and stir to combine. Finally add the butter. Let cool to solidify.
- Fill with whatever ganache or buttercream icing you like. I use salted butter caramel, lemon curd and for Christmas a nice mincemeat one.