Ladurée-Worthy Spring Macaroons

Since it’s Easter weekend, there’s no excuse to not be knocking up some pretty pastel coloured and glitter covered bakesScreen Shot 2015-04-05 at 20.20.03

This week, I got inspired to write this recipe from a recent trip up to London’s Notting Hill, and as soon as you mention Notting Hill you either think of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, or more relevantly, the pretty pastel townhouses. Living on Notting Hill in a light pink stucco house has always been my dream, and as pastels are my favourite colour
s, I thought of how to interpret these into a type of sweet treat… Macaroons, of course!

Basic Almond Macaroon Shells

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 18.10.30

Ingredients:

275g Ground Almonds

250g icing sugar

6 ½ Egg Whites

210g Castor Sugar

Tips:

  • You can colour these whatever you prefer, just keep in mind that the colour does fade in the oven.
  • You can mix and match flavours to your preference.
  • Try to keep as much air in the macaroon mixture, as they will literally deflate in the oven to biscuits!
  • Don’t worry if your macroons look slightly undercooked when you take them out the oven as you chill them in the fridge over night to get the traditional, Ladurée finish.
  • To get the perfect circles, you will need a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. I use disposable bags, which you can purchase from most supermarkets.
  • I prefer using the more gel-like food colourings as they are highly concentrated and don’t add a lot of liquid to the mixture.
  • If you put the baking tray too far to the top, the macaroons will brown quickly so it’s best to keep them on the middle shelf.

Method:

  1. Mix the ground almonds and icing sugar in a bowl until combined, then sift into another bowl to form a fine powder.
  2. Using either an electric or hand-held whisk, gently whisk the 6 egg whites until foamy. Add a third of the castor sugar, whisk for about 1 minute until combined. Add half the remaining sugar, and continue whisking for 1 minute. Add all the remaining sugar, whisking for about 1 minute until firm, glossy peaks for. (At this point, add your desired food colouring).
  3. Using a spatula, gently fold the sifted almond-icing sugar mixture into the whisked egg whites until evenly combined. In a small bowl using a fork, whisk the ½ egg whites until frothy. Then very gently fold this into the macaroon batter to soften it.
  4. If using, spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle (or just use teaspoons). Cover a baking tray with parchment paper, and pipe (or spoon) small, well space circles (the choice of size is yours). Then lightly tap the baking tray on the work surface to spread the macaroons and release any hiding air bubbles. Set this tray aside for about 10 minutes to allow a crust to form.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 300°F or 150°C or gas mark 2. Bake the macaroons for 14-16 minutes. Once cooled, carefully peel the macaroons off the baking parchment. These make about 40 macaroons.

Now, you can either fill them with whipped cream or jam, or you can follow the recipes below for very yummy spring flavoured macaroons.

Lemon & Lime Marshmallow Macaroons

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 20.25.43 Ingredients:

(Basic Almond Macaroon Shells

Ingredients+ green food colouring)

5 sheets of Gelatine

120g Castor Sugar

2 ½ tbsp Water

90g of Honey

Zest of 4 Limes, grated

Juice of 1 Small Lemon, strained

Method:

  1. (Follow the Basic Almond Macaroon Shells Method)
  2. Put the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes to soften.
  3. Place the sugar, water and 40g of the honey in a small saucepan. Heat gently and stir until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Fit your mixer with a whisk attachment. Squeeze the excess water out of the gelatine sheets. Combine the gelatine and remaining honey (50g) in the bowl of the mixer. Mix at a medium speed until combined, then carefully pour the hot syrup down the wall of the bowl into the gelatine-honey mixture. Increase the speed and continue beating for about 10 minutes until very glossy and stiff. Mix the lemon juice and lime zest.
  4. Spoon the lemon-lime mixture into a piping bag fitter with a round nozzle. Then pipe small mounds of filling on the flat side of half the macaroons, and then cover with the remaining macaroons.

If you have time, refrigerate the finished macaroons for a few hours before serving. 

Strawberry Marshmallow Macaroons

Ingredients:

 (Basic Almond Macaroon Shells

Ingredients + red food colouring)

5 sheets of Gelatine

120g Castor Sugar

2 ½ tbsp Water

90g of Honey

2 tsp Strawberry Ribena

Method:

  1. (Follow the Basic Almond Macaroon Shells Method)
  2. Repeat the method above, but instead of adding the lemon juice and lime zest add the strawberry ribena.

Mint & White Chocolate Macaroons

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 20.26.01 Ingredients:

(Basic Almond Macaroon Shells

Ingredients + blue food colouring)

160ml + 3tbsp of Heavy Double Cream

15 Mint Leaves

4 ½ tsp Corn Flour

100g Castor Sugar

100g White Chocolate (chips or

chopped coarsely)

110g Unsalted Butter, softened

2-3 drops of Peppermint Essence

Method:

  1. (Follow the Basic Almond Macaroon Shells Method)
  2. Pour the 160ml of cream into a small saucepan, add the mint leaves and heat until simmering, then set aside to infuse.
  3. Whisk the 3 tbsp of cream into the corn flour. Strain the infused cream into a saucepan and stir in the sugar, heat until simmering. Then whisk the simmering liquid into the corn starch mixture. Return this mixture into the saucepan, continuously whisking over a low heat for about 30 seconds until thickened and smooth, then poor into a bowl.
  4. Using a spatula, gradually stir the chocolate into the hot mint cream until dissolved. Then beat the butter to form a smooth cream. Add the peppermint essence. Then pour into a dish and cover with cling film placing it directly on the cream, and refrigerate until it is firm enough to pipe.
  5. Once firm, spoon the mint cream into a piping bag with a round nozzle. Then pipe small mounds of filling on the flat side of half the macaroons, and then cover with the remaining macaroons

2 thoughts on “Ladurée-Worthy Spring Macaroons

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