These macarons were supposed to be the Orange and Pistachio Cupcakes that I made for Bliss' 'Cake A Difference' campaign a few weeks ago, but I was STUPID and forgot to upload the photographs. I can only apologise.
You shouldn't feel hard done to though! Everybody likes a macaron, especially a Winter Strawberry Macaron. You might be wondering what a Winter strawberry is exactly, and you'd be right to. So I'll come clean up front and let you know that I just made them up. They are 'Winter' as in 'out of season' as in 'jam'. But I did make the jam myself, so don't be hating when you should be celebrating. I would dislike it immesely if you were to associate the wrong sort of emotions with these little pinkies.
They are the first macarons I have ever made that do not contain food colouring. You're looking at the colour of real, baked egg albumen. Lovely! I'll be honest: I just couldn't hack it when I piped them out, so sprinkled them with gold lustre before baking, and I think they look better this way. Cocoa or cinnamon would also be a good choice if you don't have gold lustre, but that would beg a particularly pressing question:
'Why don't you have any gold lustre?'
I'll be expecting an answer. You won't get away with this.
Winter Strawberry Macarons
If you read this blog at all often, you'll know already that I run a loose ship when it comes to macarons. I don't bother with the food processor and all that almond grinding. I pre-buy. Relax. These will work.
You will need:
110g icing sugar
50g ground almonds
2 egg whites (60g), aged for 24 hours (just leave them on the kitchen counter, uncovered)
40g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp strawberry jam
- Sift the 110g icing sugar into a large bowl, and mix in the almonds.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy, then slowly whisk in the caster sugar until you have soft peaking meringue. If you want to add a little gel colouring, then add it now, along with the vanilla extract, and carry on whisking until stiff peaks form.
- Add the almond and sugar mixture, and fold in. You are supposed to do this in exactly 50 strokes, and turn the bowl 45° after every tenth stroke. I don't think it's of paramount importance - you should just have a smooth mixture.
- Put this mix into a piping bag with the end snipped off, and pipe circles about 2 inches in diameter and well spaced apart on a lined baking sheet. You should have between 28 and 30 blobs of mixture. Let's call it 29.
- Let them sit for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
- Sprinkle the tops of the macaron shells with gold lustre. Bake for 12 minutes on the bottom shelf. Cool completely on the sheet, and then remove using a pallet knife.
- Mix the jam and mascarpone together until smooth and pink, then sandwich the macarons with the resulting cream. Store in the fridge until about 30 minutes before eating. Which you should do within a week.