Towards the end of the month I'm doing a little road trip around the South of the UK. I'm visiting my cousin in Brighton, my parents and some old friends in Devon, my friend and my sister in Cardiff (which will be my first time in Wales), and finally my friend in Birmingham. They have all been kind enough to offer to put me up while I visit them, so to thank them I wanted to bake something.
I know my dad is a big fan of my macarons, and they tend to go down well with everyone else too, so I decided these would be appropriate Thank You presents. Deciding on the flavour was a little more challenging, but was greatly assisted when I read about this month's We Should Cocoa challenge.
September's We Should Cocoa is hosted by one of its creators, Choclette at Chocolate Log Blog. She has chosen jam as this month's ingredient to pair with chocolate, which set my mind whirring with chocolate-jam combination fillings for my macarons. In the end I decided on a sort-of ganache using white chocolate and the only jam I have in my cupboard, blackcurrant jam.
The macarons turned out pretty well, and the blackcurrant flavour definitely comes through. I think my friends and family will be happy to receive these!
- 230g Icing Sugar
- 115g Ground Almonds
- 4 Egg Whites
- 72g Caster Sugar
- 250g White Chocolate
- 3 Tbsp Blackcurrant Jam
- Preheat the oven to 145C - try to avoid using a fan oven if possible but if it's unavoidable, make sure you place the baking trays above and below the fan to avoid cracking of the macaron shells.
- Line a couple of baking trays with macaron mats/ stencil a 2in cookie cutter over a couple of sheets of parchment paper.
- Sift the icing sugar and ground almonds together into a bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and caster sugar until very stiff. If you take the whisk out of the meringue, the meringue should stay inside the whisk in the same shape as when you pulled it out, even if you hold the whisk upright.
- Dump the icing sugar/almond mix into the meringue and use a spatula to fold them together. After each fold, use the spatula to push down on the mixture as if you want to get rid of all the bubbles (which you do). Push it against the sides of the bowl, then continue to fold and repeat the process. Do this until a drop of mixture disappears into the rest of the mixture after about ten seconds.
- Dispense the mixture into a piping bag and use it to fill the circles on the macaron mat/ parchment.
- Pick up each baking tray in turn and whack it down onto the kitchen counter. Turn it 90 degrees and repeat.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until the macaron shells easily peel away from the mat/parchment.
- Make the filling by melting the chocolate in a microwave, allowing it to cool slightly and then stirring in the jam.
- Place a teaspoon of filling on half of the shells, then place the other shells on top.
I think the glitter on these makes these perfect for a birthday celebration too, and thus are perfect for Laura's Biscuit Barrel Challenge at I'd Much Rather Bake than.... She's celebrating her own birthday this month (happy birthday, Laura!), so thought the theme would be rather fitting.