The Great British Bake Off started again last week (woo!! yeah!!) and as I haven't baked in so long I thought I'd share with you a recipe that I've made a few times but never actually gotten around to sharing - oops! So allow me to introduce you to my...
For the macaron shells you will need:
- 160g egg whites (approx. 3 large eggs)
- 108g caster sugar
- 192g ground almond
- 288g icing sugar
- pinch of salt
- food colouring optional
For the Ribena buttercream you will need:
- 2 tbsp Ribena cordial
- 3 tbsp blackcurrant jam
- 100g butter
- 185g icing sugar
1. To start, prepare the macaron shells by sieving the icing sugar and ground almond together in to a large bowl. Throw away any large bits that are leftover in the sieve.
2. In a separate, very clean (completely free of any grease) bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. Then add the caster sugar slowly and gradually while still whisking. The mixture should start to become thick & glossy, and should you be so inclined to try, remain firmly in the bowl when you turn it upside down! It does? Hurrah!
3. Once ready, gently incorporate the beaten egg whites with the dry ingredients using a spatula and carefully work the mixture to press out the oxygen from the whites. Do this until you have a smooth mixture, but don't do it for more than 5 minutes! Preheat the oven to 160°C.
4. Next, pipe the mixture on to a sheet of greaseproof paper with 2cm circles drawn on for guidance, or one of those fancy silicone mats that already have the circles in place, on a baking tray. I have one of the said fancy mats but sadly do not have a piping bag & therefore use the free-style method of "using a spoon & plopping it in the circle". This works ok too, you just wont be getting those fancy smooth macarons that you see in Laduree (sorry).
5. Once all the mixture is in place, lightly tap the baking sheet a few times on the surface, this removes any excess air bubbles, then leave to one side for about 30-60 minutes. They'll be ready for the oven when they have a skin.
6. Next, bake one tray at a time in the centre of the oven for 8 minutes. However, if the macarons are still wobbly after this time, bake for a further 3-4 minutes.
7. While they are in the oven, prepare the Ribena buttercream filling. Start by beating the butter until it is soft & fluffy and then gradually add the icing sugar. Finish by mixing in the blackcurrant jam & Ribena cordial, but do the latter slowly to ensure the icing is smooth not runny. If needs be, add more icing sugar.
8. When ready, leave them to cool on the baking tray before carefully removing them. Then pair them up, add the filling and eat!
I hope you enjoy these as much as I did, and if you ever happen to give them a go yourself, I'd love to hear what you thought of them :-)