Adapted from a recipe in the Waitrose Cookery School 'Love to Cook' book.
Pre-heat the oven to 140C and place baking parchment on two baking sheets and set aside.
To make the Italian meringue:
1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat until 114C.
2. Put the egg whites in a large food mixer with the whisk attached and whisk until stiff peaks have formed. Gradually pour the sugar syrup on the the egg whites while the machine is running until you have a thick, glossy, stiff Italian meringue.
3. In a large glass bowl add the ground almonds, icing sugar and egg white and mix until it forms a paste.
4. Gradually add the Italian meringue to the almond paste and place the mix in a piping bag. Cut the end of the piping bag to a 1cm whole.
Pipe the macaroons roughly the size of a 10p piece in straight lines going from left to right leaving a 2cm gap in between each macaroon.
5. Place in the oven for 14 minutes.
To make the mulled wine:
1. Place the wine, orange peel and juice, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon sticks and star anise in a large saucepan and heat through. Leave to infuse for at least an hour or overnight.
2. Pass the mulled wine through a fine sieve and add the Grand Marnier.
3. Boil the mulled wine in a saucepan. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl. Gradually pour the mulled wine over the egg and sugar mixture, then pour back into the pan.
4. Pour 60ml of the mulled wine into a food processor and gradually add the butter.
5. Allow the mixture to cool completely then beat the butter until fluffy and light. Once all the wine mixture is incorporated, transfer to a piping bag ready for use.
Assembling the macaroons:
Take the cooked macaroon shells and turn one half over, then pipe the mulled wine buttercream in a ring shape leaving a small hole the middle. Pipe a little of the reduced mulled wine into the centre. Sandwich with the other half and serve.