Martha's Christmas pudding macarons
These fun, bite-sized versions of a Christmas favourite will be a hit at any festive gathering
Recipe - Makes: 15
160g ground almonds
160g icing sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
120ml Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Egg whites (approx 3 large eggs)
160g caster sugar
100g brandy butter
100g royal icing sugar
Red and green gel food colouring
1. Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment, drawing 30 x 2cm circles on the back to help make all the macarons the same size.
2. Place the ground almonds, icing sugar, cinnamon and ginger into a food processor. Blitz until ground into a fine powder, then pour the mixture into a large bowl.
3. Add half the egg white to the finely ground nuts and icing sugar, and stir until a stiff paste forms. Set aside while you make the Italian meringue.
4. Add the caster sugar to a small saucepan with 3 tbsp of water. Bring to the boil and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Heat until the syrup registers 118°C on a sugar thermometer. Meanwhile, put the remaining egg white into the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. As the syrup is nearing 118°C, whisk the egg white on high speed until it reaches soft peaks and just holds its shape on the whisk.
5. Remove the syrup from the heat as soon as it reaches the right temperature and slowly pour down the side of the bowl into the egg whites in a steady stream, whisking continuously. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and the bowl is no longer hot to touch. The mixture should be thick and glossy. Mix drops of red and green food colour together to make a brown colour, then add a small amount to the meringue.
6. Scrape the meringue into the mixed nut paste in the large bowl. Fold together until the mixture runs in a thick ribbon from the spatula, disappearing back into the mix within 10 seconds. Transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round piping tip and pipe circles onto the baking parchment, using the drawn circles as a guide and smoothing out any peaks.
7. Leave the macarons to dry for at least 30 minutes until a thin skin has formed on top; it may take a little longer if the kitchen is humid. They should no longer be sticky to touch and will have a matt appearance. While you are waiting, preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2.
8. Bake in the centre of the oven, one tray at a time, for 10-15 minutes. The shells should not have started to brown, but should be firm and sound hollow when lightly tapped. Leave to cool for a few minutes before peeling from the baking parchment.
9. When the macarons are cool, pipe a small amount of brandy butter into the centre of one half and sandwich them together. Mix together the royal icing sugar with enough water to make a thick paste. Colour a tiny amount of the mixture green and a tiny amount red and put in 2 disposable piping bags, then leave the rest white. Decorate the macarons to look like miniature Christmas puddings by piping them with the white icing (you may need to thin it down a tiny bit with a splash of water) and allow to dry. When dry, use the coloured icing to pipe holly and berries on top, then leave to dry completely.
Typical values per serving:
|Salt||trace g salt per macaron|