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    Chirping chick macarons

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    Chirping chick macarons

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes + resting
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes

    Makes: 12

    Ingredients

    175g icing sugar
    175g ground almonds
    4 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Eggs, whites only (about 130g), at room temperature
    ½-¾ tsp Cooks’ Ingredients Colouring Gel (yellow)
    175g Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
    Cake Decor Cake Pens (yellow, orange and black)
    400g tub Cooks’ Ingredients Sicilian Lemon Icing

    You will also need
    2 x Cooks’ Homebaking Piping Bags

    Method

    1. Line 2 large baking trays with baking parchment. Blend the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor until very fine, then sift into a bowl. Mix with 65g of the egg whites and the yellow food gel using a wooden spoon.

    2. Bring the caster sugar and 75ml cold water to the boil in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, place the remaining 65g of the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. When the sugar syrup reaches 110°C on a sugar thermometer, start whisking the egg whites on a high speed. When the temperature has reached 114°C (at which point the eggs should be frothy rather than whipped), quickly pour the syrup into the egg whites, whisking all the time. Beat at full speed for 5 minutes more until stiff and glossy.

    3. Mix one-third of this meringue into the paste with a wooden spoon. Then, using a spatula as gently as possible, fold in the remaining meringue in two batches, to give a thick dropping consistency. Divide between 2 piping bags. Snip a 1cm hole from the ends. Use a dot of mixture to stick the corners of the baking paper to the trays. Pipe 24-30 6cm circles onto the trays. Tap the bottom of each tray firmly on the work surface 2-3 times and set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 135°C, gas mark ½.

    4. Bake one tray at a time. Cook for 7 minutes, then open the door to release some steam, close and bake for a further 10 minutes until firm – if still sticky, continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool on the trays.

    5. Use the pens to draw chicks onto 12 of the best macarons (these will be the tops), then sandwich together with the lemon icing and the remaining macarons.

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