I’m going to Cake International tomorrow, yay! I’m looking forward to seeing even more shows, meeting even more people and getting some more treats to review on this blog. In, particular, I’d like a new spatula. Yeah, you heard that right, and yes, I am getting old. They say a decent spatula is the secret to great stirring, so I would like to get one tomorrow. Maybe a nice pink one to match my KitchenAid?!
Talking about treats, I’ve picked up a few bits and pieces which I shared with you briefly after the shows. Ever since I got them, I’ve been wracking my brains to come up with something yummy to make.
The first product I was excited to use was my flavoured icing sugar by Sugar and Crumbs. If you’re a baker, you NEED this brand in your life. They make naturally flavoured icing sugar and cocoa powder and when I saw them at The Big Cake Show, I stocked up. I wanted to try out some of the coconut icing sugar I had from them… So I had a think and came up with coconut and lime macaroons!
The lime flavour comes from the amazing flavourings I got from Foodie Flavours at The Cake and Bake Show. I have a few of these and couldn’t wait to use them (seriously, I lie in bed thinking about what I can make… Is this just me?! Does anyone else do this?!). I knew the coconut and lime would go great together so that was that.
The macaroon method, and base recipe, is the same as the cookie ough recipe I posted a few weeks ago. It’s easy to follow and foolproof if you follow it exactly. I think I’ve explained it pretty clearly so let me know what you think!
These macaroons came out deliciously, they taste summery and fresh and a little bit different. Make them a few days ahead, I find that they really are better a few days old.
In case you’re interested, to make these it will cost you approximately £2.46, with the special icing sugar.
For the macaroons
100g ground almonds
100g coconut flavoured icing sugar
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp cold water
2 large egg whites
For the filling
55g softened butter
150g icing sugar
5 drops lime flavouring
A few drops green food colouring
– Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. I like to use a little butter to stick it down and stop it from moving around.
– Put the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor and blitz for a good couple of minutes. Noisy, yes, but this stage is essential if you want them to look professional. I skipped this stage and you can see by the pictures they look a little lumpy bumpy.
– Put the caster sugar and water into a pan and heat gently until the sugar is melted and the syrup is runny and dissolved. It should be bubbling away. Ideally use a sugar thermometer and take off the heat at 110 degrees C. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly – but not too much. A minute or two will do it – after this the syrup will form a skin and go hard. All that hard work ruined!
– At the same time as you’ve got the sugar syrup heating, whisk one of the egg whites on a high speed until it forms stiff peaks. If it begins to look like cotton wool you’ve gone too far – start again because they won’t turn out right. It should take a couple of minutes with a KitchenAid or electric whisk.
– When the eggs whites have reached the correct consistency, slowly pour in the sugar syrup, whilst still whisking. You need about 20 pairs of hands to make macaroons, I swear. And be careful not to spill any of the sugar syrup – if you do, wipe it up immediately. Once it’s gone hard (which it will do quickly), it’s a right pain to get off.
– Stop whisking when the meringue mixture is shiny and forms a peak on the tip of your finger. That’s when it’s just right.
– Take the icing sugar and ground almonds out of the food processor and mix with the other egg white. Mix it into a paste, then take one tablespoon of the mixture and stir competely into the meringue.
– Add the rest of the alomd/icing paste and GENTLY incorporate into the meringue. You want it fully mixed in but don’t over stir it. The consistency you need is a little runny but still holds its shape. It should run off the spatula in a ribbon-like shape.
– Using a large round piping nozzle, pipe small rounds, about 1.5-2cm in diameter on the baking trays. Mine filled two baking trays. Then set them aside for an hour. This step is really important as it causes a skin to form and helps to achieve that shiny sheeny top.
– Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (130 fan) and bake for about 25 minutes. Keep an eye on them as everyone’s oven is different. They’ll be ready to take out when they’re firm and lift easily off the baking paper. Don’t leave them in for too long as they’ll go brittle.
– Remove and leave to cool completely on the tray. After a couple of minutes though, I like to go along and lift each one off the paper to make sure they don’t stick.
– Make your filling. Cream together the butter and icing sugar, then add the lime flavouring and green food colouring. add only a little at a time of each until you have achieved the colour and taste that you’re after. You want quite a soft, spreadable dough so you may find you need to add a drop or two of milk.
– Once the macaroons are cool, take one, spread some cookie dough on it and sandwich with another macaroon.
And that’s it! Easy, no?!
A tip with macaroons – don’t eat them on day one. They are best after a couple of days as the filling has had chance to soften the meringues. If you eat them on the first day you’ll probably find they’re quite hard and think you’ve done it wrong. Don’t throw them in the bin – try them again over the next couple of days and you will find they have improved lots.