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Macaroons

We had a very special date with the Hairy Bikers last Christmas, we joined them at Burton Agnes Hall for the filming of their Christmas Special for their program Mum Knows Best! It was a great day, we had lots of fun and enjoyed making Macaroons with the Bikers and the visitors to the Hall. 

This recipe can be used to make any gorgeous colour or flavour of macaroons, with a plain coloured shell the ganache filling will provide the perfect fruity accompaniment to your perfect gifts.

Ingredients:
  • 175g of icing sugar
  • 125g of ground almonds
  • Egg Whites of 3 large eggs
  • 75g of caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • food colours as desired

For the Ganache Filling:
  • 100g of White Chocolate 
  • 30ml of Double Cream
  • 1 heaped tbsp of Jam of your choice

To make the Macaroon shells
  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 
  2. Blend the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor until very fine, then sift into a bowl.
  3. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until you can make soft peaks, gradually whisk in the caster sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy. 
  4. Add your chosen colour to the meringue mixture or split the mixture into two to colour each half differently.
  5. Fold half the almond and icing sugar mixture into the meringue and mix well. 
  6. As making meringue add the remaining half of the icing sugar and ground almonds to the mixture using a metal spoon or spatula, folding it through the mixture until it is shiny. 
  7. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle.
  8. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper or Edible Rice Paper. Pipe or spoon small circles about the size of a £2 coin onto the tray, leaving space between each macaroon. 
  9. Tap the tray onto the work surface to even out the mixture to form perfect circles. 
  10. Leave to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to form a slight skin. 
  11. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
To make the filling:
  1. Chop the white chocolate into small, even pieces and set aside in a bowl
  2. In a saucepan mix the Double Cream and your chosen flavour of jam.
  3. Heat the mixture, stirring to prevent it from burning, until it is boiling
  4. Once the mixture is boiling pour it immediately over the white chocolate
  5. Push all of the pieces of chocolate into the the hot cream mixture but do not stir. It's important not to stir the mixture at this stage as this will cause it to cool and you will end up with lumps of chocolate in the mixture.
  6. After 3 minutes stir the ganache mixture well.
  7. Leave the mixture to set for about 10 minutes before spooning or piping the mixture onto half of the macaroon shells and sandwich together. 
Note: for a Milk or Dark chocolate centre use 100g of your chosen chocolate and use 50ml of cream for milk chocolate or 75ml of cream for dark chocolate, if you would like to add additional flavours, reduce the quantity of cream used and substitute with your chosen flavour. Try 100g of dark chocolate, 35ml of Real Ale and 40ml of Double Cream for a gorgeous malty flavour. 
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