Hey! As you may have noticed, I gave my blog a bit of a make-over. I spent the last few months not only looking after two very stubborn and demanding flatmates, i.e., my children, but also redesigning this website as I have bigger, grander plans for it. You’ll find out more in the next few months. But I can already reveal that besides recipes, I’ll also be sharing some DIY and craft projects. The aim is for you to find loads of ideas and inspiration for your parties here! I hope you’ll enjoy it. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
In the meantime, I’ve come up with this little challenge: my own Macaron Advent Calendar. Every day, until the 24th of December, I will be revealing a different macaron flavour. I must admit that I’ve had a couple of failed attempts, including one where all my macarons merged into one when baking. It ended up looking like Slimer in Ghostbusters. But I finally got the recipe right and today’s recipe is a Christmas-flavoured macaron n°1, inspired by Ladurée. Between the chocolate shells is an orange/chocolate/spices ganache. Macarons are a bit fiddly to make but when you get it right, it is so satisfying. Luckily, I’ve come up with a few foolproof tips for you. Scroll down for the recipe!
To make 25 Christmas macarons, you need:
Here are my tips to achieve the perfect macarons:
1) Make sure to sift together the ground almonds and icing sugar.
2) Always use eggs at room temperature.
3) The colour of the macarons will fade when baking so add a few more drops of food colouring for vibrant colours.
4) Don't over-mix or under-mix your mixture. Stop mixing as soon as it's homogeneous.
5) Leave the macarons to rest for at least 20 minutes before baking them.
6) Don't be tempted to take your macarons out of the oven early.
- 140 g ground almonds (if using cocoa powder, Matcha green tea powder or any other dry ingredient, use 110 g of ground almonds and 30 g of your chosen dry flavouring)
- 125 g icing sugar
- 3 egg whites
- 100 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp flavouring essence of your choice, if using (rose, vanilla, jasmine, coconut...)
- 4 drops of food colouring, if using
- Sieve together the ground almonds, dry ingredient (if using) and icing sugar in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites and gradually add the caster sugar until you get firm, glossy peaks. Then add the flavouring and colouring of your choice and whisk a little more.
- Fold together the meringue and almond mixture. Don't over-mix, don't under-mix.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Transfer the macaron mixture to a piping bag and draw approximately 50 circles, 4 cm diameter, on the paper, making sure they are not too close to each other. After piping all the macarons onto the sheet, lift and lightly tap the tray on the work surface a couple of times to remove any air bubbles from the shells.
- Leave the macarons to dry at room temperature for at least 20 minutes so they form a 'skin'. During that time, pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
- Bake for 14-15 minutes.
The filling is totally up to you. You can whip some double cream with a bit of icing sugar and any flavouring and/or colouring you want. You can also use jam or make a ganache.
For these Christmas macarons, I chopped 150 g of dark chocolate and placed it in a bowl. I brought to the boil 35 ml of double cream with 20 ml of orange flavouring and a teaspoon of several spices (vanilla, cinnamon, allspice...). I then poured the hot cream-juice preparation onto the dark chocolate and stirred it well. Then, cover the ganache with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour. When ready, I just piped a small amount of ganache on the flat side of half the chocolate shells before covering with the remaining shells.