I am a bad child who, as an unfortunate result of temping, has not a penny to my name. I’m not complaining because payday is on its way but it does mean that my mother and I have had to postpone Mother’s Day to April which suits us because we like Spring flowers, easter eggs and roast lamb. So on this Mother’s Day, my mum is on her way to Herefordshire to visit her mother and I’m catching up on some reading. It’s a bit sad because I miss my mum but she’s always there, so I’m ok.
If, however, you’re lucky enough to see your mum today and spoil her rotten, then something homemade is too delightful for words. There are some beautiful bouquets of flowers out there and our Tesco around the corner has more boxes of chocolates than Belgium but for real, genuine squeals of delight, a homemade Mother’s day present is great.
I’ve made macarons before but always been a little disappointed by them. They were ok but they didn’t quite work and that was maddening. Then I found this recipe from the Great British Bake Off cookbook, they were made by Jason during the biscuits and tea time treats round and I remember thinking they looked wonderful at the time. Jason was one of my favourites, I hoped he might win. He seemed to be really quite innovative and technically able. But then I liked them all really! The recipe is really simple and straightforward, which is what appealed when I flicked through the book. It was also the first time I’ve made macarons and they’ve done the little puffy bottom thing!! Which is a real success in the macaron world. I think they look like something you could buy in Paris wrapped in tissue paper and beautiful ribbons, which is exactly what I would do if I were going to give them as a present. Sadly, they didn’t last that long!
Obviously, you can choose your own food colouring and filling so below is a guide. Jason makes them as mocktails which sounds delicious and might be nice for a baby shower recipe or perhaps ideas for hen nights.
Mother’s Day Macarons
the recipe makes 2o pairs
this is to make the pink ones, but you could replace the raspberries with lemon curd to make the yellow ones
for the macaron:
- 3 medium egg whites at room temp (i never keep eggs in the fridge anyway as old wives’ say that the smells in the fridge can permeate the shell and affect the eggs)
- 225g icing sugar, sifted
- 90g ground almonds
for the filling:
- 100g crushed raspberries, defrosted frozen raspberries would work well
- 75g caster sugar
- 125ml double cream, whipped
- Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper amd preheat the oven to 150C.
- With an electric whisk or freestanding mixer, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks. Ensure the bowl is spotlessly clean before you start, any grease or shell will stop the eggs from whisking properly.
- Gradually whisk in half the sugar and continue to whisk for 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy. Combine the remaining sugar with the ground almonds and carefully fold into the egg whites using a large metal spoon. It’s at this point, you can add the food colouring and any flavoured essence.
- At this point, you can either spoon the mixture into a piping bag or spoon onto the tray with a teaspoon. Ideally a piping bag will make them look prettier but sometimes, you don’t have one to hand or it can be a bit wayward, so I use spoons. Pipe or spoon into 4cm diameter circles on the baking paper and flatten any peaks with the back of a knife.
- Leave to stand for 2o minutes to allow a skin to form on the surface and after 2o minutes, bang the tray hard on the work surface. This isn’t in Jason’s recipe but I’ve noticed in many recipes, supposedly to bang out any air bubbles and so I do it, probably more for luck than anything else!
- Bake the macarons for 14 to 18 minutes until they have risen and are firm to the touch. Again, I have always stuck a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep the oven slightly open but this isn’t mentioned in the recipe so obviously isn’t entirely necessary. With egg whites, I believe a bit of voodoo is always necessary!
- Transfer the baking paper to a wire rack and allow to cool.
- For the filling, blitz the raspberries in the food processor and combine with the sugar in a small pan. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Gently fold the raspberries into the whipped cream and use generously to sandwich the pairs together. Once assembled, try to eat the same day. Like meringues, if not kept air tight, they can become soggy very quickly.
Love you Mum x x x