If there's one item of food I'm happy to spend a little more on (bar good cheese) it's a bag (or box, if I'm feeling naughty) of macarons. Yes, you heard right. The blogger 'cliche' (which, if you've ever tasted them will be able to completely vouch for) and something I'm unashamedly in love with. So much so that my best friend sent me a box in the post last week. I know, she's an angel.
So, when I'm not lucky enough to be near to pay day and afford £2 sweet treats, it's been known that I've tried to make some myself. Now, I ain't no Pierre Herme, and after trying for the second time- can completely understand why these little rounds of happiness are so pricey; they're not easy (this is not Viccy sponge business). On this occasion the almonds made them a little bumpy, and hey, I didn't have a piping bag so they're more like whoopie pies- but they taste good- and isn't that the point? I know Laduree won't have to start worrying, but I'm now left with some pretty happy colleagues and family, and I think that's a job well done.
These little bad boys were adapted from a GBBO/Nutella book recipe- but with a Liv spin, or two!
You will need:
2 x egg whites
1 x pinch of salt
60g x caster sugar
65g x ground almonds (as ground as they come)
80g x icing sugar
3 x tablespoons cocoa powder
1 x jar of Nutella
1. Add the pinch of salt to the egg whites and whisk with an electric whisk until the whites become opaque and stand with soft peaks. Whisk the sugar in a spoonful at a time, until the peaks become stiff.
2. Gently sieve the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder into the mix, and using a large metal spoon fold the mix together gently, making sure not to lose any of the air whisked in- until the mix becomes a chocolatey brown colour with no white.
3. Draw 20 circles on a baking sheet using a small egg cup/baby cup and turn the sheet upside down (so your macarons don't have pen circles on them)! Place on a baking tray.
4. Using a couple of spoons, or ideally, a piping bag- place the mixture into the circles. Lift up the baking sheet and try, and bang it down a little to rid of any air bubbles- and then leave to stand for half an hour, so the macarons can form a skin. Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, and until they feel firm to touch. Lift the macarons from the tray and leave to cool on a wire rack.
6. Once the macarons have cooled, spread a hearty layer of Nutella into the middle of one side and place two flat sides together to make your macaron!
Enjoy! (They last up to 4 days, but like they'd be left that long anyway- pfft!)