I have been eyeing the Mac Tweets blog for some time now but could never quite get up the courage to join in the fun, I'm far from a Macaron expert after all. However after I added a link for my Chocolate Orange Macarons to Twitter and lovely follower of mine suggested I give it a try, at first I wrote back saying I wasn't sure I was good enough but after another tweet insisting my Macs were perfect I decided I just had to give it a go. I really did want to and I'm so glad I did.
This months Mac Tweets Challenge was to create a Macaron inspired by a childhood summer-time memory. I had my idea almost instantly. As a child summer was all about ice creams and ice lollies, when would we get one? Where would we get one and most of all which one would we get?
My favorite iced treats as a kid were 99 Ice Creams and Fab Ice Lollies, since I have already made 99 cupcakes I decided Fab Macarons would be perfect. This is a Fab...
I decided to try and make my Macarons as close to Fab flavour as possible creamy vanilla, strawberry, chocolate and crunchy sprinkles.
My Macarons are therefore half chocolate, (find the recipe here) and half strawberry, (recipe coming up). I used both chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream, adding a dash of cream to the vanilla. I was nervous about adding the strawberry puree to the egg whites but didn't have any problems in the end.
Strawberry Macarons - Marks & Spencer Afternoon Tea
3 egg whites
55g caster sugar
pink food colouring
70g fresh strawberries
200g icing sugar
120g ground almonds
Vanilla & Chocolate Buttercream
Pre heat the oven to 130C.
Grease and line baking trays with baking parchment. (I always double up baking trays, one inside the other in order to stop the bottom getting too much heat).
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, add caster sugar and a few drops of colouring, (I added more than a few as I wanted hot pink Macs), beat until sugar dissolves.
Push strawberries through a fine sieve, (I processed mine first); you will need 1 tablespoon of strawberry puree.
Sift ground almonds and icing sugar together and fold into the egg whites along with the strawberry puree in two batches.
Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain tube. Pipe rounds on to your prepared baking sheets, tap trays on worktop to allow your macarons to spread slightly.
Stand for 30 minutes.
Bake Macarons for 20, cool on trays before removing and sandwiching with buttercream.
This recipe is far from perfect but I was pleasantly surprised by the strawberry flavour, I wasn't sure you would be able to taste it at all. I baked my second batch at 150C as I thought 130C was a bit low. All in all I'm really pleased with my Fab Macarons, even if they're not my best ever, I would have preferred a bit of height and a larger foot.
I can't wait to see everyone else's! Make sure you check it out.
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