I've been back for nearly a week now so I've decided it's high time I post a recipe and what better recipe than this totally scrumptious cherry macaron recipe.
As you will all know from my NY Cake post I have recently managed to get my hands on the most fantastic natural extracts in awesome flavours like blueberry, mango and cherry. The second they were in my possession I started to plan...oh the glorious treats I could make with these little bottles of magic!
Cherry macarons were high on my list and they didn't disappoint. The macaron shells are beautifully cherry flavoured and I made a lovely and very speedy cherry jam for the jam and cream filling.
As usual I made both mini and medium macarons, I just love those mini macs...
I know you're probably thinking it is terribly irritating of me to post a recipe using an extract that I know full well is rather difficult to get hold of. I hope you will all forgive me, especially since I cannot find the actual extract I used on the NY Cake website, I would enquire if I was you because they have lots of extract in store I can't seem to find online.
Also eBay is a brilliant place to find unusual flavourings, just be sure you now what you're buying i.e. natural extract, flavouring, flavoring oil (not macaron suitable) or baking emulsion.
Mix the icing sugar and ground almonds together and blitz in the food processor for about 30 seconds. Sieve the almond mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
In a saucepan, bring the water and the caster sugar to the boil. Use a thermometer to ensure that the temperature of the syrup does not exceed 110C (230F). This is very important.
In a clean bowl whip the first 80g of egg whites until they form soft peaks.
Decrease the speed of the whisk, then, still whisking, pour the sugar syrup over the egg whites in a thin stream. Be sure to avoid the whisk. Add the cherry extract and continue whisking until the mixture has cooled.
Mix the final 80g of egg whites (unbeaten) with the sieved icing sugar and almond mixture until you have a thick paste. Add the food colouring to the almond paste and mix well until the colour is even.
Fold the meringue into the almond paste using a rubber spatula. The batter is ready when it falls from the spatula in a ribbon, this ribbon should disappear back into the batter after about 30 seconds.
Use a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip to pipe rounds onto the prepared baking sheets. Lightly tap the bottom of the tray on the work surface to remove any small air bubbles. Put the tray aside for between 30 min and 1 hour to allow the macarons to dry, you should be able to touch the macaron and come away with a clean finger, the macarons will be noticeably firmer.
Pre-heat oven to 145C (125F).
Bake for between 13 - 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and immediately slide the greaseproof paper onto a clean work surface.
To make the filling:
Remove the stones and stalks from 100g of cherries, roughly chopping them into quarters or smaller. Place the cherries in a small saucepan along with the vanilla sugar and 60ml water, bring to the boil and simmer until thickened and syrupy. Remove from the heat, add the 1 tbsp of water, stir and leave to cool. It will thicken considerably whilst cooling.
Whip the double cream until thick, piping consistency.
Remove macaron shells from the greaseproof paper using a palette knife. Pair macarons together and add 1 tsp of cherry jam to the flat side of one, pipe cream on the flat side of the other and sandwich together. Repeat until all your macaron shells are used up.
Everybody loved these, the intense cherry flavour was such a novelty and the jam and cream filling beautifully surprising but also somewhat familiar and very summery in flavour. I honestly couldn't believe how delicious the cherry jam was!
The Mac Tweet challenge is conveniently fruit themed this month so mango or blueberry?