Saturday, 3 December 2011

Christmas Baking - Mince Pie Macaron Recipe

I am so glad it is finally December and I can break out all the Christmas bakes! I have been think about these Mince Pie Macarons since September when I first got my hands on some Buttery Sweet Dough flavouring. The ability to make a macaron taste like sweet pastry was just to exciting to bear quite frankly.

Mince Pies are the epitome of Christmas for me, I love them and look forward to them every year.  I also love a variation on the traditional mince pie and these macarons are no exception they taste so much like a mince pie, even a mince pie itself wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

I am adding these gorgeous macarons to this months Mac Tweets, I love a seasonal Mac Attack and I have sadly missed a few lately so I'm glad to be back to it.

These Macarons are really simple, the shells are of course flavoured with Buttery Sweet Dough emulsion (which you can source from NY Cake) and mixed spice.

The filling is a very simple buttercream with glorious Mincemeat stirred through, you can use any type of mincemeat you like sore bought or home made will both be great.

Mince Pie Macarons

170g icing sugar
160g ground almonds
1/2 tsp mixed spice
4 medium egg whites, separated into two equal batches
160g vanilla sugar or caster sugar
1 tsp Buttery Sweet Dough flavouring emulsion (optional)

For the filling:

50g butter, softened
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
100g mincemeat

To Serve:

1 tbsp icing sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

To Make The Macarons:

Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sieve together the icing sugar, ground almonds & mixed spice into a large mixing bowl. Add the first batch of egg whites (unbeaten) and mix to form a thick paste. Set aside.

Tip the second batch of egg whites into a heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk at the ready. Place 50ml water and the caster sugar into a small saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C, using a sugar thermometer, at which time start beating the egg whites on a high speed. Once the syrup has reached 118C pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the whisk. Add the flavouring emulsion if using and continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture - the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm.

Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter - it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula. The ribbon should fade back into the batter within about 30 seconds - if it does not, fold a few more times.

Heat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/ gas 3-4. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, knock the air out of the macarons by giving the bottom of the tray a whack on the kitchen counter and leave to rest for 30 minutes on the, or until the macarons have developed a skin.

Bake the macarons for 14 minutes. Once out of the oven immediately slide the parchment onto a work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling off the paper.

Pair up your macaron shells.

To Make The Filling:

Beat the butter with an electric mixer until significantly whiter in colour around 1-2 minutes. 

Sift the icing sugar and gradually add half to the butter, continuing to beat the entire time, add the milk and finally the remaining icing sugar.  Beat the mixture for a further 3 minutes.

 Stir in the mincemeat using a rubber spatula.

Spoon a teaspoon of filling onto the flat side of one macaron in each pair and sandwich the two shells together.

 To Serve:

Sieve the icing sugar and cinnamon together.

Pile the macarons high on a cake stand or serving plate and sieve the cinnamon sugar mixture over the plate of macarons to dust.

I cannot wait to fill the house with the smells and sounds of Christmas!

I have been so busy at the bakery, where it has been pretty darn Christmasy, that I'm a little behind at home this year but we are getting our tree tomorrow and I cannot wait!

I'm making lots of foodie gifts for people this year and I really looking forward to putting on the Christmas music and getting the goodies underway, the best bit of Christmas is definitely the baking.

x x x