Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The only thing missing is Paris...

The lilacs are in bloom and the sun is shining. Glorious. And time for another WI meeting...

I am a huge fan of Laduree and their perfectly petite, pastel-coloured macarons, and have been dying to try my hand at a home-made version. Malago WI are the perfect recipients for such a labour of love so this month's meeting treats were Marmalade Macarons. They were a triumph.


Marmalade Macarons (makes 10-12)

50g flaked almonds, toasted
50g icing sugar
1 medium egg white – with not so much as a speck of yolk
½ tsp egg white powder (Dr Oetker makes it)
50g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
50g Clotted cream
2 tbsp marmalade (I used my home-made marmalade - make sure you use a good quality one)

1. On the underside of a piece of nonstick paper, and using a soft pencil, heavily draw 20-24 3cm circles spaced 2cm apart.
2. Finely grind the almonds, then mix with the icing sugar in a bowl. If the almonds are too small an amount to grind finely on their own, or are particularly oily, add the icing sugar and grind again.
3. With an electric whisk, beat the fresh and powdered egg white stiffly, then gradually add the caster sugar, beating for one to two minutes after each spoonful, until thick and glossy. Use a little of this meringue mix to fix the paper drawn-side down on a baking tray.
4. Fold the almond mixture and zest into the meringue, and spoon or pipe on to the tray evenly to fill the circles. Tap the tray on a worktop to pop any air bubbles, and leave for 30-60 minutes, so they dry slightly.
5. Bake at 160C (140C fan-assisted)/320F/gas 2 1/2; for 10-12 minutes, until puffed at the base and crisp on top.
6. Leave to cool - you can mix the marmalade and cream together while you're waiting. Indent the bottom of each with a knife, and sandwich with cream and marmalade.


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