one of my all time favourite desserts has to be bakewell tart. so since i'd recently been on a macaron cookery course and the lovely people at mackays sent me a selection of their new conserve to try, it only make sense to make my favourite little cherry topped delight into meringue form. i present to you... bakewell tart macarons.
(makes 20 shells, 10 macarons)
♥ two egg whites, preferably aged for 1-3 days in the fridge
♥ 75g caster sugar
♥ 100g icing sugar
♥ 75g ground almonds, sieved
for the filling
♥ 150g butter
♥ 100g icing sugar
♥ 2 tsp almond essence
♥ cherry jam
you will also need a lined baking tray, piping bags, elastic bands, a spatula and a sieve.
step one. whisk up the egg white with a hand whisk or stand mixer with whisk attachment. or if you're feeling like a work out, whip them up the old fashioned way.
step two. slowly add the caster sugar. tip: the eggs will start to turn white. when they form soft, glossy peak they are ready.
step three. sieve in the icing sugar and ground almonds together.
step four. quickly stir whip together in a figure of 8 motion. do not flatten the spatula down or you will deflate the mixture. tip: the mix is ready when it has a slight shine and drizzles from your spatula like a ribbon.
step five. spoon carefully into a piping bag and give it a firm throw to force the mix to the end and eradicate any bubbles. tie the end with an elastic band.
step six. cut the end 180 degrees across (not diagonal!) and position the piping bag straight to pipe. i actually was at a bit of an angle in these pictures so don't copy that. naughty!
don't lift up until you have piped and then just dot the end to lift the piping bag away. think of your piping bag like a telescope you're looking down.
my mum actually bought me a baking magazine which came with a macaron silicone mat - it was great to use but i felt the shell templates were a little too close together. also, they stuck to the mat a bit so maybe need to look into ways to prevent this in future.
step seven. allow the shells to dry for around 15 minutes before you bake them as this will prevent cracking. fellow foodie charlotte at work making her ice cream - on her blog soon!
preheat the oven to 150 degrees c.
step eight. when dry to the touch, bake the macarons for 15 minutes. allow to completely cool.
step nine. time to make the almond buttercream! simply cream together the icing sugar, butter and almond essence.
step ten. pipe almond buttercream on one side and add 1 tsp of cherry jam on the other. then twist the two shells together to slowly create the complete macaron!
ta da! i was really pleased with the result if i say so myself. not usually into fruit desserts except for the jam in bakewells (although i know often raspberry or apricot is often used) but this deep and tangy morello cherry flavour and the nod to almond in the cool buttercream worked together well. perhaps a glace would have been the cherry on top...
what is your favourite macaron flavour? do you know of any alternative bakewell tart recipes? if you're as mad about bakewells as me, you might like my filo bakewell tarts or chocolate bakewell recipe.
note: many thanks to mackays for sending me their latest conserves to sample.