I said, didn’t I? I said no more lemon [this week at least!]. Moving on to another fruit, and another classic dessert flavour for this weeks final instalment of #macaronmondays – Banoffee. Banoffee Pie is, for me, on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to desserts. It can sometimes be too rich, but in macaron form you get all of the incredible taste in just a couple of bites – perfect!
I got my banana creme extract from Amazon and found LeAnns Oils the best fit for the job. Couple this with a chocolatey macaron and a little bit of caramel and I’d say it’s a job well done!
100g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
72g egg white
100g granulated sugar
50g unsalted butter, softened
100g icing sugar
1/2 tsp milk
Yellow food colouring
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C or 160°C fan.
Sieve the almonds, cocoa powder and icing sugar in a bowl several times. Three at a minimum. If you don’t have a sieve, use a food processor but either is fine.
Pour half of the egg whites into the almond, cocoa and icing sugar mixture and mix together with a spoon. It should all come together to create a paste. Pour the rest of the egg whites into a stand mixer or clean bowl.
Put the sugar and water onto a medium-high heat in a high-sided saucepan. Combine carefully so all the sugar is coated in the water then leave very much alone. It’s worth having a pastry brush and a bowl of water to hand incase sugar crystals form up the side of the pan. Bring the mixture to the boil. Using a sugar thermometer, bringing the syrup up to 110°C. At this point, start mixing the egg whites in your stand mixer or with an electric hand held whisk. Once the temperature has reached 118°C and the eggs are frothy, carefully and slowly pour it into the egg whites to stop the heat from cooking the eggs. Whisk for about 5-6 minutes of high speed.
After 6 minutes, the meringue mixture should be approaching stiff peak stage. So long as it holds up on the whisk, it’s done. Take about a quarter and add to the almond and sugar mixture – beat this together to loosen the mixture. Add another quarter and carefully fold together – you don’t want to remove the air you’ve just put into the meringue so slowly and carefully does it. Once combined, add another quarter and repeat the process. You may not use all of the meringue so test every now and then – take a bit of the mixture on the spatula and if it falls away in a ribbon-like consistency and disappears into the rest of the batter in about 10 seconds you’re there. It should fall from the spatula within 2 seconds.
Decant the mixture into a piping bag, fit with a plain round nozzle of about 1/2″. Blob a little of the mixture onto a baking sheet and place the baking paper on top, using the mixture as a glue to stick it down. Baking paper is needed – baking parchment will not suffice!
Pipe the circles onto the baking paper. Sometimes, there may be a ‘nipple’ to your meringue, but worry not, this should disappear with the next movement. That being taking the baking sheet and knocking it on the counter top several times. Just raise it above the counter a few inches and drop. Rotate 90 degrees and repeat. And twice more.
Leave the macarons uncovered for 15 minutes and then place in the oven for 12 minutes on a low shelf. Any higher the macarons tend to brown and discolour. Once cooked, leave to cool completely before even attempting to remove from the baking paper.
While they are cooling, make the filling. Beat the butter for 3 minutes before adding half of the icing sugar. Beat again and repeat with the remaining half. Beat for a further three minutes, adding in the yellow food colour and banana extract halfway. Taste and alter to your taste. Transfer to a piping bag fit with a star nozzle
Pair up the macaron shells and on one half pipe a circle of buttercream. Spoon a small blob of caramel in the centre and sandwich the two together!