Firstly: Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who has supported the site throughout 2016. I cannot believe in three months BakerMan (formally All Thyme Favourites) will be one year old. Unbelievable.
New year does not mean new site, however. Yes, the’ll be some different style recipes coming up, but baking will remain solely at the fore. Cakes, macarons and I aim to do a lot more pastry and – AND – savoury. I know, I keep saying it but i will get round it it. I just like cake too much, okay? And you all seem to enjoy it, too!
For the first recipe of 2017, we’re back to one of my favourite things: macarons. And this time we’re combining it with my favourite fruit, one so underrated but so delicious: passion fruit. These remind me of new years because…well because gold. I think the decoration looks so cool – like a black night sky glittering with fireworks. You get my train of thought? Good!
These little treats are perfect for a new years: they are simple, relatively low calorie, keeping that new year guilt at bay. They are tangy, too. And contain fruit. Literally what more could you want, it’s basically one of your five a day. (Disclaimer: it’s actually not).
100g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
72g egg white
100g granulated sugar
50g unsalted butter, softened
150g icing sugar
1/2 tsp milk
Brown food colouring
Yellow food colouring
2 passion fruits.
Gold lustre dust
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C or 160°C fan.
Sieve the almonds 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 and icing sugar mixture and mix together with a spoon or spatula. 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 minutes of high speed and then add the black food gel. Whisk for another 2 minutes. After 7 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 on to the baking paper and slam the baking tray on to the kitchen counter twice, rotate 90 degrees and repeat until you’re back k to where you started.
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. For the gold shimmer effect, dab the pastry brush in gold lustre dust and flick from a height.
While they are cooling, make the filling. Remove the seeds and pump from two passion fruits and run them through a sieve. Beat the butter for 5 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 passion fruit juice and the yellow and brown food colouring until you have a golden colour. Add half the seeds from the passionfruit to the mixture and beat to combine fully. Transfer to a piping bag fit with a plain 1/2″ nozzle.
Pair up the macaron shells and on one half pipe a flat ‘blob’ of buttercream. Sandwich the two together. Set in the fridge for 15 minutes and then enjoy!
Let me know what you think in the comments below!