With New Years Eve looming I found myself in a panic, drowning in a sea of loose plans and uncertainty. Do I brave my most hated night of the year and go out, or do I chance the non arrival of a taxi at a house party and spend the night on a friends sofa? Have a sophisticated gathering with only my nearest and dearest or full blown party at my pad?! The choices were endless and nobody seemed able to make a decision. Eventually, after much humming and harring, I decided to have a gathering! Isn’t gathering a nice word? So much less stressful than party…. a gathering *sighs*.
As a little treat for my guests I decided to retry my hand at macarons. My first attempt was a roaring success, perfect shells, perfect colouring and perfectly delectable. Surely I couldn’t recreate my little triumph? Well, I didn’t. These macarons are ok, but not a patch on my last beauties. I think I may have over mixed the batter causing greasy stains to appear upon the shells. Oh well, nothing a dusting of edible glitter can’t fix, well that and I forgot to age my egg whites. Ooops!
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
110g ground almonds
200g minus 2 tbsp. icing sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder 100g egg whites (from about 3 eggs), aged at room temperature for 12-24 hours
50g granulated sugar
Sift the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa powder together and set aside.
Place egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk until foamy. Gradually add the sugar while you continue to beat the eggs until stiff peaks start to form.
Add the ground almond mixture to the bowl with the meringue and quickly but gently fold together using a wide rubber spatula until no streaks remain. You want to achieve a thick batter that ribbons or flows from the spatula when lifted.
Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain wide round tip. Pipe into small rounds on the prepared baking sheets (each round should be about 1-1½ inches in diameter), spaced about 1 inch apart. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour to develop a hard shell.
Preheat the oven to 150C. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on size. Transfer the pans to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before moving the cookies. For easy removal pour a drizzle of water between the paper and baking sheet, the steam created from the heat will prevent the macarons from sticking.
Once cool fill the cookies with Nutella or any other chocolate ganache you fancy.