Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Of all people, I happen to be married to someone who does not like cake. He gets annoyed with my "cake stuff'. I don't let it get me down, I was baking long before we met but I have to admit I sometimes wish he would get excited about the things I make. I've become accustomed to his lack of interest and understanding for my passion so I was a bit surprised when he did a double take in the kitchen yesterday. Of course everyone in the house knows the rules, you can't touch it until I've taken my photos. We woke up this morning and again he was asking about the Macarons. It made me smile. He will be pleased to know I have finished this post and they can now be eaten. Finally I've made something he really likes! But I guess it is hard not to fall in love with these delicious colourful little gems.
175g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
3 large egg whites
pinch of salt
75g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
For the filling:
100g icing sugar
Sift together icing sugar and ground almonds through a fine sieve to remove any lumps and larger almond pieces. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt until frothy. Continue beating eggswhites while adding caster sugar a little at time until well incorporated. Add vanilla. Continue beating until soft peaks form.
Fold in half of icing sugar/ almond mixture into egg whites and fold until blended. Add the other half of icing sugar/ almond mixture and fold again until well blended.
At this point you can add the colour. Seperate the mixture if you want to make more than one colour. I used Wilton Icing colours in Rose, Teal, Purple and Golden Yellow to colour mine.
To make the Macarons, line a cookie sheet with baking paper.
Note, you may already know this but I didn't and learned the hard way. Do not use a baking stone for Macarons, use a metal cookie sheet. I tried one batch with my baking stone and they ALL stuck. All the ones I made with my metal cookie sheet came out perfect.
Add Macaron mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe circles onto the baking paper. Try to keep them all the same size. It may help you to draw circles onto the paper before piping the macarons to keep to a uniform size.
Once you have piped the macarons turn on the oven to preheat to 160C / 325F / Gas Mark 3. Leave the Macarons on the counter for about 20 minutes. You want them to form a crust on the top so that if you lightly touch them your finger will not stick to the top. Don't put them in the oven until they have crusted on the top. Once ready pop in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
When done, remove from oven and let them completely cool before gently removing from the wax paper.
Mix together the filling. I like to divide up and colour my buttercream filling to match the colour of the macarons. Sandwhich together macarons with buttercream filling.
Thursday, 11 April 2013
350g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
200g peanut butter
200g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Peanut Butter Icing:
125g peanut butter
500g icing sugar
Heat oven to 170C / 325F / Gas Mark 3
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream butter, peanut butter and light brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth, fluffy and light.
Add eggs 1 at a time and mix well. Add vanilla.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk (begin and end with flour).
Spoon into muffin cases and bake until done. Approx 22 minutes.
Makes 24 cupcakes.
To make the icing:
Combine butter, peanut butter, icing sugar and vanilla and mix with an electric mixer until smooth. If icing seems to thick add milk a tablespoon at a time until you reach the right consistency.