Happy Sunday! I hope everyone has had a lovely relaxing weekend so far. My Saturday was unexpectedly full of my favourite things – family, friends and baking. After an abrupt end to my working day I found myself at home with a free afternoon which was quickly filled with a family gathering, baking for the gathering and then dinner with friends. So what started off a very bad day turned out to be pretty good.
I’d been desperate to try out the speckled egg technique for ages, so when I found myself at a bit of a loose end yesterday it was the perfect opportunity, and now I can’t wait to speckle everything! (Some pastel coloured Easter cookies will be make this week, I think.) Also I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll with macarons after last weeks success, and luckily my new found recipe didn’t let me down.
Easter Egg Macarons
As mentioned in my previous macaron post, I use this recipe. Below is just a little recap of the stages.
First beat the egg whites, lemon and salt until foamy, then add the caster sugar in stages, beating until the stiff peak stage.
At this stage, split the mixture in to three bowls. Using a skewer or a knife, add a little food colouring to each bowl and fold through until the colour is distributed throughout but not completely uniform.
Fold in the ground almond and icing sugar mixture in three stages.
If you find that the colour is not strong enough at this point you can add some more as you’re folding.
It is important to use gel food colouring as liquid will effect the consistency too much.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and pipe oval, egg shaped macarons on to a lined baking tray. Sharply tap the base of the tray on to the worktop to release any air bubbles then leave for 15-20 minutes to form a skin.
Bake for 5 minutes at 180 degrees C (160 degrees fan), then turn the oven down to 160 degrees C (140 degrees fan) for 8-10 minutes. To test if the macaron shells are ready, gently try to move the shell from side to side. If it moves it’s not quite finished, if it feels firm then you’re done!
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays.
Once the macarons are cool, mix a little cocoa powder with water to a milk-like consistency. Dip a pastry brush in to the cocoa mixture and with one hand hold the bristles tightly together at the top, then use your other hand to flick the bristles to spray the macaron shells with brown spots. They should now look like cute little eggs.
Allow to dry for 10 minutes and fill with a filling of your choice. I filled these with homemade Nutella, recipe to come later in the week.