For those lazy spring days when don't feel like doing much, indulge in a lavish macaron that you'll certainly want extra helpings of. Flavoured with a delicious white chocolate buttercream that's complemented with the addition of gin for a truly lovely taste.
45g egg whites (approx 1 large egg or 2 small eggs)
2.5 tbsp sugar
45g Ground almonds
75g icing sugar
blue food colouring (if desired)
earl grey tea bag (if desired)
Makes 10 macarons (20 shells)
For the buttercream filling
40g white chocolate
150g icing sugar
2-3 tbsp Martin Miller's Westbourne strength gin
Sift the ground almonds twice to ensure any clumps are removed, then sift again with the icing sugar. If you'd like to add a touch of earl grey to your macarons cut open a tea bag and add to the mixture, if you have a loose leaf blend grind it down first with a pestle and mortar.
Whisk the egg whites until foamy then add in the sugar and whisk until peaks start to form, add in the food colouring then whisk until stiff peaks form.
Fold the egg whites into the almond mixture, the mixture should have a ribbon-like consistency. Line baking trays with baking paper then start to pipe or spoon (whichever method you prefer) the mixture into discs on the paper.
Leave these to rest for 30 minutes then pre-heat your oven to 120c/100c fan/gas mark 1 and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Leave them to rest on the baking trays for 5-10 minutes then carefully remove them from the baking paper and place them on a wire rack to cool.
Whilst they cool prepare the buttercream, melt the chocolate down first then set it aside. Beat together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy, add in the chocolate and beat. Pour in a little gin to loosen the mixture and beat to a soft, smooth consistency, add more gin if you feel it needs it.
To put your macarons together spoon the buttercream mixture onto one shell, smoothing it over, then place another shell on top and voila! You have a complete macaron! Continue this with the rest of the shells.
Best eaten: You can of course eat these straight away if you wish but they do tend to taste better when left to set for 24 hours, place the macarons in an airtight container in the fridge, this allows them to set and lets the shell infuse the buttercream flavours for a tasty macaron.
Recipe adapted from Siawase days