Last week I met national treasure Mary Berry at the launch party for her new book, Mary Berry’s Complete Cookbook. She is just as lovely as you would expect. As you would imagine, the canapés at the party were fabulous and included these stunning Pink Almond Macaroons (only 113 calories each…) If you’re a fan of Mary, make sure you get hold of a copy of our April issue, out at the beginning of March, which has an interview with her. To make 40 macaroons, you will need…
200g icing sugar, sifted
200g ground almonds
200g caster sugar
4 tbsp cold water
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp almond extract red food colouring
90 g soft butter
150g icing sugar, sifted
piping bag fitted with 1cm plain nozzle
1 Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Combine the icing sugar and almonds in a bowl, and set aside. Put the caster sugar and water into a stainless steel pan. Heat gently over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, and boil for a few minutes without stirring, until you have a shiny, clear syrup, the consistency of single cream. If you have a sugar thermometer it should read 110°C, no more. Remove from the heat, and leave to cool slightly.
2 Put two of the egg whites into a bowl, and beat with an electric whisk on high speed until stiff but not dry. Slowly pour in the sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream, beating constantly until all the syrup is used and you have a shiny meringue.
3 Add the remaining two unbeaten egg whites to the sugar and almonds, and mix to a very thick paste with a wooden spoon. Add the almond extract, and stir in just enough food colouring to make the mixture pink. Add a heaped tablespoonful of the meringue, beat well, then carefully fold in the remaining meringue until the mixture is an even pink colour. Do not overmix or it will be too runny.
4 Fill the piping bag with the mixture. Pipe 40 small rounds, each about 3.5cm in diameter, on to each baking tray. If you do not have a piping bag, use two teaspoons to spoon the mixture on to the trays. Set aside to dry for about an hour until a skin forms on top.
5 Bake in a preheated oven at 150°C (130°C fan, Gas 2) for about 25 minutes until firm and glossy on top. Turn the oven off, and leave the macaroons to cool in the oven for about an hour. Transfer to a wire rack with a damp palette knife, and leave to cool completely.
6 To make the filling: cream the butter and half of the icing sugar in a bowl, beating until pale and fluffy. Beat in the remaining sugar a little at a time until the mixture is smooth. Using a small palette knife, spread a little jam and butter cream over the bottom of 40 macaroons, then sandwich together with the remaining macaroons.
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