So far, all the people that I’ve become acquainted with on the island have all been “temporary” friends. I’m not saying this in any way to suggest that I’d like to terminate the friendship or I don’t foresee is lasting, it’s more a testament to the fact that all of them are only on the island for a very limited amount of time before they head to their new (or old) destinations.
Lucky for me though, I was introduced to a girl who wandered over this way to attend university on the island a few some years ago… and just never left! She’s here by choice because she loves it!
Nice fit huh?
Not only that, but she’s into baking. AAAAaaaaaand…. the first time I tried making macarons, it just so happened she was tucked away in her kitchen giving them a whirl for the first time too!
Talk about coincidences.
Looks like I’ve made myself a new friend.
Wait! There’s more! My new friend & I had a baking-date yesterday to see if our luck with macarons was luck, or if we’d actually figured out how to make them. We even tried a few techniques & got creative with the flavor choices.
….best macarons I’ve made so far. Maybe it’s because two heads are better than one & there was a talented woman standing next to me who had just as much enthusiasm for the small, Italian cookies as I did.
Any way, between us we came up with the wonderful combination of flavoring our macarons with strawberries & mint… & they were the chewiest, most delicious little treats. She sent me home with well over half & I’m a little ashamed to say that Mel & I have already polished off the lot.
There you have it. Friends = successful baking. All is right in the world
– 100g egg whites, room temp
– 40g sugar
– 40ml water
– 200g icing sugar
– 120g raw almonds (or almond flour)
– colouring of your choice
1. place your egg whites in a bowl, cover with cling film, & leave them out for 24 hours. This is called “aging” your egg whites.
2. once your egg whites have been ages, transfer them into a clean bowl.
3. place the sugar & water in a very small pot & bring to a boil. Do not stir the mixture at any point. Boil the sugar until it reaches soft-ball stage (115C), use a candy thermometer. Whilst your sugar is boiling, whip your egg whites to soft peak consistency. Once the sugar has reached the correct temperature, slowly pour it into your egg whites in a continuous thin stream. Continue to beat them the entire time you are pouring in the sugar. Once they reach a glossy, creamy texture you can add in your food colouring & stop beating.
4. place your almonds in a blender & grind them until they are as fine as you can get them. Add in the icing sugar & continue to blend them until it has all become a powder. Pass the mix through a sieve to remove any large chunks of almond. If there is more than two teaspoons of bits remaining, re blend the remainders & sift again before adding to your egg whites.
5. sift in your almond mixture to the egg mix. You want to gently fold the almonds into the egg whites making sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl as you do. Once it has all been evenly distributed, pour the mix into a pipping back fitted with a 5mm nozzle.
6. pipe your macarons onto a parchment lined baking tray about 1.5cm in diameter, and 2cm apart from each other. Allow them to rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
7. bake them in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes @ 150C. Rotate them half way through the time. Remove them from the oven & allow them to cool prior to filling.
– 100g heavy cream
– 6 mint leaves
– 100g cream cheese
– 50g icing sugar
– 40g strawberry puree
– 15ml strawberry liquor
1. tear up the mint leaves & place them in a pot with the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-low heat & once it begins to simmer, remove from the heat. Allow the mint leaves to steep for 30 minutes before removing them from the cream. Place the cream in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill before proceeding.
2. beat together your cream cheese & icing sugar until smooth & fluffy. Add your strawberry puree & liquor to the mix & again, beat until it has a smooth consistency.
3. last but not least, add in the chilled heavy cream & beat the lot together until the cream has thickened & is at stiff peak consistency. Always be careful not to over beat or else the cream will curdle.
4. transfer the mix to a pipping bag & fill each macaron.
If you liked the recipe, go check out our KICKSTARTER project for an upcoming Gluten-Free Cookbook!
*** always “age” your egg whites. This helps remove some of the excess water from them giving the final cookie a much nicer consistency & appearance. ***
*** these macarons need to be consumed the same day. The filling used is very moist & will soften the whole cookie if left over night, thus ruining the final texture. ***
*** fresh mint always works better than dried ***
……..for a full history of our recipes, check out our archives. For the more sensitive tummies, check out our gluten-free archives….. and if you’re just interested in something pretty, check out our designed page.