Macaro(o)ned On Christmas Island...
This weeks #TwitterBakeAlong was set by Tesco and it was "all things mincemeat." Well, it is almost Christmas. Spurred on by our fearless Twitter Bake Along guides, the Baking Nanna and Robert Allen, we decided to go out on a bit of a limb. Having made some simple mince tarts already we've incorportated our delicious matured mincemeat into something a little different, Mincemeat Macarons.
For the macaron shells we headed over to sallysbakingaddiction.com for a good basic french macaron recipe (there's a really helpful step-by-step guide). As our mincemeat contains almonds we decided to embelish the macarons with a dash of almond extract.
Blitz your icing sugar and almonds in a food processor until extra fine. In a clean blow whisk egg whites until just stiff then gradually add your sugar and almond extract. Carefully fold your icing sugar and almond mix into your basic meringue then, when well combined, leave to sit for 10-15 minutes.
Pipe in rounds (it's worth drawing out a guide on your parchment) and tap the tray down to remove any air bubbles, then leave for an hour until a skin has formed and the surface is touch dry (we sprinkled our wet macarons with nutmeg for a little extra Chritsmassy taste) . Once ready, bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, turning half-way through. By leaving your macaron to dry before baking you force the rise from the bottom and create that classic 'foot' to your disc.
Cool completely before pairing up and sandwiching your macarons with your filling. A basic buttercream is a fantastic base and that's just what we needed to take our mincemeat. We blended ours until almost smooth then stirred through our buttercream.
The finished macarons are delicate and light yet pack a wonderfully spiced punch that just screams mincepie!