Not that long ago I had a go at baking macaroons from Eric Lanlard's book, Home Bake. The rose batch turned out fine, my lemon attempts however? Not so much. They tasted gorgeous but to look at...well two words really...complete mess! Being a perfectionist there was no doubt that I was going to attempt to make them again at some point. There was nothing wrong with the recipe (I think!) as I managed to bake one presentable batch, so I stuck with that and I decided to add some poppy seeds to them as I love the flavour and thought this would make them a bit more exciting. I opted for a buttercream filling this time, however you can use lemon curd for a filling. Or anything really that takes your fancy!
Am I right in saying these look a bit better?
100g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
90g egg whites (from 3 large eggs)
100g caster sugar
2 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
- 500g icing sugar
- 120g unsalted butter'
- 30ml fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons milk
♥ In a large bowl, using an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites at full speed until they start to thicken then very slowly add the sugar until they form stiff peaks.
♥ Fold the almond mixture into the egg white, along with your chosen flavouring and/or colouring (note - to make them coloured, add more colouring than you think as it pales when cooking. I've heard the food colouring paste is best but I couldn't find it in Waitrose or Sainsburys so just added food colouring liquid), using a large metal spoon. You will get a stiff, shiny and smooth mixture. Stir in the poppy seeds.
♥ Using a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe 3cm discs onto a baking paper lined baking sheet. Leave for 5-10mins so they can dry out a little, while preheating the oven to 150c (fan 130).
♥ Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15mins.
♥ As soon as they come out the oven, lift the baking paper and pour a bit of cold water in between the sheet and paper. The steam will help to remove them easily. Cool on a wire rack.
♥ Trying to keep the macaroons which are the same size sandwich together with buttercream.