This year, Sam and I are having a really chilled out Valentine’s Day. We’ve just got back from our honeymoon so we can’t really justify spunking money on a fairly overpriced dinner. However, I love holidays. All of them. It doesn’t really matter how commercialised they are, I still enjoy celebrating them.
This year we will chill out at home cuddling, eating cheese and drinking prosecco. We are exchanging gifts, but we’ve set a £5 limit. I’ve already threatened to buy Sam the biggest Toblerone that £5 can get you these days. If you’re having a low-key Valentine’s Day yourself, I recommend making my Chocolate Raspberry Macarons as a special treat. I love making macarons but they are so fiddly that it has to be a special occasion that I’ll actually bother.
In full disclosure, the feet and skin on this batch that I photographed hadn’t set properly, I just got too impatient and whacked them in the oven, knowing they still needed a bit more drying time. Oh well. They tasted insanely good regardless of how perfect or not they were.
- 1 cup of ground almonds
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 3 egg whites (left to come to room temperature)
- red food colouring
- 150 g of dark chocolate
- 75 mL of double cream
- fresh raspberries
- Sift together your ground almonds and powdered sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add in your granulated sugar and red food colouring as you do so.
- Once your egg whites are ready, fold in your ground almonds. The key to making macarons is to knock just the right amount of air out of your batter whilst you're folding it all together. Most recipes say that your batter is ready when it runs off your spoon like lava. I don't really know what that means, but I mix it until you can drip a steady figure of 8 off of your spoon without the batter breaking.
- Fill a piping bag with your batter and pipe them into circles of your desired size. Knock the trays vigorously against the counter to pop any air bubbles. Leave them at room temperature to form a skin. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat your oven to 140 C. Bake macarons for 13-15 minutes.
- In the meantime, make your ganache. Chop your chocolate into fine pieces. Gently heat your double cream and then once it's just about to boil, pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit together for about 3 minutes and then stir it until the chocolate is thoroughly combined. Leave it to cool and thicken for about an hour. Cut your raspberries into quarters.
- Pipe your ganache onto your macarons and then place a raspberry inside each one before topping with the other macaron shell.
Are you a macaron fan, or not bothered? And what will you be doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day next week?