Friday, 8 October 2010
Pretty in pink
I can't really pretend this is a very sensible way of using up quince as it only uses syrup from the compote I made earlier this week. But it's lovely anyway.
The perfect macaron has a crisp shell with a soft, yielding centre that melts in the mouth, and something sweet and delicious in the middle. And of course this is yet another marvellous opportunity to shoehorn some of my quince bounty into a classic recipe. Tomorrow, quince jelly.
Cinnamon, quince and white chocolate macarons
Makes about 25
175g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
a small pinch of cream of tartar
3 large egg whites (130g)
75g caster sugar
food colouring (optional)
~for the ganache
220g white chocolate
40ml quince syrup
50ml double cream
1) Grind the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor or spice grinder (in batches) until very fine, then sieve into a bowl with the cinnamon and set aside. Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl until they form soft peaks, then whisk in the caster sugar spoon by spoon until the mixture is thick and glossy. Yum. Stir through a few drops of colouring, if you like. It's not essential but it does make for a pretty macaron.
2) Now very gently fold half of the almond mixture into the eggs until just combined, then fold in the remaining half. Stop folding when the mixture runs off the spatula in thick ribbons. Fill the mixture into a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle (or a plastic bag with a hole cut in the end), and pipe into rounds onto 3 baking sheets covered with greaseproof paper. Each round should be about 3cm in diameter. Leave to dry for 30 minutes, then bake at 325f/170c/gas mark 3 for 18 minutes. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tray.
3) To make the ganache melt the chocolate, syrup and cream over a bain marie. Try not to stir too much or the chocolate will turn grainy. When the chocolate has melted completely, remove it from the heat and leave to cool until it is thick enough to pipe. Spoon into a piping bag, and use to sandwich the macaron together in pairs.