Matt isn't the teasing kind - he's a gentleman who refuses to stoop to my level. There is one issue he does choose to rattle my cage on: leftovers. I made a lemon meringue pie recently and at the end of the recipe, I had a load of italian meringue left in the bowl. Matty joked there was no point getting out the tupperware because he'd just have rescue it from the pack of the fridge and throw it out in a week. I racked my brains for a recipe to use it all up, but nothing really tickled my fancy. Nothing, that is, until I found the old faithful, macaron.
I realise if you want a recipe for a macaron, there's a plethora of recipes out there. This, however, is very reliable and I give you the hints that will get you over the line, macaron-style. The ganache is also a nice touch - chocolate passionfruit with just the right amount of tang (you're right if you think I'm obsessed with passionfruit).
So, hints you ask? Macaron spread in the oven. Make sure they're at least in inch apart when piping. Speaking of piping, want to know how I make sure they're the same size? I count to five each time I pipe - they generally end up the same size, but you do have to make sure you maintain the same pressure on the bag. Also, be gentle when folding your ingredients: you want the mixture to end up being a slow moving beast. When you think they're ready to come from the oven, given them a little twist: if they just come up from the paper, they're good to go.
220g caster sugar
90g egg whites
210g almond meal
210g icing sugar
80g egg white
yellow food colouring
50g passionfruit pulp, strained
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line three baking trays with baking paper.
To make the italian meringue, dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat. Once dissolved, don't stir any further and bring to the boil. Bring to 115 degrees celsius.
Meanwhile, beat the first lot of egg whites in a mixer until soft peaks form. Once the sugar has come to temperature, pour slowly into eggs. Beat on high until the sides of the bowl have cooled (approximately 15 minutes).
Pour the almond meal and the icing sugar into a food processor and mix until the almond meal is not so grainy. Keep scraping down the sides of the processor - you want to do this for around 5 minutes so the almond meal is very fine. Pour into a bowl and mix in the second quantity of egg whites.
Fold in the italian meringue softly with the food colouring. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe out in small circles. Leave for five minutes and then put into the oven, one tray at a time. Turn the oven down immediately to 160 degrees celsius. Cook for around 15 minutes. Repeat for each tray.
To make the ganache, boil the cream with the passionfruit pulp. In a bowl, break up chocolate into small chunks and pour over cream. Stir occasionally until the chocolate has completely melted.
Once the ganache has cooled and thickened (but not hardened), gently spoon on the underside of a macaron and sandwich with a second macaron. Repeat with remaining macarons. Feel free to decorate with a little edible coloured powder.