It's a funny old thing blogging. It can sometimes put an enormous pressure on everything you create or do, even if that pressure is only in your own head. Sometimes the best tasting food I make, is the least attractive, or doesn't sound exciting enough, or trendy enough and it never makes it onto the blog.
These macarons are one of my favourite things I've baked in a while, combining my rose lemonade and gin obsessions into one fluffy pink treat. They're chewy and sweet just like macarons should be and the flavours are light, floral, with just a hint of alcohol and they're perfect for spring. But these macarons are also a little lumpy, misshapen and some even have the dreaded cracks in the tops. I've had a few run ins with macarons now, and I've got a moderate understanding of the technique, but sometimes that isn't enough to get Pinterest perfect looking desserts. So I very nearly didn't blog them at all.
I asked Twitter yesterday whether you'd still be interested in a recipe for some very rustic, ugly duckling macarons, and as lots of lovely people said yes, so here we are. I'm not sure if the lesson here is that we should all be a little easier on ourselves sometimes, and remember the most important thing about food is how it tastes, or if the lesson is that its really important to sift ground almonds or your macarons won't look like they do on Instagram. But there's definitely a moral there of some sort.
These will take a few hours from start to finish and will benefit from setting in the fridge overnight but you can make the ganache well ahead of time if you're going to be in a hurry. I've listed the ingredients for the ganache in grams because it means you can weigh everything into the tub you make it in and not create extra washing up, but I'm sure you'll be able to find a conversion table if you'd be happier using volume to measure the liquids.
Do you think if matters how food looks? I'd love to know all your thoughts.
Rose Gin Macarons Recipe
1 drop of rose water
1 drop of rose water
100g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
55g caster sugar
2 medium egg whites
pink or red food colouring gel or paste
For the filling
150g white chocolate
80g double cream
10ml of gin
zest of 1 lemon
Start by mixing the egg whites with a few drops of food colouring (I used sugarflair in christmas red because I still had some left over from this recipe) and the rose water. Whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then slowly add the caster sugar until stiff peaks form.
In another bowl, sift together the almonds and icing sugar then fold the mixture into the egg whites until it's well combined.
Line a tray with baking paper and then use a piping bag fitted with a small rounded nozzle to pipe the mix into small circles - leave some space in between them to spread. Gently tap the tray on to a flat surface to get rid of any air bubbles and then leave to rest for at least 20 minutes.
Bake for 12-14 minutes at 140 degrees. Leave to cool completely before removing from the tray.
To make the ganache break the white chocolate into even chunks and add to a large bowl along with the cream, gin and lemon zest. Fill a saucepan with water and put the bowl on top. Slowly heat the water, and stir the cream mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. Move the bowl to the fridge and allow at least 1 1/2-2 hours to set.
Spread the ganache onto the bottom of half the macaron shells and then press against the other half to sandwich them. Put the shells back in the fridge to set, ideally overnight.