We had the idea for these macarons last summer, when Dave and I visited the Modrian exhibition at Tate Liverpool, but as I was pretty poor at macaron making a year ago, I quickly forgot about it again. The exhibition was beautifully put together, including a reconstruction of one of his studio spaces, and showed the development from his earlier work through to the brightly coloured grids we all know. Seeing them in this way let me actually start to understand Mondrian's works for the first time ever, and now I kind of love it.
As a side note, this years summer exhibition was Jackson Pollock and was equally wonderful. I really can't say enough good things about Tate Liverpool, I'm not exactly an expert, but they always do an amazing job.
As a second side note, let's all dedicate a moment of silence to Dave in appreciation/sympathy, for always helping with recipe posts, but once again having to wait a year for me to actually make something he's asked for.
Anyway, it was from here that the idea for these Modrian-carons came to be. They're more of a fun art project than a recipe, taking a lot longer to decorate than to make. The macarons themselves are just a very simple traditional cookie recipe with a chocolate buttercream filling.
I let them dry completely then painted each shell individually before filling and pressing together. I used my trusty sugarflair colouring gels to decorate, mixed with a little bit of water, and then used a small paintbrush to create the coloured squares and a black food colouring pen for the outlines. It took quite a while to paint every shell but it was pretty fun creating the Modrian inspired patterns and I think they make quite an impressive and different treat. They'd be really fun for a party or themed afternoon tea.
I'm not sure they'll be putting me up in any galleries but I'm definitely quite pleased with how these turned out.
(makes approx 12 macarons)
85g egg whites
90g icing sugar
80g caster sugar
80g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
50g plain chocolate
food colouring gels (red, yellow, blue)
thin paint brushes
black food colouring pen or gel colouring
Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar together. In a seperate mixing bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then slowly add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until you have a shiny mix that will hold it's shape.
Gently fold in the almond and icing sugar until the mixture is smooth then pour into a piping bag and pipe roughly 24 circles onto a baking sheet, leaving a little space in between each one for them to spread. Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes then bake for between 15-18 minutes at 140c.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the tray and decorating. Paint your desired patterns on to the macarons and leave for another 10 minutes to dry.
To make the buttercream whisk together the butter and icing sugar. Melt the plain chocolate then allow to cool slightly before stirring into the icing. Fill a piping bag with your icing then pipe onto the base of half your macaron shells, then sandwich them together and keep in the fridge until you're ready to eat them.