Toffee Apple Macarons

img_9523

What is your fondest memory of Bonfire Night? Is it the wrapping up warm in your favourite hat to watch the fireworks? Gathering everyone round the bonfire with a warm cup of mulled wine? Or perhaps it’s the sparklers? Yes it’s the sparklers isn’t it?

Well aside from the sparklers my best memory of childhood bonfire night was that it was the one and only time a year I was allowed a Toffee Apple. I mean who doesn’t love a toffee apple? I’d always pick the one that had the thickest toffee, which was actually to my own deteriment as I then spent most of my night picking the toffee out of my teeth, but, it made me so happy and the memory of those feelings never fail to put that smile back on my face.

So with that nostalgia and my forever growing love of eating and baking macarons I decided to create my own adult version of this childhood favourite. Toffee Apple Macarons. It really doesn’t get much better than these.


Makes 12

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Baking time: 13-15 minutes


70g flaked almonds

140g icing sugar

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

50g Caster sugar

¼ tsp apple green food coloring

For the toffee

200g caster sugar

2tbsp golden syrup

1/2 tbsp vinegar

50ml water

For the apple butter filling

2 granny smith apples

1 tsp cinnamon

100g butter, softened

200g icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and leave a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Place the flaked almonds in a food processor and blitz for about a minute until as fine as possible. Add the icing sugar and process until combined.

Pass the sugar/almond mixture through a sieve, pushing down on the clumps. Leave to one side.

Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar with an electric whisk or KitchenAid on a high-speed, until they hold stiff, glossy peaks. Add the apple green food colouring then whisk on a high-speed for 30 seconds.

Add the dry ingredients all at once and fold with a spatula, mixing from the bottom of the bowl upwards. Repeat these folds until the batter flows like lava.

Place a piping bag inside a glass and pour the batter into it. Secure the top and snip the end to about 1cm. Pipe some batter onto the corners of 2 baking trays, both lined with parchment paper.

With the piping tip ½ inch above the tray, pipe circles about 3cm in diameter ensuring to leave 1 inch space between them. Tap the sheets firmly against the kitchen work surface to release any air bubbles.

Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 10-13 minutes. Allow to cool completely before drizzling over toffee and piping the apple butter filling.


For the toffee drizzle

Pour the sugar into a pan along with 50ml water and put on a medium heat.

Cook for 5 mins until the sugar has dissolved, then stir in the vinegar and golden syrup.

Set a sugar thermometer in the pan and boil until 150C or if you don’t have a thermometer you can test the toffee by pouring a little into a bowl of cold water being careful not to spill any as it can cause serious burns. It should harden instantly and, when removed, be brittle and easy to break. If you can still squish the toffee, continue to boil it.

Once the toffee is ready lay half the macarons rounds out onto a sheet of baking paper. With a tbsp take a spoonful of toffee and drizzle it over the rounds. Watch that you don’t get any toffee on your fingers while drizzling as it will be very hot. Leave them to one side to set hard while you make the apple butter filling.


For the apple butter filling

Peel and core the apple and cut into small cubes.

Melt the butter in a pan and mix in the apple, cooking until softened. Add a tsp of cinnamon and add to the mix.

Once soft pour the apple into a blender and blitz into a puree.

In your mixer blend the butter and icing sugar together until smooth then add your apple puree.

Pour the apple butter into a piping bag your chosen nozzle and pipe onto your plain macaron rounds, topping each with your toffee decorated rounds.

These will store in an air tight container for a few days if kept in the fridge.

Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Macarons

img_6936

Each and every year I fall harder in love with Autumn. The obviously changing seasons that we witness here in the UK has always been pretty special, but there’s something about the transition from Summer to Autumn that sets my heart a flutter. The turning of leaves that fall into golden amber piles on pathways, and the return of crisp blue morning skies fill me with nostalgic warmth and when it comes to baking I always find so much more inspiration from the bake options and flavours in season.

Apple, blackberry, chestnut, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin are all synonymous with Autumn and I’ve resisted them for far too long, so in celebration of the best season ever I wanted to kick things off with my Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate Macarons.

img_6934img_6980

img_6979


Makes 12

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Baking time: 13-15 minutes


70g flaked almonds

140g icing sugar

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

50g Caster sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp ground allspice

¼ ground cloves

¼ tsp orange food coloring

For the filling

200g good quality dark chocolate

284ml double cream

2tbsp caster sugar


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and leave a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Place the flaked almonds in a food processor and blitz for about a minute until as fine as possible. Add the icing sugar and process until combined.

Pass the sugar/almond mixture through a sieve, pushing down on the clumps. Leave to one side.

Whisk the egg whites and caster sugar with an electric whisk or KitchenAid on a high-speed, until they hold stiff, glossy peaks. Add all but a tbsp of the spices and orange food colouring then whisk on a high-speed for 30 seconds

Add the dry ingredients all at once and fold with a spatula, mixing from the bottom of the bowl upwards. Repeat these folds until the batter flows like lava.

Place a piping bag inside a glass and pour the batter into it. Secure the top and snip the end to about 1cm. Pipe some batter onto the corners of 2 baking trays, both lined with parchment paper.

With the piping tip ½ inch above the tray, pipe circles about 3cm in diameter ensuring to leave 1 inch space between them. Tap the sheets firmly against the kitchen work surface to release any air bubbles.

Sift the left over spices on half of the unbaked batter and leave to sit for around 10 minutes (this allows the crust to form). Bake on the lower shelf of the oven for 10-13 minutes. Allow to cool completely before piping the ganache filling.

For the ganache chop the dark chocolate into small pieces and leave in a bowl. Pour the 284ml double cream into a pan, add 2 tbsp golden caster sugar, and heat until it is almost boiling.

Take the cream off the heat and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth then leave to cool and thick.

Once ready scoop the ganache into a piping bag and pipe onto the flat side of the plain macaron rounds with no spices; top with the spiced remaining half.

These will store in an air tight container for a few days if kept in the fridge.

Hot Cross Bun Macarons

IMG_1866

IMG_1659

IMG_1656

When it comes to Easter, while I could happily spend all bank holiday stuffing my face with chocolate eggs, these days what I find even more indulging is settling down with a cuppa and a warm, sticky, Hot Cross Bun toasted straight from the oven.

The rich, spicy smell is so comforting that filling my house with the scent of buns baking is almost a necessity at this time of year. However after much deliberation I decided this year I would try something a little different.

Macarons are one of my favourite things to bake and have become somewhat of a staple since the launch of My Kitchen Drawer Made to Order business, therefore they became an obvious choice for my “something a little different”.

For those of you unfamiliar, Hot Cross Buns are traditional English Easter treats which are baked and eaten on Good Friday to commemorate Jesus who died on the cross: hence the recognisable cross along their tops.

If you like cinnamon, nutmeg, citrus zest, and in the case of these beauties, macarons, then these are most certainly worth indulging in this Easter! They are also perfect as gifts and make a fantastic alternative to the more commonly gifted chocolate eggs.

IMG_1864

IMG_1658


Makes: 12 Macarons 

Preparation time: 1 hour 

Baking time: 10-13 minutes 


Spiced Macaron Shells

70g flaked almonds

140g icing sugar

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

50g caster sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp all-spice

1tsp orange zest

Cinnamon and Brown Sugar filling

50g light Muscovado Sugar

70g unsalted Butter

200g icing sugar

1tsp ground cinnamon


Spiced Macarons Shells

Place the flaked almonds in a food processor and blitz for about a minute until as fine as possible. Add the confectioner sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and allspice then process until combined.

In a super clean bowl pour one egg white and whisk in the tsp of vanilla bean paste. Beat this mixture into the almond icing sugar to make an almond paste. Set aside and cover with a tea towel.

In another super clean bowl whisk your second egg white until it holds soft peaks. Continue to whisk at a medium speed while adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time.

Beat on a medium speed for 2 minutes then increase to high for a final 2 minutes until the egg whites are holding stiff, glossy peaks.

Add the almond paste to your meringue mixture then using a spatula slowly fold them together from the bottom up. Continue this motion around 35-40 times until the mixture is fully incorporated and flows like molten lava.

Using a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle, pipe rounds of mixture onto 2 heavy baking trays lined with baking parchment. Tap the trays on the work surface to remove any air bubbles, then leave them to dry for 30 minutes. They will be ready to bake when they are no longer sticky or wet when touched.

Preheat the oven to 140-150 degrees/Gas Mark 2 and bake on the middle shelf for 8 minutes. Open the oven to let out any steam and turn the sheets around then bake for a further 8 minutes until the tops are crisp. Leave them to cool fully before removing from the baking sheet.

To create the iconic cross, melt your white chocolate in a microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water then transfer it into a heat resistant piping bag (available at Lakeland). Pipe the crosses onto each macaron and leave to set in the fridge for 20 minutes before adding the filling.

Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Filling

Blend together butter, brown sugar and icing sugar to create a smooth buttercream. Add 1 tsp of ground cinnamon and combine then spread the filling over one macaron shell and sandwich together with another.

These will store in an air tight container for a few days if kept in the fridge.