Whenever I buy a lottery ticket there are three things that happen without fail every time. I don’t have my own numbers as I couldn’t bare it if I missed a week and they were picked, so instead I always ops for a lucky dip. The first thing I do when handed my ticket is check if the numbers are “good”, which is pure ignorance when you think of it as there is no such thing as a “good” number when they all have an equal chance. Nevertheless, I like to see an even distribution, none of this 22,23,24 business.
If satisfied with my selection, I start spending. Yes OKAY I am aware of my odds, but somebody has to be that 1 amongst the 14 million and you never know that one person could well be me. It’s with this little prep talk that I begin deciding which cities I will buy property, where my first holiday will be and who I’m giving some money to. Before I know I’ve spent half of my winnings and I know right there and then that I’m destined to be a millionaire.
Then comes the third. The numbers are drawn with not one single match and all my plans and dreams are left torn on the floor.
And that’s my tragic little story.
So until that lucky day comes, instead of winning millions you will find me baking it instead with these deliciously rich Millionaire Shortbread Macarons. And let me tell you, they taste as good as I’ve always imagined being a millionaire feels.
These Macarons are made by sandwiching both chocolate and vanilla macrons together, with a generous dollop of salted caramel ganache. Heavenly!
Makes 15-20 Macarons
Preparation Time: 1-2 hours
Baking Time: 10-15 minutes
For Vanilla Macarons
200g Ground Almonds
200g Icing Sugar
2 Medium Egg Whites
Pinch of Salt
55g Caster Sugar
2 drops vanilla essence
For Chocolate Shortbread Macarons
Same as above but substitute Vanilla Essence for Coco Powder,
1 shortbread biscuit, crumbled
For Salted Caramel Ganache
75g Caster Sugar
2 tbsp Water
75g Light Muscovado Sugar
50g Unsalted Butter
100ml Double Cream
1/2tsp Flaked Salt
To make a basic macaron mixture, begin by sieving the ground almonds and icing sugar together until well combined.
For Chocolate Macarons mix the coco powder into the almond/icing combo.
In a super clean bowl pour in the egg whites and salt and whisk together until they hold soft peaks. Continue to whisk at a medium speed while adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time.
For vanilla flavouring, add the vanilla essence at this point.
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.
Pour in the almond/sugar mixture all at once then using a spatula slowly fold in the egg whites 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.
For the Chocolate Shortbread Macarons, while the rounds are still wet sprinkle crushed shortbread over the top.
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.
For the Salted Caramel Ganache: Put the caster sugar and water into a pan and simmer over a low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Bring to the boil until it turns to an amber colour, then remove from the heat and add the muscovado sugar, butter and cream. Stir it well to dissolve then return to the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it thickens. Take off the heat and add the salt then pour into a bowl and leave until completely cold and thick.
Spread the filling over the vanilla macaron shell and sandwich with the chocolate shells so they are on top.
Leave to rest then see how long you can make them last. We managed a little over an hour!