Mother’s Day is fast approaching and if, like us, you’re struggling for gift ideas, why not go that extra mile by making her a little something special. Nothing says “I love you” quite like a home-made present which demonstrates the thought, time and effort put in to raise a smile. And as many mothers are blessed (or is that plagued?) with a sweet tooth, chocolates, petits fours and other sugary treats are always gratefully received. They can also easily be wrapped and presented in a pretty little box, perhaps even decorated by the children.
Fortunately for us, we have a talented pastry chef, Rachel Sugden to turn to for advice when it comes to such occasions. And never one to disappoint, Rachel, who is a triple distinction graduate in hospitality, catering management and patisserie, has very kindly agreed to share her delightful Chocolate & Peanut Butter Macaroons recipe.
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Macaroons
By Rachel Sugden, Pastry Chef at La Becasse
7g plain flour
12g cocoa powder
45g icing sugar
50g ground almonds
1 egg white
1 teaspoon of powdered egg white
45g caster sugar
200g smooth peanut butter
Makes approx 30 Macaroons
Sift the plain flour, cocoa powder and icing sugar together in a bowl and stir in the ground almonds
In a separate bowl whisk together the egg white and powdered egg white (you can find the latter in the baking section of most large supermarkets) until it forms a firm foam. Whisk in the caster sugar one teaspoon at a time and then gently fold in to the dry mixture
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto a greaseproof lined baking tray. You should pipe in 3cm circles, well spaced out to make approx 30 macaroons. If they are not smooth on top you can gently press the tops down with a wet spoon (they shouldn’t be flat though.)
Leave the tray in a cool, dry place for at least 20 mins to dry them out until a skin has formed on the top of each one. Bake the macaroons on the middle shelf of a preheated oven (150 degrees Celsius or gas mark 2) for 20-25 mins, until they feel slightly firm. They should peel away from the baking paper with ease.
Leave to cool on the baking paper, when cool the macaroons should just slide off the paper and enjoy!!
Put the peanut butter in to a piping bag. When the macaroons are completely cool, match them up into equal size pairs. Pipe a blob of peanut butter into the centre of one then place the matched size macaroon on top of the first to form a sandwich!
You can use crunchy peanut butter if you like, this does make an interesting texture contrast but in my personal opinion the end result is more pleasing with with smooth peanut butter.