Calke's nutty macaroons

These little bites are perfect for when you need to satisfy your sweet craving.

Cakes and bakes
Calke Abbey's deliciously nutty macaroons
  • Preparation time 1½ hours (prep. time)
  • Cooking time 15 minutes  (cooking time)
  • Serves 30 small macarons

Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
  • 200g/7oz ground almonds
  • 200g/7oz caster sugar
  • 50ml/1¾floz water
  • 150g/5oz egg whites, divided into two 75g/3oz portions
  • 75g/2½oz icing sugar
  • 150g/5oz softened butter
  • 75g/2½oz Biscoff filling

Method

  1. Set up the baking sheets with templates and baking parchment.

  2. Blitz up the almonds and icing sugar for around 10–15 minutes until completely smooth, then pass through a sieve to make sure that any big lumps are removed.

  3. Combine the sugar and water until you get a wet sand consistency.

    Place the sugar and water on the hob on a medium heat until it reaches 118 degrees (soft ball stage); it will still be pliable once it’s cool and can’t be moulded into any shape.

    Whilst this is happening beat the egg whites until stiff; turn down the mixer if they are reaching stiff peaks but the sugar isn’t done.

  4. Once the syrup is hot enough, turn the mixer down and add the syrup very slowly. Increase the speed and mix for 7 minutes or until cool and thick.

  5. Add the remaining portion of egg white, the almond and sugar, then fold into a paste. Fold in the meringue mixture, being careful not to knock any air out of the mixture.

  6. Pipe on to the lined sheets and let them rest for 15–30 minutes depending on the environment you are in. They need to skin to prevent cracking. You should be able to push them without any mixture coming on to your fingers.

  7. Bake on 150°C fan (170°C) gas mark 3½ for 15 minutes, turning the trays once half way through. Cool for around 5 minutes before removing from the baking sheets.

  8. Make the buttercream; whisk the butter until fluffy, then gradually add icing sugar and Biscoff.

  9. Pipe onto the macarons and twist as you press them together to get an even spread of filling.