Make-shift Pistachio Macaroons

macaroons

Its beginning to sink in that I’m approaching the end of my degree and deadlines are approaching. Whilst I’ve been keeping on top of things, I’ve not got a lot of time to spend making myself lovely GF dinners or baking to my hearts content, hence the week absence on the blog. Today, I decided to take an evening off from studying and try my hand at macaroons for the first ever time.

I’ve watched enough Great British Bake-off to know that macaroons are no mean feat so I was pretty worried these would turn in to a disaster. Being a nomadic student, dividing my time between Belfast and Glasgow, I’ve never invested in expensive kitchen utensils. With no magi-mix, piping-bag or nozzles I had to make do, hence ‘make-shift macaroons’.

They say there’s method in the madness, so here’s my recipe.

You will need:

For the Macaroon

75g of finely chopped pistachios

125g of icing sugar

the whites of 3 medium eggs

For the cream:

75g of finely chopped pistachios

150g of icing sugar

200g of butter (at room temperature)

Preheat your oven at 150 degrees celsius

If you can find them I highly recommend you buy ground pistachio’s as they’ll make this process so much easier. Sadly, I couldn’t track these down in my local supermarket so I had to use my trusty hand blender. This was a very messy experience and I had nut shards flying all over my kitchen. Thankfully I got the nuts to a nice fine consistency and once I cleaned up my mess, I added the icing sugar to the nuts and mixed together.

My next challenge, whisking the egg whites. This is never a fun experience to do by hand and this time was no different but I eventually got my egg whites to a stiff peak (did the over the head test just to make sure too). Once you’ve done this, carefully fold the whites in to the nut/sugar mixture.

Pipe your mixture on to a tray covered in baking paper. I didn’t have a piping bag or a nozzle so I had to use a sandwich bag which I cut at the end. Obviously using a nozzle would mean your macaroons are of similar size and shape but I wasn’t aiming for perfection (or under the watchful eyes of the Bake-off judges) and my macaroons ranged from mini to massive.

Leave your macaroons to settle for a few minutes before you pop them in the oven. Whilst in the oven, make your filling. Cream together the finely chopped pistachio’s, icing sugar and butter (This came out a lovely shade of green, so no need for food colouring like some recipes suggest).

Once cooled sandwich your macaroons together and admire!

P1000299

Despite being all shapes and sizes I was very impressed by my first attempt at macaroons. Pistachio had always been my favourite but after visiting a lovely Patisserie in Berlin over summer I feel in love with Hazelnut and Lemon. I’d never even considered the flavour combination but it worked so well. Now I’m confident with my make shift macaroon skills, I may just attempt these next.

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