Posted on 21st March 2017
Hot Cross Bun Macaroons
Makes approximately – 25 macaroons (or 50 shells)
Preparation time – 45 min
Cooking time – 20 min
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
55g egg whites
5g brown food colouring
150g caster sugar
55g egg whites
Cocoa nibs and cinnamon (optional)
Milk chocolate and cinnamon spiced ganache
175g good quality milk chocolate
90g crème fraiche
90g double cream
5g mixed spice
zest of ¼ lemon
2g ground cinnamon
20g finely chopped dried mixed fruit
Sift together the icing sugar and ground almonds, pour the first portion of egg whites over the icing sugar and almonds but don’t mix.
Now bring the caster sugar and water to the boil until the temperature reaches 117C being careful not to stir or touch the boiling sugar syrup.
Just before the sugar reaches the 117C mark, with an electric mixer attached with the whisk accessory whisk the second portion of egg whites to soft peak.
When the sugar does reach 117C, pour it over the egg white in a slow trickling manner. Whisk on full speed and allow the meringue to cool down to 55C, then fold into the almond and sugar mixture and beat with a kitchen spatula until well combined.
Take out two tablespoons of the mixture and place in a piping bag.
Dilute the brown food colouring with 20ml of warm water, mix well and add to the remaining mixture until combined, being careful not to over mix. Spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
Line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper and pipe rounds about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing each 2cm apart. On half of the rounds, pipe a cross with the plain mix. If you want, you can sprinkle with some cocoa nibs and dust with a little cinnamon.
Now the fun part, rap the trays 4-5 times on a work surface (covered with a tea towel to avoid your parents or partner being very irate!)
Leave to stand for 30-40 minute at room temp to form a skin on the shells ready for baking.
Preheat a fan oven to 160C then put the trays in the oven and bake for 12 minutes opening and shutting the door twice during baking for about 5 seconds each time to help release excess moisture.
Once baked, slide the macaroons on the baking paper off the baking tray and on to the work surface to avoid over cooking.
For the milk chocolate and spiced fruit ganache, break up the chocolate and melt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.
Bring the crème fraiche and double cream to a light boil and then pour in to the now melted chocolate a third at a time, don’t worry if the chocolate seizes just keep adding the hot cream and stirring until well combined.
Add the mixed chopped dried fruit and spice to the ganache and mix well.
Pour the ganache in to a baking dish or deep tray and press a layer of cling film down over it to prevent a skin forming and place in the fridge until cool.
Once cool spoon the ganache into a piping bag and pipe a generous amount of ganache on to the plain half of the shells (which you have turned upside down), then top with the remaining shells with the white cross.
Store the macaroons in the fridge for at least two hours to firm up.