In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Mother’s Day on the last Sunday of March and this year, it’s all about macarons and champagne cocktails (in our house, anyway). Enjoy!
- 170g icing sugar
- 160g ground almonds
- 120ml egg whites from about 4 medium eggs, separated into 2 equal batches
- 160g granulated sugar
- ½ tsp food colouring (your choice)
- For the filling:
- 120g double cream
- 110g dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 25g unsalted butter, room temperature
- Thoroughly mix icing sugar and ground almonds together.
- Sieve into a large bowl, add the first batch of egg whites, mix to a thick paste and set aside.
- Tip the second batch of egg whites into a clean heatproof bowl.
- Put 50ml water and the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring to a boil and cook until you have a syrup at 110C (use a sugar thermometer).
- At this point, grab an electric whisk and start to beat the egg whites on high speed, at the same time keeping an eye on the syrup until it reaches 118C, when you need to pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the moving whisk.
- Keep whisking on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny, peaked meringue mixture.
- Add colouring and whisk to combine.
- Do not over-mix; the mixture should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula and the ribbon should fade into the batter within 30 secs. If it doesn’t, fold a few more times.
- Heat your oven to 170C/Gas 3-4 and line three baking sheets with greaseproof paper.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a large round nozzle and pipe rounds on the paper, each about 2.5cm in diameter.
- Leave to rest for 30 mins, or until the discs have developed a skin.
- Bake for 14 mins, remove from the oven and immediately slide the parchment onto a work surface.
- Leave to cool for a few mins before gently peeling the macarons off the paper.
- For the filling, put the cream in a small saucepan and the chocolate in a medium bowl.
- Bring cream just to the boil and pour over the chocolate.
- Leave to stand for a few mins, then stir to combine.
- Add butter and stir until smooth, then leave to set until thickened.
- Put filling in a clean piping bag with a smaller nozzle, pipe onto half the macarons and sandwich with another macaron shell.
- Best served after an overnight rest in the fridge.
Ab Fab Champagne cocktails
Classic champagne cocktail
1 sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Place the sugar cube in a champagne flute. Add dash of Angostura bitter to the sugar. Top with cognac, Champagne an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
15ml peach schnapps
30ml peach juice
Pour the schnapps and juice into a chilled flute, top up with Champagne.
25ml fresh clementine juice
50ml fresh orange juice
100ml chilled Champagne
Pour the juices into a flute and top with fizz.
1 tbsp crème de cassis
1 fresh blackberry
Put the crème de cassis in a flute, top with Champagne and the blackberry.
Stoli-bolli (from Ab Fab!)
30ml Stolichnaya vodka
Pour the vodka into a flute, fill up with Bolli and drink to Patsy and Edina!