OK so I have to confess that I did not make the Damson jam. I started and then just ran out of patience! I did try it with some Damson compote but it was a bit too runny and gloopy. This combination of flavours is so autumnal and goes perfectly with a strong latte or espresso. Alternatively you could sandwich with a simple, dark chocolate ganache.
- 100g icing sugar
- 20g cocoa powder
- 125g ground almonds
- 5g ground cinnamon (powder)
- 110g caster sugar
- 80g egg whites
- 2 tbsp water
- Damson jam – I used ‘Damson Extra Jam’ from The East India Company
- Gold lustre dust (optional)
- Food Processor
- KitchenAid with whisk attachment or a handheld electric whisk
- 4 baking trays lined with greasepoof paper
TO MAKE THEM
- Draw circles of your desired macaroon size onto the greaseproof paper using a dark pencil. Turn the paper over and then set aside. (Basically if you pipe on top of the pencil, it will leave unsightly marks on the underside of your macaroons). For this recipe, I made mine about 1 inch wide so pipe just under that size as they spread a little.
- Measure out the caster sugar and water into a small heavy bottomed pan and set aside.
- Prepare a large piping bag with a 1cm nozzle and set aside.
- Put the ground almonds into the food processor and give them a quick blitz to break up any lumps.
- Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon and give it another quick blitz.
- Add 40g of egg whites and blitz again until it’s all well combined. It should be a smooth, thick paste.
- Whisk the remaining 40g of egg whites til you get soft or medium hard peaks form.
- Turn the heat on for the saucepan with the sugar and water that you set aside earlier. Let the sugar melt on a low heat and then turn the heat up slightly and boil the mixture til it is syrupy and thicker. It will be 115C on a sugar thermometer when ready.
- Give the egg whites a quick whisk to bring them back together and then slowly add the sugar syrup as close to the centre of the bowl as possible. Keep mixing until this is smooth and shiny and makes stiff, glossy peaks.
- Tip the paste mixture out of the food processor into a large bowl and add the glossy egg whites to this until it is all well combined.
- Spoon this into a piping bag and then pipe blobs onto your prepared greaseproof paper.
- When you have finished piping, pick the tray up and then let it drop on to the work surface. Do this a few times to flatten any tips left from piping and immediate air bubbles.
- Put the baking trays in a cool place for about 30-40 minutes so they form a skin.
- Put the oven on to 170C .
- Bake one tray on the middle shelf with the door slightly open for 10 minutes. Any longer and then will brown at the edges.
- Take the tray out and then close the oven door to get it back up to 170C before you bake the next batch in the same way.
- Once the macaroons are cool, sandwich them using some Damson Jam. You only need a thinly piped circle around the edge of the macaroon otherwise it will slurge out and you won’t taste the cinnamon.
- As a final touch you can brush on a little gold lustre dust for that look of total decadence!