Cherry macarons

These pretty little petite fours are filled with a fruity cherry jam made from morello cherries giving a really deep cherry flavour. the wonderful thing about macarons is that they are so versatile and can be pretty much any colour or flavour, so for these I have coloured them a light shade of pink. When doing this I would recommend always using gel or powder food colouring as they are highly concentrated versions of liquid colouring, so you don't have to add too much which avoids adding extra liquid to the macaron batter and altering the end result. Add the colouring little by little to achieve the right shade.

Makes 12 macarons (24 shells)

Ingredients:

100g ground almonds

100g icing sugar

2 medium egg whites

55g caster sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

small drop of red gel food colouring

For the filling:

100g jarred morello cherries in syrup

100g caster sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 50°C

line a large flat baking tray with parchment paper or a teflon sheet.

Begin whisking the egg whites until they become thick and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue whisking until the meringue holds stiff peaks.

Gradually add the caster sugar until it is all incorporated and the meringue is thick and shiny. Add the red food colouring and whsk briefly, do this little at a time to achieve a pretty pink shade.

Next sift together the icing sugar and ground almonds to remove any lumps.

Fold in half of the sifted almond mixture into the meringue until just incorporated.

Fold in the rest of the almond mixture folding gently until fully incorporated

Continue folding until a thick batter has formed that runs slowly off of the spatula

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium plain round nozzle.

Pipe equal sized circles onto the lined baking tray spaced approx 2-2.5 cm apart.

Tap the tray on a surface to remove any air bubbles that could cause cracking during the bake.

Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the surface of the macaron circles are dry to the touch.

Meanwhile prepare the filling.

Place the cherries in a sauce pan along with 100ml of the syrup from the jar and the caster sugar.

Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the mixture to come to simmer.

Once bubbling continue stirring until it begins to reduce and thicken slightly, break down the cherries to create a jam like consistency (I used a potato masher for this)

Set aside and allow to cool and thicken.

Meanwhile once the macaron circles are dry to the touch, turn up the oven temperature to 130°C and bake for 12-18 minutes until they have formed a 'foot' and are firm to the touch.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Once cool transfer the cherry jam to a ping bag and pipe equal amounts of filling in half of the macarons and sandwich each with another macaron.

Crisp, chewy and very cherry! These are perfect wrapped up as a gift or simply as a treat with a cup of coffee.

#Macarons #Cherry #Morello #Pink

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