Monday, 9 July 2012

Blackcurrant Macaroons

At the BBC Good Food Show last month, Sous Chef J and I spent some time tasting the yogurts on sale at the Rachel's stand.  J was keen to buy some of the products on offer as he had his eye on the handy cool bag that came when you bought 4 items from their range. 

Even better, when we got home, we discovered a little booklet "Our New fat Free Range" which contained 7 recipes.  A speedy flick through and we spotted that the Blackcurrant Macaroons recipe was Gluten Free.  What a find!  Sous Chef J decided this would be the recipe we would try. 

However, we didn't have the ingredients... until we came home last week to find a delivery from Rachel's containing 3 of their Limited Edition Strawberries and Cream yogurt and three flavours of their fat free range... including the Blackcurrant Yogurt needed for the macaroon recipe.  Thus, a plan was hatched to bake a trial batch of macaroons. 

We had decided to make half the amount the recipe listed seeing as this was a trial and our usual cooking style is rustic at best!

As is our way, we gathered all the ingredients for making the macaroon shells and started by whizzing the ground almonds and icing sugar together. 

 We prepared the baking parchment by drawing circles, using a pencil, on the sheets.  These were then turned upside down and placed on a baking sheet ready for the macaroon mix.

Then we moved onto whipping the egg white, food colouring and sugar.  There was a very slight lilac tinge to the mix... more on that later.

Next the almond/sugar mix was folded into the meringue. 

Finally, the mix was placed on the baking parchment, smoothed with a wet teaspoon, the tray was tapped (to remove bubbles) and then left to dry for 15 minutes.  After this time, the macaroons were baked in a 170ºC oven for 10 minutes. 

Unfortunately, by the time they had cooked there was not a hint of lilac to the macaroons - in fact, they were more of a pale salmon shade and they most definitely did NOT look like the ones pictured in the recipe booklet.

However, we persevered undeterred.  So, the mascarpone and yogurt was combined.  After allowing the macaroons to cool fully, one macaroon was spread with blackcurrant jam and another half with mascarpone mix.  Then the macaroons were sandwiched together.

The taste test was next and we can confirm that they were delicious, although not that pretty to look at.  

Half the recipe amount made 8 small macaroon pairs. 

Thank you to Rachel's for sending us the selection of yogurts... the Limited Edition Strawberries and Cream Yogurt was a perfect quick dessert for our weekend of watching tennis at Wimbledon.  The remainder of the Fat Free Blackcurrant Yogurt will be turned into Ice Lollies which is as simple as freezing the yogurt in suitable containers then waiting for summer weather to enjoy them!

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