Macaroons with white chocolate filling
Makes: 40 macaroons
130g ground almonds
225g icing sugar
4 (115g) egg whites
60g caster sugar
White chocolate filling:
1 sheet leaf gelatine
115g white chocolate buttons
250ml whipping cream
Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl and set aside. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
In a large clean, dry bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric whisk on medium speed, until foamy. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the caster sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is firm and shiny and forms stiff peaks.
With a flexible spatula, gently fold the sifted ground almonds and icing sugar into the beaten egg whites, until completely incorporated. The mixture should be shiny and smooth. When the small peaks are reduced to a flat surface, stop mixing.
Fit a piping bag with a 1cm round nozzle. Pipe the mixture into 3cm diameter circles on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Tap the underside of each baking sheet to remove any air bubbles and then leave to dry at room temperature for 1–2 hours to allow skins to form.
Bake in a preheated oven at 140°C, Gas mark 1 for 15 minutes, opening the oven door every 5 minutes for 20 seconds to prevent humidity building up. Remove the macaroons from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool, slide a metal spatula or paring knife under the macaroons to remove them from the baking parchment. They can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days, or frozen.
To make the white chocolate filling, soak the gelatine leaf in cold water for at least 4 minutes. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a deep saucepan bring the cream to boiling point, then pour it over the chocolate and stir well. Add the gelatine, stirring continuously until the chocolate and gelatine are completely dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to use
Spread a little chocolate filling on the flat side of a macaroon, then top with another macaroon to make a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining macaroons until all the filling is used up.
Tip: If you want absolutely even-sized macaroons and are not used to piping, use a pencil to draw the 3cm circles, about 4cm apart, on the baking parchment. Flip the sheet over, place it on a baking sheet and then use the pencil circles as a guide when piping.