Macaron or Macaroon?

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Macaron or Macaroon?

Macaron or Macaroon?
This is a question that splits chefs time after time. One being an Italian term, one being an British term, with plenty of confusion along the way. Italian term?According to myth, Macarons were created in the 15th century by the chef to Catherine de Medici. She then took this invention with her to the French capital upon marrying the King of France. They do resemble amaretti biscuits quite closely and bear a similar name to macaroni.

The main difference is which 'nuts' you are using. Almonds for macarons and Coconut for macaroons. Ok, so coconut isn't really a nut.

Thisweek, Macarons took centre stage for our 'Sweet & Savoury' masterclass, and we are happy to share one of our recipes with you, to make at home.

Ingredients:

250g Caster Sugar

70g Water

90g Egg Whites

250g Icing Sugar

250g Ground Almonds

30g Cocoa Powder

90g Egg Whites

Theequipment you will need is an electric mixer, sugar thermometer, small saucepan, food processor, sieve, round bottomed bowl, silicone spatula, baking traywith a non stick mat (or greaseproof paper) and a piping bag with piping nozzle.

Firstly,we need to place the first part of the egg whites in the electric mixer and seton a medium speed. Heat the caster sugar and water in a pan to 121°c, measuringwith the sugar thermometer. Slowly trickle the hot sugar syrup into thewhisking egg whites and turn up to full power and continue to whisk until cool.

Meanwhile,place the icing sugar, ground almonds and cacao powder into the food processorand pulse at full speed until fully mixed and smooth, then pass through a sieveinto the bowl. Mix in the second part of egg whites to form a paste.

Whenthe egg whites have cooled to room temperature, mix ⅓ into the almond sugarpaste. Then, using the spatula, fold in the remaining egg whites, and take carenot to over work and knock all the air out. Keep folding just until the mix isfully incorporated and you no longer have white or dark brown streaks. Pour themix into your piping bag with nozzle in place. Pipe small 2cm wide circles ontoyour non stick baking sheet. Leave for around 1 hour until a skin begins toform on the surface and you're able to gently touch them without sticking. Thenyou are ready to cook. You will need your oven set to 150°c. Cook for 8-14minutes depending on the strength of your oven. Your macarons will be readywhen you can lift them cleanly away from your baking tray.

Removefrom the oven and allow to cool. Fill with the filing of your choice. Irecommend a mix of chocolate and cream.

Youcan store your macarons in the freezer for up to 3 months to a year.

Happy baking!