Sticky Date Macarons

Piled into a little box and tied with a pretty ribbon, these French treats with a Middle Eastern twist make an excellent gift
Sticky Date Macarons
ITP Images
Sticky Date Macarons
June 02, 2019
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 30 minutes
Serves Makes 24
PHOTO BY Katelyn Allegra
RECIPE BY Katelyn Allegra
FOOD STYLING BY Katelyn Allegra & Cassandra Upton

INGREDIENTS

150g almonds, ground
150g spinneysFOOD Icing Sugar
A pinch of spinneysFOOD Sea Salt
110g egg whites (divided in half), at room temperature
Brown food colouring
150g brown sugar
40ml water

For the date caramel

85g fresh dates, pitted
40g muscovado sugar
62.5ml milk

For the ganache

100g good-quality white chocolate, chopped
100g cream

METHOD

  • 1

    Line 2 baking trays with baking paper

  • 2

    Place the ground almonds, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until fine. Sift the mixture twice and pulse any remaining lumps until they pass through the sieve

  • 3

    Add 55g egg whites to the ground almond and icing sugar mixture, along with the food colouring. Do not stir. Set aside

  • 4

    Place the remaining 55g egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer until the syrup reaches 115°C℃ on a sugar thermometre. Start whisking the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. When the syrup reaches 118°C, pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites in a steady stream. Continue to whisk until the meringue is thick, glossy and still warm to the touch

  • 5

    Fold the almond and icing sugar mix into the meringue in two parts, using a metal spoon and taking care not to knock the air out

  • 6

    Keep folding until the batter is glossy and forms a thick ribbon when dropped off the spoon. To test, drop a blob on the baking tray and tap 3 times – it should spread nicely

  • 7

    Place the batter in a piping bag and pipe 5cm rounds, leaving enough room for spreading

  • 8

    Tap the baking tray firmly on the work surface 3 times to remove any bubbles and to spread the macarons slightly. Allow to stand at room temperature for 45-55 minutes or until the surface of the macaron no longer feels sticky to the touch

  • 9

    Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2, and move your oven rack to just below the middle of the oven

  • 10

    When the oven is ready, place one tray of macarons at a time in the middle of the oven and bake for 12-13 minutes, until firm. Allow them to cool on the baking tray before removing them

  • 11

    To make the date caramel, place the dates, muscovado and milk in a blender and blitz until smooth

  • 12

    To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream to just below boiling point and pour over the chopped chocolate. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Cover with cling wrap and allow to set at room temperature. This may take a few hours but you can speed up the process by refrigerating it for 30 minutes and checking the consistency every now and then. It should be spreadable

  • 13

    Place the ganache in a piping bag fitted with a small, star-shaped nozzle and pipe a ring of ganache on half of the macarons. Spoon the date caramel in the middle and sandwich together

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