I've been meaning to make something to give as christmas gifts for family friends for a while now, and I finally got the chance to do so this morning.
After flicking through the foodtown magazine (full of some suprisingly good recipes) I decided to make these:
Macaroons with White Chocolate Ganache
...and Dark Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Coated Nuts:
Both were a little time consuming but super easy to make, not to mention very tastey too.
Here are the recipes if you'd like to give a little home-made something this christmas too:
70g packet ground almonds
1 cup icing sugar
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 Tbsp sugar
a few drops of food colouring
White Chocolate Ganache:
75g white chocolate, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp each: cream, icing sugar
- Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place the ground almonds and icing sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they form a fine mixture.
- Beat the egg whites with a whisk attachment until they froth. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat until the mixture is glossy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add the food colouring now if your're using it.
- Using a spatula, gently fold in the almond and icing sugar. The mixture will be stiff at first, but will loosen as you fold. Fold just until the mixture falls back into itself, not until it makes a peak. It's really important not to over mix at this stage.
- Spoon the macaroon mixture into a piping bag that has a 2cm opening. Holding the tip close to the oven tray, pipe out enough mixture to make a round approximately 3cm wide.
- Set the macaroons aside for 30 minutes. This helps to form a skin before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 140 degrees celsius and bake the macaroons for 18-20 minutes. Leave them to cool on the trays before peeling away the baking paper and placing them on a wire rack.
- Place the chocolate and cream in a glass jug or bowl. Microwave on medium power for 1-2 minutes. Whisk gently to combine. Stir in the icing sugar and leave until thickened.
- Sandwich the macaroons together with a spoonful of ganache.
Dark Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Coated Nuts (this is my altered version of the one in the Foodtown Magazine)
4 Tbsp dark brown sugar (I used muscavado cane sugar, but any sugar would fine)
3/4 tsp each: salt, ground cinnamon
1 egg white
2 tsp water
300g raw mixed nuts (I used almonds and cashew nuts)
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees celcius. Line baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the sugars, salt and ground cinnamon in plastic bag and shake together.
- Beat the egg white and water until frothy. Pour in the nuts and stir until well coated. Lift the nuts out with a slotted spoon and place them in the bag of sugar and spices.
- Toss well to coat the nuts and then place them on the prepared baking tray.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to separate them. Leave them to cool, again stirring every now and then to break them up.