Double vanilla macaroons

Makes 72 pieces

It's the must-have treat of our time - the macaroon. Oh, and yes, it's macaroon in English (macaron in French), although some argue that everything tastes better with a French accent. Mais oui!!

Ingredients
  • 8 egg whites
  • 300g almond meal
  • 300g pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 vanilla pods
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 75ml water
  • 400ml pure cream
  • 450g white chocolate, chopped
Instructions

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the egg whites in a bowl and lightly whisk them. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight (or 2 nights is better) to allow them to become liquefied. Sift the almond meal and icing sugar together, then mix in the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla pod. Draw a series of 3½cm circles on a sheet of paper, leaving a 2cm gap between each, and set aside.

2 Pour half the liquefied egg whites into the almond meal without stirring. Place the remaining egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer with the cream of tartar.

3 Put the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan and set over a high heat. Boil until the syrup reaches 112°C, then begin beating he egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium speed. When the syrup reaches 118°C pour into the bowl of the mixer with the motor still running and beat until warm, but not too hot.

4 Spoon the meringue into the almond mixture, and stir until smooth, then load into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Place the circle paper until a sheet of non-stick paper and pipe the mixture into the circles. Remove the circle paper and repeat until all the batter is used.

5 Tap the trays to flatten, then set aside for 45 minutes until a skin forms on the surface of each. Bake for 8 minutes, then open the door to remove steam, then bake for another 3 minutes and open the door again. Finally bake for another 3 minutes, until the shells are risen and crisp. Cool on a wire rack.

6 Pour the cream into a small saucepan with the split and scraped vanilla pods and set over a high heat until boiling. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour in the hot cream a little at a time, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Set aside until completely cooled.

7 Load the white chocolate mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle and pipe a small amount onto half the shells. Top with the remaining shells.

COOK’S NOTES: I know this recipe makes a lot of macarons, but it is very difficult to make a smaller batch. So do it with a friend and share the rewards.