3 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbs caster sugar
1 drop of yellow food colouring gel
1 1/3 cups pure icing sugar, sifted, plus extra to dust
1 cup almond meal
1 tbs sprinkles, or any of your choice
500g soft icing mixture
120g butter, softened
1 tsp lemon rind
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbs milk
1 drop of yellow food colouring gel
1. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Sieve the almond meal and throw away the remaining bigger bits that refuse to pass through.
2. Using an electric beater, beat the egg whites to soft peaks and gradually add the caster sugar and food colouring gel (you can add a bit more food colouring for more intense colour). Beat until sugar dissolves. Gently fold in the icing sugar and almond meal a little at a time.
3. Spoon the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe 36 rounds onto the tray, spacing 2cm apart. Tap the tray on the bench 2-3 times to dispel any air bubbles. If you see any pointy peaks on top of the macarons, smooth them back with your finger. Sift over a little extra icing sugar to lightly cover the macarons and topped with a little bit of sprinkles on each macaron (you can use any type that you like). Let the macarons rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. While the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
4. Bake the macarons for 14-18 minutes (depending on your oven). Macarons are ready when they look dry and firm. Sometimes you just have to test them and it might take a few goes to figure out when they’re done. If the macarons are still very soft inside, you need to bake them for a few more minutes. Cool slightly on the tray then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Pipe the buttercream on the flat side, then sandwich together with the remaining macaron.
For the lemon buttercream:
1. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar until combined. Add the lemon juice, lemon rind, vanilla, milk and food colouring gel until well combined. If the mixture is a bit hard, add a tablespoon of milk or lemon juice to get the right consistency.
1 x green apple, peeled, cored
2 cups cream wine
2 Tbls cumquat zest, julienne (you can use mandarin or orange zest)
1 x cinnamon quill
1/2 x caster sugar
150 g almond meal
1/4 cup plain flour (sifted)
150 g butter,chopped,softened
3 x eggs
2 Tbls orange marmalade
200 ml boiling water
1. Place wine, cinnamon, apple, 1tbs. cumquat zest and the liquid in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover the surface with a round piece of baking paper and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the apple is tender. Cool in poaching liquid. Reserve 1 cup of the poaching liquid. Slice the apple thinly. Set aside until needed.
2. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease 6x150ml metal moulds or ramekins. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and 1 tbs. of the poaching liquid and beat for 5 seconds (mixture may look curdled at this stage). Stir in almond meal and half of the sliced apple and mix well.
3. Divide mixture among moulds. Using the back of spoon, smooth the top of the mixture. Gently place apple slices, slightly overlapping and pressing in slightly onto the top of each cake. Transfer to an oven tray and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Place on a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
4. To make the cumquat glaze, place the reserved poaching liquid, marmalade and cumquat in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes or until syrupy. Cool slightly.
5. Turn out cakes onto serving plates. Drizzle with cumquat syrup and dust with icing sugar. Serve with cream.
This recipe got me into the Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge (2013) state finals and earned a silver medal. It was one of the most amazing experience!