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What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Pink Rose & Vanilla Pistachio Macaroons!

They say they're the 'new cupcake'; others say they are trendier than wearing black and beige in Autumn; some even go as far as to say they should replace the Eiffel Tower as the French Icon.... yes, I am talking about the much raved about, Macaroon!  Not the soft meringey English kind, but the gorgeous and colourful French Macaroon. 

On my first attempt, I made the traditional French Coconut Macaroon (see recipe below) which turned out beautifully.  I was sceptical as to how the food colouring would affect the meringue mixture, but soon found out I needn't be.  As long as you only use a few drops as recommended, then your egg whites will remain in their soft peak form.

On my second attempt, I thought i'd go the full hog and make Pink Rose Macaroons, as well as Vanilla Pistachio Macaroons.  Both turned out wonderfully - especially the pistachio kind!  Don't be afraid to give them a go, they're really not as tricky to make as you think they are... honest!

Preparation Time: 40 mins (+30 mins standing time)
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 16

 - 3 egg whites
 - 1/4 cup castor sugar
 - pink food colouring
 - rose oil essence
 - 1 1/4 cup icing sugar
 - 1 cup ground almonds
 White Chocolate Ganache
- 155g white chocolate, chopped coarsely
- 1/4 cup single cream

1)  Preheat oven to 130'C.  Line baking trays with baking paper.

2)  Beat egg whites in a small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.  Add castor sugar and a few drops of pink colouring and rose essence.  Beat until all the sugar dissolves.

3)  Fold the sifted icing sugar and ground almonds into the egg white mixture, in two batches.

4)  Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 1cm plain tube.  Pipe 4cm rounds about 2.5cm apart on the trays.  Tap the trays on the bench gently so they spread slightly.  Stand for 30 minutes.

5)  Meanwhile, make the ganache by bringing the cream to the boil in a small pot.  Once boiling, turn off the heat and pour over your white chocolate, stirring constantly until completely melted.

6)  Bake macaroons in your prepared oven for about 20 minutes.  Leave to cool on trays.

7)  Sandwich macaroons together with Ganache.

8)  Sprinkle with a little icing sugar to serve.

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