Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this week’s special, Easter-themed Rosie Makes – hot cross bun loaf and DIY tissue paper pom-poms – as much as I enjoyed making, photographing and writing them! Bunnies and chocolate are synonymous with this time of year, so why not make your own? My last Easter make is a recipe for chocolate bunny macarons: a light, chocolatey shell, sandwiched with white chocolate ganache. The recipe for the shells is from Harry Eastwood’s gorgeous The Skinny French Kitchen (and I made up the ganache). If you can’t have double chocolate at Easter, when can you?!
The best way to get over any macaron-making phobia is to just try them, and this recipe is foolproof if you weigh accurately and adhere closely to the measuring, folding and baking instructions! To make the macaron shells, you will need:
200g icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
100g ground almonds
3 medium free-range egg whites
pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
Ingredients of your choice to decorate (100s and 1000s, dried fruit, food colouring – it’s up to you!)
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ Gas 4 and line two baking trays with parchment.
2) Blitz the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder in the bowl of a food processor until ground to a very fine dust.
3) Whisk the egg whites with the salt to stiff peaks.
Then add the caster sugar, a little at a time, being sure to whip the whites well between each addition.
4) Once all the sugar has been combined, sieve in half the icing sugar mixture, and fold carefully into the egg whites using a metal spoon (being sure to go right underneath). Fold in the remaining half of the icing mixture until well combined.
You should end up with a fairly loose, chocolatey paste.
5) Using a (disposable if you have one) piping bag with a 1 cm nozzle, pipe 2 cm circles onto the parchment-lined trays, with sufficient gaps for expanding. For half of the circles (the bunny faces), add two skinny lines to make their ears. Don’t worry about them being perfect, it will be obvious what they are!
Use the decorations of your choice to make the bunny features – if you’re wanting to attach anything, now is the time. I used 100s and 1000s for eyes and a freeze-dried raspberry for the noses. You could use tweezers to help you.
6) Give each tray a short, sharp bang on a flat surface to get rid of any air bubbles. Leave them to stand for at least 15 minutes, so they dry out a little and form a skin. Then bake for 12 minutes until the macarons are firm.
7) Remove the cooked macarons from the oven and slide a palette knife under each one to loosen. Allow to cool. Meanwhile, make the ganache. You will need:
50g white chocolate
50ml double cream (I used Elmlea).
Heat the cream over a low heat until it just starts to boil. Pour over the chocolate pieces and leave to stand for two minutes.
The residual heat will melt the chocolate. Stir until it reaches a silky consistency, with no lumps. Leave to set in the fridge until firm.
8) Finish decorating your bunnies while it firms up – I added whiskers and a tail with melted white chocolate, or you could use coloured water icing.
9) Once the ganache has set, assemble your bunnies. Sandwich two shells together (a face and a tail macaron) using a teaspoon of ganache.
If you can get over their cuteness, you could eat them I suppose!
Have you a go-to macaron recipe? What are you making this Easter weekend?