Quite glorious 88°F Easter Sunday in Phoenix. The little knits above come all the way from guernsey
and a very busy, gifted lady who lives there, Liz Walton.
I am always keen to try out any variation of macaron, so when Natasha over at butter baking posted hot cross bun macarons, I had to try my own variation. Followers will know my basic macaron shell is made with the Italian meringue method, basic recipe can be found here.
The pumpkin macaron posted there even looks somewhat similar to the spiced ones above. I added mixed spice and freshly ground nutmeg, together with some brown colouring paste, to the basic recipe and filled them with an orange Swiss buttercream filling. As I have said before, there are quicker fillings to prepare, but if they are going to be out of the fridge for a while, or transported (especially as these were, on a hot day), the stability and ease of piping of Swiss buttercream is unrivalled. I grated an orange rind and added orange colouring into the basic mixture. To be truly hot cross they should have had a white chocolate X across top, but sometimes you just run out of time!
My hostess loves French madeleines and luckily for me loves all things biscoff. I had been waiting to bake another batch of madelaines to try making a biscoff variation, so here was my chance. I had to head off to Williams sonoma first to buy the pan ( the annoying part of having two kitchens) and gave their basic recipe on the packaging a trial run. Clearly it is very similar to the one I blogged about earlier, but it made exactly the right quantity for the pan- perfect! Add a generous 2 tablespoons of smooth biscoff before folding in the flour.
While in New York a couple of days ago I had to try out the madelaines at Balthazar bakery and they were so crunchy and buttery on the outside that I took the time to double grease the pans. Butter them generously, place pan in freezer while you whip up the mixture, remove and butter with melted butter again.
I love the colour combination of purple vanilla buttercream with pistachio shells. If you can't source pistachio paste, simply grind shelled pistachios along with the almond meal and icing sugar.
Wishing everyone a very happy Easter!