The classic Cherry Ripe takes on a French favourite. If that vibrant pink colour is anything to go by, you know this recipe will be a crowd-pleaser.
- 1 batch fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting
- 2 tsp pink food gel
- 2 tsp cherry brandy
Cherry Ripe filling
- 2 tbsp cherry brandy
- 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp pink food gel
- 250 g desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
- 150 g glace cherries
- 300 g ground almonds
- 270 g pure icing sugar (without corn flour added to it)
- 220 g liquefied egg whites (see Notes)
- 300 g caster sugar
- 75 g water
- pink food gel
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- red sprinkles
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Prepare before you start
1. Baking trays, lined with baking paper, not greaseproof paper.
2. Eggs - separate egg whites from the yolks and allow them to sit in the fridge for a couple hours. These must be measured accurately.
3. Sift almond and sugar together (if you don’t have a food processor).
To make the frosting, add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine well.
To make the Cherry Ripe filling, add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until very well combined.
To make the macarons, add half the icing sugar and almond meal into a food processor and process until well combined. Repeat with the other half. This will help get rid of any lumps in the sugar. Alternatively, you may sift the two together. This must be done at least 3 times.
Empty the almond mixture into a large mixing bowl, add ½ of egg whites and mix until it forms a paste. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Add the sugar and water into a small saucepan. Give them a very gentle stir to get them mixed together. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer. Add a candy thermometer to the pot to help you measure the temp of the syrup. As the syrup bubbles away it will splatter small bubbles of sugared water on the sides of the pot. Use a pastry brush dabbed in a little water to brush those back into the syrup. This will help prevent the syrup from crystallising. When the syrup reaches 115°C, add the remaining egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking them on medium/high speed to help break them apart and get them a little frothy.
When the syrup reaches 118°C, pour it over the egg whites in a slow and steady stream. Whisk to stiff peaks for about 6 min. Add the colour and vanilla extract at about the 3 min point, whisk into the meringue for a couple of minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down, then whisk for an extra couple of minutes. When you can turn the bowl over and the meringue doesn’t fall out, you know you’ve reached stiff peaks.
Grab a spatula full of the meringue and fold it into the almond-sugar mixture, mix until well combined. This allows the mixture to thin out a little before you add the rest of the mixture. Fold everything together by going around the bowl with a spatula then through the middle (as demonstrated in the video). Continue folding until the batter gets thin enough that it drips off the spatula and falls in a ribbon. It should take about 10 seconds for the ribbon to disappear into the rest of the batter. That’s when you know the batter is ready to pipe.
Spoon the batter into a piping bag with a round tip.
Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5 cm (1.38 inches) in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on (flat) baking trays lined with baking parchment. Sprinkle with sprinkles.
Gently tap the tray on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth. Sprinkle with red sprinkles. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes, until skin forms on the shells. They shouldn’t be sticky when you touch them. It’s at this point that you can preheat a fan forced oven to 180°C (360°F)
Bake for 12 minutes. If you feel your oven is causing the macarons to brown on one side (usually the side closest to the fan) turn the tray around about halfway through baking. Once they’re baked, let them cool completely.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a piping tip (see Notes) and frost a swirl on top of the macarons, add Cherry Ripe filling in the centre and sandwich with another macaron.
The macarons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated or unrefrigerated). The ganache frosting can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for one month.
• Ageing your eggs: egg whites will liquefy if you set them in the fridge for several days, preferably a week. During that time, the egg whites lose their elasticity, the albumen breaks down and they will be much easier to whisk to soft peaks without turning "grainy".
• In this recipe, I use a Wilton #32 piping tip.
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