Recipe: Easter Chick Macarons

With Easter Sunday fast approaching, the internet is full of intimidatingly impressive seasonal bakes. I’m a keen amateur baker, but I like to stay safe with things like cakes, cookies and cheesecakes. Macarons are notoriously difficult and I’ve never attempted to make them before, but I saw a picture of chick macarons on Pinterest and decided I had to have a go.

If you want to have a go at these, to make about 12 pairs you’ll need:

-          100g icing sugar

-          2 medium eggs

-          A pinch of cream of tartar

-          ¼ teaspoon of yellow food colouring

-          25g caster sugar

-          100g ground almonds

-          Lemon curd

-          Icing sugar, colouring and dark chocolate for decoration

(Please note that this recipe contains nuts)

I will just say here that this recipe is from the Usborne book ‘Children’s Book of Baking Cakes’ so in theory this should be easy… Here goes.

1. Line two large baking sheets with parchment

2. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and put aside

3. Separate the eggs, put the egg whites in a large clean mixing bowl

4. Whisk the egg whites until they form peaks

5. Whisk in the cream of tartar, food colouring and 2 tablespoons of the icing sugar (I also added about 5 drops of lemon flavouring at this point)

6. Add the remaining icing sugar one tablespoon at a time, whisking well each time (boring but apparently important)

7. Add the caster sugar and ground almonds. Fold everything together gently using figure-8 movements with a metal spoon

8. I piped 25 circles on the baking trays with a piping bag. If you don’t want to pipe then you can blob the mixture onto the tray with a teaspoon – use just under a teaspoon of mix and try to make all the blobs round and the same size

9. Tap each tray on a work surface twice (this should get rid of bubbles) and leave for 30 minutes. Heat your oven to 110°C/gas mark 1/4.

10. Bake the macarons for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave them in there for 15 minutes, then take out and leave on the trays to cool

11. Make up some icing with icing sugar and water to a fairly stiff consistency – it won’t hold if it’s too runny. Split the icing into two bowl, colour half yellow and half orange

12. With small nozzles (size 1 or 2), pipe an orange beak and yellow wings

13. Melt some dark chocolate in a bowl and use to create eyes, leave to dry

14. Spread some lemon curd on a macaron half and press onto another half. Leave them to set

15. Enjoy!

These came out a bit cracked and lumpy, but I'm just going to describe them as 'rustic'. If you have the time and skill then a more sophisticated recipe will probably produce a better-looking batch of macarons, but if you just want to have a go and mix some ingredients together then these are pretty fun and turn out pretty cute! 

Happy Easter!