We love nothing more than creating different and unique versions of classic british sweet treats, so when mentally preparing for the start of GBBO which is, of course, kicking off with cake week, we came up with these adorable victoria sponge macarons!!
To capture the idea of the victoria sponge in a macaron, we treated the shells as our sponge, making a simple vanilla macaron, then filled them with buttercream and a gooey, jammy centre!
Now, we’ve had our fair share of fights, upsets and disasters when it comes to macarons, but on this day the macaron gods were smiling down on us, and alas, those lovely crinkly feet appeared underneath smooth crack-free shells. We opt for the italian method over the french as we find the more stable meringues easier to work with (although we’ve had successes and failures with both), the most important thing to remember when making macarons is to give them time! Make sure they sit for long enough to form a proper skin, it’s all well and good thinking you can gamble on a still slightly tacky shell, it may all work out for you, but it’s definitely safer and more sucessful to wait that bit longer!
Instead of using straight up jam in the centre, we mixed it with some buttercream, initially as a bit of an experiment to see how it turned out.. but we loved it! It’s delicious and fruity AND makes it easier to pipe which is always huge pro as far as we’re concerned. If you really wanted to you could just mix all the buttercream and jam together, you may find it easier when it comes to filling them and it’ll still taste great, we understand that piping little rings of buttercream and filling in the centres may be a tad time consuming but we really think the end result is worth that little bit of extra effort!
- 2 x 40g egg whites
- 100g almonds
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g caster sugar
- 35ml water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coffee or a few drops of brown food colouring
- 75g butter, softened
- 400g icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam
- Process the almonds and icing sugar together in a food processor for about 30 secs.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer or in a bowl with an electric whisk start beating the first 40g of egg whites.
- While doing this place a pan on the hob with the water and sugar and bring to the boil, monitoring the temperature as you do so. Once it passes 105 degrees celsius, increase the speed of the whisk (the egg whites should form stiff peaks at this point).
- When the sugar syrup reaches 115 degrees take it off the hob and pour into the egg whites in a thin stream, whilst still whisking on a high speed (it's definitely useful to have either a stand mixer or 2 pairs of hands at this point!). The egg whites should become glossy meringue, continue mixing for about 5 mins so that the mixture cools down.
- In another bowl, mix together the icing sugar and almonds, remaining egg whites, vanilla and coffee or food colouring to form a paste.
- Using a rubber spatula, spoon about a third of the meringue into the bowl with the paste and mix well, this loosens the mixture. Then add the remaining meringue and fold in until fully incorporate, your mixture should be runny enough to slowly fall off the spatula but not so runny that it falls straight off!
- Place the mixture into a piping bag and pipe 3-4 cm circles about 2 cm apart, onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper (you might need 2). Once the whole tray has been piped, bang the bottom onto the work surface 2 or 3 times to get out air bubbles, then set aside for 30mins to an hour so that the macarons form a skin, this is what helps them bake properly and get feet!
- Once your macarons have a skin (nothing should come off on your hand if you lightly touch them with your finger) bake at 150 degrees for 14 mins.
- Allow to cool completely whilst still on the greaseproof paper, if you try to take them off too early you might pull the bottoms off!
- In a bowl beat the butter to cream it.
- Then add in the icing sugar a little at a time, mixing thoroughly.
- About halfway through adding the icing sugar, add the milk and vanilla.
- Once all the icing sugar has been added, beat the mixture on a high speed for a minute or 2.
- Take about 4 tbsp into a sepereate bowl and mix with the raspberry jam.
- Pipe circles of the vanilla buttercream around the edge of a macaron shell, fill in the middle with the raspberry mixture and sandwich with another shell!
They definitely look a lot like doughnuts, rather than a victoria sponge cake due to the jam centre rather than layered jam and cream! But either way they’re delicious…