Candy Kittens and Double Chocolate Macarons

I’m old.  Not in reality – I’m only 25 years old, but I will admit, the stereotype of the drifting early 20s has had little to do with my reality – I’m working in a fairly high pressured environment, studying, planning my wedding, running a household, dealing with OCD a continent away from my support system and blogging!  That’s a lot of stuff.

Probably the thing about my life people find the most interesting is that I moved away from home when I was 17 to go to university in Ireland (where I knew no one.  I literally entered the country without knowing a single person there.)  The only reason I was able to do it, however, is because I was young and stupid and had no idea how hard it would be to be totally on my own.  Teenagers are obtuse.  But as a result, I had to grow up fairly fast – to the point that I chide Beardy Fiance (7 years older than me) for not having been as self sufficient as I had to be before we met.

As a result, I’m a little bit old to understand the attraction of Made in Chelsea – except that I realise it’s the guilty pleasure TV of my generation!  And when I heard that Jamie from the show was launching his own cookbook, Candy Kittens, I was intrigued to take a look!

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This book is definitely targetted at teenage girls.  Do you know someone who would like to have a go at baking without too much experience?  Especially someone who enjoys reality TV?  This is the perfect book – containing several easy beginner recipes, along with fashion tips and party planning suggestions.  Most of the recipes are quite basic, and so would make a good introduction for a young baker who wants to make snacks for her parties (most definitely a she – this book is clearly aimed at young women – just see all the pink glitter!).  Candy Kittens is probably ideal for a teenage daughter or niece who wants to start throwing her own parties.

Double Chocolate Macarons (from Candy Kittens)

Ingredients:

144g egg whites (about 4 large eggs)

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

115g ground almonds

230g icing sugar

72g caster sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

DSC_1183Using a hand or stand mixer (this is one time where the wooden spoon just does not have enough fire power), mix the egg whites until they’re able to hold stiff peaks.  Mix in cream of tartar.

DSC_1184Slowly and gradually mix in the ground almonds, icing sugar and caster sugar, while continuing to mix well.

DSC_1185Mix in the tablespoon of cocoa powder.

DSC_1186Then gather the dough into a pipping bag and delicately pipe the dough into round circles on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (non negotiable – this is a very sticky substance and greasing just isn’t enough!)

DSC_1187Allow to sit on the counter for about half an hour to set before popping into the oven.  Bake at 140C for about an hour.  Turn off the oven and allow to cool gradually – make sure the oven is completely cool before removing macaron shells.

White Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

100g white chocolate

100ml double cream

5g unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DSC_1188Melt ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.

DSC_1189Once melted together smoothly, place aside for several hours in order to cool.  Then add a thin layer of ganache between two macaron shells.

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Allow to set for several hours.

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And enjoy – this recipe creates a macaron with a very cookie sandwich-like texture, which is something to be aware of.

I received a copy to review from Octopus Publishing, but all opinions are my own.

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