So, this is the first blog in a while. But I’m going to get back into it. Whilst I’ve been quiet here and on the twittersphere, I’ve been busy polishing off a book, writing plenty of recipe columns for the Sunday Mail (note: not associated with the Daily Mail) and trying to learn lots of stuff about cardiology. Hopefully, bits and pieces of all of these will end up on here!
But far more importantly, Mars Bars. Battered, they are excellent, as we all know. But there are few other chocolate- and chocolatebar-related recipes that, I feel, actually become better than if you were to just eat the pure product. So in the interests of proving Scotland can do more than fry the Mars and in finding a way to combat that soft-sickly texture the original bar can sometimes have, I came up with this. It’s a bit of fun. And it’s actually really, really good. And it’s easy.
Mars Bar Macarons
110g icing sugar
60g ground almonds
2 medium egg whites
40g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
3 standard Mars Bars, chilled in the fridge
Makes about 12 sizeable macarons
1 Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. In a food processor (or using a blender/stick blender if you don’t have one), grind together the icing sugar, cocoa and ground almonds until there are no lumps – you want them as powdery as you can.
2In a large bowl (don’t use plastic), whisk your egg whites and caster sugar until stiff. Add your sweet almond powder to your airy sugary egg whites and mix everything together until you’ve forced most of that air you’ve captured out, so that the mixture tumbles from your spoon, gradually but gloopily. Stop when it reaches exactly the consistency of flowing lava – when you drop some into your bowl, the surface should slowly flatten out to leave no visible peak.
3 Scoop your mixture into a freezer or piping bag and pipe little circles onto your prepared baking sheet – anything between 1-2 inches in diameter. Once your macarons are piped, lift your baking tray about a foot or two above your work surface and drop it so it smashes down dramatically. Repeat 2-3 times – this removes any big bubbles that might be left in the mixture.
4 This is the most important step. Leave your piped macarons uncovered and at room temperature for, at the very least, 30 minutes. The longer the better. You want the surface to dry out and a skin to form. At this point, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan. Your oven must be properly preheated.
5 Bake for between 10 and 12 minutes, depending on the size you’ve gone for. You must take them out before they begin to go brown. A good tip is to open the oven fully, then quickly close it again, at least twice during cooking. This will remove excess steam.
6. Once done, cool the macarons on their tray whilst you make the filling. First, take 1 and a half of your mars bars and melt them in a microwave until smooth – this filling hardens up quickly, but you can just re-melt as many times as you like. Add a teaspoon of filling to the underside of a macaron shell, then cut a sliver off your remaining bars using your sharpest knife and place this on top. Sandwich with another macaron shell then place another sliver on top. Repeat.