Colourful macarons flavoured with chilli, lime and raspberry. Fruity, spicy with a little zing.
For the macaroons, set up two mixing bowls, each with measured ground almonds, icing sugar and egg whites. Add the green food colouring to one bowl. Set aside.
For the Italian meringue, whisk the 60g/2¼oz egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Heat the sugar and 75g/2¾oz water in a small pan up to 118C/245F. Slowly whisk the hot syrup into the whisked egg whites.
Divide the Italian meringue between the two mixing bowls set up for the macaroons, and fold in.
Spoon the green macaroon mixture into a piping bag with a small plain nozzle. Spoon the white macaron mixture into a separate piping bag also with a small plain nozzle (the white macaroons will be coloured red after resting).
Line two baking trays with baking parchment, one for each colour. Pipe the green macarons on one tray in 2cm/¾in rounds onto the parchment. Repeat with the white macarons on the other tray. Set both trays aside to rest for at least 30 minutes before baking.
Meanwhile, for the red macarons, chop the red chilli, add it to the sugar and red food colouring. Sprinkle the chilli mixture onto the white macarons before baking.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Bake the rested macarons for 12 minutes, opening the oven door twice during the process: once after three minutes, and again after eight minutes.
Remove from the oven, remove from the baking parchment, and transfer to the fridge to cool.
For the lime ganache, gently melt the chocolate and cream together in a bowl set on top of a pan of simmering water. Add the lime juice gradually to the mixture. Then gradually add the butter and incorporate fully. Remove from the heat, cover and chill in the fridge.
For the raspberry coulis, push the raspberries through a sieve and collect the juice in a small pan. Add the sugar and lemon juice and bring the mixture up to the boil. Once boiling, add the pectin and whisk for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and leave to cool.
Transfer the ganache to a piping bag, and assemble the macaroons: green macaroons on the bottom, piped ganache in the middle, topped with raspberry ‘coulis’ sandwiched with the red macaron.
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Week seven sees the bakers tested on all kinds of weird and wonderful pastries.