Be the star baker of any afternoon tea with these miniature sweet treats, which reinvent the retro classic Battenburg cake as irresistible macarons, featuring the same pretty pastel colours and gorgeous almond flavour.
- Preheat the oven to gas 2, 150°C, fan 130°C. Line 2 baking trays with nonstick baking paper. Whizz the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor until fine. Set aside.
- Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually whisk in the sugar, until glossy.
- Sift the almond mixture over the egg whites and fold in with a large metal spoon. Spoon half the mixture into a second bowl. Taking care not to knock out any air, stir a drop of pink colouring into one bowl and a drop of yellow into the other. Spoon each mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. Pipe 2·5cm rounds onto the lined trays. Make 24 macaron halves of each colour.
- Tap the baking trays to release any air bubbles. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the rounds are no longer sticky when touched. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, then set aside to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Whisk the butter, icing sugar and almond extract, until light and fluffy. With a spoon, spread a thin layer of jam onto each yellow half. Then, using a small palette knife or a piping bag, top with a thin layer of buttercream. Sandwich with the pink macarons. Chill until ready to serve.
Tip: Paste or gel food colouring is perfect for baking macarons as a small amount produces a vibrant colour. Avoid using liquid colouring, as it will make the mixture too runny to pipe evenly.
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