Put your hands up if you like Lotus Biscoff spread? That Speculoos flavoured spread that only found its way in to our supermarkets a couple of years ago. Maybe you have only tried the Lotus biscuits: a sweet and caramelised crunch that dunks very easily in to a cup of tea or coffee.
My daughter likes the biscuits, but *loves* the spread. It’s probably her all time favourite thing. She laughs in the face of Nutella but would give away her last colouring pencil for a spoon of “my favourite spread”.
Last week I made 250 macarons. You would think I would have had enough of the things. In fact, I thought I had had enough of them. But, as the task of producing this massive order was coming to an end, I had this idea of making Biscoff flavoured macarons after seeing an online tutorial to make Oreo macarons. It didn’t take long to work out how I was going to fill them. Last winter, BBC Good Food printed a recipe for a Gingerbread Cake that had the most divine icing made from Biscoff spread. I decided I would adapt that recipe for the filling.
Anyway, the whole venture proved a huge success, so I wanted to share the recipe with you. It makes approximately 22-25 macarons, depending how on big or small you pipe the shells.
Ingredients (for the macarons shells)
110g Egg Whites
75g Caster Sugar
80g Ground Almonds
170g of Icing Sugar
45g of Lotus Biscoff biscuits (about 6 biscuits)
- First whizz up the biscuits in a blender until they are fine crumbs
- Add the almonds and icing sugar to the blender and whizz it all up together for another minute or two.
- Sieve this mixture, discarding any large crumbs that don’t pass through.
- In a large and clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks, then add the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time whilst still whisking. Keep whisking until the sugar is all incorporated and the mixture is thick and glossy.
- Add half of the dry mixture to the egg whites and fold in with a large spoon or silicone spatula. Add the other half and do the same. Cut and fold gently: do not beat the mixture. It should fall off the spoon without too much encouragement and settle to a smooth mixture after a few seconds in the bowl.
- Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe the shells out on to silicone lined baking trays. You should be able to pipe 45-50 shells depending on how big or small you pipe.
- Drop or bash the oven trays on the table or worktop a few times to rid the shells of any air bubbles and encourage a smoother top. Don’t worry, you can be fairly rough.
- Allow the shells to become touch dry before baking them. Depending on the temperature and humidity, this can take anything from 30-60 minutes.
- I bake them in my fan oven at 150C for 15-17 minutes (they should be firm with their characteristic frilly “feet”) but it will take you a while to work out what temperature your macarons like to be baked in *your* oven. I had to completely change the length of time and temperature for baking them when I moved to the house that I currently live in. The oven was so different from my previous one. So keep a close eye, take note, and don’t be disheartened if you need to alter the timings of temperature to achieve the perfect result.
- Remove them from the oven once baked and allow to cool on the tray for 10 minutes then remove them to a cooling rack.
Ingredients (for the filling)
60g of Soft Butter
50g of Lotus Biscoff Spread
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
150g of Icing Sugar, sieved
75g of Cream Cheese (full fat)
- Cream the butter, spread and vanilla together, then mix in half of the icing sugar.
- Add the Cream Cheese and mix until smooth, then add the rest of the icing sugar and mix until incorporated.
- Keep it cool until ready to use (but it will firm up in the fridge, so remember to take it out to soften before piping).
When you are ready, match up your macarons shells in pairs of the same size (it’s amazing how they can vary when at a glance they all look the same). Pipe the creamy filling on to one side of each pair before gently pressing the partner shell on top.
Chill to firm up and keep fresh until ready to be eaten. They are best made the day before, chilled, then allowed to return to room temperature.
And they taste bloody good, even if I do say so myself. But then I do owe a big thanks to BBC Good Food’s Food Editor, Cassie Best, for her Biscoff icing recipe that I adapted for the macarons, and to Lotus for making such delicious biscuits in the first place, then having the decency to turn them into a spread for us to enjoy.