Your wedding, a day you’ve fantasised about for not months but years. A day that’ll be the most stressful, happiest and exhausting of your life but you wouldn’t have it any other way. A day reserved for feeling truly extraordinary.
At Tom Browns, we’re the perfect choice for a wedding reception in Nottingham, because we are all about making every moment exceptional. We believe you should never settle for ordinary, so for our beautiful couple who held their reception with us in October, we created a show-stopping alternative to a wedding cake that wowed the guests; the elegant Macaron Tower.
Delicate, classy and sweetly fun, this unique wedding cake alternative was so beautiful we thought we had to share the love and teach all of you how you could recreate your own! (or let us do it for you)
This recipe makes about 50 individual macarons, enough to make a small tower, and will serve 8-12 people. If you’re making a tower to feed a bigger party, you can double or even triple this recipe to make enough to go around!
A circular piece of cardboard, 1 inch in diameter
A cake stand
A filling of your choice (see our suggestions further on in the method)
Weigh out the following ingredients into separate containers:
For the paste
300g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
100g of egg whites (this should be 4 to 5 eggs, depending on size of eggs you buy, but its best to weigh it out)
A mix of food colouring (you can have as many colours you want, get creative!)
A mix of essences (these are to flavour your macarons)
For the Italian meringue
300g of caster sugar
60ml of water
110g egg whites
- Pre-heat your fan oven to 140C.
- Sieve your ground almonds and icing sugar together, then add your 100g of egg whites and mix into a paste.
- Add your caster sugar and water into a small pan and combine. Then, turn up to a medium heat and bring to a boil. Don’t stir, as this will cause the mixture to crystalize.
- While your sugar mixture is cooking, whip the remaining 110g of egg whites with a machine up to soft to hard peaks. You’ll be able to drag your spoon up through the mixture and it’ll form a mountain peak, but should fold back on itself at the top.
- Check on your sugar mixture. If you have a sugar thermometer, check the temperature, it should be between 116C and 118C.
- When it’s ready, pour your sugar mixture slowly into your soft peaked egg whites, whipping as you go. You’ll see your mixture start to become glossy as the hot sugar syrup cooks the eggs, turning your soft whipped egg whites into Italian meringue. Once you’ve added all the mixture, keep whisking with your machine for up to 5 minutes, this will not only disperse the heat but will make sure the hot syrup doesn’t overcook the eggs.
- Fold your Italian meringue into the ground almond paste you made earlier, and then split up the macaroon mixture into smaller bowls and add the food colouring and/or essences. This is where your bake becomes truly creative, have a play with as many flavours as you like! Alternatively keep it simple and use the filling to be the main flavour.
- Get your baking paper and lay out on your baking try. Get your 1 inch circle and draw around it. This ensures each macaron will be the same size, making your finished tower even more impressive.
- Spoon your mixes into separate piping bags and pipe onto your circles. Once you’ve finished, pick up the tray and let it drop, bottom first, gently onto your kitchen top. This bashes out all the air in your macarons, levelling them out and ensures an even rise.
- Let the raw mixture dry out on the side for 10 to 15 minutes. The best way to check when they’re dry enough is to (with a dry hand) touch the tops of them; if the mixture doesn’t stick to you then you’re good to go. Too wet and they won’t get a good rise, too dry and they’ll become hollow and crumbly.
- Pop your macarons in your pre-heated oven, and they should be ready after 12 to 14 minutes.
Once cooked, fill or flavour your macarons with anything, from white, milk or dark chocolate ganache (there’s a good recipe below), or you can do what we do and make a gel from blending a set jelly; a simple jelly recipe is below. We prefer using gels to jams as they aren’t as sweet, bring a level of acidity and you have much more scope for flavours.
You can display your macarons in a variety of ways, but we prefer a cake stand as it will really wow your crowd and can then be reused for any other parties you want to throw. You can make your macarons and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days before, just make sure you bring them out 10 minutes before you serve them.
Salted caramel, chocolate mint, mango and white chocolate…whatever flavour combinations you want to try, your macaron tower is sure to be a hit at your next party!
Chocolate ganache - https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/glossary/ganache