How to make GIN-spired macarons!

Inspired by the beautiful botanicals in June's Gin of the Month - Nelson's Gluggle Jug Gin, Sophie from Craft Gin Club went along to The Real Macaron Company to learn how to make some delicious pink peppercorn and citrus macarons! As a self-proclaimed "terrible baker", this is how she got on!

White chocolate, pink peppercorn & lemon macarons

Ingredients:

2 medium egg whites
80g icing sugar
80g ground almonds
80g caster sugar
2 pinches of salt
Yellow gel food colouring
Red gel food colouring
Zest of ½ lemon
Handful of pink peppercorns, crushed

Filling:
35g double cream
50g white chocolate, broken up
½ tsp fresh lime juice
Zest of ¼ lime
¼ tsp finely ground star anise
1/3 tsp finely ground pink peppercorns

Method:

Make two batches, one which is yellow and one which is red/pink.
For each batch, sieve 40g icing sugar and 40g ground almonds and gently combine with a metal spoon. For the yellow batch, add the zest of ½ lemon.
In a separate bowl, add 1 egg white with a pinch of salt. Using an electric hand whisk at a low speed, mix until frothy.
Add 20g of caster sugar. Increase the speed of the whisk as the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture holds its shape, add 20g more of caster sugar, and whisk at a high speed until it’s firm and holds its peaks.
Add your gel food colouring, yellow or red, depending on which batch you’re making. Mix gently until incorporated.
Add your dry ingredients to the mixture, folding against the side of the bowl with a spatula, slowly and then more rapidly, until you have a thick, glossy mixture.
Transfer to a piping bag with a hole with the diameter of 1 cm. 
Pipe your mixture into 4 cm circles onto baking parchment on a tray, tapping the tray to bring the air bubbles to the surface.
Repeat all these steps, except the use of lemon zest, to create your red/pink batch. Once you’ve piped your red batch, sprinkle crushed pink peppercorns on top.
Bake in fan oven at 140C for 20 minutes.
Leave to cool for 15 minutes, and gently remove from tray.

Filling
Warm double cream, and pour over broken chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and the cream is smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.
Add lime juice, lime zest, star anise and pink peppercorns.
Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours.
Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto your yellow macaron shells. Gently sandwich with red shell.
Place macarons in airtight container. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

If you would like to have a go at making your own macarons with Gaye, you can book in a masterclass on the website or drop Gaye an email here: [email protected]