Unicorns, unicorns and more unicorns

Unicorns have been taking the baking industry by storm the last few months and the trend is showing no sign of slowing down. Although they may be hard to find in real life (ok, impossible) we still fascinate about their colourful manes and their sparkling horns so much that all us girls want one, right?

Unicorn

Unfortunately, I am sorry to break it to you, but the only way any of us are going to get close to the real thing is through baking! Unicorn layer cakes, cupcakes, biscuits, macaroons, you name it – it’s been done.

Unicorn cake

My favourite is the unicorn macaron, and below is my recipe to re-create them.

Makes roughly 40 macarons

Ingredients

  • 140g Egg whites
  • 75g Caster sugar
  • 120g Ground almonds
  • 220g Icing sugar
  • 1/2tsp Vanilla powder

Filling:

  • 100g White chocolate
  • 100ml Double cream
  • 5g Butter
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract

For decoration:

  • Multi-coloured sprinkles
  • Edible gold paint
  • Black edible pen
  • Pink dust

Method

1. Measure out the egg whites and leave them uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours. This allows the egg whites to lose their elasticity meaning they are easier to whisk to smooth soft peaks.

2. Add the caster sugar to the egg whites and whisk on a high speed until stiff peaks form. If you stop whisking at soft peaks then the macaron mixture will be too runny and will be harder to mould into unicorn head shapes.

3. Place the ground almonds and icing sugar into a food processor and process until they are as fine as you think you can get them. Add the vanilla powder to the dry mixture. The reason that I use vanilla powder in this macaron recipe rather than vanilla extract is to ensure that the macaron mixture doesn’t get too runny.

4. Fold the dry mixture into the whisked egg and sugar mixture with a metal spoon slowly. This should take roughly 50 folds. Once complete you should have a mixture with the consistency of lava.

5. Pipe 40 round macaroons (either draw circles on greaseproof paper or you can buy macaron sheets) and sprinkle on the multi-coloured sprinkles. Leave on the side until a skin forms (this is what will gig the macaron its famous foot). I usually leave between 45 minutes and an hour but it depends how warm your kitchen is.

6. Whilst the backs of the macaroons have setting, pipe another 40 circle macaroons but leave roughly 3-4cm in between. Before the skin begins to form, pipe two small triangles for ears and a horn onto the top of the macaroons. Again, leave these on the side until a skin forms.

7. Once a skin has formed, bake the macarons at 150˚C for 15 minutes or until the macarons lift clearly off the surface. Once removed from the oven, ensure you place the baking sheet on a cool surface to avoid the macarons over cooking.

8. To make the filling, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

9. Bring the cream and butter to the boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When the mixture starts to bubble, add the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture over the chocolate and leave for half a minute, then stir quickly until smooth.

10. Cover the mixture and chill for an hour.

11. To assemble the macarons, put the chocolate ganache into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm piping nozzle. Pipe a ring of ganache onto the bottom half of the unicorn macaron, then sandwich together with the unicorn head half of the macaron, allowing the filling to bulge out slightly. At this point, use the edible gold paint to cover the horn and ears, and draw the eyelashes using the edible black pen. You can also use different coloured pens to add colour to the macarons on top of the sprinkles.

12. I know it’s hard to resist but, don’t eat your macarons the day they are made! Stand them in the fridge for 24 hours, this will allow the flavour of the filling to seep into the shells slightly which will also improve the texture.

13. Remove macarons from the fridge two hours before indulging!

 

 

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