It's rhubarb season again! I missed out on buying the first of the luminously pink forced rhubarb this year, but now the greener chunkier stalks are everywhere. I bought some last week, but then discovered that a rhubarb-hating colleague at school had a garden full of it... so now I have a plentiful - and free - supply.
Ever since my recent trip to London, and the excitements of the Laduree shop, I have been itching to try making macarons again. I had a vision of making delicately pale pink beauties, filled with raspberry, or perhaps strawberry jam... but the arrival of my first bunch of rhubarb (and a typically heavy hand with the food colouring) meant that my plans soon changed. Those pale pink macarons will have to wait for the Summer.
I used half of my first batch of rhubarb to make a couple of jars of rhubarb and ginger jam, possibly my favourite of all jams, but something I had only ever bought from the local WI market. Sorry ladies of the Womens' Institute, but I think from now on I'll be making my own! Why does no one tell you that making jam is so easy? Clearly it's a WI conspiracy...
I did tint my macaron batter pink, but on seeing the finished jam decided that a hint of yellow colouring was needed. In my usual lazy fashion I couldn't be bothered to use a teaspoon, just thought I'd tip the bottle and add a mere couple of drops..... and in it gushed. Bright orange macarons! In for a penny... I (more carefully) added some orange oil, reasoning that orange and rhubarb were a perfect partnership. These macarons, once cooked, were delicious, with a taste reminiscent of a childhood sweet. Sherberty, like Refreshers. Gooooooood!
The addition of some lightly gingered buttercream, and a dollop of the rhubarb and ginger jam elevated them to Laduree level (well, nearly) et voila, les macarons parfaits!
The recipe can be found here, in my previous macaron post. My first batch had coloured slightly so the only change that I made to the recipe was to reduce the oven temperature to 120C and increase the cooking time to 15 minutes. These macarons didn't brown at all, and had the bonus of an ever so slightly chewy texture.
These were very popular in the school staffroom too! I am pondering new flavours for my next macaron making session... I'm sure it won't be long before I make them again.