For the cakes:
- 1½ cups ground almonds
- 1¾ cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup freeze-dried raspberry powder
- 4 egg whites
- ½ cup caster sugar
For the balsamic reduction:
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
For the filling:
- 500 ml cream
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
Preheat oven to 150°C. Line three baking trays with baking paper. On one tray draw a 20 cm circle. On the other two trays draw a 20 cm circle with a 10 cm circle centred inside it (like a doughnut)
In a food processor, blend almonds, icing sugar and raspberry powder for 30 seconds or so
Beat egg whites until stiff, then add caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating very well after each addition. If you want a strong colour, beat in a few drops of food colouring (the freeze-dried powder will only lend a hint of colour)
Fold almond mixture into egg whites in three lots. Keep folding until a thick ribbon falls from your spatula when you hold it up
Fill a piping bag and cut the bottom off so you have a 1.5–2 cm opening. Pipe the mixture to fill in the full circle and create the rings you’ve drawn (don’t pipe inside the smaller circle) and set aside for 30–45 minutes. The macarons are ready to bake when you can touch them lightly without the batter sticking to your fingers
Bake the trays, one at a time, for 10–15 minutes, removing when the edges start to colour
Once cooked, leave on the trays to cool before peeling off baking paper and storing in an airtight container
To make the balsamic reduction, place vinegar and sugar (if using) into a small pot and simmer
until reduced by at least half. Pour into a small dish to cool
When you’re ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream to form soft peaks
Put the solid circle on your serving plate and top with half of the whipped cream. Place a ring on top and fill the open centre with raspberries. Smother the ring with the rest of the cream, top with the last ring and fill the centre with raspberries. Drizzle over 2–3 tbsp balsamic glaze and serve.
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