March may not feel springy quite yet, but in just a few weeks all the Cherry Blossom Trees will be opening their blooms across Japan, and hopefully, here in the UK too!
In Japan they practice 'Hanami' which is the art of blossom tree viewing. Many Japanese people will head out into the parks and sit under sakura trees, where they will enjoy a lovely picnic in the falling petals.
Perhaps if you can find a good spot for blossom trees in the UK, you can do the same!
We recommend you pack a picnic of fresh sushi, and try out our recipe for homemade sakura macarons! It's the perfect fusion of Japanese and French cuisine.
If you're having an adult picnic, why not also serve your macarons with a cocktail of champagne with a splash of cherry juice and sake, or ume spirit?
80g Ground Almonds
160g Icing Sugar
60g Egg Whites
1 Tsp Sakura Syrup (Monin does this)
3-5 Drops Pink Food Colouring
1 Cup Double Cream
1 Tsp Icing Sugar
1-3 Tbsp Cherry Jam
Optional: 1/2 Tsp Matcha Powder
In a separate bowl, sieve together the ground almonds and 80g of the icing sugar.
In an electric mixer, whip up the egg whites until foamy, then slowly add the remaining 80g icing sugar by the tablespoon. Keep the mixer on low-medium as you do so. Whip until soft peaks form.
Carefully mix in the food colouring until the colour is even.
Add half of the icing sugar and almond mixture to the egg whites, and fold in. When combined, fold in the rest of the dry mixture.
Place all of the mixture in a piping bag. Line a tray with greaseproof paper, and heat the oven to 150c.
Pipe out circles of macaron mixture onto the greaseproof paper. Create any size you like, but ensure they are all even.
Leave the piped mixture at room temperature for 30mins to form a shell on the wet mix.
Bake the macarons in the centre of the oven for 12-15 mins.
When cooling, whip up the cream with the cherry jam and icing sugar until soft peaks form.
Pipe the cream in between two macaron shells to form the macaron. You can add matcha powder to the cream if it is to your taste.