Traditions, shmaditions! ....heh, kidding. I'm all for traditions but I'm also one who'll take it and turn it into something else just for the sake of being different .... and fun!
Since I've already posted the Hot Cross Buns waaaay too early, I thought I'd come up with something a little out of the ordinary but something not too weird that folks today can relate to. And, VOILA! Hot Cross Macs! ......with the same spices in the traditional hot cross buns, except maybe for the addition of chocolate for color and for the filling. And, believe me ... the combination of the spices and the chocolate works beautifully!
The crosses are just painted on with food dye but it can also be achieved by piping a cross on the top using a plain macaron mixture (without the chocolate and spices) before the crust sets. I preferred painting the crosses as there is more control over the size of the design since it will spread some when piped and may turn out a little uneven.
50g egg white (aged overnight)
40 g caster sugar
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
65g almond meal
80g powdered sugar
1 - 2 tbs cocoa powder (this is basically for color altho I used 2 tbs)
1/8 tsp mixed spice / apple pie spice
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
white color paste
Combine almond meal, powdered sugar, spices and cocoa powder in a food processor and give it a quick whirl to mix it up evenly. Sift.
Beat egg white and lemon juice in a clean bowl until soft peaks. Add in caster sugar in 3 lots, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until shiny and smooth.
Gently fold in sifted ingredients until well combined.
Pipe out into 2 - 3 cm rounds on parchment paper / silicon baking mats.
Allow to dry for about 1 hour or until the tops are dry to the touch.
Bake 12 - 15 mins in a 150ºC oven.
Cool on rack completely before painting on the crosses.
Filling of my choice: chocolate ganache.
PS: Actually, I thought the macs look like they have bandages on! Oh well ...