Raspberry Buttercream Macarons

My love for raspberry is certainly well documented, and this addition is no exception!

I thought it would be nice to do something non chocolate or caramel for a change! I made a simple buttercream, and just added some raspberries that I cooked down and it worked really well. The flavour was great and I love the natural pink colour it gives. I also put half a raspberry in the middle of each macaron because I thought it would break up the buttercream and add a nice tang 😉

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/4 tsp Wilton’s pink colouring gel

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray baround the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan, over a low-medium heat, until the sugar completely dissolves (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If you do not want to burn your tongue, Zumbo suggests investing in a candy thermometer and heating the syrup until it reaches 118 degrees C (244 degrees F). If the syrup becomes thick and powdery in appearance, you will need to start again. This is because the sugar has been heated too much, too quickly, and instead of dissolving, it has cooked.

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Tap the bottom of the trays on the kitchen bench and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12 -15 large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop. Macarons taste best when they are stored in the fridge, then brought down to room temperature to eat.

 

Raspberry Buttercream:

  • 2/3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 175g butter, chopped and softened
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar mixture

Place raspberries in medium saucepan with a splash of water. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes until raspberries are cooked down enough to pass through a sieve. Push raspberries through a fine sieve to get rid of the seeds. Let mixture cool completely.

Beat butter on high until pale and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar and raspberry mixture. If not using immediately, refrigerate.

Assembly:

Match likely pairs of macaron shells. Fill a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, and pipe a small round on a shell. With the left over raspberries, cut each berry in half and place on top of the buttercream. Pipe another small swirl on top, and sandwich with the other shell.

These macarons are also a part of this month’s Mactweets Challenge which are showcasing seasonal fruit. Seeing as raspberries are one of my favourite fruits and they are slowly coming into season in Australia, I thought they would be my best bet!

Mars Bar Macarons

I’ve had the idea of doing something Mars Bar-sy lately, whether it was a macaron, ice cream or cupcakes (which hopefully I will get around to eventually!). I decided on the red shell because of how the colour the word ‘Mars’ appears on the packet, and I thought it would stand out more than a plain chocolate coloured shell!

I used both salted caramel and chocolate ganache for the filling and it is safe to say they were pretty yummy! Maybe next time I’ll try to make a bit of a nougat to stick in there as well.

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • ¾ tsp Wilton’s colouring gel in red (I used ‘Rojo Intenso)

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan, over a low-medium heat, until the sugar completely dissolves (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If you do not want to burn your tongue, Zumbo suggests investing in a candy thermometer and heating the syrup until it reaches 118 degrees C (244 degrees F). If the syrup becomes thick and powdery in appearance, you will need to start again. This is because the sugar has been heated too much, too quickly, and instead of dissolving, it has cooked.

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring in now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Tap the bottom of the trays on the kitchen bench and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12 -15 large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop. Macarons taste best when they are stored in the fridge, then brought down to room temperature to eat.

 

For the salted caramel, I used Zumbo’s recipe that I have used before for the Salted Butter Caramel Macarons – it does take a while to make but it is to die for! I also used my usual recipe for chocolate ganache:

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 100g chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cream (doesn’t really matter which type but I use thickened or lite thickened)

Place chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Constantly stir with a metal spoon until completely melted. Pour into container/bowl/whatever and refrigerate until firm enough to pipe. I often make this ganache the day before and take it out of the fridge in the morning. Sometimes it may need 5-10 seconds in the microwave.

Assembly:

Like the above picture, place salted caramel and chocolate ganache in separate piping bags fitted with round nozzle. Pipe a circle of ganache on a shell, and fill the hole with salted caramel (it doesn’t really matter what order you do this in). Sandwich with other shell.

Yummmmmmmmmmm!

 

 

Lamington Macarons

This is my second attempt at Lamington macarons. If you are unfamiliar with lamingtons, they are a delicious Australian treat – a vanilla cake that often has rapberry jam in the middle, and is rolled in chocolate sauce and covered in coconut. Sounds pretty good hey?! Thankfully this time, they actually do look like macarons, instead of pancakes (see Vegemite macarons)! I love the idea of using a flavour or a product that is completely non-macaron related, and making a macaron with these flavours and products in mind. That is the great thing about macarons – they are a blank canvas. You can colour them however you like and you can fill them with whatever flavour you like whether it be fruity, creamy or rich and chocolatey like this one.

I love the dark chocolate and raspberry combination, and with the addition of coconut, these macarons were so rich, hence why they are teeny tiny! This is also the first time I have made proper chocolate shells, and with a little tweaking with the recipe, they mostly turned out well. The chocolate shells were like mini mud-cakes with a meringue crust – so good. They were a lot denser than a normal shell, but were still airy and carried the chocolate flavour really well.

Chocolate Macarons: (this recipe is adapted from Adriano Zumbo’s book and is a bit different to the recipe I usually use)

You definitely need kitchen scales (preferably digital) to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 30g cocoa
  • 55g egg whites, x2
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 45g water

Grease and line 4 oven trays with baking paper, and preheat the oven to 160c. Place one lot of 55g egg whites in a large, dry and clean bowl and set aside. Sift together the almond meal, icing sugar and cocoa four times, and set aside, along with the other lot of 55g egg whites (I usually place egg whites in a ramekin, on top of a paper towel in the bowl with the dry ingredients – otherwise I tend to forget them :P). Combine the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and syrup is hot – keep testing with your tongue until sugar is dissolved. Begin beating 55g egg whites in the large bowl, and slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. This will create an Italian meringue. Beat until soft peaks form – you do not want to overbeat your egg whites. The mixture should be thick and very glossy.

Pour the 55g egg whites in the ramekin into the dry ingredients. Carefully spoon the Italian meringue mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and stir to combine. Once combined, fold mixture (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left – this will usually take 30-40 seconds if you are folding non-stop. Make a spread with the spoon on top of the mixture, and it should subside in 15-20 seconds.

Using a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle, fill the bag 2/3 way with the macaron mixture (TIP – if you do not have a piping bag set, never fear. In the baking aisle of most Australian supermarkets you will find a small orange box – they are ‘Multix’ brand and have 5 piping bags and 5 piping tips. I am sure most supermarkets in the USA would have a very similar product). To lock the bag, spin the top around 4 times. Gently pipe small circles onto prepared baking trays. When you have a finished a tray, tap it hard against the bench – this will get rid of the air bubbles. Leave trays for about half an hour, or until they are dry to the touch and a crust is formed. You need this crust for the macarons to rise properly so that they form their little feet.

I had a bit of trouble with this next part. I’m not sure if it was my oven or the difference of having the cocoa in the shell mixture, but quite a lot of my shells cracked, especially around the edges of the tray. I found that these chocolate shells cook a lot quicker than regular shells, so this is what I did and most of them turned out pretty well. Only cook one tray at a time. Place tray in preheated oven for 7 minutes. Turn tray around and bake for 3 minutes. You may need to check early on in the cooking process whether you shells are forming properly or they are cracking. If they are cracking, I would recommend removing them from the oven and cooling them down, as they may already be cooked. If not, follow the times I have suggested. Let shells cool on trays for 5-10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack. Repeat process with remaining trays.

Chocolate Ganache:

This is a basic chocolate ganache. I have doubled the recipe I usually use.

  • 200g chocolate (I used half milk, half dark), chopped
  • 1 cup cream (doesn’t really matter which type but I use thickened or lite thickened)

Place chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low-medium heat. Constantly stir with a metal spoon until completely melted. Pour into container/bowl/whatever and refrigerate until firm enough to pipe. I often make this ganache the day before and take it out of the fridge in the morning. Sometimes it may need 5-10 seconds in the microwave.

Assembly:

Match up likely pairs of macaron shells. Fill one piping bag with chocolate ganache and another piping bag with raspberry jam – I didn’t make mine this time, but if you want to, check out this awesome recipe by Matt Preston. Pipe a small dollop of ganache on the shell, pipe an even smaller dollop of jam on top, and then another dollop of ganache to encase the jam. Sandwich with another shell and gently sprinkle around the edges of the macaron with dessicated coconut.

 

Orange Meringue Macarons

The past week has been very busy and quite horrible, hence the lack of post. But macarons always make horrible weeks slightly better. I made these delish orange meringue macarons a few days ago, and they were awesome, if I say so myself. At first I wasn’t sure whether to fold the meringue in with the curd for the filling, or do a swirl of merinuge on top of the shell and toast it. I decided with the latter. I really like how the meringue gives the macaron a bit of height and makes it look kind of majestic. And extra yum.

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/4 tsp Wilton’s food colouring gel in orange

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray baround the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan, over a low-medium heat, until the sugar completely dissolves (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If you do not want to burn your tongue, Zumbo suggests investing in a candy thermometer and heating the syrup until it reaches 118 degrees C (244 degrees F). If the syrup becomes thick and powdery in appearance, you will need to start again. This is because the sugar has been heated too much, too quickly, and instead of dissolving, it has cooked.

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring gel now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Tap the bottom of the trays on the kitchen bench and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12 -15 large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons. If you are not making the macarons with the meringue on top, they will keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop. However, if you do have the swirl of meringue on top of the shell, expect them to last about 2-3 days. This is because there is a lot of moisture in the meringue, and if left too long, will make the shell soggy and it will crumble to pieces when you go to pick it up. Macarons taste best when they are stored in the fridge, then brought down to room temperature to eat.

 

Orange Curd:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80g) chilled, unsalted butter
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

Whisk the whole eggs, yolks and sugar in a saucepan until smooth, then place saucepan over a low heat. Add the butter, juice and zest and whisk continuously until thickened. You really need to be careful here, especially with the heat because it is so easy for the eggs to cook – then the curd will be lumpy. Don’t freak out if you have a little bit of cooked egg, just strain it through a fine sieve when it has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice – this is just to give it the acidity that curd needs and orange can’t always provide. Pour into a clean, airtight container (preferably do a quick sterilise with some boiling water first) and leave at room temperature until completely cooled. Place in the fridge until it is firm enough to pipe. Curd will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Italian Meringue:

  • 1 egg white
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp water

Place egg white in a clean, dry bowl. Place sugar and water in a saucepan, and over medium heat, stir with a metal spoon until sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has formed a syrup. Begin beating the egg white, whilst slowly pouring the sugar syrup into the bowl. The mixture will become thick and very glossy. Beat until stiff peaks form.

Assembly:

Once you have matched up your macaron shells, you can start piping the orange curd. Fill a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe 1/4-1/2 tsp of curd onto each shell, and sandwich with another. Piping curd can be a bit more difficult than ganache or buttercream simply because it is runnier. If you find your curd needs to thicken, stir in a teaspoon or two of cornflour. The trick with piping curd is to only use a small amount, and to refrigerate them for as long as possible before serving.

To pipe the meringue, spoon the egg white mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle (the Multix brand bags come with this if you don’t have your own). Pipe a small swirl on top of the macaron shell. If you have a blowtorch, lightly toast the meringue. It’s fine if you don’t, you can either place them under the grill really quickly (a bit risky considering the curd), but they still look great without the toasted-ness. Pop macarons in an airtight container and refrigerate straight away if you’re not serving them straight away.

 

Enjoy! X.

Caramel au beurre sale macarons (Salted Butter Caramel Macarons)

Caramel has always been my favourite dessert flavour. McDonalds sundaes, always caramel, milkshakes, always caramel. So when the idea of salted caramel became quite the phenomenon, I was delighted. Salt and Caramel are the best flavour combination, and when coupled with butter, really, how can one go wrong? Surprisingly, I had never tried making a real, homemade caramel. Although now that I have, I definitely think it will be a regular occurrence! So, here are my Caramel au beurre sale` macarons, my Salted Butter Caramel macarons.

The recipe I used for the caramel was another of Zumbo’s wonders. It is a two-step process and does take quite a lot of effort, but trust me, if you are a caramel lover, you will be in heaven, I guarantee.

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/2 tsp good quality cocoa

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan, over a low-medium heat, until the sugar completely dissolves (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If you do not want to burn your tongue, Zumbo suggests investing in a candy thermometer and heating the syrup until it reaches 118 degrees C (244 degrees F). If the syrup becomes thick and powdery in appearance, you will need to start again. This is because the sugar has been heated too much, too quickly, and instead of dissolving, it has cooked.

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the cocoa now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Tap the bottom of the trays on the kitchen bench, and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack.

The mixture should make about 12 -15 large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop. Macarons taste best when they are stored in the fridge, then brought down to room temperature to eat.

Caramel Maison: (this recipe is on page 245 of Adriano Zumbo’s cookbook)

  • 220g pouring (whipping) cream (35% fat)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (I used 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
  • 120g water (this is just under 1 cup)
  • 300g caster (white) sugar
  • 60g liquid glucose (available at most supermarkets)

Place the cream and vanilla in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Then, remove from the heat, and remove the vanilla bean if you are using one. In the meantime, place the water, sugar and glucose in a larger saucepan over a low-medium heat and cook until the glucose and sugar are fully dissolved, stirring occasionally. Zumbo’s says to use a clean pastry brush dipped in water to clean the sides of the saucepan in order to avoid crystalisation, however you can also just place the saucepan in really hot water with suds just after use and the sugar will melt off really easily. Increase the heat to medium, and cook the sugar mixture until it reaches a dark amber colour. This does take quite a while, and I was getting worried that mine would not work, but persistence is key here, it will eventually darken after 6-7 minutes. Very carefully stir the cream mixture into the sugar mixture slowly – be very careful because it spits and releases lot of heat. I found the best way to do this was with a spoon with a very long handle, as you want to keep your face as far away from the saucepan whilst it is spitting. If you don’t have a spoon with a super long handle, just add the cream really slowly and try to stir as best you can! Keep stirring as much as you can until the caramel settles down, then stir until completely smooth. Transfer to a bowl, let it cool to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.

Caramel Buttercream: (this recipe is on page 42 of Zumbo’s cookbook)

  • 150g unsalted butter, chopped and softened
  • 300g caramel maison
  • 4.5g sea salt flakes

Place the butter in a bowl, and beat until light and fluffy. Warm the caramel maison in the microwave until it reaches a pouring consistency (mine needed 1 min, 20 seconds on high as it was in the fridge overnight), however, just warm it in stages to prevent burning the caramel. With the beater running slowly, add the caramel maison to the butter and continue mixing until thick. Once I had added about half of my caramel, I got a bit worried because it looked like it was curdling, however as I kept adding the caramel, it began to thicken up. So don’t freak out until you have added all of the caramel to the butter 🙂 Once you have added all of the caramel, fold in the salt. I did not measure my salt, as I used a shaker. So if you too are using a shaker, just salt to taste.

Place caramel buttercream in a piping bag with a round nozzle, and pipe 1/2 – 3/4 tsp onto a macaron shell, and sandwich with another. Place in refrigerator to set. Bring macarons down to room temperature to serve.

If you are not up to making macarons just yet, this caramel buttercream could be used for so many different things. It would be great mixed into a hot chocolate, in a milkshake, or as a topping over ice cream. You could also use it as a tart filling, and even as icing on a cupcake. Mmm…I’m getting hungry just thinking about them all!

Have a great weekend! X

Salt and Vinegar Macarons

Salt and Vinegar has always been my favourite potato chip/crisp flavour. When I saw these Salt and Vinegar Macarons in Zumbo’s crazy book, I just had to make them, especially after the success of the Vegemite Macarons!

Similar to the Vegemite Macarons, the ganache was subtle however you could really taste the balsamic vinegar in the background in addition to the kick of salt. It was a great balance, Zumbo really is a genius!  These were not my best shells overall, it was quite weird, some turned out perfectly and some were cracked all over :S When I come to think of it though, it is the second time this has happened in the past few months, with the last time being when I also added quite a lot of food colouring. May have to watch that…

I really love using flavours and products that I grew up with in the nineties, such as Nesquik and Nutella and turning them into something different, such as a macaron, that everyone can enjoy and can readily make themselves if they wish to.

I also made these macarons for the Mactweets Challenge #30 – ‘School’s Out.‘ This theme was created to encourage people to make macarons that reminded them of their summer holidays. I thought this was a great theme, as there are so many beautiful summery flavours you could use such as tropical fruits, cocktail inspirations or even something along the lines of a soft drink/soda. So, although it is not Summer here in Australia, and is school in still ‘in’ (we have our Summer holidays over December/January when Summer falls), and it is absolutely freezing here in drizzly Melbourne, I still really wanted to make a kind-of summery mac.

Salt and Vinegar reminds me of Summer at the beach – eating hot chips lathered with vinegar and spinkled with salt on a balmy night. Yum!

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • Wilton’s Violet Colouring Gel, I used a lot but I think it may have contributed to some of my shells cracking. Maybe add 1/4 tsp and don’t put them too close to the top of the oven, otherwise the colour is likely to bake out a little.

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If white, thick, powdery bubbles begin to form around the edges, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12 -15 large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons. Macarons keep really well (up to 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop. Macarons taste best when they are stored in the fridge, then brought down to room temperature to eat.

Salt and Vinegar Ganache: (page 39 in Zumbo’s cookbook – I have halved the recipe from the book)

  • 75g thickened cream
  • 125g good quality white chocolate, chopped or broken up
  • 30g balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt, about 1/2 tsp

Place chocolate in a bowl. Place the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until it comes to the boil. Pour hot cream over chocolate and set aside for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in balsamic vinegar and fold in salt. Cool in fridge until firm enough to pipe.

Assembly:

Pair up identical macaron shells. Fit a medium sized piping bag with a round nozzle, and fill with the ganache. Pipe about half a teaspoon of ganache on a shell, and sandwich with the other half.

Don’t be afraid to try some new flavours, you will be surprised at what random flavour combinations will work! (Eg. Salt and Vinegar and White Choc!) X

Nutella and Hazelnut Macarons

I have always been a huuuuge Nutella fan. I always sometimes eat it by spoonfuls out of the jar – but who doesn’t. It really is just way too good. I have had a couple of requests for hazelnut/Nutella macarons recently, so now that Uni has finished and I now have a life again, here they are!

I had seen hazelnut macarons before which only used Nutella as the filling, but I wanted to make them special and go that extra mile so I made a ganache. I used half milk choc and half dark choc, with both cream and nutella. It was delish, how could it not be? Plus, I also roasted some whole hazelnuts, crushed them and used them in the ganache, too. If you are a Nutella fan, it is pretty obvious you are going to lurrrrrrrrve these.

For some reason the shells were slightly extra puffy this time, they were probably my best looking shells yet 😉 You know that you have made a good macaron when you pipe the filling and the shell remains sturdy and doesn’t show any signs of crumbling to the ground, and when they are crunchy on the outside, and chewy and gooey in the middle. Yummmmmm!

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • good quality cocoa, to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If white, really thick, powdery bubbles begin to form around the edges, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment (for these I didn’t add any colouring or cocoa in the mixture, but you could add a bit of cocoa if you wanted). Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12-15 really large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop. Macarons taste best when they are stored in the fridge, then brought down to room temperature to eat.

Hazelnut Ganache: (this great recipe was adapted from the great blog, Penguin Says Feed Me)

  • 110ml thickened cream (I used light thickened cream and the texture was still great)
  • 140g chocolate (I used half milk – Green and Blacks organic, half dark – Callebaut Couveture which my amazing boyfriend bought for me – it’s hugely expensive and I would never buy it myself, but it is fantastic, otherwise you could just use Green and Blacks or Old Gold/Club)
  • 2 generous tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 handful whole hazelnuts (probably about 10 nuts)

Place hazelnuts on an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes in an 150c, or 160c fan forced oven. Pour into mortar and crush with pestle, or just on a chopping board and chop them finely. Set aside. Place chocolate, cream and Nutella in a medium sized saucepan and cook over low-medium heat until melted. Pour into bowl and set aside until firm (I usually make ganache before macarons, then it is firm enough to be piped later on). You don’t need to refrigerate this ganache, but ensure you stir it every half an hour or so.

Assembly:

Pair up identical macaron shells. Spoon ganache into piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe half a teaspoon onto a shell, and top with the crushed hazelnuts, then pipe another half teaspoon, and sandwich with the other shell. Dust with cocoa.

If you are a hazelnut lover, you will be able to eat a whole bowl of this ganache, no worries! You could also top cupcakes, or make a hazelnut/chocolate layer cake, or even a tart, with this ganache. But macarons are always the best 😀

Happy Hazelnuts!

Daisy Macaron Pops

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mummies out there! To help celebrate, I made these super delish Daisy Macaron Pops – sweet, edible flowers filled with lemon curd and raspberry and white chocolate ganache sound pretty exciting to me! I was a little worried about making these, but they turned out a lot better than expected. And I just thought making them ‘pops’ added a bit of novelty. As I had to make two batches, the first one had to sit and wait whilst I made the second one, and it did thicken up a little in the process. As a result, most of the last batch I baked cracked a bit. But that’s okay. They tasted awesome, even though some of the petals looked a bit more like nipples. That’s okay.

The choice of fillings, I must say, were oh so tasty. Lemon curd is one of my faves and when made well, is always a winner. The lemon daisies tasted sooooooooo amazing the next day. And of course, white choc and raspberry is a classic combination. I could have happily spent the rest of the night just staring into space and drinking the ganache out of the bowl. What a lovely mental image 🙂

Macarons: (obviously I made two separate batches for this recipe. TIP – when you are making more than one batch of macarons, don’t ever double the recipe. Measure out the ingredients on their own and make the batches separately. When you have made the first batch, simply give it a good stir every few minutes to stop it from thickening and becoming dry).

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s lemon yellow food colouring gel
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s terracotta pink food colouring gel
  • 1 packet of Wilton’s large lollipop sticks, for Aussies these can be found at The General Trader, or Wheel and Barrow. For others, or Aussies who like to shop online, you can buy them online from Wilton’s website

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If white, thick, powdery bubbles begin to form around the edges, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine.

When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Set aside and make the second batch (repeat process from the start). Spoon the two mixtures into separate piping bags. On both of the piping bags, I used very small round nozzles, like these. You will need to buy a piping set for the finer nozzles, as the Multix ones only contain the wide round nozzle. I bought my piping set from Baking Pleasures. The reason why I used finer nozzles is because I thought it would give me more control over the mixture, as it can be quite oozy and messy. What ended up working best for me was using the wide round nozzle to pipe the rounds, and the finer nozzle for the petals. This worked really well and the mixture did not drip much at all. Once you’ve filled the piping bags, lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier, then carefully pipe seven small and even petals around the circle. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 7 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 8 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 30-35 daisies. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop.

Fillings:

Lemon – for the lemon curd combine 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, and 3/4 cup caster (white) sugar in a saucepan and whisk until smooth. Over a low heat, add 80g chilled butter, and the zest and juice of 2 lemons. Whisk until thickened. Strain through a sieve and refrigerate until firm. Using a piping bag with a round nozzle, pipe 3/4 tsp of lemon curd onto one half of a macaron daisy and place a lollipop stick in the middle, and sandwhich with another.

Raspberry and White Chocolate – to make the white chocolate ganache, combine 115g of white chocolate, 1/2 cup of thickened cream and 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste (optional) in a small saucepan. Stir continuously over a low heat until mixture has melted. Pour into a bowl/small container and leave at room temperature. To make the raspberry coulis, combine 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen) and 3/4 cup caster sugar, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat until raspberries have disintegrated. Strain through a sieve to get rid of the seeds. A teaspoon at a time, carefully spoon the coulis into the white chocolate ganache. You can put as much or as little in as you like. I used all of my coulis. When I tasted it, I got the hit of white chocolate at the start, and then a slight raspberry tang. Refrigerate until firm. When ready to use, spoon ganache into a piping bag with a round nozzle, and pipe 3/4 tsp onto a macaron half and place the lollipop stick in the middle, and sandwich with another. Then take pretty pictures of them in real flowerpots 😛

Happy Mother’s Day! X

 

Grape and Strawberry Nerds Multicoloured Macarons

Who doesn’t love the sweet, soury candy that is the famous Wonka Nerd! I have been thinking about doing some candy flavoured macarons for a while, and Nerds are definitely one of my favourites! Since I had never made multicoloured shells before, I decided to stick to just two colours, the classic pink/purple grape and strawberry Nerds combo.

I was a bit worried about the two colours mixing together, and also having two quality batches! Luckily, the macaron gods were on my side today. However, the gorgeous pastel colours that I had before I put them in the oven did cook out a little bit 😦 I should know this by now…!

For the filling, I made a half buttercream, half ganache. I melted the Nerds down with some cream, made a basic buttercream, and then combined the two. It was insanely glossy and smooth, and had a subtle soury tang from the nerds. I’m surprised that there was any left to actually fill the shells with 😛 Fatty.

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

Obviously, I made two batches for these macarons. Once you have made the first batch, leave it in a bowl, and give it a stir every 5 minutes or so.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s Violet food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp Wilton’s Pink food colouring (if you don’t think there is enough, just add more. The colour in mine did cook out a little as you can see).

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If syrup becomes white and thick, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the colouring now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon alternate colours into a piping bag (one spoon pink, one spoon purple) fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 24 large macarons, and about 50 smaller macarons. Store in the fridge, and bring down to room temperature to serve. Macarons keep really well (about 5 days in the fridge) and some say that the longer they are refrigerated, the more the flavour is likely to develop.

Nerds Buttercream:

  • 175g salted butter – softened, not melted
  • 2 cups icing sugar mixture (I kept 1/2 cup for after I had added the cream, because I didn’t want it to become too watery)
  • 300ml thickened cream
  • 1 1/2 boxes grape and strawberry Nerds (I had a bit of a problem and couldn’t find the regular sized boxed, only the multi packs. If you have the same problem, grab 2 packs, and use three small boxes of each flavour to melt down into the cream).
  • 1 extra box grape and strawberry Nerds

Combine cream and 1 1/2 (3 small boxes of each colour) Nerds in a small saucepan, over a low to medium heat until the nerds melt and the cream slightly thickens. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate. Beat butter until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar, but keep 1/2 cup for after the cream has been added. Once 1 1/2 cups icing sugar has been added, slowly add the Nerds infused cream.

Assembly:

Match the macaron shells with likely pairs. Spoon Nerds buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Pipe half a teaspoon of buttercream onto a shell, and sprinkle with Nerds. Pipe another half teaspoon on top of the Nerds, and sandwich with the other shell. Bon Appetit!

The April Mactweets monthly Mac Attack Challenge was the main reason for these macarons – this month’s theme is ‘Colour My World.’ This meant that you needed to have at least 2 colours in your shells, or a different colour for the top and bottom shells. Check out Mactweets here to see what other macaron obessionists have been whisking up, there are some amazing creations out there!

If you love sour lollies and flavours, this is the macaron for you. The smooth buttercream combined with pings of tangy nerds are seriously a match made in macaron heaven! Enjoy 🙂

Hot Cross Macs with a Spiced Buttercream and Candied Orange Peel

Happy Easter everyone! I seriously cannot believe it is this time of the year already. It only seems like yesterday that Easter Eggs were going on sale at the end of December! I have been wanting to create a Hot Cross Bun inspired macaron for a while now, but have not had the time…so here we finally are! I do love a good Hot Cross Bun, however I am pretty partial to the Choc Chip ones that everybody seems to sell these days, too 😛 I was really happy with how these babies turned out, the flavour of the spices isn’t too intense, and the candied peel adds a traditional hot cross bun element and a fruity kick!

Macarons:

This recipe is Adriano Zumbo’s, and was published a couple of years ago in the Herald Sun. You will definitely need kitchen scales to make macarons.

  • 135g almond meal
  • 135g icing sugar
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 45g egg whites
  • 50g egg whites
  • 40g water
  • 1/2 tsp good quality cocoa

Preheat oven to 170c (160c fan forced). Spray four oven trays with cooking oil spray around the edges, and line with baking paper and set aside. Place almond meal and icing sugar in a large bowl, and sift together 3 times. Set aside, along with the 45g egg whites. Put 50g egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat caster sugar and water in a small saucepan until it is hot and syrupy (if it slightly burns my tongue, it’s done!). If white, thick, powdery bubbles begin to form around the edges, start again!

Begin beating the 50g egg whites with one hand, and with the other, stream the hot sugar syrup down the side of the bowl to create an italian meringue. Beat until stiff peaks form, the meringue should be thick and very glossy. If you want to add flavouring/colouring, now’s your moment. So add the cocoa now. Just lightly beat them into the meringue. Pour meringue into the almond meal, icing sugar and 45g egg whites mixture and mix roughly to combine. When combined, fold mixture together (one single stroke) until there are no air bubbles left. Make a spread across the top of the mixture, and it should disappear in about 20 seconds. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. (If you don’t have a piping bag set, most supermarkets sell plastic ones, they are Multix brand, in an orange box and contain 5 piping bags with a few different nozzles, plus they’re only about $3. You should be able to find them in the baking aisle). Lock the bag by spinning the top around 4 times. Pipe 3-4cm rounds on the oven trays prepared earlier. Gently tap the bottom of the trays and let them sit for about half an hour, or until mixture is dry to the touch.

Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn tray around in the oven and bake for another 7 minutes. To test, pull a macaron off the baking paper. If it is stuck, keep cooking and checking regularly. Cool on trays for 5 minutes, then peel off and place on a wire rack. The mixture should make about 12 large macarons, and about 25 smaller macarons.

Candied Orange Peel: 

  • 1 orange, peeled, then cut into small 1cm thick batons
  • 1/2 cup caster (white) sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Extra cold water

Cover orange peel in a small saucepan with plenty of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, then drain well. Repeat this process. Once peel has been drained for the second time, place again in saucepan, with the water and the sugar. Cook over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Turn up the heat and bring to the boil, and cook, sitrring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until the peel is tender and translucent. Transfer peel to a wire rack with a fork, and cool completely.

Spiced Buttercream:

  • 175g salted butter, softened, not melted
  • 2 cups soft icing sugar mixture
  • 1 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice (you may want more, so just taste as you go!)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

Beat butter until pale and creamy (2-4 minutes). Gradually add the icing sugar and spices, you can add the sugar to taste as well if you like. Sometimes I don’t add the whole 2 cups of sugar. Buttercream should be slightly brown from the spices, and if you follow my quantities, it will be fairly subtle.

Icing for the crosses:

  • 1/4 cup icing sugar mixture
  • 2 tsp water

Combine sugar and water until a thick paste is formed. Spoon in a small snap lock bag, and cut off a tiny part of one of the bottom corners. Gently pipe 2 straight lines to form a cross on top of one macaron shell of each biscuit.

Assembly:

Pair up matching macaron shell combinations. Spoon buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle. Gently pipe half a teaspoon of buttercream onto a shell, and top with one or two pieces of candied orange peel.

Pipe another half teaspoon on top of the peel, and sandwhich with another shell.

These are seiruously yummy, and a great alternative if you find hot cross buns too intense in flavour, which many can be. Enjoy, and Happy Easter!