Raspberry and White Chocolate/ Passionfruit Curd Macarons

Well I hate computers, I hate learning design programs and I hate it when they aren’t working. After spending way too much time getting absolutely nowhere all last week with ridiculous assignments, what I needed was something to work. So really, I shouldn’t have chosen macarons on Thursday, but I did, and thank goodness they worked, because to get SOMETHING right was intensely satisfying and has given me energy to tackle another week of design software, crashing computers and missing files.

Anyway, back to important matters: magnificent macarons. Colourful, delicious, perfect macarons. Oh and perfect buttercream. And passionfruit curd! Oh just writing this is putting me in a good mood again. I had extra egg whites, from… uh I can’t remember? Oh well, it meant macarons, which i coloured half the batch yellow and half were left nude. The yellow shells were smoother, which I think was because they got a few extra folds to incorporate the colouring. I was just going to do ganache in the middle but I found some tins of passionfruit pulp and I just couldn’t get passionfruit curd out of my head…. Which meant using only yolks, so then I had more eggwhites… more macarons anyone? Or even better, fill them with italian meringue buttercream. Oooh white chocolate IMB anyone???

So a happy chain of baking lead to white chocolate and raspberry macarons and white chocolate and passionfruit curd macarons. They were so good, I even broke the ‘don’t eat macarons on the first day’ rule. No regrets.

 

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Macarons

100g aged egg whites (2 days in the fridge)

125g almond meal

125g icing sugar

125g sugar

34g water

Colouring (optional)

Sift icing sugar and almond meal together

Add 50g of egg whites to the sifted ingredients

Heat sugar and water to softball stage (115˚C), while doing this, whisk the remaining egg whites with a stand mixer until softly foaming.

SLOWLY stream the sugar syrup into the egg whites, whisking on high. Whisk until fluffy meringue has formed

Fold the meringue into the dry ingredients in two batches. IMG_0747

Fold in the colouring

Fold until all incorporated and the mix falls like a ribbon from your spoon

Transfer to a piping bag and pipe onto a lined baking sheet.

Allow to dry for 45 minutes or until dry when lightly touched.

Bake at 140˚C for 15 minutes

Match an fill!

 

Passionfruit Curd

2 egg yolks

1 egg

100g sugar

80ml passionfruit pulp

squeeze of lemon juice

30g butter

Whisk all except butter together

Place in a steel bowl over a simmering pot of water (or a double boiler)

Add the butter, stirring constantly until curd has thickened

 

Buttercream

2 egg whites

3/4c sugar

60ml water

150g butter

50g white chocolate, melted

Bring sugar and water to softball stage, while bringing egg whites to softly foaming in a stand mixer

Stream into egg whites and beat on high until meringue forms

Keep beating until the bowl is cool to the touch (10 minutes)

Gradually add butter while beating.

Don’t panic if it seems to curdle or go soupy ( if curdling, keep whisking, if soupy, place in the fridge for 10 minutes and then continue to whisk.

Add the white chocolate beating until incorporated.

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Assembly

Macaron shells

Buttercream in a piping bag with a circular nozzle

passionfruit curd

raspberry jam

This is how I did it, but fill them how you would like 🙂

 

 

 

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Cupcake Day

Oh to experiment and have it turn out so perfectly every time would be wonderful…. though slightly boring. I’ll leave my trials and tribulations to macarons and keep simple enjoyment for cupcakes. On a day when I just something to bring sunshine back into my world, baking these cupcakes provided the perfect cure. They are amazing, and may have sparked what I’m calling the Cupcake Diet; wonderful, but not to be indulged in too often. Four amazing flavours were topped with fluffy perfect icing from my new piping nozzle: vanilla, strawberry, lemon and coffee. Anyway, enough chitchat I’ll share these gorgeous photos with you because I can’t not: spring is in the air and the flowers are starting to bloom. I’m back in my happy place, thank you cupcakes.IMG_0712IMG_0715IMG_0716
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Red Velvet Birthday Cake

Another post from baking abroad! We celebrated a couple of big birthdays on holiday as well as a couple of little birthdays, and so to commemorate them, a cake was needed. With one of the birthday girls turning 8 and favouring pink and flowers, the choice of decoration was obvious. And to follow through, a lovely red velvet cake underneath. Difficult to undertake without a mixer or my usual repertoire of ingredients, this cake was a resounding success, though I was unhappy with with the icing (the quality of butter was terrible). The red velvet recipe is from Sweetapolita but slightly adapted. The meringue recipe can be found here.

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Red Velvet Cake (adapted from here)

  • 170 g unsalted butter
  • 225 g packed light brown sugar
  • 200 g white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons  vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon super red soft gel pasteIMG_1168
  • 3 eggs
  • 310 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 360 ml buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy

Add the eggs, vanilla and colouring and beat until combined

Add the combined flour and cocoa powder in three batches, alternating with the butter milk

Add the mayonnaise

Combine the vinegar and bicarb and then add to the cake mix

Bake in lined tins at 180˚C for 20-25 minutes. Time varies dependingon oven and tins, so watch your oven.

 

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Dessert Trio: Mille Feuille, Chocolate Orange Macarons, Chocolate Mudcake Slice

Family gatherings are a great opportunity to surprise and please people with lovely food. I had a relatively uneventful day putting together this trio and they were well received. Despite not being able to find glucose syrup anywhere (I walked stores flat for more than two hours!), even my fondant for the mille feuille was pretty good. IMG_1205

I’ve refined my macaron recipe yet again! I’ve switched to an italian meringue recipe, which seems to be more stable. I love italian meringue! So fluffy and silky, there’s almost nothing more satisfying than perfect meringue. And my macarons worked perfectly in my aunt’s oven. Yeah, it went well.ImageProxy.mvc

The chocolate cake is squiggly and intense and full of hidden veggies! aubergine was the star here! topped with chocolate ganache and fresh strawberries, this just popped on the plate.

I’ll post the recipe for the macarons and the chocolate cake here, as I have already done a post on my mille feuille before.

IMG_1209Chocolate Orange Macarons

125g icing sugar

125g almond meal

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

100g egg whites

125g caster sugar

1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

34g water

1. sift together the icing sugar, cocoa powder and the almond meal

2. place the caster sugar and the water in a medium saucepan and bring to softball heat (115˚C)

3. while the sugar is heating, start to whisk 50g of egg white in a stand mixer, until just foaming

4. once the sugar has reached 115˚C slowly stream it into the egg whites while whisking on high. Whisk until glossy and cool

5. add the other 50g of egg white to the icing sugar/almond meal mix

6. fold half of the meringue into the dry mix, then the other half

7. fold or macaronage until smooth, and the mix falls in a thick ribbon

8. Transfer to a piping bag, pipe small circles onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper

9. rest until a skin has formed

10. bake for 15 minutes at 140˚C or until they are able to be picked up off the sheet

11. fill with cream cheese icing

50g butter

250g icing sugar

70g cream cheese

30g melted dark chocolate

orange jest

whisk the butter until light and fluffy, add the icing sugar and continue to whisk to a paste, add the cream cheese and the chocolate and whisk to combine.

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Chocolate Mudcake slice

400g aubergine

300g chocolate chopped

200g honey

3 eggs

100g almond meal

2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp brandy

1. peel and chop the aubergine, place in a microwaveable dish with a bit of water and cover with cling wrap. Microwave for 8 minutes

2. place chocolate in with the aubergine to melt from the heat of the aubergine

3. whisk up the eggs, honey, almond meal, baking powder and brandy

4. once the chocolate is completely melted, blend until smooth, then fold through the other mixture.

5. pour into a square baking tin lined with baking paper and bake at 180˚C for 25-30min

6. allow to cool before topping with ganache and slicing into squares

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