Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Macaron Cake: Raspberry & Vanilla

Hazza! So I had seen a few photos of macaron cakes and large macarons a few months ago, and, naturally, thought they looked awesome, but too awesome for my macaron-ing skills. However, I felt confident enough to finally try it and venture out of the not-so-comfortable-macaron-comfort-zone. And I'm so glad I did because it worked! I wondered whether perhaps it would be more difficult to go wrong with a large macaron than individuals, considering you don't need it to rise, and the feet can be forgiven for being small. However, it is probably more prone to cracking/bursting etc.

To make this, I just made a batch of macaron batter (enough for 50 little macs) and piped out the mixture, in halves, onto baking paper-lined trays marked with a circle measuring approximately 15cm in diameter. I left the piped batter to rest a little longer than usual (about 75 minutes) and sandwiched the shells together with a chantilly crème patissière (cream and crème patissière).

I tossed on a few mini marshmallows for a little 'ironic whimsy' (as my Dad pointed out) to somewhat juxtapose the general theme of the cake. 

I had leftover chantilly pastry cream (and raspberries), so filled some muffin pan crevices with shortcrust pastry and baked them blind. I then filled the pastry cases with the pastry cream and raspberries, and drizzled them with a sugar syrup. I had just enough ingredients to make 11 tartlettes.


5g dehydrated egg white powder

28g granulated sugar
225g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
100g egg whites

1. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.

2. Measure out the dehydrated egg white powder and granulated sugar into a little bowl and stir to combine, then set aside.

3. Grind the icing sugar and ground almonds together in a food processor and sift into a small-medium bowl.

4. In a large, clean, dry bowl of a freestanding mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy and then sprinkle in the sugar and egg white powder while continuing to beat. Increase the speed of the mixer and keep whisking until a firm, glossy (but not stiff) meringue forms.

5. Using a soft spatula, fold in the almond-sugar mixture to the meringue in thirds, until fully amalgamated. Be cautious not to over mix, as you want the batter to flow off the spatula in a thick ribbon.

6. Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a plain nozzle (approximately 1cm diameter) and pipe two circles (approximately 15cm diameter) onto the prepared baking trays. Firmly rap the trays against a counter top until the any air bubbles come to the surface- pop, with a cocktail stick, any which don’t burst. Leave the piped macarons for 30-60 minutes before placing into the lower half of a preheated oven (300F/150C/mark 2) for approximately 15 minutes.

7. Allow the macarons to cool on a wire rack before removing from the trays and sandwiching the two shells together with the filling. Refrigerate and allow to mature for at least 24 hours.

Chantilly Crème Patissière Recipe from Martha Stewart

120ml milk
120ml double cream
1 vanilla bean, split/ 1tsp vanilla paste’
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
2 ½ tbsp plain flour

250g double cream

1. Place the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod, if using.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and creamy. Whisk in the flour. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture, and once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

3. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook for a further two minutes, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat and pour the pastry cream into a bowl. Leave to cool before covering with cling film (ensure the cling film touches the surface of the crème patissière) and refrigerating until cool.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the double cream to soft peaks. Add a little of the cream to the crème patissière and mix well to soften. Continue adding the cream in gentle folding motions, being careful not to over-whip or deflate. Refrigerate the chantilly pastry cream for about half an hour.

To assemble, lay a macaron shell bottom-up and pipe or spread the chantilly crème patissière on top. Top with the other shell, top side up and arrange raspberries/raspberry halves between the shells, around the circumference and on top of the cake.

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