Sunday, December 21st, 2008
It’s just a few days left to Christmas. Hopefully you’re all done with the Christmas shopping so you can focus on the baking and candy making. This is a very simple recipe for very delicious homemade crispy chocolate treats with nougat.
Crispy chocolate treats with nougat
(makes two baking sheets of chocolate)
200 gram nougat
200 gram high quality dark chocolate (at least 70 %)
125 gram Kellogg’s corn flakes (unsweetened)
chopped blanched almonds
Melt the nougat and chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave. When the mixture has melted, remove from heat and let cool a bit. Add the corn flakes and carefully combine until all corn flakes are covered. With a dessert spoon, divide the mixture into lumps on a parchement covered baking sheet. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top and let cool in the fridge.
Friday, December 5th, 2008
On Monday I had a day off and I quickly decided it would be The Macaron Day. I’ve been wanting do bake macarons for a very long time and finally I found the right day when I had time and inclination.
My first batch actually had totally different flavor than the ones I’m blogging about. Flavor wise it wasn’t a bad idea and they came out with the characteristic feet and all, but they were a bit over baked and just a tiny bit too flat. So I decided to do a new batch, using a lower oven temperature. Before I knew it I decided to change approach and go for coffee instead. When the macarons were drying before baking them, I decided to create a Baileys ganache that came out delicious. I could eat it with a spoon!
This second batch was much better, but I’m still a macaron amateur. I think the key is to know your oven.
The finished sandwiched macarons taste best on the second day, when the flavors of the macarons and filling are “married”. Maybe they taste even better on the third day, however I can’t know that as they mystically disappeared by then.
makes around 25-30 sandwiched macarons
(adapted from Tartelettes step-by-step instruction).
100 gram egg whites
50 gram caster sugar
200 gram icing sugar
110 gram blanched almonds, whole or ground
3 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Ground the almonds by mixing them in a food processor until you have a sort of flour. Add icing sugar and mix for about 10-20 seconds. Add the instant coffee powder and mix again for a couple of seconds.
Whip the egg whites with an electric beater until they start to thicken, then gradually add sugar until the egg whites have become a thick and glossy meringue.
Combine meringue with icing sugar and almond mixture. Carefully fold the mixture, not using more than 50 strokes.
Fill a pastry bag with a plain tip and pipe small rounds (about 3-4 cm in diameter) on the parchment covered baking sheets. Let the macarons dry for 1 – 1.5 hours in room temperature so the shells will harden. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 150 degrees C hot convection oven, leaving the door slightly ajar. Turn the baking sheet after 7 minutes. Again this is what works when using my oven. When looking online this really differs, so you need to test what works best for your oven. After a total of 10 minutes remove from oven and let cool. If the macarons stick to the parchment paper, brush water underneath and carefully remove them from the parchment paper.
My own Baileys ganache
50 ml double cream
100 gram white chocolate
1 tbsp Baileys
Heat the cream in a sauce pan. Add chopped white chocolate and directly remove from heat. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Add Baileys. Fill a pastry bag and let cool in the fridge until it’s firm enough to pipe.
Pair macarons of similar size and pipe Baileys ganache on the flat side of one macaron. Top with another macaron matching the flat sides. Even if it’s hard and you would like to eat all macarons directly try to refrigerate for one day so the flavors blend together.