Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Macarons - Tis the Season to be Jolly lalalalala lalalala


Tis the season to be jolly lalalalala lalalala...hoho Christmas is coming! In just 10 days time! I'm starting to panic...I have tons of presents I haven't buy, many favours and desserts (including a Buche de Noel) I haven't planned nor prepared for, and cards to write! Ahhhhh!

Okay I need to calm down, I pray that everything turns out well and the tasks get done eventually. Haha...I kinda feel better now :).

My first Christmas bake this year is Christmas Macarons. I just love the very festive colour and flavour combination - red and green shells with mint chocolate ganache - totally gets me into the Christmas mood! These are actually made for an upcoming Christmas party this week...talk about being last minute!


Interestingly, my red and green macaron batter were of slightly different consistencies even when they were from the same batch. The red shells turned out alot nicer and smoother with prettier feet compared to the latter...I wonder why.

The filling for these Christmas Macarons caused me a little bit of trouble. I tried 3 types of chocolate - Ghiradhelli 72% dark chocolate, Valrhona Manjari and Valrhona Equatoriale. The first two were wayyyy too bitter. I was so upset that i used up two of my favourite chocolate without any success. In the end, I had to make an additional trip down to the bakery store to get Valrhona Equatoriale, which turned out perfectly matched with the peppermint essence.


Anyway, minor setbacks aside, these are such a joy to photograph! I hope my recipients will enjoy them as much as I do :).

I'm submitting this to the Christmas giveaway hosted by Swee San of The Sweet Spot. She has a really lovely blog, do hop over to visit!
Oh, since this fits the Aspiring Bakers theme for the month, I'm also submitting this to the group! Check the the link here to participate!

Christmas Macarons

Ingredients:
[Shells]
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
120g egg whites (divided equally into two portions)
150g granulated sugar
40g water
1/4 tsp cherry red powdered colouring
1/4 tsp green powdered colouring

[Mint Dark Chocolate Ganache]
80g Valrhona Equatoriale 55% dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
80g heavy cream
10g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp peppermint essence

Preparation:
[Shells]
1. Pulse the ground almonds and confectioners' sugar together in a food processor. Sift together the blended mixture and divide into two equal portions. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook till the sugar syrup reaches 118 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, beat 60g of the egg whites in the electric mixer on medium speed till soft peak form. When the sugar syrup is ready (both should come together at about the same time), pour the syrup in a steady stream into the egg whites with the mixer running on low. Increase the speed to high and beat till you get a thick, glossy meringue and the mixture is cool to the touch (around 10 minutes).
3. Mix half of the remaining egg whites with the first portion of the almond/sugar mixture, and the other half of the egg whites with the second portion of the almond/sugar mixture. Add the green colouring to the first portion, and the red colouring to the second portion. Fold in half of the meringue into each mixture. Fold gently till it flows like lava, with a thick, steady stream flowing from the spatula. Be careful not to overwork the batter as a couple more turns will result in over-runny batter.
4. Transfer the batter into piping bags fitted with big round tips. Pipe onto pre-drawn circles on parchment paper. Leave it out to set for around 25-30 minutes before baking it at 150 degrees Celsius for 13 minutes.
5. Once done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and slide the parchment onto a cooling rack. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the shells from the parchment.

[Mint Dark Chocolate Ganache]
1. Warm the cream in a small saucepan. Pour the cream into a bowl containing the chopped chocolate and let steep for a minute before stirring. Stir in the peppermint essence until a smooth ganache is formed.
2. Let the ganache cool till 40 degrees Celsius, then stir in the unsalted butter until smooth.
3. Pipe a dollop of the ganache onto the red macaron shell and sandwich with a green macaron shell.
4. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.

Yields 30 macarons.

9 comments:

  1. Oh, these are really pretty macs!!!

    Don't panic! Just plan your time! Haha!

    Merry X'mas!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. i love choc and the darker the merrier! hahah. your macarons looks PRETTY! im going to try baking macarons for the first time, SOON. i heard a about a lot of failures and im feeling a bit worried ):

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love the combi colour, looks very festive & sure whoever will receive this will be very happy. I wish to receive one too ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your macarons are beautiful. I love that you used mint ganache. Good luck and enjoy your party!

    ReplyDelete
  5. these are so adorable...i want one! hahaha.

    i really like how ur shells turn out all the time, they are so puffy and pretty, unlike mine :( i want to achieve some cute puffiness too! teach me! lol. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  6. hahahaha... go to her place and you'll get perfect macarons... return home and... >.<

    boo!! the red is shockingly so... hehe... but nice!!! ^.^ i wanna try mint flavoured ones toooooo!!!! can i go rsvp?? lol...

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  7. Hey Allie, nice one. I'm hosting a Christmas Giveaway, do check it out. Have a good Christmas party :)

    http://thesweetspot.com.my

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Pei Lin: Yes, planning my time! I need to do that very soon.

    @Sweetylicious: It's not that tough really :). Many people, me included, have had failures but patience leads to success. Good luck!

    @DG: You're so sweet..thanks!

    @El: This is one of my favourite flavours now!

    @Michelle: Would love to pass you some! But I only saw this now >.<. Perhaps when you drop by one day! :)

    @Kris: HAHA you are so cute. Your macarons turned out nice what! :)

    @Swee San: Thanks Swee San! Sure, I'll check it out. Love giveaways! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oooh, I loved this so much I shared a link on my blog. :)

    http://twocheekymonkeysdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/12/festive-food-roundup.html

    ReplyDelete

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