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!
Anyway, minor setbacks aside, these are such a joy to photograph! I hope my recipients will enjoy them as much as I do :).Christmas Macarons
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
120g egg whites (divided equally into two portions)
150g granulated sugar
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
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.