Entries tagged with “French macaron recipe”.


Have you guessed yet that I love macarons?  They have been a small obsession for a few years now.

So from the idea of celebrating the ’12 days of Christmas’ with holiday inspired macarons, to the selection of flavours (borrowing ideas from traditional Christmas desserts, cookies and breads), to the festive and quirky photographs, it has been a joy to share these creations with you.

Here is a re-cap of my seasonal inspired holiday macarons.  I hope you enjoyed the series and discovered a few new tastes and flavours from around the world.

Day 1 :: White Christmas macarons
Day 2 :: Pfeffernussen macarons
Day 3 :: Candy cane macarons
Day 4 :: Coconut praline macarons
Day 5 :: Rugelach macarons
Day 6 :: Maple date macarons
Day 7 :: Melomakarona macarons
Day 8 :: Cucidati macarons
Day 9 :: Eggnog macarons
Day 10 :: Cranberry macarons
Day 11 :: Chestnut macarons
Day 12 :: Joululimppu macarons

Day 13.  The inspiration?  Chestnuts.  Chestnuts are used abundantly in French cooking and especially at Christmas.  They feature in a range of dishes including the famous Bûche de Noël – a seasonal chestnut log traditional in France.  Here is my salute to France.

{ Chestnut macarons }

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Brown food colouring
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets.  Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Chestnut Buttercream }

* Ingredients *
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
125g or 1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup pureed chestnuts

* Directions *
In a bowl over simmering water, whisk the eggs whites and sugar.  Cook until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 160F or 70C.

Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer and on a medium speed, beat until you reach firm peaks, about 5 minutes.  Slow the speed and add in the room temperature butter one piece at a time.  If the mixture appears to curdle, keep beating on medium speed until smooth again.  Add in the chestnuts.  Makes 2 cups.

Makes 40-50 shells, and 20-25 finished macarons.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

I had visions of watching a happy, bubbly baby entertaining themselves on a play mat in the living room while baking up a storm in the kitchen.  Obviously I had not been exposed to many infants in my life. How wrong I was (LOL)!

Time for baking or blogging, or really anything but 100% care for baby Nina, has been limited.  Do not get me wrong.  It is not a complaint.  Just an observation.

But in saying that, with a few urgent outstanding ‘housekeeping’ tasks growing on my to-do list, I decided to stay awake after bub’s first night feed and get them off my plate, so to speak.  With that now done, and with her next waking imminent, I decided quickly finish the last post of Pink month (now last month’s key theme – whoops, better late than never, right?).

I wanted to end this month with macarons.  For obvious reasons.  I confess I did not bake these macarons fresh.  The bright pink shells were from an extra batch I made just before Nina was born.  However, I did make the filling.  Well, if you can call it filling.

To explain …

It was Mr Mélanger’s birthday two weeks ago.  Each year it is now tradition that I bake him a Black Forest Cake.  Earlier in the year, I had agreed to make the 10 layer Black Forest Cake that featured on Masterchef.  (See first paragraph again for my perhaps ignorance with the time available to do this.)

The task was only accomplished by Mr Mélanger exclusively taking care of baby Nina one weekend morning while I beavered away in the kitchen for what seemed to be hours.

After the final assembly of this cake (which I must recommend!), there was a smattering of components left over.  Some kirsch soaked cherries and a heaping of ultra rich chocolate praline mousse.  My mind quickly ticked over for how I may be able to incorporate these flavours into a macaron.

So the next day I piped a little mousse around a macaron shell and popped a cherry in between, snapped a few photographs, et voilà, here we are!

The result?  The nuttiness of the rich chocolate praline mouse paired wonderfully with the almond based macaron shell.  The overall flavour rounded out by the juicy cherries.  An accidental combination, but a delicious outcome.

A cheat’s petit four?  Yes.  Delicious?  Yes!

{ Cherry macarons }

Pink macaron shells (recipe below)
Chocolate hazelnut praline mousse (recipe below)
Cherry compote (recipe below)

{ Standard macaron recipe }
Italian meringue method

* Ingredients *
100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
Food colour (optional)
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, add half the egg whites with the egg white powder.  Whip to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, add the food colouring (if using).  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.

Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes (depending on size).  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

Depending on your size, the standard macaron recipe should make between 20-25 finished macarons – around 40-50 unfilled shells.

New to making macarons? French macarons :: my ‘how to’ will get you started.

{ Chocolate hazelnut praline mousse } recipe by Gary Mehigan, MasterChef

* Ingredients *
½ cup caster sugar
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted lightly and skinned
300g chopped dark chocolate
3 egg yolks
300ml thickened cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

* Directions *
Line a baking sheet. In a dry heavy-based saucepan, cook sugar over medium heat, stirring, until melted. Once melted, cook without stirring, swirling pan, until lightly golden. Add hazelnuts, stirring until well coated. Immediately pour mixture onto the baking sheet and cool completely, in blast chiller for 5 minutes. Break praline into pieces. Place into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the egg yolks in a small heatproof bowl. Heat 250ml of the cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir through half of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Return the mixture to the saucepan over low heat and stir until thickened. Strain into a clean bowl. Stir the melted chocolate into the hot custard. Add the vanilla and allow to cool. Whisk the remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture with the praline, until just combined. Set aside.

{ Cherry compote } recipe by Gary Mehigan, MasterChef

* Ingredients *
1/3 cup caster sugar
600g pitted fresh cherries, halved
1 tbs kirsch

* Directions *
Add the sugar to a non-stick saucepan and place over medium heat. Once the sugar begins to dissolve add the cherries and cook until they start to release their juices. Add the brandy and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened. Strain, reserving liquor.

19 take 2

It was a simple affair.  36 guests, including bride and groom.  There was no bridal party.  There was no first dance.  There was no cake.  It was perfect.

The day started quietly.  The couple enjoyed a peaceful breakfast on the boardwalk, at a cafe nearby to their hotel in Brisbane city.  Calmly strolling hand-in-hand in the warm spring sunshine, they were pleased they made the decision to spend the morning together.  They returned to the hotel, and commenced the preparations for their big day. 

The bride took a moment to take in her dress.  The Oscar de la Rentainspired’ gown that was handmade by her mother.  She touched the ribbon, the key feature, and shook her head in admiration.  She looked over at the photograph of her father that she brought to the hotel with her.  It had been almost 13 years since he passed away.  But he was there with her.

She touched her throat to the pendant she was wearing.  A gift from her mother.  A very special gift.  Her mother’s engagement ring and her mother’s and father’s wedding bands remodelled into a pendant.  To be worn close to her heart, on this day.

All dressed and suited, with hair and makeup in check, the couple was ready for photographs.  Across from their hotel, walking through the City Botanical Gardens, onlookers offered their congratulations.  The moment felt surreal.

The couple then journeyed across town to New Farm for the ceremony.

Guests arrived at the Rotunda at New Farm Park. The bride and groom greeted each with a glass of champagne.  A selection of 1930s and 1940s jazz provided ambiance.  Night and Day, by Ella Fitzgerald signalled the imminent vows. 

The couple entered the Rotunda, together, clutching hands and smiling broadly, and then exchanged their vows.

More champagne, well wishes and toasts followed.

After mingling with guests, the bride and groom took the lead to the next destination.  Restaurant Rapide*, at Camp Hill.  There they hosted their reception, dinner party style – with superb chef Sam Walter and staff at the ready.

Once again, they individually greeted their guests as they arrived.  And over the course of the next few hours, the intimate group enjoyed a three-course meal (al la carte, from the standard restaurant menu), and a selection of Australian wines.

Upon leaving, guests were offered a box of French macarons handmade by the bride. 

The couple then enjoyed a relaxing two-week honeymoon in Tasmania. 

end take2

* Sorry, no website available.  If you are interested, and have the Gourmet Traveller 2010 Restaurant Guide, see page 91.

 

wed9

 { Image }Macarons :: There was no cake, but 5 tiers of individually boxed champagne macarons.  Each set of two macarons was simply packaged in clear box, with grosgrain ribbon and personalised favour labels providing decoration

  

wed10

 { Images }Macaron shells :: The bride made 144 shells to create 72 filled macarons for her guests, using her standard macaron recipe for the shells, and scented ganache from her former champagne macaron trial

  

wed14

{ Images } Labels and boxes :: The favour labels matched the personalised wedding stationery (the invitation, place cards, ceremony program and thank you cards) that were created by the sister of the bride

  

wed6

{ Images } Wedding Invitations :: The wedding stationery was designed by the sister of the bride – undeniably one of the most admired and awarded illustrators in the country (lucky bride!).  Cameos were included to mimic portraits of the bride’s parents created by a street artist in Montmartre, Paris from their own honeymoon

  

wed8

{ Images } Music list :: The musical selection held much significance to the couple.  A collection of Cole Porter songs were included, a tribute to the song master they attended at QPAC as one of their very first dates.  The bride also reminisced during the compilation of the list, that her father – pianist extraordinaire, and former student of the Royal Academy of Music in London – would have enjoyed the piano-dominated tunes

  

wed11

{ Images } Champagne and flowers :: The wedding did not include many extravagances, but did include a small sampling of a special champagne favoured by the couple

 

wed13

{ Image } Rotunda :: The Rotunda at New Farm Park, Brisbane.  Location of the wedding vows

  

wed2

{ Image } Feet :: Taking advantage of the unique architecture of the Brisbane Powerhouse building and surrounds

  

4151114901_2f67132ee9

{ Image } The Dress ::The Oscar de la Renta ‘inspired’ dress handmade by the bride’s mother.  A superb seamstress, she effortlessly created the dress modelled solely from a few reference photographs

  

wed7

{ Images } The Couple :: Perfect spring day in the City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane

  

wed4

 { Image } The ‘bouquet’ :: The bride carried no flowers, but instead a dramatic ‘bouquet’ of oversized balloons

  

wed12

{ Images } The couple :: Entrance to the City Botanical Gardens, Brisbane. Standing outside Restaurant II, an elegant old stone building opposite the City Botanical Gardens, Brisbane

  

wed1

{ Images } The couple :: The City Botanical Gardens, Brisbane

  

wed5

{ Images } The couple :: Exploring more of the architecture of the Brisbane Powerhouse building and surrounds

  

wed3

 { Image } The bride :: Happy

Bride and groom photography by Sarah Sculley