Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze


 
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller
Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller

Hi hi! Continuing on my ‘must fry everything’ kick from last week, I am super jazzed to share this lemon cruller recipe with a super simple lemon and honey glaze. If you haven’t had a cruller before they are essentially fried choux dough (same as what is used for eclairs, which I still need to make), and they are ridiculously delicious. The great part about making choux dough is that you can make a whole bunch of different things all in one go, and it freezes super well, so if you don’t want 14 crullers all at once (not the worst thing to have happened to me), you can freeze some, or pipe some out into cream puffs or eclairs, and have a whole little choux family!

I kept things nice and easy this time, adding a little lemon zest to the choux dough, and dipping them in a lemon and honey glaze. My initial batch I was having super intense sog issues with, which I realised was from adding honey to the dough - the sugar was causing them to brown too fast, leaving me with an undercooked inside, soggy crullers, and seriously bummed out. Once I realised that I needed to nix the honey in the dough itself and just keep it in the glaze, and up the oil temp a bit, we were away laughing!

Like I mentioned earlier, I recently got a new deep fryer, which I am finding super useful to make doughnuts, as it saves a whole lot of fluffing around with oil temperatures. However, until now I had just been using a dutch oven and a thermometer, and it worked great - you just have to make sure that you are checking the oil between each batch. It may help to fry less at a time too to help you control this. Both methods work great!

A few wee tips:

  • I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test. 

  • I started making these by drawing a circle on each square of parchment paper, which takes way longer than it needs to. I watched a video and had a small mind blowing revelation - instead of drawing on each individual square of parchment, you draw on one, then use that as a template. When you pipe, you place the piece of parchment you are going to use over the master template, then pipe a circle, following the template, then pop it onto the sheet pan, and place the next piece over the master template. This way you only have to draw one circle, which you use over and over! Game changer.

  • Make sure that you do a test cruller when it comes to frying - if the oil is too cool they will go soggy or not cook properly inside, causing them to collapse. Test one, then take it out of the oil and rest for a few minutes to ensure that it does not collapse. If it does, it is not properly cooked inside - either increase your cooking time, or increase your oil temperature.

 

 

Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze

- Makes about 14 Crullers -

Lemon Crullers
125g whole milk
125g water
110g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
20g sugar
5g kosher salt
5g vanilla bean paste
Zest of 2 Lemons finely grated
175g all-purpose flour
240g egg, lightly beaten, plus one extra egg if needed (see notes)
Neutral oil for frying

Lemon Honey Glaze
300g powdered sugar, sifted
45g lemon juice
30g honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Gold Leaf to finish, optional

 

- PROCESS -

LEMON CRULLERS

Cut about 14 or 15 squares of parchment paper approximately 3” x 3”. Using a cookie cutter or other circular tool, draw a circle 2 1/2” diameter on a piece of paper. This will be your master template (See notes). Fit a large piping bag with a closed star tip (I used an ateco #847)

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla bean paste, and lemon zest. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste. 

Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture. 

With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 240g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate. 

Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circle as a guide, pipe circles onto the parchment paper squares, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough - the parchment squares can overlap a little. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for an hour.

About 20 minutes before the hour is up, fill a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat over medium until it registers 375˚f (190˚c) on a candy thermometer. Alternatively you can use a deep fryer. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan.

Working in batches, frying two to three doughnuts at a time, peel them off the paper and carefully lower into the oil. Fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning often to ensure even cooking, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts - leave them in the freezer until you fry them.  Cool before glazing.

GLAZE

Place the cooled doughnuts on a wire rack. Dunk one at a time in the glaze, allow additional glaze to drip off, and then place on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts. Finish with gold leaf if desired.

Best eaten on the day that they are made. Store leftovers at room temperature.

Lemon Crullers with Lemon and Honey Glaze - Fluffy, crispy lemon scented crullers are dipped in a lemon and honey glaze and finished with delicate gold leaf. Crullers are made by frying choux dough, and are a must-try if you haven't made them before! #crullers #doughnut #lemoncruller

Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva


 
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons
Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons

Jase and I have made a heck of a lot of macarons, but somehow we have managed to get to this point without any ‘variations on a theme’, and i’m not quite sure why we haven’t done it earlier! These two mac recipes were the result of a super fun baking day with our friends Jill and Rachel - Rachel owns the amazing Seed and Mill in Chelsea Market here in NYC, so we wanted to see if we could tie in some tahini and halva into the flavours, and I think we definitely achieved that with this little sesame situation that we are sharing with you today!

I made a salted caramel milk chocolate ganache a while back and used it to fill doughnuts, and have been thinking about how I can incorporate it into a mac filling. The great thing about a ganache is that it is cream based, so you can very easily add in anything to the cream which will flavour it - tea, miso, etc etc. I stirred a solid amount of tahini into the cream before proceeding with the rest of the ganache, and it added the most incredible depth of flavour. Tahini and chocolate is such an amazing combination, and paired perfectly with a lightly chocolate flavoured mac shell. We finished them off with a sesame brittle Jase happened to have in his pantry, which was the best co-incidence but also the perfect pairing, as the sesame seeds provided an amazing crunchy texture which stood up perfectly against the silky ganache.

The second mac we dusted with cocoa powder before baking, and filled with one of my fave things ever - coffee German buttercream, which we amped up a little with a piece of coffee halva inside each macaron. I could go on and on about how much I love Coffee German buttercream, but I won’t - just make it. It is SO GOOD, and so delicious against the chewy mac shell.

I think you’ll be seeing a bunch more of these variation on a theme posts from now - they are super fun to come up with, and extra fun to shoot! Of course you don’t have to make both flavours, but we all love options!

A few wee tips:

  • All my best mac tips are here!

  • The Sesame brittle on the chocolate macs is totally optional but a lovely crunchy element - we added it to only some to give some visual variation and I loved how it looked!

  • If you wanted to just do a regular salted caramel milk chocolate ganache in the macs, use this recipe - I would drop the cream to 500g

  • The ganache definitely needs some time to set up - overnight is best, and if you can, make the brittle and the pastry cream for the coffee buttercream the day before too.

  • The Chocolate tahini ganache ideally needs to be kept in the fridge, so store your finished macs in the fridge until ready to eat, then let sit at room temp to warm up slightly!

 

 

Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle

- Makes about 24 Macarons-

Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache
270g milk chocolate, chopped
500g heavy cream
250g Tahini
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 tsp salt
35g water
240g sugar
30g light corn syrup or glucose
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Sesame Brittle
60g (3 Tbsp) honey
15g (1 Tbsp) water
65g (1/2 cup) black sesame seeds
65g (1/2 cup) white sesame seeds

Chocolate Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
270g powdered sugar
20g cocoa powder
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g white sugar

 

- PROCESS -

SALTED CARAMEL TAHINI MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.

In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, place the cream, tahini, vanilla bean paste and salt, and place over low heat. You just want to warm it - not let it boil. It will seem as if the mixture is very thick to begin with from the tahini but it will loosen up a little as it warms. Stir frequently and keep warm, but not boiling.

In a medium heavy bottomed pan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring or swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture is a deep amber colour. Remove from the heat and add a third of the warmed cream mixture. Be careful as it will steam and sputter. Whisk well to combine. Add the second third, combine, then add the remaining cream, and whisk until well incorporated.

Pour a third of the caramel cream mixture over the chopped chocolate, then cover the bowl with a lid or plate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Mix with a stick blender to emulsify the mixture. Add the remaining caramel mixture in two additions, mixing well with the stick blender to ensure even incorporation.

Cool the mixture to 95°f / 35°c (you can either leave it at room temperature, stirring occasionally, which will take some time, or you can pop it into the fridge, stirring and checking the temperature often), then add in the butter and mix with the stick blender to emulsify. Transfer to an airtight container and leave to set overnight in the fridge.

 

SESAME BRITTLE

Preheat the oven to 325°f / 160°c. Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Combine the honey and water in a small saucepan, and gently heat until combined. Add the sesame seeds and stir until incorporated, then spread the mixture thinly onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the sesame seeds are golden and fragrant, checking frequently.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool - it will harden as it cools. Break into chunks. Store in an airtight container until needed.

CHOCOLATE MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Sift together the ground almonds, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Sift again to ensure there are no large clumps.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. 

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth. 

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for 18-22  minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 

ASSEMBLY

Place the salted caramel tahini ganache in a piping bag fitted with a round tip. Crumble some of the brittle into a bowl.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a blob of ganache on one half of each pair. Top with the second shell, pressing down to secure. Sprinkle with the sesame brittle.

Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva

- Makes about 24 Macarons-

Coffee German Buttercream
190g whole milk
20g (about 2.5 Tbsp) coarsely ground coffee
110g sugar
12g (1 1/2 Tbsp) cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg
1 egg yolk
½  tsp kosher salt
340g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Cocoa for dusting (optional)

Crumbled Halva for assembly (We used Coffee Halva from Seed and Mill)

 

- PROCESS -

COFFEE GERMAN BUTTERCREAM

In a medium saucepan, heat the milk to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat, add the coffee, stir well, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain through a very fine mesh sieve, and re-weigh the infused milk and top up to 190. Wipe out the saucepan, and return to the milk mixture to the heat. Bring to just shy of a simmer. Meanwhile, In a bowl, whisk together the corn starch and sugar, then whisk in the vanilla, egg, egg yolk and salt.

Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.

Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath. Stir frequently.

Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Whip for a further 2 minutes.

 

MACARON SHELLS

Preheat oven to 300˚f / 150˚c, and position the oven rack in the centre of the oven. Using a round cookie cutter or the base of a large piping tip (something about 1.5 inches in diameter), draw a "template" for your macarons on a piece of parchment paper, leaving about 3/4" between each circle. 

Combine the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Sift the mixture twice, to ensure there are no large lumps and that the mixture is properly aerated. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, increase the mixer speed, and whip on high until the meringue starts to firm up. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Continue to whip until the meringue forms stiff peaks (there is a good example here). 

Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add half of the ground almond and powdered sugar mixture, and fold into the meringue. You want to deflate the meringue just a little at this stage, to combine the meringue and ground almond mixture. 

Add the remaining ground almond mixture, and stir lightly to combine. Now comes the important part - mixing the batter to the correct consistency. Again, this video does a good job of explaining it. Fold the mixture in a series of 'turns', deflating the batter by spreading it against the side of the bowl. Turn the bowl slightly and repeat the movement - scooping the batter from the bottom of the bowl, and spreading it against the side. Continuously check the consistency of the batter - you want it to flow like lava when you lift the spatula from the bowl, and you should be able to 'draw' a figure 8 with it, without the batter breaking (again, watch lots of videos to get an idea! They help so much). This step can take some practice until you know what it should feel and look like. If in doubt you are better to under mix them than over mix them - the process of putting the batter into the bag and piping out will help mix a little too.

Fit a large pastry bag with a medium sized round tip, such as an ateco #805. Place the macaron template on a sheet pan, and place a second piece of parchment over it. Holding the piping bag at a 90˚ angle to the surface, pipe out the batter into blobs the size of the circles drawn on the template. Finish off each piped circle with a little "flick" of your wrist to minimise the batter forming a point (it will still form a small one, but we can get rid of this with banging). Remove the template from under the macarons.

Hold the baking sheet in two hands, and carefully but firmly, evenly bang it against the bench. Repeat this a few more times - this will get rid of any air bubbles, remove points on the top, and help them to spread out slightly. Dust the tops of the shells with cocoa powder.

Repeat the piping and banging process until you have used up all of the batter - I usually make three sheet pans worth.

Allow the macarons to dry at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes, or until they form a skin that you can touch without your finger sticking to them. This time will drastically vary depending on the humidity. 

About fifteen minutes before you are going to bake the macarons, place a spare sheet pan in the oven to preheat - this is going to be used to place under the pan with the macarons on it, to double up, which should help with even baking. Bake the macarons one sheet at a time - place the sheet with the macarons on the preheated sheet, and place in the oven. 

Bake for approximately 18 minutes, rotating the pan once during the cooking process, and checking for doneness after 15 minutes. The macarons should develop a foot (the ruffled part on the bottom of the macaron), and bake without browning. To see if they are done - press down lightly on a shell. If the foot gives way, it needs a little longer, if it is stable, then it is close to being done. Test a macaron shell - if you can peel it away cleanly from the paper, they are done. If they are stable but cannot yet peel away cleanly, give them another minute or so. Again, this part takes a little trial and error depending on your oven. If they seem done but do not peel away cleanly, do not worry - there is a little trick for that! 

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the sheet pan for 10 minutes before peeling off the parchment paper and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat the baking with the remaining trays, using the same spare sheet pan to double up.

If your macs do not peel away cleanly, place them, on the parchment paper, into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, then peel away from the paper. 

Store cooled macarons in an airtight container until ready to use. 


ASSEMBLY

Place the coffee German Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a french star tip such as an ateco #866. Crumble up the Halva.

Pair up the macaron shells, and pipe a round of buttercream on one half of each pair. Place some crumbled halva in the middle of the ring of buttercream. Top with the second shell, pressing down to secure.

Macarons taste best if you 'mature' them in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, but they are perfect eaten immediately too! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Sesame Macarons Two Ways - Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Tahini Milk Chocolate Ganache and Sesame Brittle, and Vanilla Bean Macarons with Coffee German Buttercream and Halva. These two 'variations on a theme' show off the amazing versatility of tahini - a silky tahini chocolate ganache, and a halva stuffed macaron. #frenchmacarons #glutenfree #macarons

Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment


 
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake

I got to do a really special thing last weekend - I made cakes for our friend’s wedding. Our good friends got married, and when we heard that they were engaged, I offered to make cakes for them! It’s such a fun thing to do for friends, and I got a zillion questions about my process, so I decided to pop it all here so I have a place to direct people! Rich said multiple times throughout the process “I can’t believe how chill you are about this” (Usually I’m super stressed and panicky about literally everything I do in my life, ever), which I think came down to the planning I did leading up. I planned a lot throughout the week, but did the majority of the workload across two days.

We changed things up a little from the traditional tiered wedding cake, and instead went for five individual cakes. There were 100 guests at the wedding, so I did four 8” cakes, and one larger 10” cake to make sure there would be enough. The great part about having a site with loads of recipes on it that you know is that I can direct people here, and get them to choose from the recipes I already have. They chose a whole bunch of different cakes, which was not only super fun to make, but looked amazing all lined up at the venue! I have a good sized collection of Aheirloom cake stands, so I used them to keep some continuity, but I think this would look so pretty with a whole range of different cake stands too. Cake tables for the win. They were such a huge hit, and I am so honoured to be have been included in our friend’s day! Congrats Damon and April! x

I wanted to leave all my wee tips and tricks I could think of here just in case they are helpful! One thing that REALLY helped is that we have a walk in fridge in our reception of our building (So weird, but SO convenient), so I was able to put two of the cakes down there overnight, which helped loads. Clearing out your fridge would work well too, or borrowing a friend’s fridge space! Just make sure the cakes have time to chill before you transport them. You want them to be nice and cold so that you don’t have to worry about any meltage.

Here are the cakes that we ended up with (in the order they are pictured)

  • Earl Grey Cake with Marmalade filling and Vanilla Bean German Buttercream

    • This cake, with a double batch of the buttercream, and a store bought marmalade, decorated in the style of this cake.

  • Vanilla Bean Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue buttercream

    • I didn’t make any switches in this recipe - I just used this one from my site.

  • Chocolate Mud Cake with Cherry Filling and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

    • This one was twin peaks inspired (I haven’t seen it before!), so I did a 1.5 x of this cake, which I baked into 3 x 8” pans, and then cut each cake into two, giving me six layers. I swapped the gluten free flour called for in the recipe for regular flour as it was not required to be gluten free. I then filled it with a store bought Cherry Jam, and finished it with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which I coloured hot pink. This cake also had a sprinkle twin peaks inspired top and sprinkles on the sides - I used sprinkles from Sprinkle Pop Shop.

  • Dairy Free Lemon Cake with Dairy Free Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue

    • The Bride’s Mum is Dairy Free, so I tweaked this recipe a little - I used vegan butter in the curd, and cashew yoghurt in the cake, and it turned out amazing! I then made a quick powdered sugar based buttercream (american buttercream, half this recipe but with vegan butter and no milk or coconut would work great) to stack the cake, then chilled overnight and then covered the day of with swiss meringue, which I torched.

  • Devil’s Food Cake with Hazelnut Chocolate Frosting and Salted Chocolate German Buttercream

    • This cake, doubled and baked in 3 x 10” layers (make sure you have a massive bowl), filled with one batch of this frosting and layered and stacked with a double batch of this German Buttercream

My Timeline:

Monday: Make a list of all the cakes, all the fillings, all the buttercreams, and work out what I am going to need for each.
Tuesday: Make a shopping list, and either do the shop, or order everything to be delivered via online shopping (I went for online shopping, because NYC life)
Wednesday: Get shopping delivered, organise all your groceries, clear out space in your fridge, make a game plan, make any fillings that can be done ahead such as your curd fillings
Thursday: Make alllll the layers. Cool completely, level off, and store in the fridge overnight. Make any buttercream bases (German buttercream you can make the pastry cream the day before as it ideally needs time to cool)
Friday: Make all of your buttercreams, stack and frost the cakes, chill overnight (The overnight chill makes the transport part much less stressful as you know that all your cakes are well chilled).
Saturday: Make any last touch ups, cover the lemon cake with meringue and torch (It will weep if left too long so I did it the day of), transport to the venue!

A few wee tips:

  • You can make your life easier by doing things like making all of the pastry cream for the german buttercream at once, and then portioning it out to whip up individual batches. I think I did a quadruple batch of the buttercream needed to make this cake, cooled it all in one container, and then weighed it, and used as much as I needed for one batch at a time. It means you aren’t making pastry cream a whole bunch of times, just once.

  • I used Acrylic cake discs which I got Rich to cut me on the laser cutter, but cardboard cake boards work great too. I used one that was the size of the cake, and then another which was two inches larger, stuck down with double sided tape, which made moving the cakes around super easy.

  • I popped some milkshake straws through the largest cake just to help give it some stability. Poke them down into the cake, then measure how long they need to be, and snip them off then poke them back into the cake

  • Give yourself a SOLID buffer. Like, a whole day’s worth if you can. I know someone quite well (spoiler alert - it’s me) who has had multiple cake disasters in the back seats of ubers where improperly chilled cakes had total structural blowouts. It’s not cute. Leave time to chill your cakes, and to organise all the last minute bits and bobs. I think this was key to me being a bit chill!

Please feel free to leave any questions or things I may have missed below - always happy to help! x

 

 
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake