Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts


 
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts
Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts

Oye. It’s been a rough few days. My heart hurts for New Zealand - I am heartbroken that such a thing happened in my country, which has always seemed like such a safe haven. It’s reminded me just how important unity and acceptance is, and that we must always stand in each other’s corner. Everyone is welcome here.

Something else I was reminded about though, seeing the country rally behind a community, was how instrumental food is in bringing people together. Whenever things get a bit rough or a bit stressful, either for us or for someone I love, I always find myself turning back to food. It provides a bridge - a common ground everyone can relate to, and is a way of sharing. It can speak the words that may be too difficult to say. It really is my way of expressing love, and I know that rings true for a lot of people. There are few better ways to show you’re there for someone than through providing food.

This recipe is particularly relevant today, because Doughnuts are something that I often make to bring to others if I know they are having a hard time or are in need of some support. I took my all time favourite brioche recipe, which seems to sneak its way into so many things I make, spiked it with some vanilla bean, and shaped it into balls, which I then fried up into fluffy, crunchy, sugary brioche doughnuts. You really can’t get any better than a fresh doughnut.

I then filled them with a new to me filling - a salted caramel milk chocolate ganache. The process behind this is super clever - you make a caramel, and then pour it over chocolate and emulsify it in, the same way you would with the ganache. The result is silky and fudgy, with a creaminess from the milk chocolate and a sweetness from the caramel. It makes the perfect doughnut filling - I will definitely be using it in a bunch more things to come.

In the past I have always used a vegetable oil or canola oil to fry with, but recently I have started using Filippo Berio’s Extra Light Olive Oil. Not only is it a more healthy option, but it is great quality and has a high smoke point (410°f - 446°f), which makes it perfect for frying. It is super light in taste, so there is no need to worry about the flavour of the oil transferring to your baked goods. It is definitely my go to from now on - I really recommend giving frying in olive oil a try and see how it goes!

A few wee tips:

  • The Ganache (which is possibly my new favourite thing) needs to cool overnight in order to firm up. It can be made ahead if desired. If you have any leftover, it makes incredible salted caramel hot chocolates when you mix it with warm milk.

  • You ideally need a stick blender / emulsion blender for the ganache. It helps to emulsify the caramel, giving you a super silky finish. A stick blender is a great investment - I use mine loads for making curds and creams, and also a whole bunch for making salad dressing (It makes super quick aioli!).

  • I made the brioche dough the night before, and did the first rise overnight in the fridge, which makes the process feel a little less involved.

  • Make sure that you give the doughnuts adequate time to cool before filling, otherwise the ganache will melt.

  • It seems like a lot of oil used, but I wait for the oil to cool once I am finished frying, then just return to the bottle and use again another time. You can use it a bunch of times before you need to dispose of it! You need it to be deep enough that the doughnuts don’t touch the bottom.

  • A thermometer is super important when you are deep frying - too hot and the doughnuts won’t cook inside, and too cold and they will soak up oil and be too greasy. Make sure to test the oil between batches to make sure that it hasn’t changed too much. Frying in cast iron helps this a lot.

 

 

Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts

- Makes about 12 -

Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache
270g milk chocolate, chopped
540g heavy cream
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

Brioche Dough
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
250g (1 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
4 Tbsp (50g) sugar
565g (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
90g (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature

For Frying
Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil
150g sugar, for rolling doughnuts


 

- PROCESS -

SALTED CARAMEL MILK CHOCOLATE GANACHE

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl.

In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, place the cream, vanilla bean paste and salt, and place over low heat. You just want to warm it - not let it boil.

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 adda 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 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.

BRIOCHE DOUGH

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk and 2 Tbsp of the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 2 Tbsp sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs, vanilla, and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.

Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively the first rise can be done overnight in the fridge.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Weigh the dough, and divide into 12 equal weight portions. Roll each portion into a tight ball. Place the rolled doughnuts on a baking tray sheet with parchment paper, leaving adequate space between (you may need two baking sheets).

Leave the doughnuts to proof for a further 20 minutes. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back.

While the doughnuts are proofing, heat Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Heat the oil to 350°f / 180°c. Place a wire rack over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the sugar in a shallow bowl.

Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, two at a time, into the hot oil. Cook , flipping every 30 seconds, for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 seconds before tossing in the sugar. Repeat the process with the rest of the doughnuts. Once the doughnuts are totally cool, poke a hole in them using a chopstick, and widen the hole using your finger.

FILLING

Transfer the chocolate ganache to a piping bag filled with a round piping tip. Fill each doughnut with the ganache - you will feel it become heavy in your hand, and will begin to come out the top a little. Pipe a small blob of ganache on the doughnut where the filling pokes out.

Doughnuts are best served on the day that they are made.

Salted Caramel and Milk Chocolate Ganache filled Brioche Doughnuts - Fluffy brioche doughnuts are rolled in sugar, then filled with a silky salted caramel and milk chocolate ganache. These are the ultimate treat - the rich chocolate ganache is a total game changer. #doughnuts #briochedoughnuts

Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie


 
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie
Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie

I’m a big fan of drawing out fun dates to last a whole week. With my birthday, I tend to make it birthday month, which is really just an excuse to go fun places and buy fun things. Going off that same logic, this week is pie week! The 14th of March is International Pi(e) day, (in America the date is written at 3/14, hence pi day), so I’m calling it pie week. I have a couple of super fun recipes coming your way, starting with this ridiculously good Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie.

This recipe comes from Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin’s book that comes out on the 14th, called ‘The New Pie’. Chris and Paul are a married couple from Georgia, who were originally brought together by baking, and have made it their hobby entering (and winning) all kinds of pie contests (which I had no idea were a thing until I read their book!). The book is just beautiful - and filled with the most inventive, unique pie recipes I have ever seen. All the recipes are super clearly explained (and have weight measurements!!), and I am so, so excited to make some more pies from it!

I had a really hard time picking a recipe to share here with you - I must have flicked through the book 10 or 15 times before I finally found myself returning over and over again to this Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie. Mint chocolate chip is my all time fave flavour of ice cream - always has been, always will be. This recipe encapsulates all the aspects of the flavour, with a cocoa pastry, a layer of ganache topped with chopped mints, a mint chip cream topping filled with crispy pearls (!!), and a cocoa whipped cream. Alone, the components are amazing, but together, they combine to form some kind of magic combination. If mint chocolate chip ice cream was a pie, this is exactly what it would taste like.

A few wee tips:

  • I used a ‘deep dish’ pie plate for this recipe - Chris and Paul describe this as having a top internal diameter of 9 1/8” to 9 5/8”, between 1 3/8” and 2” tall, and having a capacity for about 5 cups filling.

  • This pie can be broken up over a few days if you like - I made the pie dough then gave it an overnight rest, then the next day I blind baked the shell, did the ganache, let it set, then added the mint cream layer, and let it set for 4 hours before finishing it off.

  • The wee drizzle on the shell is a cute, quick step - Chris and Paul use white chocolate and green candy melts, but I popped a little bit of gel food colouring into some white chocolate to make the green and it worked great!

  • I used super orange yolks when I was making the filling, so ended up adding a bit more food colouring to counter this - if you don’t want a super green pie, slightly paler yolks might work better!

 

 

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie

- Makes one 9 1/2” deep dish pie -

Reprinted with permission from ‘The New Pie’ by Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin

Cocoa Pastry Crust
191g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
28g Vegetable Shortening
28g powdered sugar
21g Dutch Process or Black Cocoa
113g Cold, Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
57g Strongly brewed coffee

Green and White Drizzle (Optional)
80g white chocolate, melted
a few drops mint gel food colouring

Mint Chip Ganache
227g Bittersweet chocolate, chopped
261g Heavy Cream
80g Chocolate Mints, such as Andes (I used after eight mints), Chopped

Mint Chocolate Chip Cream
2 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
3 large egg yolks
100g sugar
120g whole milk
227g white chocolate, melted
28g Green Creme de Menthe (I didn’t have this, so used 1/2 tsp peppermint extract)
1-2 drops Mint green gel food colouring (optional)
350g Heavy Cream
45g Chocolate pearls, preferably Valrhona (or you can use mini chocolate chips)

Cocoa Whipped Cream
230g Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
15g Powdered Sugar
1 Tbsp Dutch Process or black cocoa

 

- PROCESS -

COCOA PASTRY CRUST

Measure the flour, salt, and baking powder directly into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the ingredients once or twice to combine them.

Place the shortening, powdered sugar, and cocoa into a separate small bowl. Using a small rubber spatula, smear the shortening into the powders, pressing against the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue to work your way around the bowl until all the ingredients have been combined into a chocolatey paste.

Using the small rubber spatula, divide the chocolatey paste into three or four roughly equal nuggets and add them to the flour mixture. Pulse three or four times (1 second pulses) until the chocolate seems evenly dispersed into the flour.

Add the butter to the flour and pulse four or five times. At this point the flour should appear slightly textured, like coarse cornmeal, with small bits of butter flecked throughout. If not, pulse one or two more times.

Drizzle the coffee and vanilla over the liquid.

Using 1-second pulses, process the mixture until it transforms from dry and powdery into a large clump of cohesive dough, 8 to 15 pulses. Stop pulsing once most of the dough is clumped together.

Transfer the dough and any remaining unincorporated flour to a smooth work surface. To incorporate any loose flour, press and smear the flour across the work surface with the heel of your hand. Gather all the dough and press it into a 5 to 6 inch disc about 1 inch thick.

Wrap the disc in plastic wrap, and smooth the outer 1 inch thick edge with your fingertips or by rolling the disc along the countertop. These smooth edges will make the dough easier to roll out in a circle. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll out to a circle approximately 15” in diameter, and 1/8” thick. Place the dough in the pie pan, and crimp the edges as desired. Freeze the dough-lined pan for at least 20 minutes while preheating the oven to 350°f.

Lightly spray one side of an 18 inch piece of aluminium foil with cooking spray. Line the crust with the foil, sprayed side down. Fill the pan with the pie weights.

Bake the crust until the crust is set, 50 to 60 minutes, peeking under the edge of the foil to check for doneness. Remove the pie pan from the oven and lift out the pie weights by using the corders of the foil. The goal is for the inside of the pie shell to be evenly baked - it should look like a finished crust. If it is still not done (this can be a little hard to tell with cocoa crust, but it needs to feel dry when you touch it with a finger), place it back into the oven without weights and continue to bake, checking every 2 minutes. Cool the pie crust completely on a wire rack.

To add  the drizzle, add half of the melted white chocolate to a piping bag. Tint the other half with a drop of mint green colour, and transfer to another piping bag. Snip the end off each to create a small hole.

Carefully remove the cooled chocolate crust from the pan to a double layer of paper towels on a baking sheet. If the crust does not seem like it is going to come out, abort the mission and drizzle the chocolate over the crust still in the pan. Drizzle the chocolate over the edge of the crust, allowing the excess to land on the outside of the crust. Some will land in the crust, but that is fine because it will be covered with the filling. Allow to set for about 10 minutes before returning the crust to the pan and filling the pie.

MINT CHIP GANACHE

Place the chopped bittersweet chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer (watch it closely so it doesn’t boil over), then pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and set aside for 30 seconds. Whisk the hot cream and chopped chocolate together until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the chocolate ganache to the cooled pie crust, smoothing with an offset spatula, if necessary. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate mints over the top of the ganache. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator and chill until the ganache is set, about 2 hours.

MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP CREAM

Sprinkle the gelatine over 2 Tbsp water in a small microwave safe bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and milk. Whisking constantly, cook the mixture over medium low heat until it is slightly thickened and reaches 160°f on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. The mixture will coat the back of a spoon when it is properly thickened. Remove the egg mixture from the heat and continue whisking it to cool it slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.

Heat the gelatine mixture in the microwave on high power in 5 second intervals, checking and stirring it until it just begins to bubble at the edges and the gelatin is dissolved (don’t let it boil). Whisk the gelatine into the egg mixture.

Whisk the melted white chocolate into the egg mixture until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Whisk in the creme de menthe (or peppermint extract) and mint colour, if using. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent premature gelling.

In a large bowl (or using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), whip the cream on medium high speed until it holds stiff peaks, 1-3 minutes. reduce the speed to low and slowly drizzle in the mint white chocolate mixture until it is completely incorporated. Fold in the chocolate pearls.

Transfer the mint chocolate chip cream to the chilled pie, smoothing with an offset spatula. Return the pie to the refrigerator and allow it to chill until the mint cream layer is set, 4 to 6 hours (or up to overnight).

COCOA WHIPPED CREAM

If using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, vanilla, and cocoa on medium-high speed, or until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar, and beat on medium high speed until stiff peaks form, 1-3 minutes. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with an open star attachment. Pipe rings of whipped cream around the outside of the pie.

Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Double Chocolate Mint Chip Pie from 'The New Pie'. Chocolate pastry is drizzled with white and green chocolate, filled with a dark chocolate ganache, topped with chopped mints, then topped with a mint chocolate chip cream filling loaded up with crispy pearls. The whole thing is then finished with a cocoa whipped cream. If there was a pie version of the perfect scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream, this pie would be it. #mintchip #doublechocolate #creampie

‘The New Pie’ is copyright 2019 by Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin, and was published in 2019 by Clarkson Potter/ Publishers.

Creme Egg Macarons


 
Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache
Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache
Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache
Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache
Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache
Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache
Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache

Happy Nearly Easter! Have you got plans? I've been eating all the mini egg cookies, making hot cross buns (there is an epic variation on them coming on Friday), and trying to decide whether I should make an easter cookie box this year (After my Christmas one I am worried I have set my own expectations a little high). There are only a couple more days until easter so I guess I should get my shit together. 

Just popping by today to share this Creme Egg Macaron recipe with you, and tell you something fun that we have coming up over the next year. After my friend Jase coached my through my fear of making macarons, we figured that a great way to make sure that we had them completely nailed was to make them consistently. And so we are going to do something fun, and bring you a new macaron recipe each month! Jase will be posting them on his blog too (if it's not live when you are reading this, I promise it will be v soon, just peer pressuring him to launch), and we are so excited to try all of the new flavour combos we have been dreaming up. 

We thought we would kick things off with an easter recipe. We kept our standard shell recipe, coloured lightly grey and with some speckles, and then filled it with a silky, rich creme egg ganache, made with a solid dose of creme eggs, along with some butter and milk chocolate just to help stabilise, as we found the fondant centre of the egg made things a little sloppy. The final product tastes just like a cadbury creme egg, only a little fancier, and with more calories. What more can you want really? ;) Stay tuned for a whole year of macarons! 

A few wee tips:

  • We made a template! You can download it here - you can print off two and stick them together. They need a little offsetting and a trim, but this is the size that we use for piping - and then when you bang them out, they will spread slightly. 
  • I put all the tips I could possibly think of on my last blog post on Macs - so head over there to check them out! Remember they are tricky wee things, and take practice!
  • The filling does take a little time to chill down, so make sure you account for that. 
 

 

Creme Egg Macarons

- Makes about 24 sandwich cookies -

Macaron Shell Recipe from I love Macarons, with adaptations from Fox and Crane 

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
Grey food colouring (we used about 20 drops of americolor 'ash' and 2 of 'black')
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Creme Egg Ganache
12 regular sized cadbury creme eggs (35g each, 420g total), chopped
90g (6 Tbsp) Heavy Cream
30g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter
100g milk chocolate
 

- PROCESS -

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. 

Place the ground almonds and powdered sugar in the work bowl of a food processor, and pulse until it resembles very fine crumbs. Sift twice through a sieve, discarding any chunks, and set aside. If there are a large number of chunks, return to the food processor and pulse again. 

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 grey gel food colour a few drops at a time, until the desired colour is reached. 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. 

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. If desired, apply 'speckles' by flicking some watered down gel food colouring onto the shells with a paintbrush.

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

CREME EGG GANACHE FILLING

Place all of the ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the bowl does not touch the water. Stir with a whisk or spatula until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to a container, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the filling. Refrigerate for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the ganache has firmed up to a piping consistency. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.

ASSEMBLY

Pair each macaron shell with another of a similar size. Pipe a circle of buttercream on one half, and then sandwich with the second shell. 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.

Creme egg macarons - a favourite easter treat, transformed into a macaron. A speckled vanilla bean shell is sandwiched with a rich creme egg ganache