Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons


 
Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit
Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit
Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit
Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit
Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit
Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit
Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit

Hi! Coming at you with a wee spring inspired macaron this month! Ever since I discovered that the supermarket near me sells passionfruit pulp in a pouch, it’s been going into everything (I made passionfruit cream puffs today, coming at you soon!). I had some passionfruit curd leftover from testing this passionfruit layer cake a while back, so we repurposed it in these macs. Jase also just reminded me that this is our Twelfth macaron recipe that we have done - the very first macs we made together were actually passionfruit too, so this is a nice wee full circle situation!

The passionfruit curd is perfect for a mac filling - it is thick and silky, and the passionfruit cuts through the yolks and butter in the curd, giving it a much ‘lighter’ taste than something like lemon curd, which I find can get a little bogged down by the egg yolks and butter if it isn’t done right. We kept the pairing simple and filled the mac with a white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream - creamy and smooth, and the perfect compliment to the tangy curd filling. The shells were finished with a quick drizzle of white and passionfruit chocolate - which is a totally optional but super cute detail to add to tie everything together.

You could absolutely customise these if you wanted - you could do a lemon curd in the middle, or ditch the white chocolate in the buttercream and just have it as a vanilla base. The cool thing about macarons is that you can really mix and match the filling - we have found it easiest to keep the base shell the same recipe, coloured to compliment the flavour, and then drive the flavour through the fillings. So, please feel free to mix and match these as you feel fit! It’s all part of the fun.

A few wee tips:

  • All my Macaron tips are here!

  • Ideally, the passionfruit curd needs overnight to chill to come to the right consistency.

  • The White chocolate buttercream can be a little soft when you first add the chocolate. Popping it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes will help to firm it up, or you can pipe the macarons then rest in the fridge for an hour or so to help firm it up.

 

 

Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons

- Makes about 24 Macarons -

Passionfruit Curd
225g passionfruit pulp
140g sugar
125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes (can be straight from the fridge)
5 egg yolks (around 200g worth)
1/4 tsp salt

Macaron Shells
170g ground almonds
300g powdered sugar
180g egg whites, at room temperature
160g sugar
A few drops of yellow gel food colouring
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Melted white chocolate and melted passionfruit chocolate to finish (optional - we used Valrhona passionfruit)

White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
125g egg whites
200g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
455g (16oz, or four sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
250g white chocolate, melted and cooled.

 

- PROCESS -

PASSIONFRUIT CURD

Place the Passionfruit pulp in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to separate the seeds from the pulp. Strain through a sieve into a medium saucepan. Reserve the seeds.

Add the remainder of the ingredients to the saucepan, and place over medium heat. Whisk well to combine. Place over medium low heat, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the curd has thickened significantly - enough that it coats the back of a spoon well, and when you run a finger through, it leaves a very clear track.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into an airtight container, and stir in 1-2 Tbsp of the reserved passionfruit seeds. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until completely cool, ideally overnight.

 

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 yellow 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. 

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

WHITE CHOCOLATE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are white and fluffy, and the mixture has cooled, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

While the buttercream is mixing, melt the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl in 30 second increments in the microwave. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the cooled chocolate. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.

ASSEMBLY

Place the shells on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, Melt white chocolate and passionfruit chocolate, and place into small piping bags. Snip a small hole in the end of each bag, and drizzle the shells with chocolate. Place in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to set the chocolate. Place the passionfruit curd into a small piping bag fitted with a round tip. Pair up each macaron shell with another of an equal size. Pipe a ring of buttercream on one half of the shell, then a blob of the curd in the middle. Place the second shell carefully on top. Repeat with the rest of the macarons. Macarons are best chilled overnight to allow the flavours to meld, but can also be eaten immediately. 

Passionfruit and White Chocolate Macarons - Vanilla bean macaron shell, filled with white chocolate swiss meringue buttercream and tangy passionfruit curd, then finished with a chocolate drizzle. #frenchmacaron #macarons #passionfruit

Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream


 
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake
Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake

It’s always around this time of year that it feels like winter is never, ever going to end. February really tends to drag it’s butt round here - today we had snow, then freezing rain (never seen that wee symbol on my weather app until I moved here, and it’s not a fun one), so it’s kind of hard to motivate myself to do anything other than stay inside with the cat and eat soup. Which is exactly what we have been doing. Whoopsies.

I’ve been meaning to make this cake for a while now. Passionfruit is my ultimate fave fruit of all time, but almost impossible to find in NYC. It grows like crazy in New Zealand, and so I guess I just assumed it would be easy to get here, but unfortunately this is not the case. However, my local supermarket has just started stocking it in pouches (most exciting day ever when I realised), so I’m super super excited to start sharing more passionfruit recipes! I am dying to add the curd as a ripple in an ice cream, or as the base for a passionfruit cream filling in a cream puff.

If you haven’t made passionfruit curd before, it’s almost exactly the same process as making lemon curd. I removed the seeds to make the curd, then added back in a few tablespoons of them, which is nice to give a little crunch without being too overwhelming. The thing I love about passionfruit curd is that the fruit is tart enough to stand up to the egg yolks, so you don’t run the risk of the eggy taste you can get with other fruit curds, but still get the delicious flavour and velvety texture from the yolks.

The rest of the decisions from there in terms of flavour pairing were super simple - I made a basic vanilla bean cake, and paired it with a silky vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream. Both of these serve as the perfect base to make the curd filling really shine.

I finished the cake with an ombre finish, which is one of my favourite ways to ice a cake. You essentially plop the buttercream on, creating a gradient, then smooth it all with a bench scraper to create a beautiful ombre effect. If you haven’t tried it before it’s definitely worth giving a go - it’s super easy, but really really effective.

This cake would make the most amazing birthday cake, or anytime cake! Happy February! I hope it’s less dreary than mine.

A few wee tips:

  • This cake was made with the reverse creaming method - instead of creaming the butter and sugar together, you slowly incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. This means that the flour particles get coated in the butter, inhibiting the formation of gluten, and giving you a tender crumb. With that being said, I did go for a slightly denser textured cake, in order to have something which stands up to the filling and buttercream.

  • For the passionfruit filling, I used pulp I found in a pouch at my local supermarket. The recipe for the curd does make quite a lot because I think it’s an amazing thing to have on hand. You can either use frozen passionfruit pulp for this recipe (don’t worry if it doesn’t have seeds in it), fresh, or packaged pulp. If you don’t like seeds in your curd, they can be left out.

  • I use Fat Daddio’s Cake pans - they aren’t too expensive, and give me a clean cake every time!

  • I like to divide the batter between the pans by weight. To do this, you zero the scales with one of the empty cake pans on it, then once you have eyeballed your dividing of the batter, you can weigh each pan to ensure that they have the same weight of batter in them. Note that this only works if your cake pans are identical.

  • If I can, I like to make the cake ahead of time, then wrap and store in the fridge until I am ready to assemble. Level it off just before you assemble.

  • I decorated this with an ombre style buttercream, then put the remainder of the buttercream (both the white and yellow) into a piping bag fitted with a wilton 1M tip, and piped on the little blobs at the top. Fill and crumb coat the cake, and then divide the rest of the buttercream 2/3 to 1/3 and colour the 1/3 portion yellow.

 

 

Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes One 8”, 3 layer cake -

Vanilla Cake
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
330g whole milk
120g full fat greek yoghurt
600g all-purpose flour
450g sugar
3 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
345g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Passionfruit Curd Filling
450g passionfruit pulp
275g sugar
250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes (can be straight from the fridge)
10 egg yolks (around 200g worth)
1/2 tsp salt

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
250g egg whites
400g sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
900g (8 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes

 

- PROCESS -

CAKE LAYERS

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease three 8” cake pans, and line with parchment paper on the bottom.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, milk, and yoghurt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix briefly to combine.

With the mixer on low, add the butter a cube at a time, until fully incorporated and the mixture looks like sand.

Add half of the wet ingredients into the mixer. Mix until just combined, then add the second half of the wet ingredients. Mix on medium speed until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and give a few folds with a rubber spatula to ensure that no dry ingredients remain.

Divide the batter between your three cake tins (I prefer to do this by weight - see notes). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cakes are springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes in their pans, then turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

 

PASSIONFRUIT CURD FILLING

Place the Passionfruit pulp in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to separate the seeds from the pulp. Strain through a sieve into a medium saucepan. Reserve the seeds.

Add the remainder of the ingredients to the saucepan, and place over medium heat. Whisk well to combine. Place over medium low heat, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the curd has thickened significantly - enough that it coats the back of a spoon well, and when you run a finger through, it leaves a very clear track.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into an airtight container, and stir in 1-2 Tbsp of the reserved passionfruit seeds. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the curd. Refrigerate until completely cool, ideally overnight.

VANILLA BEAN SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing! Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add in the vanilla bean paste. Mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air.

ASSEMBLY

Level off the cake layers. Transfer some of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip - this will be used to make a buttercream dam to hold in the passionfruit filling between layers.

Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable using a little buttercream. Add about a cup of buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Create a buttercream dam using the buttercream in the piping bag by piping a ring of frosting around the outside edge of the first layer. Fill in the ring with approximately 1/2 cup of the passionfruit filling. Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure, and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat the layering process - add a cup of buttercream, make a dam, fill with 1/2 cup hazelnut filling, then top with the third layer of cake - I like to put this one upside down to ensure that the top of the cake is flat. Return the rest of the buttercream in the piping bag to the bowl with the buttercream.

Crumb coat the cake - to do this, apply a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the cake, and smooth with a bench scraper or icing smoother. Refrigerate the cake for 30-45 minutes, until the crumb coat has set.

Divide the Remaining buttercream 2/3 to 1/3. Colour the 1/3 portion with gel food colouring to your desired shade.

Create an ombre effect by spreading the bottom 1/3 of the cake with yellow buttercream using an offset spatula, and the top 2/3 with white. Blend the middle section by spreading blobs of white and yellow. Spread buttercream on the top of the cake using an offset spatula.

Smooth the buttercream on the outside of the cake using a bench scraper, scraping down between passes. Fill in any gaps, and add additional colour where needed to give you a nice transition of colour. Continue until you are happy with the finish.

Transfer the remainder of the buttercream (both yellow and white) into a piping bag fitted fitted with a Wilton 1M tip or similar. Pipe blobs onto the top of the cake - using the 1m tip you only need to pipe blobs rather than making a swirl - the tip makes the ruffles for you.

Chill the cake until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to bring to room temperature.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge

Vanilla Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Perfect for any occasion - layers of vanilla cake are sandwiched with a silky vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream, and filled with a tangy, creamy passionfruit curd. #layercake #passionfruitcake