Sorry that this blog has been a bit quiet. There was so much to do before Christmas and we also spent a week in Germany. We will update it more often now!
This year I made lots of nice little treats as Christmas presents and I will now start to type them up. Lets start with this easy but delicious recipe. It’s basically a ganache. You can also use it for filling macarons, cakes or hollow chocolate pralinés. You can also cover them in dark chocolate later but I wanted to keep it simple and fast.
The pictures are unfortunately bit dark but it’s really difficult to take better ones during the winter in Finland.
300 g white chocolate
150 ml cream
lemon flavoured baking aroma
sugar for rolling
Bring the cream to boil in a pot and add some lemon zest and lemon aroma to taste. Then take it off the heat and put in the chopped chocolate. Stir until everything is melted. You can still add some zest or aroma if you have the feeling it’s not lemony enough. Then pour the ganache into a plastic container or a bowl. When it’s cooled down you can put it in the fridge overnight. It will be good for a while, so you can also leave it in there longer.
When the ganache is firm enough you can use a little melon scoop or a teaspoon to form little balls. If you use a teaspoon make sure your hands are clean and cold since it will be easier to roll them. You might have to wash your hands once in a while (under cold water so they won’t melt) because they’ll get pretty sticky. Drop the ready truffles on a plate with sugar. You can put more than one in there at a time and then just swirl the plate around a bit so they’ll get completely covered. The sugar coat will keep them from sticking together.
Cool them until serving. I put mine in little bags and kept them in the fridge until Christmas Eve. Enjoy!
Here it is – finally! My newest macaron experiment, this time with a flower theme. I don’t understand why making macarons is so addictive, but there is just something there. Maybe it’s the endless possibilities with the fillings combined with the adorable and chic looks?
This time I also wanted to experiment with two different types of recipes. I had preferred a recipe that used almost equal amounts of almond flour and egg white, while Stef used one with less egg white and more powder sugar. So I wanted to compare which one suits me and our oven better – the lavender ones (the white ones) are made with Stef’s recipe and the rose ones (the pink ones) with mine.
I think I after all prefer Stef’s recipe, it seems to suit our not-so-good-quality oven in our rental apartment. My recipe seemed to rise in the oven a bit too fast, which resulted in a thin crust and a bit of a hollow inside. This might be avoided by having the oven on 150°C and then putting it down to 140°C right after the macarons go in.
Enough with the rambling, here are the recipes! My recipe is a modification of the one on Mansikkamäki (in Finnish) and Stef’s is originally from französischkochen.de (in German, I doubled the amount).
100 g almond flour
110 g egg whites (around 3 M sized eggs)
200 g powder sugar
4 tbsp sugar
Food colouring (paste or powder)
Flavouring if you want some (eg. vanilla sugar)
Mature the egg whites by leaving them in room temperature for a day or two. You should do that with four eggs (one more than in the recipe), because a bit evaporates.
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Mix the almond flour and the powder sugar together. If your almond flour is somewhat coarse like ours was, you should make it finer in a food processor (mix an equal amount of sugar and flour, otherwise the almond flour will turn into butter). Sieve the mixture to get rid of any clumps.
Beat the egg whites until they start getting a bit foamy. Add the food colouring and the flavouring. Also add the sugar one spoonful at a time while beating the egg whites. Whisk until the foam is thick and glossy and you can put the bowl upside down without it dripping. It needs to be really dense, but be careful not to overbeat it. I’ve heard copper or ceramic bowls work better with egg whites, but normal plastic ones are okay.
Fold the almond and powder sugar gently with a silicone scraper into the egg white foam. Don’t put it all in at once, but a third at a time.
Put the mixture in a piping bag and prepare the tray with the baking paper. Hold the piping bag vertically to the tray. Keep it still while squeezing the dough into about 2 cm little buttons. To get rid of the bubbles in the dough, drop the tray from 20 cm height onto the table. Don’t be scared of the noise! This makes the macarons more smooth. Let them rest for half an hour. They should get a matte surface in this time.
Put the macarons in the oven for 13 minutes. Take the baking paper off the hot tray, but leave the macarons on the paper for 10 minutes. This way they will not stick to the paper and won’t break once you take them off.
90 g almond flour
150 g powder sugar
72 g egg whites (around 2 eggs)
20 g sugar
Food colouring (paste or powder)
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Mix the almond flour and the powder sugar together and blend it in a food processor. The bought almond flour is usually still too coarse and blending it together with the sugar will prevent it from becoming almond butter. Sieve it through a fine strainer to get rid of any clumps.
Beat the egg whites. Once they start getting foamy, add the sugar and the colouring. Don’t use liquid colours!
When the eggs are beaten you can add 1/3 of the almond/sugar mixture at a time. Use a wooden spoon or a plastic/silicone scraper and fold the mixture slowly into the dough. When everything is mixed, add the next part until all the almond flour is incorporated.
Prepare a baking sheet and form little 2 cm macaron buttons with a piping bag. Drop the tray from 20 cm height to get rid of the air bubbles in the dough. Let them rest for 15 – 20 minutes. The hats need to develop a little crust so the macarons will have nice little feet later.
Put the macarons in the oven, putting the temperature down to 140°C and bake them for 15 minutes.
After taking them out, immediately take the sheet with the macarons off the hot tray. After 10 minutes of resting, you should be able to take them off easily.
Lavender Honey Buttercream Filling
Butter (room temperature)
Lavender oil (make sure it’s 100% lavender extract, not the one you use for making soaps etc.)
Whisk the butter (around 75 – 100 g of butter should be enough) and sieve in powder sugar until it has a soft but firm texture. If it’s too soft, add more sugar. Add honey and lavender to your taste. Be careful with the lavender, a tiny drop already has a lot of flavour!
If you keep the buttercream in the fridge, it might get too firm for piping. Leave it in room temperature for a bit before you intend to use it.
Rose Sirup And Chocolate Ganache Filling
For white chocolate ganache:
100 g white chocolate
50 ml cream
For dark chocolate ganache:
100 g dark chocolate
100 ml cream
Salt and powder sugar to taste
I made the rose sirup the previous summer from fresh rose petals. Unfortunately I didn’t write the recipe down but a normal sugar sirup mixed with rose water or essence should be the same.
To make the ganache, heat the cream in a kettle to boiling point. Take it off the heat and put the previously cut chocolate in. At this point you can add some salt and powder sugar in the dark chocolate ganache, to cut back the bitterness. Stir until everything is melted and smooth. Mix it with a hand blender to make it more fluffy; be careful not to put too much air into it. Let it cool down in the fridge for two hours or even overnight. If you use it the next day it will be really stiff. You can take it out earlier so it softens up in room temperature or you can put it in the microwave for just a couple of seconds. Whip it with the mixer until it gets a bit lighter in colour and a bit more creamy. Don’t overbeat it or the cream will get clumpy.
Pipe a ganache ring onto the macaron and pour some sirup in the middle. If you have too much ganache, you can just freeze it and use it later.
You can also freeze the macaron shells and even already the filled ones. The buttercream ones need to defrost a bit in room temperature before you can eat them.