Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Intense Chocolat Macarons

Last week was such a busy week for me! I have to bake for my Daring Bakers' challenge and also for some orders of my macarons, thanks for your support! But still I managed to make some fantastic macarons... intense chocolat macarons. I have not made chocolate macarons for a while and I think this is about time cause my inner chocolate goddness is calling. This macaron I use 72% Valrhona Araguani dark chocolate...from a Venezuelan origin with a flavor of currant and honey (from description of Valrhona), I do taste fruity, dark and rich but not bitter at all. So let me start making them although its in the evening already! Don't know why I usually make my macarons in daytime, kind of funny??

Making chocolate macaron shells is tricky like shells with other nut flours. Or I should say even more difficult since cocoa butter may make your tant pour tant has a higher oil content which is an enemy for  good macaron shells. I have tried different different kinds of cocoa powder, chocolat....etc, but I settle with 100% pure cocoa mass which give me best taste and perfect tant pout tant. See how they looks after piping... they looks amazing.

But still, sometimes you never know how your shells are going to come out after baking... like someone said once a while, pâtissier may zap by the "Macaron God"! Okay baking is done, wow! My chocolate macaron shells looks perfect, let me assemble them together and I can taste them tomorrow... For filling, I just make a simple 72% Valrhona Araguani dark chocolate ganache, I always find a good quality ingredient will shine by itself! Let me see how they taste... omg amazing rich chocolate shells go with fruity and rich chocolate ganache... I have to hide some for myself!


Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Daring Bakers' April, 2013 Challenge: Savarin !

For the April Daring Bakers' Challenge, Natalia of Gatti Fili e Farina challenges us to make a traditional Savarin, complete with soaking syrup and cream filling! We were to follow the Savarin recipe but were allowed to be creative with the soaking syrup and filling, allowing us to come up with some very delicious cakes! I am very excited as this is my first Bakers' challenge and I can't wait to start, however, I was so busy and finally able to make this wonderful savarin couple days ago! I have made savarins and her smaller version baba au rhum a few times before but this recipe is different, takes a bit more time but I think really worth my extra time and effort. Because this Savarin taste wonderful and has an amazing texture!

For this wonderful Savarin, I stick with original recipe and only scale it down by half since I won't be able to finish a normal size one, you need..

time required
  • sponge rising - 60 minutes
  • mixing dough and resting - 30 minutes
  • first rising - 3 hours
  • shaping and forming - 20 minutes
  • second rising - 60 minutes
  • baking - 30 minutes
  • finishing - about 60 minutes
  • a Savarin mold, I use a ring shaped mold instead


you need
  • 175 g bread flour
  • 15 ml lukewarm water
  • three large eggs (room temperature and separated)
  • 2 g instant yeast
  • 10 g sugar
  • 38 g butter (room temperature) and more for mold
  • 1 Meyer lemon zest
  • 3 g salt
  • Darjeeling and rum syrup (see recipe below)
  • nappage (see recipe below)
  • chocolate whipped cream (see recipe below)

Making this amazing Savarin needs a bit organization and preparation, once you get your rich dough ready, you have lots of time to prepare your syrup, nappage and whipped cream. Or you can prepare your syrup and nappage a day ahead and finish your whipped cream for the final step.  Okay, let's start my Savarin time....


First thing is to make my sponge. My last few savarins has no sponge at all but I can assure you its definitely worth your time to do it! You will see it very soon! In a small bowl, mix 15 ml luke warm water, 13 g flour and yeast, cover them with cling film and rest and rise for 60 minutes

About 30 minutes time you can start make the dough. Put your three egg whites in mixer bowl, start from low speed , add 112 g of flour until it forms a soft and tacky dough. Cover it with cling film and rest for another 30 minutes. Then you can add your sponge and lemon zest to dough with another 10 g of flour at low speed. Lots of adding ingredients? Yes, more to come too :)

Hmm, my mixer is working overtime today! But everything is getting there... Once dough starts pulling away from bowl we can start adding my first egg yolk, when yolk has absorbed, add 10 g of flour. Then, add another yolk and 10 g of sugar, once they absorbed, add 10 g of flour. Raise your mixer speed a bit, again, add another yolk and 3 g of salt, once they absorbed, add another 10 g of flour.

Keep mixing until your dough forms sticky elastic threads, then add your butter, once they absorbed, add last 10 g of flour. Yay, I finally finish my dough... Cover it up with cling film and I let my dough rest for 3 hours. It will be amazed to see how it looks after this long long 3 hours... I go take a nap now!

Let me see how my dough goes...omg! It rise up and getting not 2 times bigger but I think 4 or 5 time, holy molly! Okay, now turn it on your work surface and fold it about three times, cover it and let it rest for another 15 minutes, in the mean time butter your mold and sprinkle lightly with a bit flour.

Form your dough into a ball, make a hole in the middle and gently place it into your buttered mold. Cover it up with cling film and let it rise in a warm spot until your dough reach to top of your mold... about 60 minutes. Pre-heated your oven to 340 F, bake your Savarin for 30 minutes (turn once). It should be golden brown and its done! And my baked Savarin looks like a monster now!! I let mine rest for about 10 minutes, turn it over and leave it overnight at room temperature before my last few steps. Okay, time to bed cause its nearly midnight and I got no more energy, nighty nighty!

Time to do some sweet stuff now... soaking your Savarin! I trimmed off the bottom of mine and put it back into my mold, then pour my syrup until it reaches nearly the rim of mold and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Now my Savarin is full of syrup, I turn it on a rack and let all the excess syrup drip out, then transfer it to a nice plate. Warm up your nappage and glaze your Savarin and let it cool off... Then the last step, I put chocolate whipped cream into a pastry bag with a star tip and fill the hole, pipe some on the top, decorate it with some Valrhona milk & dark chocolate crunchy pearls and some fresh raspberry. Finally my Savarin is done but I better wait till next day to let it gain more flavor... okay wait a bit longer then. Take a closer look... just amazing!

After a day's rest, not me but my Savarin... I can finally taste my Savarin and all I can can say its amazing, unlike my previous ones.This Savarin is rich with a good texture, a tiny bit of that yeast dough makes this cake exceptional. And this Savarin doesn't feel dry nor bland like my previous ones. I will certainly make this again or smaller baba au rhum. My first Bakers' challenge is really a fun, although it takes about 5 hours or so but my time is well spent!

Notes and recipe within recipe.....

Darjeeling and rum syrup

  • two tablespoons of Darjeeling tea by Mariage Frères
  • 725 ml water
  • 250 g sugar
  • one cinnamon stick
  • three tablespoons of Rum

  • heat up 475 ml of water (not but not boiling) and steep your tea leaves for about 10 minutes
  • heat 250 ml of water with sugar and cinnamon until sugar dissolves and let it rest for 20 minutes
  • strain your tea and sugar syrup into a container
  • stir in rum, let cool and you are done
  • you can use your syrup now ore keep in your fridge for a couple days

nappage (glaze)

  • 45 g apricot jam
  • 40 g water
  • 5 g Rum

  • heat your jam with water until it melts
  • add in your rum, keep cooking gently a  bit
  • strain your nappage and you're done

chocolate whipped cream
  • 25 g Valrhona Caraibe 66% dark chocolate
  • 25 g sugar
  • 120 g heavy cream

  • place your chocolate in a heatproof bowl
  • heat up heavy cream with sugar, once it starts boiling, pour it right into your bowl with chocolate
  • whisk your chocolate cream until very smooth
  • cover and chill until its completely cool
  • whip it right before you are going to use it

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Pistache et Framboise Petite Madeleines

Weekend went by so fast and its middle of the week already. Don't know why the last few days I was crazily making small tea cakes... maybe I really need something for my coffee! Madeleine is always one of my favorite teacakes, especially mini ones... small and cute with a little hump on its back, can also incorporate many different flavors... here is mine pistache et framboise petite madeleines or mini pistachio and raspberry madeleines. They are super delicious, only using a few simple ingredients, another good thing is you can always make a batch in fridge and can have freshly baked madeleines whenever you like!

for 60 mini madeleines, you need...
  • 140 g sugar
  • 110 g cake flour or all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • two large eggs (at room temperature, slightly beaten)
  • 110 g unsalted butter (melted and cool)
  • 25 g chopped toasted pistachios
  • one teaspoon natural raspberry extract

The method of making these cuties is quite easy, just a few simple steps and you are nearly there... the only special equipment you need is a madeleine mold. I use a non stick one which I find easier to clean up, however, it still need to be buttered and floured before filling up with batter to bake. If you really like madeleine like me, you should get a madeleine mold cause I promise you will use it again and again whenever you have a chance!

my directions...
  • firstly, sift, sugar, cake flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl
  • fold you slightly beaten eggs into dry ingredients gently
  • fold in melted butter into you batter
  • fold in raspberry extract
  • fold in chopped pistachios until you have a homogeneous batter
  • cover your batter and let it rest in fridge at least one hour or up to 3 days
  • when your are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400 F and set a rack in middle
  • butter and flour your madeleine mold
  • pipe your batter into mold nearly full or you can use a small spoon to scoop batter into mold
  • put your madeleines in oven and bake about 7 minutes (don't open your oven!)
  • you will see them rise up like a small mountain and get a nice golden brown colour then they are done
  • take them out from your oven and turn them over rightaway on a rack to cool
  • make some coffee or tea and enjoy!
Wow, they look amazing! Best thing is you can try them rightaway and they taste best the same day they are baked, although you can save up uneaten ones airtight for a couple days (I doubt if you have any!). These cuties looks so perfect and taste so yummy... I can finish at least five or so with my coffee. I love their nutty pistachio flavor, little spongy buttery feel and a faint raspberry aroma...hmm...I have to make another coffee now!


Friday, 19 April 2013

Vanille Bourbon de Madagascar Macarons

This very cute macaron actually has a little story... a few days ago me and my friend were chatting about Spring has finally arrived, we love this season's trendy teal, orange...color. Out of no where here it came my light-bulb-time... how about vanilla sky macarons? We are so excited and here we come my vanilla sky macarons or Vanille Bourbon de Madagascar macarons. They came out perfect, that peaceful, calm, and Tiffany alike color make these cuties look amazing! A reminder to me Spring that is here!

They may looks cute and innocent but don't let them fool you. Making macaron shells is always fun but still challenging no matter how many times you make it. Each one has a subtle difference, but I love that cause its the whole thing of handmade pastries. Okay, back to our shells, this time I incorporate Madagascar Bourbon vanilla seeds to give my shells a nice flavor of vanilla and they are piped and ready to bake!

Hmm... just a short while and my macaron shells are ready, they looks amazing and ready to be filled. I made a very rich, creamy and luxurious Madagascar Bourbon vanilla ganache. I love vanilla a lot and use it in most of my desserts, sometimes even a bit in savory dish too! But Madagascar is the one I love the most compare to Tahitian and Mexican... okay everything is ready and see how they going to look and taste after I put them together.

Wow! I have to stop talking because they taste so so great! My first bite into the shells can taste the lovely vanilla already... then my creamy Madagascar Bourbon ganache melts together makes me feel I am floating in vanilla sky!!


Thursday, 18 April 2013

My Gâteau au Chocolat

I love chocolate, especially chocolate cake...I am not sure how many I have in a year but I do know I always have one in my fridge. So, I won't have to worry any running-out-of-chocolate-cake-crisis! Since Easter...my chocolate cake went so fast and its time again to make another one. This time I was inspired by a book Heavenly Cake by Rose Levy Beranbaum... actually its the cake on its cover, but of course I would have my own surprise...so my Gâteau au Chocolat has born!

you need
  • one six inch chocolate génoise (I use 100% Valrhona cocoa)
  • 60 g Crème de Cassis syrup
  • 210g light pistachio buttercream
  • 160 g crème fraîche ganache (I use 66% Valrhona Caraibe)
  • 200g chocolate lacquer glaze (I use 100% Valrhona cocoa)
  • 20 g white chocolate for decoration (I use Valrhona Ivoire)
  • one Callebaut marble callet and raspberries for decoration

First thing I need to do is to bake my chocolate génoise a day before I assemble my cake. It needs to firm up before slicing and frosting. I slicde my génoise's dome top (I ate it in bread pudding already!!) and sliced it into four 5mm thick layers. Each layer was then soaked with a lovely Crème de Cassis syrup and frosted with a thin layer of light pistachio buttercream... I love to have a bit suprise in this gâteau, so no chocolate ganache... yet!

Okay, I let my cake rest a bit in fridge, and getting ready to frost it with an amazing crème fraîche ganache. I used 66% Valrhona Caraibe, cause I like a bit darker chocolate for my liking. Love using crème fraîche a lot... no matter savory or sweet dish...that extra tangy kick make this ganache taste even better. I crumb coated my cake and coated it again until it looks smooth and let it sleep overnight to firm up till next day... feeling sleepy now!

Another step which is very important is to glaze my cake! I love my cake looks pretty! I have tried quite a few glaze formulas but this one by Rose works pretty good. I gently laid my cake on a rack and glazed it quickly, however, I found I need to use a bit higher temperature, around 87 F instead of a lower one suggested in the book. It looks so so great and shiny...let it rest a bit before going to my cake stand.

Wow, my cake looks so great on its stand now... shiny like a mirror and I can see myself too! Okay need another little time to firm up before I do my finishing touch. This glaze looks great within the first eight hours but will looks dull a bit, but its okay for me cause it will go into my tummy!

Now, final finishing time... I melted my Valrhona Ivoire and piped three rows of 1mm little dots on top of my cake. It took me a while and my arm muscles nearly go into spasm... but worth my effort! Last touch, a marble chocolate callet in the middle, some raspberries and I am done! Tasting, tasting time soon...my cake looks great and I feel kind of bad to cut through it...

Tasting time now....omg..my gâteau au chocolat taste exquisite! Dark chocolate glaze, tangy kick crème fraîche ganache, smooth light pistachio buttercream plus moist chocolate génoise with hint of Crème de Cassis make me go back for more and more... certainly this gâteau au chocolat will be on top of my gâteau recipes!


Sunday, 14 April 2013

The Daring Cooks' April, 2013 Challenge: Make No Bones About It!

For the April Daring Cooks Challenge, Lisa from Parsley, Sage and Sweet has challenged us to debone a whole chicken, using this video by Jacques Pepin as our guide; then stuff it, tie it and roast it, to create a Chicken Ballotine. I am super excited since this is my first challenge of Daring Kitchen, I will try my best to do it! I have been checking out recipes of different savory and baking stuff and its amazing, so finally its time for me to jump in to participate. I never really debone a whole chicken, only some wings and thighs in my past...but I will try this to learn and improve my cooking skills. 

This challenge is not just cooking a dish but more a journey for me. First thing I need to do is to buy a boning knife, never use one before, I only use my trustworthy chef's knife many years...its time to step up now!  I went Junors on Shop on DonMills to see if they have any, lucky me they did and actually they are on sale. Of course I won't say no, I handled a few and bought a small sized one mainly for poultry. But I should say they are ultra sharp, even much much sharper than my sharpened chef's knife, I know I have to be careful not cut myself or lose a finger...ouch I can feel pain even thinking about that! Hmm...sounds not to difficult for my first step, now... my bird... I don't think I can finish up a whole chicken, even with my friend, so how about a partridge, a bird smaller in size, same family as pheasant, lean, with good flavor and most important I can finish my meal! (but later on I found out a smaller bird is actually more challenging) Sorry for this long post but I have to tell everything!

For this amazing Ballotine, I tried to stick with original recipe and varied a few things, you need..

time required
  • debone a partridge - depends on your experience, took me 30 minutes
  • my own porcini, leek, barley and figs stuffing - one hour
  • Pinot Noir sauce - 25 minutes (see recipe below)
  • herb butter - 5 minutes
  • roasted root vegetables (parsnip, rainbow carrots and mini squash)- 45 minutes

  • sharp or debone knife
  • kitchen twine
  • roasting pan

Partridge Ballotine

you need
  • one partridge (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • salt and pepper
  • porcini, leek, barley and figs stuffing (see recipe below)
  • a small carrot (cut into long strips)
  • herb butter (melted, I use rosemary infused butter)
  • honey
  • parsley for garnish

  • preheat your oven to 375 F and lay carrot strips on roasting pan
  • debone my partridge
  • have my partridgelie skin side down on a work surface and sprinkle with the salt and pepper
  • spread my cool porcini and barley stuffing evenly over my bird - don't forget to stuff the legs too
  • roll my partridge up, tie it with kitchen twine, and place it in a roasting pan
  • place partridge on roasting pan, brush with herb butter and roast my Ballotine for about 30 minutes until its centre reach reach 160 to 165 F. I brush my ballotine couple times during roasting and brush it with honey for the last time
  • place it on platter and cover with foil to keep warm
  • assemble sauce and roast vegetables
  • carefully place Ballotine on cutting board, remove twine and slice it and serve it with some parsley as garnish
here are some photos..

My partridge has deboned and stuffed!  It took me a while cause partridge is much smaller than chicken, and more delicate to work with. I also have to watch out not cutting myself! But finally I got it done, however I think I stuffed it a bit too much and it become too fat!!

Yeah, I have my bird roll up and tie it with kitchen twine and my Ballotine is ready to go into preheated oven.  Hope it looks as good after roasting too!

Hmm, my Ballotine smell so good! Now let it come out and rest a bit and I will go assemble my sauce and roasted vegetables... then dinner time!

Yay! Everything is ready, let me slice my Ballotine now, I really can't resist, its smell so good in my kitehen.  I think I slice my Ballotine into five pieces (I am too hungry and lost count!), just good for dinner of two!

Finally my Ballotine is ready to serve. It taste really amazing, the tender & moist meat, tasty porcini barley stuffing and roasted earthy vegetables melted together in my mouth. My partridge has very lean meat and it goes really well with my creamy stuffing and roasted earthy vegetables just balance my dish out! I am so glad I am able to finished my first Daring Kitchen's challenge and a little secret.... I made enough stuffing for couple more birds.... and had one for a cornish hen too! This is a fun, educational and very rewarding experience and I am sure I will take more challenges again!

Notes and recipe within recipe.....

  • 375 ml Pinot Noir or any red wine you like (more to drink during cooking and dinner)
  • one celery stalk (finely diced)
  • one small carrot (finely diced)
  • one French shallot (finely diced)
  • half small onion (finely diced)
  • one clove garlic (finely diced with inner green sprout removed)
  • about 125 ml chicken stock
  • olive oil
  • two tablespoons roux
  • salt and pepper
  • a small dollop unsalted butter
  • heat olive oil on sauce pan, add in shallot & onion and sweat them
  • add in garlic, then celery, shallot, add a bit salt and let them cook until soft
  • add your wine and let it cook and reduce to one third
  • add in chicken stock and reduce to half again
  • strain and discard all solids and return sauce to sauce pan and heat it up
  • whisk in roux to thicken your sauce until it can coat back of spoon, I know nearly done
  • keep your sauce warm, season with salt and pepper
  • just before serving, add in small dollop butter

porcini, leek, barley and figs stuffing (good for three small birds like partridge)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 30 g dried porcini (soaked and finely chopped, 50 ml soaking water strained and reserved)
  • half small onion (finely chopped)
  • half leek stalk (cleaned and thinly sliced)
  • 250 ml hot chicken stock
  • two tablespoon Rum 
  • one tablespoon olive oil
  • one tablespoon butter
  • one teaspoon sweet paprika
  • two tablespoon crème fraîche
  • six dried figs (stalk removed and finely chopped)
  • salt, pepper and honey (optional)
  • heat butter and olive in a heavy bottom pot on medium
  • add in onion and a bit salt to sweat
  • add in leek and cook till it soften up
  • add in pearl barley and cook for about 2 minutes
  • add in Rum and cook until it evaporates
  • add in soaked porcini, sweet paprika and cook for another minute
  • add in hot chicken stock and porcini water in a few addition until pearl barley cooked through, keep stirring and this may take about thirty minutes
  • add in dried figs when your barley is nearly done
  • add your crème fraîche and keep cooking, nearly there
  • season with salt, pepper, honey and let your filling cool and firm up before stuffing your bird

Your sauce and stuffing can make ahead of time and keep it in fridge for a couple days or freeze them for future use. This recipe can vary depend on your taste like different stuffing or different kind of birds (roasting time may varied)...just have fun!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Noisette et Caramel au Beurre Salé Macarons

Someone has asked me before salted butter in dessert? In caramel?  Are you serious? No way! I'll say 'Yes way'! I always have a sweet tooth but normally I am not too crazy about caramel or sweeties alike like toffee until I tried salted butter caramel. That little kick of saltiness really balance out caramel's caramelized sweetness... So I make these noisette et caramel au beurre salé macarons or hazelnut macarons with salted butter caramel cream. Are they going to make me fat? Since butter is a scary word nowadays...but I think I don't would sacrifice my tasty treat... and butter I use here is just similar to the amount of normal butter cream, so one or two macarons should be okay but enough to keep me happy!

To get my macaron shells is a bit different since I have to incorporate hazelnuts into my tant pour tant (batter).  Since hazelnuts have more oil than almonds, I have to make sure my batter won't be too runny... they came out perfectly from my oven and resting for filling... oh my gosh, its getting dark already, let me have dinner first! I should confess sometimes I got so absorbed into my baking and cooking and I totally lost in time before I realize... but good sweeties well worth it!

Okay, here we come to my caramel au beurre salé or salted butter caramel time. I have made salted butter caramel time many many times and have tried different methods, I find making it using dry method is the best one for me. Although I have to watch it like a hawk but it always come out nicely. Ingredients are quite simple - sugar, salted butter and a bit cream... and it look so great and yummy already. Another piping time and they are done and ready to go... but I am kind of sleepy now...maybe taste test tomorrow! 

Let me check how these cuties taste...wow...amazing, nuttiness of hazelnut goes perfectly with slight salty kick and rich caramel cream...hmm these macarons make my day again!


Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Harmonie .... reminds me of a TV chocolate commercial I saw recently. Of course my harmonie is not related it, but my lovely small cake is inspired by a amazing book Sucré by Ladurée. The original recipe is a much bigger cake assemble in a simple way, but I love a petite version one in my own way and addition of my favorite components..... This amazingly delicious cake has a few components - pistache macaron biscuits, pistache crème mousseline, framboise (raspberry) gelée and fresh framboise. Original recipe in Ladurée Sucré doesn't have raspberry gelée, but I do like gelée for my liking and addition of another fresh dimension. To assemble this cake is the easiest part, most of my time was using to get all my components ready....

you need...
  • six 8-10 cm diameter pistachio macaron biscuits
  • around 200g pistachio crème mousseline
  • three 3 cm diameter raspberry gelée
  • lots of fresh raspberry (some for snacking!)

First thing first, I have all my components ready on a big silpat, I just find this way more easy to clean-up afterwards. Here we have pistachio macaron biscuits, pistachio crème mousseline in a piping bag with star tip, raspberry gelée insert and fresh raspberries. You may notice my macaron biscuit has some not so pretty marks cause I followed Ladurée's direction piped them spirally and it ended up not smooth at all.  I think next time I will just pipe it into a big plain perfectly smooth disc instead....or have my batter tighter so it will hold a spiral shape like a dacquoise, hmm, let's see....

My first step is to pipe a layer pistachio crème mousseline on my macaron biscuit, arrange fresh raspberries around the border and pipe another small spiral pistachio crème mousseline in the middle. I love pistachio crème mousseline a lot, a lighter version of buttercream lightened by pistachio pastry cream. This crème mousseline taste awesome, not too sweet, light , fluffy and melt in mouth...

Only couple more steps and my Harmonie will be ready! I have my raspberry gelée handy and laid it carefully and quickly on top of my mousseline. My raspberry gelée is a lighter version and will definitely melt in my fingers! Its good to make a big batch raspberry gelée since they freeze quite well.  So far so good, my Harmonie comes together and looks great now...lovely green and red color! Smells great too, my imagination? No...can't wait, can't wait to taste it!

Now, I am in my final stage of Harmonie! Just pipe another small amount of mousseline, put on another macaron biscuit on top plus a rasbperry for garnish and I am done! But not tasting time yet as it has to sit in fridge until next day to develop its flavor fully, okay...another wait then. 

Last but not least...I can only say this petite Harmonie taste amazing - crunchy shells, smooth & creamy pistachio mousseline, fruity & citrus raspberry gelée and fresh raspberry make this small dessert exceptional! Harmonie will be my another one of my favorites! You may notice there is another little cutie at the end of my photo, it is a orange blossom and pistachio religieuse...maybe another post! But let me enjoy my harmonie time now!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Crème de Cassis Macarons

Cassis or blackcurrant is lovely fruit I like to use in many of my desserts, cakes, mousse, syrups, cocktails, savory dishes.... and of course in macarons. Since fresh cassis is not available all year around here, however there are always dried ones, so I make this Lejay Crème de Cassis soaked black currant macarons.  Hmm....it taste wonderful with an intense fruity flavor!

My cassis has soaked in Crème de Cassis overnight and developed a full flavor, its ready to incorporate into my ganache. In the mean time I have another army of macarons shells baked and all ready to go with this intense, fruity and amazing ganache. It doesn't take long and I have all of them filled and ready!

Now, its time to have my quality control test! Hmm, looks so lovely, let me take a bite... slight crunchy shells with a soft and a bit chewy centre ... combine with an intense and amazing distinctive cassis fruity flavor! I can't just have one, but a few more before I can stop!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Rose et Litchi Macarons

Rose and lychee is a very interesting combination, I first heard it years ago from the infamous Pierre Hermé's Ispahan...a delicious dessert with rose & lychee cream, raspberry jelly insert, and lychee fruit sandwiched in two macaron biscuits with fresh raspberries.  I've tried a few similar ones locally but still... rose and lychee flavor which I love is either too subtle or overpowering by extracts.  Okay, let me take a challenge and create my own. These cuties in above photo I made is rose et litchi or rose and lychee macarons.  I have not put in raspberry jelly this time, cause I just like to enjoy amazing marriage of only rose and lychee. I do love raspberry and I will have raspberry jelly for another dessert - Harmonie (she will appear in another post shortly).

These little macarons shells are exceptional and special. I have organic rose petals in them which make them already delicious on their own. Hmm, the smell of light aroma of rose floating in the air is like heaven! But of course just only rose aromatic is not good enough to make these amazing cuties happy.... 

Okay, next step of these amazing macarons..... this time, no ganache! Sometimes ganache may be overly sweet and need to compensate with more extract or so which I am not crazy about it, especially I would prefer a lighter feeling for this macaron. So, I made rose and lychee cream with rose water and lychee puree.... this cream takes me a bit more time but worth my time. Just a simple piping and they are ready to go... to my tummy!

Finally, my amazing and delicious rose et litchi macarons are ready! Rosy color and fragrant shells combine with a lovely creamy rose and lychee filling....hmm makes every bite of this cutie like heaven!