18 April 2016
Almost a year ago, the final episode of FoodPoint Season 1 was for my basic macarons. For the final episode of Season 4, it seems fitting to revisit macarons and apply what I’ve learned since then.
I received a request from CookingwithKarma, another popular Australian food blogger, for another flavour of macaron. I chose chocolate because it seemed like the best place to start, then decided to make things a bit more interesting by making a multi-layered macaron. The only question was: what should it be?
Black Forest Gâteau has been my favourite cake since I was a kid. The combination of rich chocolate, sour cherries and whipped cream still makes me happy, so this seemed like the logical choice.
I encourage you to check out CookingwithKarma’s YouTubechannel as there’s really something for everyone. Otherwise, it’s on to the recipe!
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my macaron recipe using Italian meringue to work properly with this dessert. I’m not completely sure, but I think that the cocoa dries it out too much? Anyway, after several failed attempts, I had to use a different recipe that used the less-stable French meringue.
The result? Flavour is great, but around half of the macaron shells ended up cracked. C’est la vie! It doesn’t really matter anyway, since you won’t really see 2/3 of them in the end!
3 egg whites, room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
1 cup almond meal
3 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
As mentioned previously, icing sugar is also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar, and not to be confused with icing mixture.
1. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F) and line a couple of trays with baking paper.
2. Place the icing sugar, almond meal, cocoa powder and salt into a food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes until well combined, then sift onto a sheet of baking paper and place aside. (You can sift into a bowl instead, but I find the baking paper makes it easier to funnel the mixture.)
3. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar into a benchtop/stand mixer and whip to a soft peak. (This means it just holds a shape.)
4. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar a bit at a time until the meringue forms a stiff peak. (This means it will hold a shape easily. To test this, you could tip the bowl upside-down over your head and it shouldn’t pour out. Or, you can just learn to judge it by eye.)
5. Funnel approx. ¼ of the dry ingredients into the meringue and fold in gently until combined. (Try not to overmix.)
6. Repeat Step 5 until all of the dry ingredients have been added. (The meringue will have mostly collapsed, but don’t be too concerned.)
7. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and pipe blobs, approx. 2.5cm (1 in) in diameter, onto the lined baking trays.
8. Bash the base of each baking tray against the benchtop a few times to collapse any air pockets.
9. Place aside for at least 30 mins so that the surface forms a skin.
10. Bake for 14-17 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling. (They can also be stored in an airtight container for up to a week before filling.)
Makes 30-40 macaron shells.
A video of this part of the recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/L5mvxbEXoqU.
I’ll be honest, you really could just use premade cherry jam for this, but I don’t think it’s sour enough.
Plus, this is an Advanced recipe, so you’re sort of expected to take the more difficult route.
425g jar of sour cherries, in juice
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
See, it’s not so bad anyway! Only 3 ingredients.
1. Drain the liquid from the jar of cherries into a small saucepan, then put the cherries aside until needed. (Make sure you drain as much liquid as possible.)
2. Add the sugar to the saucepan and place over a medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to bubble for approx. 30 mins or until reduced to a thick syrup.
4. Remove from the heat and melt in the butter, stirring until combined.
5. Place the cherries into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. (You don’t want a puree, but you don’t want the pieces to be too large either.)
6. Transfer the cherries to a bowl, pour over the warm syrup, and mix through.
7. Cover the bowl with cling film and place into the fridge to chill overnight.
8. Drain off the excess liquid (if there is any) and you should be left with a thick, jam-like mixture.
Makes approx. ¾ cup.
The name says it all, really. Basically make a custard (crème pâtissière) and fold through some whipped cream.
500ml thickened or double cream
3 egg yolks, room temperature
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract/paste/essence
Nothing too unsual here.
1. Heat the milk and vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it just begins to simmer, then remove from the heat and place aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them up, then add the caster sugar and whisk until light and fluffy.
3. Add the cornflour and whisk until thick and pale.
4. Slowly pour the hot milk into the custard base, whisking constantly until combined.
5. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thick and smooth.
6. Transfer to a bowl and place a sheet of cling film onto the surface, and place aside to cool. (The cling film stops it from forming a skin as it cools.)
7. Whip the cream to stiff peaks.
8. Mix the cooled custard to loosen it up, then stir in a dollop of whipped cream to lighten it up.
9. Add the custard to the whipped cream and fold together gently until combined.
10. Use right away, or place into the fridge to chill for use in no more than 48 hours.
Makes approx. 1 litre.
As usual, this is probably an unnecessary step, but I’m going to share the process I used.
Some maraschino cherries, stalks attached
1. Take 1 of the macaron shells (preferably a cracked one) and pipe on blobs of the custard cream until the base is covered.
2. Pipe on some of the cherry filling in the gaps. (You won’t need much, it’s fairly potent.)
3. Take a smooth macaron and place it over the top.
4. Take another macaron shells (either smooth or cracked) and repeat Steps 2 and 3.
5. Place the first filled macaron onto the second filled base.
6. Pipe a blob of custard cream on top.
7. Place a maraschino cherry onto the blob of custard cream.
8. It’s finished! Put it onto your serving plate and start on the next one.
9. Repeat Steps 1 to 8 until you run out of macaron shells.
Makes approx. 10 Black Forest Gâteau Macarons.
A video of parts B, C & D of the recipe is available - https://youtu.be/A0c-ldjEF18.
If you have a recipe to request, it's not too late! Please send me an email and I'll see what I can do.
***NOTE: If you didn’t see above, this is the final episode of Season 4. I’ll be back with Season 5 in 6 weeks, but there’ll be updates and bonuses before then so keep an eye out!***