Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Sweet Treats for your Sweetheart: Trio of Tea Infused Macarons

I don't think there are many people who aren't familiar with the deliciousness of macarons. They do have a bit of a reputation of being hard to make, but this recipe demonstrates that it's possible (and not that hard) to make them at home...


Trio of Tea Infused Macarons
  
Ingredients:
  • 300 g almond meal
  • 300 g pure icing sugar
  • 220 g egg whites, at room temperature
  • 300 g castor sugar
  • 75 g water
  • Red and yellow food colouring
  • 1/2 tsp of powdered egg whites

Method:
1. Line 4 large baking trays with baking paper.
2. Divide egg whites into two metal bowls of 110 grams each making sure each bowl is scrupulously clean.
3. Combine almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor and blend for 10 seconds, then sieve into a large bowl.
4. Gently heat castor sugar and water in a non-stick pan. Once all the sugar has dissolved, increase heat to a rolling boil and add food colouring. Make sure the mixture is darker than you think it will need to be! Keep heating until the sugar syrup reaches 118°C.
5. When the sugar is nearly at temperature, add the powdered egg whites to one half of the egg whites and start beating on medium speed until very soft peaks form. When the sugar syrup is ready increase the beaters to high speed and start pouring down the side of the bowl, making sure the syrup doesn’t hit the beaters.  Whisk until warm.
6. Add the other half of the egg whites to the almond meal and icing sugar mixture and combine. Add the meringue, using a large spatula to combine the two. Keep folding until the mixture resembles molten lava. Divide the mixture into two bowls, one with 2/3 of the mixture and another with the remaining 1/3. To the larger bowl add a few more drops of food colouring to darken the mixture.
7. Put a piping bag with a large opening at the end into a tall jug or vase and scoop in the macaron mixture. With the bag pointing directly down pipe the macarons onto the prepared trays spacing evenly. Using a sieve, sprinkle one half of the darker macarons with cocoa and the other batch with a green tea powder. Preheat oven to 135°C.
8. Leave macarons to set until a skin forms on the top. Test this with a fingertip – if the macarons are still sticky leave a little longer. This may take from 1/2 an hour to an hour depending on the day. Place trays in preheated oven and bake for 15 – 16 minutes. The macarons should have risen to form “feet” at the base and be firm and crisp underneath.  If they are still sticking to the baking tray, return to the oven for another 2 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the tray.
9. While the macarons are cooling, begin preparing the three tea-infused ganaches.
10. Before piping in the ganache pair the macaron halves into equal sized pairs.  Dust one third of the macarons with pink shimmer confectionary dust. Using a piping bag top the flat side of one of the macarons with ganache and sandwich with the other half. Fill the cocoa dusted macarons with the Spiced Chai dark chocolate ganache, the pink dusted macarons with the Rose and Vanilla Tea ganache and the green tea dusted macarons with the Green Tea and Jasmine ganache. Once assembled refrigerate for at least one day and serve at room temperature.
11. Filled macarons will keep for 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.
  
Ganache flavours:
Spiced Chai Dark Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients:
  • 2 Dilmah Ceylon Spice Chai tea bags
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 75 g whipping cream
  • 100 g dark chocolate
  • 30 g butter, cubed, at room temperature
 Method:
1. Chop the chocolate and place into a small bamix bowl and process until it is in fine crumbs.
2. Open the tea bags and place contents into a small saucepan with the whipping cream.  Heat the cream to boiling point and pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate crumbs.
3. Stir with a plastic spatula until combined and leave until warm but not hot. Using a handheld mixer add the cubed butter a few pieces at time and whip until the ganache is at a piping consistency.
  
Rose & Vanilla Tea White Chocolate ganache
Ingredients:
  • 2 Dilmah Real Rose and Vanilla tea bags
  • 65 g whipping cream
  • 100 g white chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • 30 g butter, cubed, at room temperature
 Method:
1. Chop the chocolate and place into a small bamix bowl and process until it is in fine crumbs.
2. Open the tea bags and place contents into a small saucepan with the whipping cream.
3. Heat the cream to boiling point and pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate crumbs.  Add ground cardamom and stir with a plastic spatula until combined and leave until warm but not hot.
4. Using a handheld mixer add the cubed butter a few pieces at time and whip until the ganache is at a piping consistency.
Green Tea and Jasmine White Chocolate Ganache
Ingredients:
  • 2 Dilmah Real Green Tea and Jasmine tea bags
  • 65 g whipping cream
  • 100 g white chocolate
  • Green food colouring
  • 30 g butter, cubed, at room temperature
 Method:
1. Chop the chocolate and place into a small bamix bowl and process until it is in fine crumbs.
2. Open the tea bags and place contents into a small saucepan with the whipping cream and food colouring.
3. Heat the cream to boiling point and pour through a fine sieve over the chocolate crumbs.  Stir with a plastic spatula until combined and leave until warm but not hot.
4. Using a handheld mixer add the cubed butter a few pieces at time and whip until the ganache is at a piping consistency.

Q: Is it MAC-A-RON or MAC-A-ROON?
A: Macarons and Macaroons are two different things. Sydney chef Adriano Zumbo explains that "a macaron is characterised by a dome-shaped biscuit made of egg whites and almond meal, hard to the touch with a chewy interior. A macaroon is a small meringue cake, typically made of coconut and often dipped in chocolate". So yes, there is a difference.
Thanks to our friends at Dilmah for sharing this beautiful recipe with us. Dilmah is a family‐owned Sri Lankan tea company established by Merrill J. Fernando, the first tea grower to offer his tea, grown, handpicked and traditionally made, directly from the origin. www.dilmah.com.au

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