SUGAR AND SPICE AND EVERYTHING NICE!!
THAT'S WHAT THE HOLIDAYS ARE MADE OF!!
I love the holiday season…Just few more days of work and then it’s time to mingle. All that's left to do is stay cozy with a cuppa hot chocolate, delicious nibbles and sweet treats with occasional visits to/from friends & family. The gifts are all done and packed; some with a mailman finding their way overseas, some standing proud on the kitchen top, some eaten & digested as soon as they arrive. The decorations have come-up around the house..some silver-white ones resembling the snowflakes outside, brown pine cones dusted silver-white just like the skeletal tree with a skin of snow, embellished with some reds, pinks and gold to add to the festive sprit. House is filled with the aroma of the season; cinnamon in one sniff, mulled wine and baking boozy bread/cake in the other. The weather outside maybe dull and grey but with streets lit up in colors, brimming with overcrowded markets and stalls. Who doesn’t like these holidays? I have been busy donning the chefs cap and dared to go all new and avant-garde this season!
So for this month’s Mac Attack Challenge, Mac Partners Jamie and Deeba have asked us to create a macaron that blends the Savory Sweet! A macaron to be served on a silver tray as an apératif or hors d’oeuvres with a glass of champagne, as a special snack or part of a festive buffet. I usually stick to the tried and tested Mac recipes but not this time..I made this White Chocolate-Pink Peppercorn Macs using the Italian Meringe method and boy-o-boy I am glad I did it! These are the perfect Macs I’ve ever made...perfect texture, perfect bite, perfectly chewy and, of course, perfect feet... the list is pretty much endless and flavours are to die for! I sandwiched them together with a Passion fruit-LemonCurd Buttercream that gave these Macs the perfect tang with the sweet and savory.
White Chocolate Pink Peppercorn Macarons
Egg White - 55 gms (1) (aged for 2-3 days on kitchen-top or in the fridge for a week)
Icing Sugar - 150 gms
Ground Almonds - 60 gms
White Chocolate - 60 gms melted and cooled
Caster Sugar - 150 gms
Egg whites - 55 gms
Water - 1/4 cup
Egg Whites Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cream of Tartar - Pinch
Pink Peppercorns - a few
Pulse the almonds and icing sugar in a processor until fine. Sieve twice. Mix one part of the egg whites and white chocolate to this. The mixture should look like a paste. Meanwhile whisk whites till frothy along with the whites powder and cream of tartar. Bring the sugar and water to boil and let it reach 115-118 C in a candy thermometer. Add this to the whites and whisk on high as you pour till it form glossy peaks. Mix a part of the whites to the almond mixture gently folding it. Mix in the remaining whites till you get a smooth mixture that forms ribbons when lifted. Do not over-mix as the mixture will turn liquidy and difficult to pipe. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe onto a baking sheet with silpat/ non-stick sheet. Sprinkle some peppercorns on top and leave it to form a skin for 1 hour. When you touch them they should not stick to your hand at this point, if they do leave them for some more time. Preheat oven to 160C and bake these babies for 10-12 min depending on size. They should come off the sheet once cooked. Transfer to wire rack and cool. Pipe desired filling and sandwich the macarons.
Passionfruit-LemonCurd Icing (Makes a Jar)
4 Passion fruits scooped out
Few tbsp of Heavy Cream
Mix the passion fruit along with the ingredients for the lemon curd except butter and cook over double boiler as the recipe calls for. Mix in the butter once off heat. Transfer to sterilized jars. Use about 2 tbsp of the filling. Meanwhile whip the cream till stiff peaks and blend in the passion fruit-lemon curd. Fill a piping bag with this and pipe onto cooled shells and sandwich.