Sunday, 6 April 2014

Easter Macarons - Chicks, Eggs and Hot Cross Buns

Easter is coming! 

Last year I made chocolate bunny macarons which looked fairly horrific. Rather than trying again this year I decided to make some different Easter-themed macarons.

These were so much easier - no crazy piping involved. The hot cross bun and chicks are simply normal sized round macarons with royal icing detail. For the egg shaped ones, I started to pipe a circle as normal, then stretched it out to make it an oval. The technique and recipe I use to make macarons can be found here with step-by-step photos.

Easter Egg Macarons
Now for the fillings:
The Easter egg macarons are filled with a salted caramel dark chocolate ganache filling, adapted from a recipe by Adriano Zumbo.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache
To fill approximately 16 eggs

75g cream
10g cocoa butter, finely chopped
60g caster sugar
120g dark chocolate, chopped
40g butter, softened
1 big pinch salt flakes

  1. Place cream and cocoa in a small saucepan and heat on a low-med heat until just boiling.
  2. Meanwhile, put the sugar in a medium saucepan and heat on a low heat until the sugar melts and turns a deep golden colour. DO NOT STIR. Shake the saucepan to prevent the sugar from burning.
  3. Pour the boiling cream over the caramel and whisk until smooth. The cream will release lots of steam so be careful.
  4. Place the chocolate in a bowl and pour over the caramel cream mixture. Leave to sit for 1-2mins then stir until smooth. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  5. With a sitck blender, blitz in the butter, then fold through the sugar.
  6. Leave to sit at room temperature until thick enough to pipe.

The chick macarons are filled with a lemon curd buttercream. Unfortunately I didn't measure what I was doing but basically I mixed approximately 1/2 cup homemade lemon curd together with 1 cup of buttercream. If the mixture looks too runny, either add more buttercream or do what I do and add in some almond meal as it doesn't dull the lemony taste as much.

The filling for the hot cross bun macaron is again courtesy of Mr Zumbo. I highly recommend his little book Zumbarons (Zumbo, the large book I don't use so much.) I love his quirky flavour combinations - think vegemite macarons, choc mayo, fingerbun, gin & tonic in addition to the usual suspects.

His hot crossed bun ganache recipe uses both a soaked hot cross bun and hot cross bun crumbs, however as I needed to make these gluten free, I omitted these and added extra raisins and spices. Last year I followed it exactly as per the recipe and it was delicious!

Hot Cross Bun Ganache
(to fill 24 macarons)

60g cream
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp mixed spice
80g white chocolate
20g unsalted butter, softened
10g candied orange peel, finely chopped
40g raisins, finely chopped (fine enough so they can fit through a piping nozzle!)

Place the cream and spices in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling.
Place white chocolate in a bowl and pour over cream mixture, leave to stand for 2 minutes then stir.
Leave the ganache to cool for 5 minutes then blitz in the butter with a stick blender.
Fold through orange peel and raisins.
Leave to sit at room temperature until thick enough to pipe.

How about making some macarons for the chocolate-hating people out there (or those in a chocolate coma) for Easter?

Sarah xx