Monday, 19 December 2011

Orange and apricot-white chocolate caramel macarons

I'm so looking forward to Christmas Eve dinner at home.  Future father-in-law is taking over kitchen responsibilities at our place and being a retired professional chef he sure comes up with super delicious stuff! As I'm writing this I'm recalling the yummy beef wellington he made for us 2 Christmas ago!

It seems lately I'm in the mood for making macarons. The drier and cooler weather in Hong Kong now does make it much easier for macaron making.  Making macarons during the humid summer can get really frustrating.  I added orange zest to the shells to give it the citrus taste, and paired it with caramel filling made with apricot jam and white chocolate.  I found the caramel filling pretty sweet so would suggest using it sparingly when filling the shells.

Recipe below makes around 20 sandwiched macarons
Orange shells (recipe for shells adapted from Les Petit Macaron by Kathryn Gordon & Anne E. McBride):

82.5g almond flour
82.5g confectioners' sugar
1/2 pinch fine sea salt
57.5g aged egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
75g granulated sugar
28.5g water
1/2 packed tsp (about 2g) finely grated orange zest
1 drop of liquid yellow colouring
1 drop of liquid red colouring

Place almond flour, confectioners' sugar and salt in food processor  and pulse for about 40 seconds to combine them into fine powder.  Sift through a fine-mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl.

While preparing the sugar syrup, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar using an electric mixer on medium speed till soft peaks form.  Switch the speed down if egg whites are at soft peaks before syrup is ready.

Heat granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium to high heat.  Stir only at beginning to dissolve the sugar crystals.  Use a thermometer to measure the syrup, cooking the sugar till it reaches 118C (the book says 113C, but I've always used 118C).  Carefully pour the sugar syup into the mixer bowl while running the whisk at medium speed.  Continue whisking till stiff peaks form and the meringue is lukewarm and glossy (the book says it'll take about 4 minutes.  I don't time myself but stopped once stiff peaks form and the meringue does not fall out when the bowl is turned upside down). 

Transfer the meringue into the large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients.  With a rubber spatula, fold in the meringue, folding till the batter is loose enough to drip down from the spatula back to the bowl in one continuous lava-like flow.  Add in orange zest and food coloring after about 5 folds.  (It took me about 45 folds in total this time, though the book says about 18 and the previous batch I made with the same recipe took me about 35 folds.)

Pipe batter onto silicon mat placed on baking sheet (I piped 3cm circles) and place into 65C preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Without removing the macarons, increase the oven temperature to 150C and bake for 13 minutes (the book says 9 minutes, but my macarons were done only at 13 minutes, and I'm using a convection oven).

Slide silicon mat off baking sheet to cool.  Wait for macarons to cool before removing macarons from silicon mat.  

Fill with apricot-white chocolate caramel.

Apricot-white chocolate caramel:

120g apricot jam
80g white chocolate, chopped
1/2 tbls grand marnier
1/2 tsp lime juice
60g granulated sugar
40g heavy cream

Heat jam in sauce pan over medium heat, constantly stirring till boils slightly.  Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate till it is melted.  Add grand marnier to the jam and chocolate mixture.  Set aside.

Heat cream in small saucepan over medium heat until it is scalding.

Heat sugar and lime juice in medium saucepan over medium heat, stiring only till sugar resembles wet sand.  

Cook till sugar turns a clear amber colour, edges begin to foam and you can smell the caramel. Remove from heat and immediately pour in cream to stop the cooking process. 

Stir in jam and chocolate mixture and pour caramel into a shallow pan so that it can cool down faster till thick and spreadable, about 1.5 hours.

1 comment:


Related Posts with Thumbnails