Nothing gets me going like a good recipe and a new dish to bake. The planning, the excitement when the dish looks like its working out, the joy of seeing my family and friends gobble it up and eagerly looking forward to what I can bake next, everything about baking makes me happy (the messy kitchen counter top aside :p) Here's a peek into my kitchen, my cooking, my wonderland.


Saturday, 24 December 2016

Santa's Belly Macarons

Santa Belly Macarons filled with dark chocolate ganache

"I wanna jiggle my belly like a bowl full of jelly."

Any die-hard F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans will know this dialogue and I need not say more. This line has been my inspiration for these desserts, along with my favourite brand Lush having a product named Santa's Belly for Christmas. 

Chandler Bing makes for an unusual Santa who didn't get to jiggle his belly like a bowl full of jelly when he was dressed as Santa thanks to Holiday Armadillo. For the uninitiated, this whole paragraph will make no sense and I suggest watching the episode. I know I am going to watch it again, cuz duh, a F.R.I.E.N.D.S marathon is always a good idea.

I have been AWOL for a long time now and I apologise for my absence. In the last couple of years, I have packed my life into 3 suitcases and moved continents. I am writing to you from sunny Australia where Christmas is a bloomin hot deal, literally. It is 38 degrees Celsius here and Santa would probably wear booty shorts rather than his heavy suit here.

But in the traditional sense of Christmas, I picture Santa wearing his big ol red suit and these berry red macarons with a fancy gold buckle, filled with delish dark chocolate ganache are my ode to Santa. This dessert had a lot of firsts for me. Baking in a new country with new ingredients and a new oven was a task in itself and lemme tell you, the oven is the last place you want to be close to when it is so hot outside. I even used lustre dust for the first time and mixing it with alcohol and painting it on was a fun task indeed. The recipe I used for the macarons is my no-fail, foolproof macarons that will give you a great batch of macarons. So do try it out and you won't be disappointed.


Overall, I am really glad that my vision for these macarons translated so well into reality and this is me, wishing you readers a very Merry Christmas and I do hope you try out these treats. So without further ado, here is the recipe. 


Santa's Belly Macarons
(Makes about 12 macarons)

For the macarons, I have a detailed blog post explaining all the steps and you can click here for it. 
For the decorations, you will need to make a batch of royal icing and here is what you will need: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup icing sugar.
  • 3/4 tablespoon Meringue powder.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear if possible).
  • 1/4 cup warm water.
  • Food colouring in black and yellow.
  • Gold lustre dust and some clear vodka or clear lemon extract.

Making the icing:

  • Whisk the sugar and meringue powder.
  • Add the vanilla extract and the water, bit by bit, whisking as you do so.  (Even though the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of water, you might need much lesser depending on the consistency, so add a little at a time)
  • Beat the mixture on medium speed for about 5 minutes. You will notice that the consistency is runny at first, but stiffer as you beat.
  • You can test if the icing is ready by using the 15 second rule. You do so by lifting the whisk and letting the icing drop back into the bowl in ribbons. If the surface of the mixture becomes smooth in 15 seconds, you are good to go. If it is quicker than 15 seconds, the icing is too runny and you need to add more icing sugar and if it is much longer, add a bit more water. 
  • Divide the icing in small batches and colour them accordingly. You will need more black, a little less white and much lesser yellow. Keep the rest of the icing in an airtight container and use it within 5 days. Alternatively, you can use the leftover icing to make candy eyes that can be used for other fun projects and they have a shelf life for almost a year. Click here for the candy eyes tutorial.
  • Fill the white, black and yellow icing into your individual piping bags. I use butter paper, roll them into cones and pipe away, but you can use various icing tips available. Make sure it has a small round opening for this recipe. 


Piping the design:

  • Step 1: After the macaron shells have cooled, place the shell onto a sheet of baking paper with the shiny side facing up and take your black icing and pipe a strip across the macaron, towards the lower half. 
  • Step 2: Take your white icing and pipe two dots to make the buttons.  
  • Step 3: Wait for about 20 minutes for the black band to dry a bit and pipe the yellow buckle as seen in the picture. 
  • Step 4: Wait for about an hour (more or less, depending on the humidity of the area you are in.) Once the yellow buckle has dried, take a bit of your golden lustre dust and add some vodka or clear lemon extract to it and mix it together. Use a thin paintbrush to paint the gold onto the buckle. The alcohol evaporates to leave a nice golden tint on the buckle. 

Assembly:


  • Once the piping has completely dried, take the other half of the macaron (flat side up) and pipe your dark chocolate ganache on it. You can find my recipe for the ganache here.  
  • Place the decorated macaron on top of the macaron with the filling and gently press down to sandwich the two together. 
  • Place the macarons in an airtight container and leave to rest for a day for the filling to soak into a shell a bit. This step is optional, for if you are impatient like me, you can eat them right away, but for the flavour to mature, it's best eaten after a day or at least a few hours. 


Do give me feedback on how they turn out if you try them and I'd love to see your take on these. So do share pictures on our page - https://www.facebook.com/TheDessertIsland/

So till next time, Get, Set, Bake!!!

1 comment:

  1. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.

    ReplyDelete

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