Archive for April, 2008

Mad about Fruit Ganaches

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Assorted Macarons with Fruit Ganache

It’s been more than a month since I last made a batch of macarons. The grand macaron recipe revision plan is NOT going according to schedule. Progress is exceedingly slow; yesterday was only revision attempt #1. Verdict for attempt #1: improving these tough cookies (pun intended!) are going to take a lot more work than I thought! :(

On the bright side, I finally got to try a few macaron flavours that have been on my to-do list for some time now. The common element these flavours have is fruit ganache. The basic idea in fruit ganache is to replace some of the cream that goes into making a ganache with either fruit juice or fruit puree. The tricky part is getting the right ratios so that the ganache will still set and not be too soft.

              Yuzu Dark Chocolate Macarons

Flavour #1: Chocolate macaron shells sandwiched with yuzu dark chocolate ganache. Since fresh yuzu is unavailable this time of the year, I went with bottled yuzu. I loved the citrus overtones and the slightly bitter taste of the yuzu peel in the ganache. Just for fun, I topped the macarons with homemade candied orange peels. I was more than happy to finally make use of the citrus peels that I’d bottled more than 6 months ago!

              Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate Macarons

Flavour #2: Passion fruit macaron shells with passion fruit milk chocolate ganache. I’ve longed to try this combination since reading about it on several blogs more than a year ago. After eating Pierre Herme’s Tarte Mogador and milk chocolate & passion fruit macaron at Mezza9 last Friday, I knew I HAD to try this flavour combination at home.

Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate Macarons

I’d already bought a couple of passion fruits at the local market 4 days earlier with the intent to juice them and make the ganache right away. Except that I had absolutely no idea how to tell if the fruits were ripe. I’d picked darker ones with smooth skins over a pre-packaged bunch with deeply wrinkled skin. When I got home, I did a quick search online and found that if I wanted ripe ones that I could use right away, I should have bought the old and wrinkley looking ones!

When the fruits were finally ripe, I strained the yellow pulp. I was surprised by how a small amount of juice could impart such a deep passion fruit flavour. This ganache is definitely my favourite out of the three!

              Peanut Banana Chocolate Macarons

Flavour #3: Peanut macaron shells sandwiched with banana dark chocolate ganache and a peanut butter centre.

This flavour was made on a whim, inspired by a dessert created by Amrita for her stint at House @ Dempsey. Her inspiration, in turn, comes from Elvis’ (yes, THAT Elvis) favourite dessert of peanut butter and banana sandwich. In my opinion, it’s a combination of flavours that’s completely American (think Reese’s peanut butter cups and banana muffins). I doubt I’ll make this flavour again, although I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the shot glass version that Amrita made!

              Peanut Banana Chocolate Macarons

Next up, purple macarons: lavender, violet and ubi! I do hope the shells turn out better …

Mad about Food Miniatures

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Re-ment Madness

It’s been more than a month since my last post and I’ve received several e-mails from concerned readers, asking if everything’s fine. I’m extremely grateful for your concern and am glad to report that all is well! :)

I’ve just been a little pre-occupied with other matters and haven’t had much time to bake something interesting enough to blog about this past month. I’ve also been revising my macaron recipe, which is why they are currently off the menu, but more about that later on in this post.

Re-ment Miniatures

The main topic of this post isn’t entirely baking related, but it is food-related, even though it’s not the sort of food that’s edible. :D

Ever since I read about food miniatures on Carol’s (Paris Breakfasts) blog, I’ve been fascinated by them. When they started popping up not long after on several other food blogs, I knew I had to own a set (or more) of these adorably diminutive toys.

Re-ment Miniature Petit Fours

Too impatient to order them online and wait for shipment, I did a little research online and found several shops in Singapore that carry Japanese anime products. Most of these shops also sell Re-ment and MegaHouse miniatures.

Megahouse PH Miniatures

While I got my hands almost immediately on the Re-Ment ones, the widely-coveted MegaHouse Pierre Hermé Collection seemed to be out of stock at every store I called. Fortunately, I found a local online seller and I have my own set now.

I have to say that I prefer the Re-ment miniatures over the MegaHouse ones. I think it might have something to do with the fact that the novelty of owning cute tiny food toys had already worn off by the time I received the MegaHouse ones in the mail. I also found the miniatures in the MegaHouse PH Collection much smaller than the Re-ment ones, making them difficult to handle.

              Peanut Chocolate Macarons

As for macarons, I haven’t had as much time to spend on the recipe revision as I’d hoped. So far, I’ve only had time to make peanut macarons sandwiched with dark chocolate and jelly. I preferred the ones with jelly, but I found that the filling tended to turn the macaron shells soft very quickly. Many thanks to S for the peanut and chocolate suggestion!

              Macarons for a Baby Boy

Other flavours, several of which are courtesy of Pierre Hermé, on my experiment list include passionfruit (with passionfruit milk chocolate ganache), chocolate (with dark chocolate yuzu ganache), violet (with cassis), lavender and ubi. I’m also contemplating the white truffle and hazelnut combination as well, but I’m not convinced yet.

I’m pretty excited about these flavours! I just hope I’ll have enough time for all of them.