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