I wasn't sure if there would be nut-intolerant people around, so I played it safe and made sesame-based macarons.For the cream, I decided to try out a ganache based on white chocolate and flavoured with raspberries, I thought it would work well with the sesame meringue of the macaron shells. The raspberry pureé is the raspberry liqueur pureé I discovered a few years ago, and remembering to sieve it this time.
The macarons were also a tried and tested recipe from way back as well, but with sesame seeds instead of almonds. So here comes the new bit.
155 g white chocolate
80 g double cream
120 g sieved raspberry pureé
pink food colouring if needed
- Chop the white chocolate as finely as possible and place in a heat-proof bowl.
- Scald the double cream and pour over the chocolate.
- Let stand for a minute, then stir through to mix the chocolate and cream.
- Stir in the raspberry pureé and some pink food colouring, if the mixture is too pale or too yellow-y.
- Leave to cool down and store in a cool place, but not the fridge.
- Before the ganache is required, whip with an electric whisk for a minute, it'll go a little lighter in colour. Do not over-do because it can go lumpy.
- Transfer to a piping bag with a small round nozzle and put the macarons together.
My theory for ganache filling worked - the macarons we kept for home use kept for several days without any sign of sogginess, nicely tucked away in an air-tight box.
And I also came up with a good way of transporting macarons as we took some with us to the barbecue. I cut the cardboard tube from a roll of kitchen paper in half length-wise. I then wrapped each half with aluminium foil and placed both halves in a plastic food box. I placed the macarons on their sides, I was able to fit 9 in each half. I covered with kitchen paper to cushion the macarons, in case of any bumps during transportation and put the lid on. The plastic box is one of Lundulph's old lunch boxes and I have a cooler lunch bag into which it fits, so I placed the box there and put a couple of small frozen cooler blocks on top as it was looking like it'd be quite a hot day. This all worked a treat, all macarons arrived uninjured.
Incidentally, I did find some suitable macaron boxes on the internet, but I've yet to buy some and try out. I'm not sure I'm keeping to the standard macaron size yet.
There was quite a lot of ganache left, so I made a second batch of macarons a few days later, this time from sunflower seeds. These had a more neutral flavour compared to the sesame version and didn't combine as nicely with the raspberry ganache. Besides, I made a mistake. The mixture was stiffer than I expected it and once I'd piped them, they wouldn't sink down, but kept the peaks from the piping nozzle. The mixture was sticky, so I used a greased up palette knife to level them out. This left some grease on each macaron and when they were baking, this heated up too much and caused almost all macarons to puff up on top, many looked like miniature volcanoes.