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Macaroon tower


With Guillaume Nicoli of Ma Cherie

Recipe for 20 macaron :

Macaroons (makes 20 empty shells i.e. half a macaroon)
115 grams icing sugar
65 gr finest almond meal
50 gr egg white
5 drop for food coloring

1. For the macaroons, preheat the oven to 130C. Sift the icing sugar together with the almond meal into a large mixing bowl.

2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk egg whites to stiff peaks, then add food colouring to whites as desired. Make in smaller batches if you want to make several different colours.

3. Using a spatula, add all of the whites to the almond and icing sugar mix and carefully fold together until completely incorporated.

4. Place a template with circles measuring 3.5cm in diameter onto a baking tray and cover with baking paper. Place the mixture in a piping bag and pipe rounds onto the templates. Macaroons will be around 7-10mm high at this stage. Remove the template from under the baking paper. Bang the tray against a bench to let the macaroons spread slightly. Allow to dry at room temperature for 40 minutes, or until they no longer stick to your finger when the tops are touched. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

5. Once cooked, slide the baking tray out from under the baking paper and allow to cool at room temperature.

Ganache stuffing
60g white chocolate buttons
a few drops of food colouring
3g flavouring
25g fresh cream

1. For the ganache stuffing, place the white chocolate buttons in a large mixing bowl with the food colouring (as desired) and flavouring (as desired). Place the cream in a medium sized saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil, remove from heat, and pour over the white chocolate. Let sit for a few seconds and then whisk the chocolate until completely dissolved.

2. Place ganache in the fridge or blast chiller to cool until ready to use. Ganache should be cool but pliable for piping.

Buttercream
130g butter
60g egg white
60g caster sugar
A few drops of vanilla essence

1. Place butter in the microwave until very soft but not melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl and beat with an electric hand beater until pale and a soft, creamy texture.

2. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip to stiff peaks. Now start adding the caster sugar a little at a time to make a French meringue. Beat until the sugar has dissolved.

3. Using a spatula, fold one third of the meringue into the butter. Once completely incorporated, fold in the remaining two thirds of the meringue, then add the vanilla essence.

Assembly

1. Lay out the macaroons on a bench. Place the ganache in a piping bag. Fill the macaroons with the appropriate coloured ganache and place another macaroon on top. Leave to sit at room temperature. Do not place in refrigerator.

2. Using a palette knife, cover a polystyrene tower with buttercream.

3. Start to assemble the tower by placing macaroons decoratively in the desired pattern, starting at the bottom of the tower. Build up the tower in such a way that each macaroon is nestled between and supported by the two macaroons below in a bricklaying pattern. Continue, moving up the tower until all of the surface area is covered.

4. Place 12-16cm wire sticks into the top of the tower. Place a macaroon on the end of each wire. The wire should go through the ganache which will be the strongest point in the macaroon. Push the wire through until it is nearing the other side of the macaroon but do not let the wire pass all the way through.

(TX: 26 May 2011)


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