Recipe: Macaroons

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Note: My favourite filling for macaroons is ganache filling, which I have included in this recipe. Alternatively, you can use jam and cream, butter cream, or just eat your macaroons plain.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large egg whites (140g)
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar or 1 3/4 cups icing mixture
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2g salt (tiny pinch)
  • gel food colouring (optional)

Ingredients (ganache filling):

  • 100g chocolate
  • 30ml cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C
  2. Place egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl and mix with electric mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out, continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.  How long this takes will depend on you mixer.
  3. Add gel or powdered food colouring (if so desired) and continue to mix for a further 20seconds. I chose blue, pink and brown food colouring.
  4. Sift the almond meal and icing sugar and salt twice, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve. Fold into the egg white mixture. It should take roughly 30-50 folds using a rubber spatula.  The mixture should be smooth and a very viscous, not runny. Over-mix and your macaroons will be flat and have no foot, under mix and they will not be smooth on top.
  5. Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper, rap trays on the bench firmly (this prevents cracking) and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check if one comes off the tray fairly cleanly, if not bake for a little longer (make sure you are using NON-stick baking paper or they will stick).
  6. For the ganache filling (optional), bring the 30ml cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute and then stir. If it is not adequately melted then microwave for 20 seconds and stir – repeat until smooth. Allow to cool and thicken before piping onto macaroons.
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Recipe: Chocolate Soufflé

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Chocolate Soufflé topped with chocolate and walnut shavings. Finished with white chocolate on triple ice cream on waffle and wafer sticks with Strawberry on the side.

Note: Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 4 1/2 tbscaster sugar
  • 60g butter
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 160ml (2/3 cup) milk
  • 210g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) thin cream
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Icing sugar, to dust
  • Strawberries, ice cream and chocolate wafers (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush six 160ml (2/3-cup) ovenproof souffle dishes with melted butter to grease (using upward strokes on side). Sprinkle the inside with 1 1/2 tbs of caster sugar, shake out any excess.
  2. Melt 30g of the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and use a wooden spoon to stir for 1 minute or until mixture is smooth and begins to bubble. Remove from heat, gradually add milk, stirring until smooth and combined. Return to medium heat, stir until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 125g of the chocolate and remaining caster sugar until combined. Transfer to a bowl. Add egg yolks and stir until well combined.
  4. Use an electric beater to whisk egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Use a metal spoon to fold one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining egg whites until just combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture evenly into prepared dishes. Place on a baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until well risen.
  6. Meanwhile: combine remaining chocolate, remaining butter, brown sugar, cream and vanilla essence in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is well combined. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Place in a jug.
  7. To serve, place ramekins on plates. Dust with icing sugar. Use a spoon to make a hole in top of each souffle, pour in a little chocolate sauce. Add chocolate wafers, strawberries and ice cream on side if desired.