Showing posts with label French Cakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label French Cakes. Show all posts

Jan 14, 2013

Eclairs amore

Preparation Time: 40 minutes then 1 hour to set ganache

Set ingredients out on table as below first:

approx 4 or 5 eggs ( now crack eggs into a weigh machine until the volume of liquid equals 1 cup or 200 g approx)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of butter (lurpak or equiv)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 teaspoon of fine sugar
140g all purpose flour

Preparing the Choux Pastry:

After cracking your eggs keep them in the bowl and place a warm bowl of water underneath to keep them warm while you prepare the following.

In a large mixing bowl place water, milk, salt, sugar and butter.  Bring to boil. As soon as boiling starts remove from heat and mix in the flour.

Move back to the heat and stir over heat for one minute stirring with wooden spatula until liquid evaporates out. Incorporate 2 eggs into the soft dough( from the egg mix warming bowl).  Add 2 more of the eggs and stir briskly again.  Add last egg and stop stirring as soon as blended thoroughly.   Use the pastry immediately or it cracks.

Pipe out shapes on greased baking paper trays.  Bake in oven for around 25 to 35 minutes on 170 degrees celsius. Check on them after 15 minutes to see they are browning. Some ovens may vary in time.

Once cooked the cases should be let cool on wire rack when baked. Then move to an airtight container.

Chocolate Ganache for the centres:

100g dark koko black or equivalent chocolate (54  - 60% dark cocoa range)
3/4 cup of whipping cream
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in small cubes

Chop the chocolate finely and set aside in a bowl.  In a saucepan bring the cream to the boil.  Pour the cream over the chocolate and leave chocolate to melt without stirring for around 3 minutes.

 Then with a whisk begin to stir gently.  As the ganache thickens stir outwards to get a smooth texture.  Add the cubes of butter slowly until ganache is silky and smooth.

This then needs to be cooled to thicken. The best way to do it is to transfer to small bowl and tightly cover the bowl so skin doesn't form on the top.  Chill in the fridge until it becomes thick but not firm.  This can take around 1 - 2 hours.

Prepare the eclairs by placing some ganache on top of one flat side and sandwiching another on top.

For these eclairs i have used ganache on the top instead of icing.

Chill in fridge and enjoy when ready.

Remember that a quality chocolate like Koko Black or Haighs will make a huge difference with the taste of your eclair.

Jun 1, 2012

Peppermint Macarons

Peppermint Macarons

Makes: 8
Preparation Time: 15 minutes and 1 hour standing time for aeration
Cooking Time: 15 minutes


60 grams of fine almond meal
1 cup of icing sugar
3 eggs whites at room temperature
1/4 cup of caster sugar
4 drops peppermint extract
Green food colouring (10 drops for pale green)

White Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream
100 g white chocolate finely chopped (good quality)
1 teaspoon of pure butter (lurpak)
1 bar of peppermint crisp

Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Draw some circles with a egg cup as per picture below.

 In a food processor add the almond meal and the icing sugar and mix until fine and aerated.  Place aside.

 In a stainless steel bowl place the egg whites and beat on high speed of an electric beater until foamy.  Then add slowly the caster sugar, peppermint extract and the green food colouring. Beat until stiff meringue.

Using a large spoon blend in the almond/icing sugar mixture and scoop it in an upwards motion until combined and smooth.   Then you will need to get a piping bag and fill with the batter.  Pipe the macarons onto the circled baking paper.  They will need to sit for an hour to aerate and form a crust so that they have a smooth top.  Mine are a little rough as my almond meal was a little coarse. 

Bake for approx 13 minutes on 150 celsius fan forced.  I open the door at six minutes to let a little air in to stop them from browning.  Allow them to cool before removing them from the paper.

Preparing the white chocolate ganache:

Place the cream in a saucepan and heat.  Add the white chocolate pieces and bring to the boil.  Make sure to keep whisking this mixture so it does not burn.  Once smooth add the butter. Then turn the heat off and place the ganache into a small bowl to cool down.  I then place this into fridge to cool completely.

Chop up the peppermint crisp on a wooden board with a very sharp knife.

When the ganache is cold add a little of the peppermint crisp and blend and then top a macaron with some and mould together with another.  Sprinkle a little peppermint crisp on the top and refrigerate quickly as they may start to melt. 

Best eaten within two days.