Tag Archives: chestnut

Cassis, chestnut and Valrhona Satilia Lactée ganache macarons


DSC_7272

Unlike the more premium Gran Cru line, the Valrhona Satilia range of chocolate is made from a blend of cocoa beans from different regions. Nonetheless, it is as delicious as ever: strong chocolate flavour with 35% cocoa, slightly sweet and a little biscuity. Kinder to the wallet so why not!

Here I’ve paired it with blackcurrants and chestnut, to simulate a Mont Blanc-esque flavour.

Macarons shell ingredients
(makes about 40 macarons)

  • 150 g icing sugar
  • 150 g almond meal
  • 110 g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 38 ml water
  • 1 g meringue powder
  • daffodil yellow gel colouring

Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.

Ingredients:

  • 120g Valrhona Satilia Lactée fèves
  • 80ml pure (heavy) cream
  • 3-4 tsp Cassis paste or blackcurrant jelly
  • a few whole cooked chestnut, broken into pieces

DSC_7275

Instructions:
Break up chocolate into small chunks. Bring cream up to a boil in a pan, and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute before stirring. Let it cool and thicken in the fridge.

Spread cassis paste on half of your shells. Add two pieces of broken up chestnut and pipe a teaspoon of ganache on top. Top with the remaining half of your shells.
DSC_7270

The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to flavour the shells. These freeze well (up to 3 months).

DSC_7260

Here’s my cone of macarons!

Chestnut macarons


DSC_6215

Chestnuts have a special place in my memories. From the great – chestnut cream layered sponge cake that was to be found at most birthday celebrations (mango is also a very popular option) – to the not so great – braised chicken with chestnuts. Well at least I remember not liking it so much because I felt that the dish was too singular in texture with everything soft tasting and lacking contrast. I do have to mention though that my favourite way of having chestnuts is having them almost raw. Just blanched, peeled, popped into an airtight bag and away you go. I remember having these as snacks on my hikes across the hills.

Chestnut purée is, however, a totally different matter. When made with the proper balance of chestnut, water, sugar and cream, it becomes one of the tastiest element in any dessert. Take the classic Mont Blanc chestnut tart. Fine strands of piped chestnut cream perched on top of a dome of silky mousse, who can resist! Take it up another notch by tempering this smooth delicate entremet with the intense flavour and sweetness of a candied chestnut. Simply divine.

Ever since I tried Joel Robuchon’s chestnut tart at Le Salon De The de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong, I have had my heart set on making chestnut macarons. This week I finally had time and oh boy what an amazing flavour. I think it is close to knocking salted caramel off its place and claim the top seat of my all time favourite macaron.

Macarons shell ingredients
(makes about 40 macarons)
150g icing sugar
150g almond meal
110g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
150g caster sugar
38ml water
1g meringue powder
2 drops of gel colouring, I used brown for half my shells and white for the other half.

Chocolate Chestnut purée

120g 28% cocoa White chocolate
60ml cream
120g chestnut purée

Instructions

Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.
You can add some cocoa powder to the shells (as I have done here) to add depth to the shells.
Heat cream till it just begins to boil and pour over white chocolate that has been broken up in small pieces in a bowl. Wait for a minute before stiring. Leave in the fridge for 10 minutes for it to set a bit and mix in chestnut purée.
Spread or pipe a teaspoon of chocolate chestnut purée on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.
The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to soften the shells and also for the flavour to fully develop.

Matcha green tea macarons with chestnut puree ganache


Right, second go at making these green tea macarons.
There are a few things that I have done differently this time:

1) I have now grasped the amount of time needed for the egg whites to become foamy, and need to start whipping it very soon after I start the sugar syrup. I need to start whipping the egg whites and powdered egg white when the sugar syrup is around 35C for it to be ready right when the sugar syrup hits 118C.

2) I have to mix the egg whites and almond meal mixture “macronnage” much less than I have previously. Just when it loosens, stop.

3) Baked trays individually, to ensure sufficient heat circulation.

4) Baked for 18 mins instead of 16 mins.

5) Cooled baking paper on cool counter top for easy removal.

Results? Shiny hair-thin skin, decent foot, soft center that is not chewy when you bite in, success!

I paired this with a chocolate chestnut ganache, and the recipe follows:

100g chocolate, chopped
100ml cream
2-3 tbsp chestnut purée

Melt cream in a pot and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes until the chocolate melts. Mix in the chestnut purée till the ganache is smooth. Cool in the fridge for 10 minutes until firm for piping.

20120405-220130.jpg

20120405-220138.jpg

One annoying thought: Efforts into perfecting my macarons & regaining my trim(mer) figure: is that mutually exclusive?
Well I certainly don’t hope so, and don’t think it will happen so long as I share the by-products around.

Macarons anyone?