Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pistachio Macarons with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream

It has been a while since I have made macarons. These turned out surprisingly well considering I tampered with the ingredients from my usual recipe and just added however much I wanted of pistachios. In fact the measurement of pistachios was 'however many I could peel before I got bored/annoyed/sore fingers'. I had intended to add some green food colouring to give them a more 'Pistachio' look but it completely escaped me. The ganache and buttercream was just left over from some cupcakes I made but it was super delicious sandwiched between pistachio macarons.

I've not been having a great time at work lately which is a shame because I love what I do. Throw in a bit of home sickness and my mood has been somewhat unpleasant to say the least. These little pick me ups make me feel a whole lot better both in the making and the eating. Creating these delicious little morsels from a few simple ingredients just gives me hope that one day this will be what I get to do day in day out :) And the fact that just one little bite can lift my mood to new heights is a pleasurable bonus!

Pistachio Macarons with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream

What you will need

3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup ground pistachios (I peeled/ shelled some pistachios then processed and sifted them, keep the bits that were too big to get through the sieve and set aside for later)
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 egg whites

200g chocolate melts
100ml cream

1 cup icing sugar
100g butter
2 tsp vanilla essence

What you will need to do

Prepare two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
In a bowl sift the almond meal, icing sugar and ground pistachios and set aside. In another bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the caster sugar and beat until a thick merengue forms. Add the merengue into the sifted dry ingredients. Start mixing quite vigorously to combine ingredients and then fold until mixture is shiny and moves slowly in the bowl when tilted.

Place mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round tip about 1cm wide. Pipe small rounds onto the baking trays about 2cm wide (I made some extra small ones about 1cm wide too). Leave a good sized gap between each round as they will spread slightly. Tap the baking tray quite hard onto the bench to get any bubbles out of the rounds. Sprinkle the rounds with any leftover pistachio bits that were too big to get through the sieve. Leave the trays out on the bench for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the temperature and weather, until a dry skin forms on the rounds and you can touch them without it sticking to your finger.

Preheat the oven to 150*C and place trays in for about 10 minutes. They may need longer depending on your oven. The shells will be ready when the feet have formed and no longer look soft. They won't brown too much on top but the bottoms might just start to brown. Take out the trays and leave them to cool down on the tray. Once they are cool to touch remove them carefully from the baking tray and set on a wire rack to continue to cool.

To make the ganache, bring the cream to boil then pour over the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Stir until all the chocolate has melted then set aside to cool down and firm up.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter and icing sugar until pale and creamy. Beat in the vanilla.

To fill the macarons, prepare a piping bag fitted with a round tip about 1cm wide. To fill the piping bag, holding it upright put the buttercream on one side of the bag and put ganache on the other side. This way you will get a swirled effect when you pipe. Pipe the filling onto half of the shells and then sandwich together with the other shells.

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