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Spring is finally here...!

 

The sun has come out and Spring is finally making an appearance! To celebrate the start of the new season, try making French macaroons with an Indian twist; perfect to present as gifts for Easter, wrapped and decorated with ribbon, or even as a dessert to indulge in all by yourself!


I had initially made these for Christmas with spiced dark chocolate ganache because I had found that the masala chai and bitter dark chocolate ganache filling complemented each other, and blended very well with the rich flavours of the festive season, but they work just as well with the lighter, sweeter taste of white chocolate for Spring, and the pastel colours look beautiful alongside all the other Easter treats.

 


Masala Chai White Chocolate Ganache Macaroons


(Makes 30)


Containing a sweet, spiced Masala Chai and White Chocolate Ganache flavoured filling, these adorable little treats use the French method of preparing Macaroons and look delightful when made in several different pastel colours.

 


Ingredients: 

For the French Macaroon Shells


120g Egg Whites and a separate portion of 20g Egg Whites (Ideally separate the egg whites from the egg yolks 3 days ahead and keep chilled in the fridge).

95g Caster Sugar

170g Ground Almonds

260g Icing Sugar

¼ tsp. Food Colouring Paste (to achieve the best results and a uniform colour, Food Colouring Paste e.g. from Wilton or Sugarflair must be used and not Food Colouring in liquid form. Tip: ‘warmer’ colours e.g. green, red, orange, yellow will create a more even and smooth looking colour compared to ‘colder’ colours e.g. blue, black etc.)   


 

Ingredients: 

For the Masala Chai White Chocolate Ganache Filling


3 Black or Green Cardamom pods

1 Tbs. fresh Ginger (peeled and grated)

2 tsp. minced Garlic

2 Tbs. ground Coriander

200g White Chocolate

190g Whipping Cream

50g Unsalted Butter (Optional)

2 ½ tbsp. Sugar

3 Cinnamon Sticks

4 Green Cardamoms

1 teabag

1 clove

1 cup of water

 


Method:

For French Macaroon Shells ('Paste' Method)


1. Prepare a baking tray by placing a silicone baking sheet onto the tray and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

2.  Ideally separate the egg whites from the egg yolks 3 days ahead and keep chilled in the fridge.

3. If you wish to add food colouring, then add a small amount of food colouring ‘paste’ to the separate portion of 20g egg whites, stir and set aside. This is the ‘food colouring and egg white mixture’. (If you do not add food colouring, then blend the 20g egg whites with the 120g egg whites to create one single portion rather than two separate portions).

4.    At room temperature, whisk the 120g egg whites until you create firm, glossy white peaks.

5. Add the Caster Sugar gradually to the whisked egg whites. This creates the meringue mixture. Create a ‘well’ in the centre of the mixture.

6. In a separate bowl, add the ground almonds and then using a sieve, sift the icing sugar into the ground almonds. This creates the ‘dry ingredients’ mixture.

7. Now pour the ‘food colouring and egg white mixture’ into the ‘dry ingredients’ mixture (i.e. ground almonds and icing sugar) - do not stir.

8. Next, fold in the ‘meringue mixture’ into the dry ingredients using a spatula and quick circular movements in an inward direction until the mixture has blended well and is ready for piping.

9. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Ensure you achieve the best results and maintain the correct consistency of the mixture by making sure you do not leave the mixture inside the piping bag for too long.

10. Pipe out macaroon halves of approx... 4. cm diameter onto the baking tray and silicone sheet. Ensure you achieve the best shape and results by keeping the piping bag nozzle only 0.5cm away from the silicone sheet when piping out each macaroon.

11. Leave the raw macaroon halves on the tray for 20 minutes until a film forms over the macaroons to prevent them from ‘skirting’ when being baked.

12. Bake at 160°C for 10 minutes.

13. When the macaroon halves have been baked, leave them to cool on the baking tray, and then carefully remove them by scraping them off the tray with a palette knife.

14. Pair-up each half of the macaroon and then prepare the filling.

15. Pipe the filling onto each upturned shell (i.e. onto the flat side of each macaroon half). Join the two macaroon halves together to v=create one macaroon. Repeat for each macaroon.

16. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours before serving.

 


Method:

For the Masala Chai White Chocolate Ganache Filling


1.   In a saucepan, add the water, cinnamon sticks, clove, teabag, sugar and cardamoms. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and bring to the boil. Strain the liquid and discard the teabag and spices. Set this masala chai liquid mixture aside.

2.  Break the chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a bowl.

3.  In a separate saucepan, heat the cream on a medium heat, stir occasionally to stop the cream from forming a film on the surface.

4.  Add a quarter of the masala chai liquid mixture to the cream and stir until well blended. Now add the chocolate pieces and slowly stir until they have melted.

5. Add the butter (optional) until it is combined thoroughly with the cream, chocolate and masala chai mixture.

6. Leave to cool and then transfer into a piping bag.

7. Pipe the filling onto the flat, upturned surface of each macaroon shell and then join each half together.



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