Whenever we travel we end up buying souvenirs for our home, we feel it is a great way to be reminded of the trip and to relive those special moments. Sometimes we will buy liquor or spirits that is unique to that place. To be honest I don’t know why we do it, as we are not fond of drinking spirits. We actually stopped doing that now.
As we have so many different spirits I decided to use it in baking where I can.
I have decided to start using the Kirsch that we bought from Switzerland. For those of you that don’t know: Kirsch is a colourless Morello cherry fruit brandy. It is very strong and is not particularly sweet. Morello has originated from Germany in the Black Forest region and also many Eastern European areas. Today there are many places around the world where Morello cherries are produced. Coming back to the product itself, there are many different uses in which you can incorporate it into. My inspiration comes from the Black Forest Gateaux and I have decided to play around with incorporating it into Macarons.
For the macaron shells I tested a few options but opted with the chocolate macaron shells as it complements the flavour more and the filling is a lovely smooth ganache and cherry filling infused with Kirsch.
Quantity yields 25 macarons (50 half shells)
Ingredients for the Macaron shells:
200g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs, split the egg whites from the yolk
Pinch of salt
40g caster sugar
4 drops of red gel food colouring
- Prepare 2 – 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. You can trace rounds circles on your sheets to make sure you stay in the circle if you want to or if you are a confident piper then you can go by eye. Make sure you can see the circles when you turn the sheet around to pipe your mixture later. Also get a piping bag ready with a round nozzle attached.
- Add the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder to a food processor and blitz until fine in texture, about 40 seconds. Leave that to one side.
- In another bowl add the egg whites and the salt and whisk with a hand held electric whisk until soft peaks form. Then add the caster sugar little by little on a low speed until all the sugar has been incorporated and the egg whites are stiff peak. (You will be able to tip the bowl to the side and the egg white won’t move.)
- Add your drops of red food colouring and then the dry ingredients that were blitzed earlier and fold in gently until well incorporated and smooth.
- Pipe your macarons on the prepared baking sheets and let them rest for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven in the last 15 minutes of the rest period.
- Bake them for 10 minutes or until the foot of the macaron is much drier.
- Let them cool of completely on the baking sheets. When they are cooled off completely you can assemble your macarons with ganache and the cherry filling.
Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache:
100g dark chocolate callets, or quality bar chopped into small pieces
100g milk chocolate callets, or quality bar chopped into small pieces
200ml double cream
1 tablespoon kirsch
- In a heatproof bowl add your chocolate. Heat up the double cream in a heavy based saucepan until hot but not boiling.
- Add your cream to the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Add the kirsch and stir until incorporated.
- Let your ganache rest with some clingfilm put on the top to prevent a skin from forming on your ganache.
- When the ganache has cooled off completely let it chill in the fridge until it is thick enough to pipe on your macarons.
- For the cherry filling you can use a good Morello cherry preserve as it is or you can add some kirsch to it for a bit of more flavour. Or you can make your own cherry filling by following the next step.
Ingredients for cherry filling:
140g frozen dark cherries
1 ½ cup jam sugar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons kirsch (can add more depending on taste)
- Add all the ingredients to a saucepan and boil stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and most of liquid has evaporated (scoop off as much froth that forms on the top as you can to make sure to have a clear filling).
- If you take a bit of the mixture in a spoon and let it cool a bit and you see it thickens quickly and a skin forms on it you can remove the pot from heat and let it cool off completely in a flat heatproof dish.
- Assemble your macarons by piping the ganache around the edge with a small round nozzle and the putting small dollop of cherry filing and then topping it off with another shell. You can decorate your macarons with drizzling some melted white chocolate if you want to. Keep your macarons in the fridge to keep them fresh.
I am working on loads of other new recipes at once so bear with me. I will post them when I am 100% happy with them.
Have a lovely day and rest of week.