Berry Pavlova

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So I couldn’t stay away from whipped egg whites this week…

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BUT this is a recipe for pavlova, not macarons so I’d say I did a pretty good job resisting the temptation to make my favourite thing ;)

Last year, I gave you a recipe for Eton Mess, which is basically a deconstructed pavlova because you make the meringue, crush it, then mix it with whipped cream and berries.

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Pavlova is a pretty big summer dessert in England. I have vivid memories of summers spent in gardens eating pavlova, everyone getting cream all over their faces.

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There is some debate about where pavlova originated. Some say it’s English, other Australian or a New Zealand dessert, and some people believe it to be named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova.

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Wherever it originated, it’s really freaking good.

It’s meringue, whipped cream and berries. I mean, you really can’t go wrong.

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And I can’t get enough.

Berry Pavlova:
Makes 1 big pavlova or two small pavlovas

Ingredients:

Meringue: 

  • 8 egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar

Pavlova: 

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • Assorted berries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. To make the meringue, whip egg whites and salt until stiff peaks begin to form. Then, slowly add the sugar as the egg whites are whipping. Continue whipping at a medium-high speed until the sugar has dissolved and the meringue is glossy (if you rub a little between your fingers, it should feel smooth, not gritty).
  3. Divide batter between two baking sheets, either one big mound of meringue on each or two smaller.
  4. Place in oven and bake for 1 hr 15 min. Turn oven off and leave meringue in there for at least 2 hours to dry out.
  5. Once the meringue is ready, whip together the heavy cream and sugar to make whipped cream.
  6. To assemble the pavlova, put some of your whipped cream on one piece of meringue and top with a few berries. Place another piece of meringue on top and again cover with whipped cream and berries (go heavy on the berries for this top layer). To serve, cut slices like you would cut a cake. Store in refrigerator.

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S’mores Macarons

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Another week, another macaron recipe!

After last week’s Salted Butter Caramel Chocolate Macaron recipe, I got a comment on my Facebook page from a family friend I’ve known since my family moved to Portland almost 15 years ago. She said she wouldn’t believe I could make macarons until I made her some, so these s’mores macarons were born.

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The shell recipe is basically the same as the one I used for my strawberries & cream macarons but without the vanilla bean and with some added colour, just for fun :)

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The filling for these little guys is where the real fun comes in! There’s a circle of rich dark chocolate buttercream, encasing some marshmallow frosting and it’s topped with graham cracker crumbs because what kind of s’more doesn’t have graham cracker crumbs?!

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If you remember way back towards the end of last year I made these s’mores cupcakes. Well the marshmallow frosting I used for that is making another appearance in these macarons. It’s really, really easy to make and tastes so stinkin’ good. Paired with the dark chocolate buttercream and your tastebuds will go right to heaven!

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I can promise you now, that next week’s post won’t be a macaron recipe ;) It’s something summery, delicious, and fruity and I’m so excited to share it with you!

S’mores Macarons: 

Ingredients:

Shells: 

  • 200g almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 75ml (2 1/2 fl. oz.) water
  • 200g sugar
  • 160g egg whites, separated into 80g each
  • Gel food colouring (optional)

Dark Chocolate Buttercream: 

  • 1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream

Marshmallow Frosting: 

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • * graham cracker crumbs

Directions:

Shells: 

  1. Put almond flour and powdered sugar in food processor and process until fine. Sift into a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil (do not stir). Make sure mixture doesn’t go above 240°F.
  3. In a mixer, gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks. When sugar mixture reaches 220°F, increase beater speed. When syrup reaches 240°F remove from heat and pour in a thin stream into beaten egg whites. Beat for a further 10 minutes to cool down the meringue.
  4. While the meringue is beating, combine the sifted ingredients and the remaining 80g egg whites to form an almond paste. If adding colour, add it to the paste before adding meringue.
  5. With a flexible spatula, incorporate 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste to loosen it up. Then add remaining meringue, carefully working the batter.
  6. Fit a piping bag with a large, round tip and fill with batter. Pipe onto silicone or parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly tap the bottoms on your countertop and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 14 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Buttercream: 

  1. Using a handheld beater, cream the butter. Add cocoa powder and vanilla extract, beating to combine. Add sifted powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl to incorporate all of it. Add heavy cream and combine.

Marshmallow Frosting: 

  1. Combine sugar and egg whites in a bowl. Place bowl over a pot of gently simmering water and whisk constantly until mixture reaches 160°F.
  2. Transfer to a standing mixer with whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed (8) for 10-12 minutes, until it has doubled in volume and stiff peaks have formed.

Assembly: 

  1. Pair up macaron shells of the same size.
  2. On one half of each pair, pipe a ring of dark chocolate buttercream. Pipe some of the marshmallow frosting in the middle of the ring, sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top and sandwich together.
  3. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for 3-4 days. Bring to room temperature before eating.

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Salted Butter Caramel Chocolate Macarons

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My obsession with macarons is actually out of control. Like, I willingly admit I have a problem and probably need a support group kind of out of control.

I would say it’s bad but I’m 99.9% sure something this adorable and cute can’t possibly be bad. Right?

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Please say I’m right.

I made caramel sauce at work this week for our two restaurants and food cart and decided that this week’s macarons had to include some sort of caramel. Salted caramel is clearly the best kind of caramel so this salted butter caramel was born.

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It’s really easy to make, has a four ingredients (sugar, water, heavy cream, salted butter) and tastes great. But you do have to be careful when you make it – I like to use the tallest pot I have – because when you add the cream to the hot water and sugar, it bubbles up like crazy. You need to be really, really careful. You don’t want to burn/scald your arms on hot caramel. It’s good, but not worth that kind of pain.

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You’ll have extra caramel. Feel free to eat it with a spoon. I don’t judge. That would be hypocritical.

With these macarons you get not one, but TWO fillings. Because I love you and think you all need cavities.

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Just kidding. Although I did recently get my first ever cavity at the age of almost 25. Being cavity-free was fun while it lasted.

Anyway…the other filling is a super simple but delicious chocolate ganache. Is there a better combination than chocolate and caramel? I don’t think so.

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This particular combo is sweet and slightly salty. It’s sandwiched between the most beautiful chocolatey macaron shells which basically makes it the perfect little dessert for chocolate lovers.

I’m pretty sure non-chocolate lovers would like it too. It’s just that good.

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I used the Italian method for the meringue used in the shells instead of the French method. I’ve found it to be more stable and the insides of my shells never deflate when I go this route. It does take a little more effort than the French method, but I think it’s worth it.

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So we have this: shells and a ring of chocolate ganache filled with salted butter caramel coming together to create a delicious salted butter caramel chocolate macaron.

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Enjoy!

Salted Butter Caramel Chocolate Macarons:
Makes about 40 macarons

Ingredients:

Shells: 

  • 180g almond flour
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • 30g dark cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 fl. oz. water
  • 200g sugar
  • 160g egg whites, separated (80g)
  • Chocolate sprinkles (optional)

Chocolate Ganache: 

  • 250g dark chocolate (chips or chopped)
  • 7 fl. oz. heavy cream
  • 15g sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter

Salted Butter Caramel: 

  • 250g sugar
  • 2 1/2 fl. oz. water
  • 4 fl. oz. heavy cream
  • 7 oz. salted butter

Directions:

Shells: 

  1. Place almond flour, powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a food processor and process until fine. Sift and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring water a sugar to a boil (do not stir). Make sure the syrup doesn’t go about 240°F.
  3. In a mixer, gently beat 80g egg whites to soft peaks. When the syrup passes 220°F, increase the beater speed. When syrup reaches 240°F remove from heat and pour in a thing stream into beaten egg whites. Beat for a further 10 minutes to cool down the meringue.
  4. While beating, combine the sifted ingredients and the remaining 80g egg whites, making a smooth paste.
  5. With a flexible spatula, incorporate 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste. Then add the remaining meringue, carefully working the batter.
  6. Fit a piping bag with a tip and fill with batter. Pipe onto silicone or parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly tap the bottoms and let rest for at least 30 minutes. {If using chocolate sprinkles, sprinkle on top of piped shells before resting}.
  7. Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake for 14 minutes.

Ganache: 

  1. Put chocolate pieces/chips into a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat cream and sugar over medium heat until hot. Pour cream over chocolate and gently combine.
  3. Incorporate butter until smooth. Cool to room temp. and refrigerate 1 hr. before using.

Caramel: 

  1. Heat the sugar & water over medium heat – do not stir. Watch until it becomes a light-brown caramel colour.
  2. Next, slowly and CAREFULLY add the cream, stirring with a spatula. The caramel will bubble and foam a lot.
  3. Once cream has been incorporated into caramel, monitor the temperature. Once it hits 225°F., remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.
  4. Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours.

Assembly: 

  1. Match shells of the same size to form pairs. On one half of each pair, pipe a ring of chocolate ganache. Fill with the caramel and gently sandwich together.
  2. To store, keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to a week.

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