Monday, 28 March 2016

Pusheen Cat Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache

I had some extra batter while rushing out a batch of bears with beer mugs macarons so I decided to make something simple and cute. So here are my Pusheen cat macarons done the lazy way! No 3D pop up features using macaron batter and no royal icing add-ons. All details are added on using edible marker!

Aren't we cute??

You may refer to this post for video tutorials for macaron basics and this post for video tutorials on how to pipe complex shapes. If you are able to, do grab a copy of my newly launched Creative Baking: Macarons book as the techniques are presented in a more systematic way.

The basic recipe I use is the same for all macarons, with variation in flavouring and colouring ingredients.  Briefly,

Basic macaron shell recipe
200g almond meal (preferably superfine)
200g icing sugar
200g caster sugar
160g egg whites, divide into two equal portions
75ml water
1/2 tsp white powder food colouring or several drops of white gel food colouring. (Optional)

1. Prepare mass. Sift almond, icing sugar and white powder together. Add half of egg whites and mix well with spatula.
2. Prepare Italian meringue. Beat remaining egg whites in a clean metal bowl on medium low speed until soft peaks while boiling caster sugar and water until 115°C without stirring. Increase mixer speed to high and carefully pour syrup into egg whites. Beat for another 10 minutes or until cool and stiff glossy peaks form.
3. Fold Italian meringue into mass in two additions until batter flows in a slow moving lava-like manner. Check the video on how to fold and check consistency.
4. Transfer to piping bag and pipe the shape of Pusheen onto baking tray with template under baking sheet. Bang the tray hard a few times to release trapped air.
5. Rest the shells until dry to touch (about 1-2 hours). Bake in preheated oven at 130°C on lowest rack for 17-22 minutes or until feet no longer wet, rotating tray halfway. Cool completely before removing shells from baking tray.

Just to share some pictures of the process...

Piping the cats! Toothpick is used to pull the ears.

Freshly baked shells!

I only had time to decorate the shells almost a week after baking and even then, I did it in a rush as I had other more important things to work on since these cats were for fun.

Just a tip here on how to create more hues than the number of coloured edible markers you have. The light brown shade of the pizza slice crust was created by using a brown marker to dot the surface, and then quickly using the yellow marker to colour over. Remember not to accidentally smudge the features. I love the Wilton fine tipped marker! Much finer than the Americolor set I have although the latter has a wider range of colours.

Someone saw these shells I posted on Facebook and requested for them! I filled the cats with dark chocolate ganache. Butter + heavy cream : dark chocolate ratio used is 1:2. Added a pinch of salt and some vanilla bean paste to enhance the flavour. Briefly,

Dark chocolate ganache recipe
150g dark chocolate, chopped
50g heavy cream
15g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/8 tsp fine sea salt

1. Heat cream until bubble starts to appear in small pan. Remove from heat. Melt chocolate and butter in microwave, stirring between 20 seconds of heating at medium power.

2. Add cream to chocolate. Stir in one direction with a spatula. Add vanilla and salt. Mix well.

3. Let the ganache sit at room temperature for half an hour or until toothpaste like consistency. Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto shells.

Refrigerate for at least 24 h before serving. Let the macarons stay at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving. As the ganache I used is a firm one, you may package these as gifts with storage at aircon temperatures for a couple of days.

Feedback was that these were yummy and less sweet than some macarons sold outside :).

Checkout my other version of Pusheen macarons over here!

With love,
Phay Shing

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