Cute hedgehogs and an accidental panda! Checkout that lava ooze!
I could have made more 3D shells but I was exhausted at the end of working on a big batch of complicated macaron shells. That's why you see only four 3D macarons. The idea of a panda only came about post baking.
I used the reduced sugar macaron shell recipe for these shells. Both regular and reduced sugar recipes can be found here. I coloured the batter dark brown using Dutch processed cocoa powder and a pinch of charcoal powder. You may refer to this post for more details on points to take note about baking hemispherical macaron shells.
I piped the base shell and let it dry partially before piping on the pop-up features on the hedgehogs. Don't be shy to use a toothpick to nudge the batter where it's appropriate.
As you can see, I was using leftover batter.
Piping the spikes and ears on the hedgehogs
Remember to bake the shells until they are really dry. It makes it much easier to unmould them from the cakepop mould. Don't worry about the shells being too dry. Give it more time to mature with the filing and it should do fine. Baking time takes about 45 minutes for the shells, with the last 25-30 minutes at 100-110°C. Always start off baking at 140-150°C.
Freshly baked shells!
Facial features are added on using royal icing
Recipe for runny dark chocolate ganache
Ingredients (fills about 8 hemispherical macarons):
60g dark chocolate, chopped
60g full fat milk*
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
A pinch of fine sea salt
*You may reduce to 50-55g if you prefer the ganache to be firmer.
1. Melt dark chocolate in microwave oven at medium power. Stir until smooth.
2. Heat milk in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble.
3. Gradually add milk into melted dark chocolate, stirring well in one direction after each addition.
4. Add salt and vanilla. Mix well.
5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill.
Runny dark chocolate ganache
The recipe for whipped dark chocolate ganache can be found here.
Creamy whipped dark chocolate ganache!
1. Transfer both runny and whipped ganaches into separate piping bags.
2. Place hemispherical shells in cakepop mould. Fill the shells with one layer of whipped dark chocolate ganache (picture on the left).
3. Fill the center with runny ganache (middle picture).
4. Cover the runny ganache with a layer of whipped ganache (picture on the right).
5. Sandwich the bottom shell on. Refrigerate for a few minutes to firm up the whipped ganache before turning the macaron right way up.
Refrigerate for at least 24h in an airtight container before serving. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 10-15 min before eating.
They look like they are saying hello!
Hubby and the kids loved this yummy stuff! Checkout the cross-section up close!
Be warned. It is really rich so you can't have more than one at a time!