Cassis Macaroons

It seemed to me today that making macaroons was a perfectly good excuse to avoid going outside and meeting the inclement weather.

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Cake-Pop Cassis Macaroons

For the macaroons

Enough for 60 small shells (30 macaroons)

  • 3 egg whites
  • 210 g powder sugar
  • 125 g ground almond
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • Purple food colouring (Wilton Violet icing colour)

Mix and sift powder sugar and ground almond.

Beat the egg whites. When bubbly, add caster sugar slowly and keep beating until very stiff, dense and creamy (3-4 minutes).

Incorporate with a spatula the food colouring and finally fold in the powder sugar and almond mixture in small additions.

Pipe 3 cm diameter circles of mixture onto a baking tray, leaving some space among them. 

Bang the baking tray a couple of times against the table to remove trapped air bubbles and flatten the shells. Smooth any defects on top with a small spatula. If you want to add some sprinkles on half of them, now would be the moment. 

Leave the trays for 30 mins to form a skin on the top, longer if it is raining like hell outside, like here (I had them 90 minutes or so). Maybe it will start snowing soon 🙂 

Bake at 130 °C fan for 14 min, they are done when they feel firm to the touch. When the shells are cold you can assemble the macaroons, using a pipping bag to dispense the filling gives more precision but it is totally optional.

The video in this blog is excellent, take a look.

 

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For the cassis flavoured whipped cream filling

  • Whipping cream
  • Crème the Cassis

Add a good splash of Crème de Cassis to the cream and whip it.

For the cassis flavoured ganache filling

  • 100 g dark chocolate 70 %
  • 20 g cream
  • 30 g cassis liqueur
Heat the cream and liqueur and pour onto the chocolate – mix until well combined and allow to cool.

 

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Cassis

To the English post

Fa poc vaig comprar una botella de Crème de Cassis. En general els francesos no és que m’apasionen, però mai he negat que de formatge i vi entenen, i aparentment de groselles, també. Si encara no l’has provat, no perdes més el temps.

Per descomptat que vaig triar la botella més gran, no fora cas que posar en google “pastís amb cassis” em donara alguna idea. Quasi totes les receptes que vaig trobar eren en realitat la mateixa, així que molt roina no podia ser.

La meva oportunitat es va manifestar en forma d’una nova tradición que hem instaurat recentment en l’oficina i que hem batejat com a Sweet Monday. Bàsicament, cada dilluns un de nosaltres s’encarrega d’alleugerar el principi de setmana amb un dolcet. Jo vaig pensar que no hi ha res que puga fer malbè una setmana que comença amb café, xocolate i grosselles… així que vaig decidir donar-li una oportunitat a la recepta de Ina Garten (Food Network):

Pastís de Cassis:

  • 170 g de mantega
  • 280 g de xocolate negre (si es Valor, millor, si estàs lluny, te’l poses en la maleta quan tornes de les vacances de Nadal)
  • 60 g de cacau en pols
  • 80 ml de Crème de Cassis
  • 1 culleradeta d’essència de vainilla
  • 5 ous
  • 225 g de sucre blanc
  • un pessiguet de sal

Cal calfar el forn a 175°C i forrar un motlle de 20 cm de diàmetre. La mantega i el xocolate es posen en un tassó i es fonen a sobre d’aigua bollint, movent amb una cullera de quan en quan. Quan la barretja és homogènea, es deixa uns 5 minuts que es refrede i a continuació s’incorpora el cacau en pols, el licor de grosella i l’extracte de vainilla.

En un altre recipient es baten els ous, sucre i sal amb les varilles elèctriques fins a que la mescla quede groc clar i s’haja triplicat en volum. A continuació s’afegeix el xocolate i es barretja amb cura, però completament, amb una espàtula. La mescla es boca ara en el motlle i es forneja de 35 a 40 minuts. Quan el pastís està fet, es deixa gelar en el motlle uns 30 minuts abans de traure’l.

Aquesta no és exactament la recepta que jo vaig trobar. En primer lloc, la gent no te cap tipus de respecte pel sistema mètric: oz, cup, pint, ¿¿¿sticks??? Algú que m’explique això que és… Lo bo del segle XXI es que Google ho sap tot, i de seguida trobes tot tipus de convertors online que et diuen en cristià què és cada cosa, però la part de la meva ànima on viu el meu altre hobby (el que treu la targeta quan anem a comprar sucre), de vegades es pega cabotades contra la paret per deport.

Bé, tornant a la recepta: quan vaig acabar de fondre el xocolate i afegir el cacau en pols i el cassis, no em vaig poder resistir a ficar-hi el dit (control de qualitat, obviament) i, a banda d’entrar-me ganes de traure una cullera i deixar-me de sweet mondays, el dimoniet que porta la cassalla a les festes de poble em va dir a l’orelleta que una miqueta més de groselles no farien nosa. Aixina que li vaig dir al meu fotògraf que m’arrimara la botella i començara a bocar, que ja li diria jo quan havia de parar…

En la recepta original, després de fornejar el pastís, s’ha de fer un glassejat de xocolate que es posa per damunt i després es serveix tot amb fruites del bosc passadetes per més licor. A mi em va pareixer que allò era massa bombo i platillo, aixina que li vaig posar una miqueta de sucre per damunt i avant. I lo de les fruites del bosc, espectacular, si, però quan has d’anar pel mon passejant el pastís, no lo més pràctic.

Així que, en resum, el que els meus companys d’oficina tingueren per a endolçar el seu dilluns fou açò:

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I, encara que haguera quedat molt bonico en un platet a floretes amb unes moretes i unes maduixetes al costat, ens ho menjarem a sobre de tovallons agafats del magatzem del laboratori (si, els mateixos que gastem a la bancada, però nets mare, tranquil·la) i ens va sabre a glòria.

Feliç dilluns.

Cassis Cake

I recently acquired a bottle of Crème de Cassis. I have to say that I’m in general not very fond of french stuff, but I never denied they know their wine, their cheese… and their blackcurrants. If you haven´t tried this delight, stop wasting your time.

Anyway, when I bought it, I of course went for the biggest bottle, in case a google search for “cassis cake” provided some insight. It actually did come up with quite some recipes, but all seemed to be the same one… which was not necessarily a bad sign.

My opportunity arrived in the form of a brand new office tradition that we baptised as Sweet Monday and in which, long story short, each one of us is to provide sweet comfort for the painful start of the week. I selected the recipe from Ina Garten at food network; reads as follows (and I quote):

Cassis Cake

For the cake:

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, such as Pernigotti
  • 6 tablespoons crème de cassis liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the cake, Preheat the oven to 175°C. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan with baking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray it again with baking spray.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. whisk in the cocoa powder, cassis, and vanilla and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, and salt on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until pale yellow and triple in volume.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and carefully but thoroughly fold them together with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until just barely set in the center.
Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then release the sides of the pan. Invert the cake carefully onto a flat serving plate, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely.

For the glaze:

  • 6 ounces bittersweet or milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crème de cassis liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze, melt the chocolate and cream together in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until smooth. Off the heat, whisk in the cassis and vanilla. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and spread over just the top of the cake.

To serve:

  • 2 (1/2 pint) boxes fresh raspberries
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup crème de cassis liqueur
Fifteen minutes before serving, toss the berries gently with the sugar and cassis. Cut the cake in wedges and serve with the berries on the side.

First of all, the metric system is so sadly underrated! 1 1/2 sticks of butter?? What the cake is that?? Nevertheless and as always, google knows it all, and it didn´t take me long to find all sorts of butter measure convertors online. But I have to say that the little part of my soul that lives with my other hobby (the one that provide the money to buy baking ingredients) gets sometimes really disappointed.

Anyway, coming back to the recipe: I made the cake as it is stated, and when I got to the point where I had this gorgeous mixture of melted chocolate, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla and cassis, I could not resist the temptation of doing the quick finger test (for quality control purposes, obviously) and, apart from tasting as delicious as melted butter and chocolate does (specially when one uses Valor chocolate), I noticed that a little more blackcurrants would´t spoil it, so my bake mate and I did the old trick of “I will tell you when to stop…”

After baking the cake, the recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, but to me it looked intense flavoured enough just as it was, so I dusted a little powder sugar and called it a day. I also have to say that the liquor-tossed berries are music to my ears, but unfortunately not that handy when you plan to do some cake-traveling.

So all in all this is what my workmates had to sweeten their Monday with:

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And although it would have looked wonderful in a nice plate with some berries on the side, it was happily eaten on a paper napkin taken from the lab stock (yes, the same ones we use at the bench).

We had a happy (sweet) Monday.