Yes we can can.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Shhh, can you hear that? There’s a song in the air.

It must be time for Macattack 9, where mac-passionate bakers across blogland look to their favourite tunes for inspiration. Our fabulous hostesses Deeba and Jamie have asked us to turn our favourite song into a macaron.



Referenced a score found here


This posed a slight challenge as the music I listen to changes drastically depending on the kind of mood I’m in. There’s hardly a genre I won’t turn my ears to, except perhaps heavy metal. How to choose?

So instead of picking a favourite song, I’ve picked a melody to match my macarons. And just in time for Bastille Day too (what with macarons being French and all). Even though this is not technically a song that one can sing along to, the mere mention of it can set off a case of humming. I’m talking about the Cancan, or to be more precise, The Galop.



Ironically, I used the Italian meringue method for these macarons and they turned out without a hitch (apart from a slight overbrowning when I wasn’t paying attention). I used a recipe that I’d had success with in the past, but tried a new baking technique – the oven is preheated to 200˚C, then when the tray of macarons is put into the oven, turn the oven off. Leave for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature back to 155˚C and bake a few more minutes until macarons are firm and don’t move when touched. (The recipe says for another 9 minutes, but my oven is cantankerous and I only needed another 5 or so minutes, otherwise it browned too much).

Both the recipes are by well known Sydney pâtissier, Adriano Zumbo. With all the publicity surrounding the Masterchef TV series, it was hard to miss that one of the challenges thrown to the contestants involved building a macaron “tower of terror”, coached by Zumbo. I still haven’t gotten around to watching the series, but the power of Google meant that I could still look up the recipe

Thus my tricolor (and triflavour) Cancan macarons were born. The white macarons had vanilla bean in the shells, and a salted caramel filling. The blue ones were based on Tarte au Citron, but I used leftover orange curd instead of lemon for the filling, and the red ones were ; quatre epices flavoured shells,  filled with red wine ganache.



Again, Google helped enormously as I discovered how to make a wine flavoured ganache. While reading some forum threads on eGullet, I noticed someone had mentioned that they made water ganache by stirring spoonfuls of water into melted chocolate until it “looked right?

What? After every single piece of advice I’d read saying never to mix water with melted chocolate, I find out you can actually make a creamless “ganache” this way?

Nothing to lose as they say, so I hunted around and found a forgotten half-block of dark chocolate, only 40% cocoa solids but it would have to do. I popped it into a microwave safe jug and melted it. Then I stirred in a spoonful of cabernet merlot. As I stirred, the chocolate started clumping (seizing) . It didn’t look grainy though, and I picked out a piece to taste and found the texture was still smooth. Deciding to persevere, I added another tablespoon of merlot into the still warm chocolate and kept stirring. The lump started to “dissolve” again. Two more tablespoons of wine later (total of 4 in all) and I had what looked like shiny ganache! Amazing.

I kept the “ganache” in an airtight container at room temperature and it had solidified the next day, but a quick warm up in the microwave returned it to the glossy spreadable texture that I’d initially achieved. And much to my surprise, the flavours worked really well together! Even Mr. Kitchen Hand, who is a bit of a wine buff, had to admit that the chocolate and merlot really did make a great combination.



I’m definitely going to have to experiment more with this water/wine method and see if I can replicate it again. Talk about rocking my world ☺

As for the salted caramel filling, I made caramel (1/2 cup sugar and a couple of tbsp water), then stirred in a good pinch of salt and enough butter to make a glossy sauce. I also added a tablespoon or two of warm milk (forgot to buy cream).



Thanks for joining me on the mactweet ride.

If you do have a spare moment this weekend, how about making something Malaysian and join in our Muhibbah Monday blog event?

Have a great weekend.

21 comments:

Jennifurla said...

great job, lovely!

Jamie said...

Wow, I am more than impressed! First of all - 3 colors, 3 flavors and each perfect! Beautiful macs! And the fillings are incredible. Incredible. I so want to try the wine ganache. Brilliant! Or should I say "OOOH LA LA!" Magnifique, ma belle!

dessert girl said...

I love this idea! Food inspired by music! It would be a great idea for a party!

lora said...

This was such a great post and your macarons are just lovely. The flavors are wonderful, especially the chocolate merlot ganache. LOVE the cancan idea.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Cancan macarons - how utterly PERFECT!!!! I am seeing all these lovely macs and mine are the ugliest so far this month :-( Boo humidity!

grace said...

you're becoming the macaron master, shaz! this post was a great read--ya done good. :)

Bonnie said...

I am amazed. I haven't had time to post my ONE batch of macs and you made three. They are all beautiful. Each month you make lovely,lovely macarons. I always look forward to your posts.

shaz said...

Thank you jennifurla :)

Jamie - Merci beaucoup mon amie

dessert girl - that would be a fun party :)

lora - thanks so much

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite - oh dear. It's actually been raining a fair bit here, but I think the Italian meringue is fairly sturdy.

grace - shucks thank you, I don't know about the "master" title though

Bonnie - thank you. I only made three batches because I had three lots of leftover eggwhites to use up.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Mmm I love the sound of that combination! I tried some wine chocolate once and I thought it was delicious! :)

wagmanmm said...

Looks just like La Duree! Well done. Next time I see you, remind me to tell you the story of the coconut macaroon cake. Did not have a happy ending...
--Molly

Daniela said...

Had the pleasure of trying the red-wine ganache and was like a little piece of heaven.. so light, but with a burst of flavor! yum! makes me want to give them a go!

Lydia said...

Wow, just amazing! Red wine gnache - mmmmmmmmmm. They charge 2 euros each for these in Paris, perhaps you should go set up a shop there ;)

shaz said...

Thanks Molly, ooh I want to hear abotu coconut cake!

Cheers Daniela

Haha, I wish Lydia

(and thanks you guys, I think there may have been some coercion involved about leaving comments and I have spoken to Mr. Kitchen Hand about it! ;P)

Cristie said...

What beautiful mac's. I love the colors and the fillings. You do a terrific job, eye candy.

Deeba PAB said...

Adopt me? WOW these are brilliant Shaz, and perfect feet. Looks like I need to be adopting your new method! These are perfect {which means I got a big F again, in the heat & humidity found no feet .. 1 silly foot though}. Love your inspiration too, and the choice of fillings and flavours! Sing it loud ... Yes we can can!

shaz said...

Thanks Cristie :)

Oh Deeba, I'm sure you can can soon too. I'll do the biggest dance :)

Fahrenheit 350° said...

I've never continued to stir after the seizing part... I've always figured it was a lost cause! Good information! I just always heat my chocolate and liquid together to prevent seizing, and I've made multiple times of ganache with multiple types of liquid! Yummy macs!

Cathy said...

What a great post, Shaz. You've given us so much interesting information. I'm going to try your baking method to see how it does in my oven and I think the red wine ganache would be wonderful with chocolate macs. Your trio of macarons is indeed impressive.

s said...

great post..they look woweeeeee...

Sue Sparks said...

Your macs are picture PERFECT! I love the soft, beautiful colors!

shaz said...

Fahrenheit 350° - ah! I must try that next, heating the chocolate and liquid together. Thank you.

Cathy - thank you. The method is Zumbo's and it worked really well, I think I'll make macarons this way from now on.

s - thank you :)

Sue Sparks - cheers. I am actually trying very hard to get the colours a bit more vibrant.