Anyone who has ever eaten a macaron will know that they pack a pretty sweet punch. Eat enough of them and you’re staring down the barrel of a sugar coma. So this month’s Mactweet challenge was pretty tricky. “Create a savoury macaron,” said our hosts Jamie and Deeba.
Hmmmm...I wasn’t game to try mucking around with the sugar ratio too much because I’ve been there, done that and the results weren’t good. Instead, I racked my brains trying to work out what kind of sweet-salty combination would work. Inspiration took a long time coming, but when I read the challenge again, something caught my eye. “Invent a macaron to be served ... as hors d’oeuvres with a glass of champagne”. This made me think of a cheese platter, and so the Oat and Parmesan macaron shell was born. I was thinking of those oat biscuits you serve cheese on, so I added some finely ground rolled oats into the shell. But what to fill it with? A slice of brie and some caramelised pear of course. (I know it sounds a bit strange but I urge you to try this combo, it really, really works as a savoury macaron!).
While the flavour combo worked fabulously, my idea of topping the macaron shells with grated parmesan cheese was a semi-fail. I forgot that the cheese would weigh down on the shells and affect the “rise”. The shells with the least amount of cheese on them looked the best.
In hindsight, I should have just made the shells without the cheese topping, and made a cheese disc instead, like this, to sandwich in the mac, or balance on top for a touch of whimsy. Live and learn.
Normally, I would have tried making another batch of macarons, but I’ve been a tad busy. Doing what you may ask? Making more macarons of course :)
Here are some Christmas themed chocolate macarons.
I piped circles with a 1/4 inch tip, then put some macaron batter into a baking paper icing bag and used this to pipe antlers. Then I added red cachous for the noses. When the macarons had cooled, I used a toothpick to blob on some melted white chocolate for eyes, and another toothpick dipped in food colouring formed the pupils.
Instead of piping, you can even used slivered almonds for antlers!
Only three more sleeps to Christmas! Come back late tomorrow to find out what the Daring Bakers made for the holiday season :)
See you soon and happy baking.
For the oat and parmesan shells, I halved and modified David Lebovitz’s chocolate macaron recipe. I used 50g icing sugar, 20g almond meal, 15 g rolled oats, 35g eggwhite and 30g caster sugar. I lightly toasted the almond meal and the oats together, then blitzen (ha ha) them in the food processor until fine. Proceed according to French macaron method.
For the pear, I cooked thin slices of pear with butter and a touch of water until soft, then added some brown sugar to caramelise and coat the pears in a thick syrup.