Posts Tagged ‘sweet

18
Nov
11

Frangelico Balls

For a recent Fancy Party, I wanted to make rum balls. However, I wanted to make them taste a little more nuanced and elegant, so I decided to base the flavour profile on hazelnuts and spices. For the liquor, I used Frangelico, and I replaced the usual vanilla wafer or Oreo crumbs with Speculaas crumbs, using a delicious recipe from Baked. I think gingersnap or gingerbread crumbs would also work well here.

Frangelico_balls

Frangelico Balls

1 cup Speculaas cookies, chopped to crumbs in a food processor

1 cup toasted, skinned hazelnuts, chopped

1 cup sifted icing sugar

2 tbsp Dutch process cocoa

1/4 cup Frangelico

1 1/2 tbsp invert sugar, honey, or corn syrup

water

chocolate sprinkles, ground hazelnuts, or other coating

In a food processor, pulse together the Speculaas crumbs, hazelnuts, icing sugar and cocoa until uniform.

In a small bowl, whisk together the Frangelico and invert sugar. Add to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until a dough comes together. Cover the dough and chill the mixture for at least 4 hours.

Place some water in a bowl and the coating in a shallow dish. Form the dough into 1-inch balls. Dunk in the water, then roll in the chocolate sprinkles. Repeat until all the dough is rolled.

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes about 70 Frangelico balls.

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14
Sep
10

Paris Blend Macarons with Lime Curd

Another dessert I made for the party were these macarons. I tried macarons for the first time last year, and while the flavour was good, they didn’t get the coveted feet typical of macaron shells. This year, I found a tutorial by Not So Humble Pie and it helped considerably. I used Paris Blend tea from Nectar Fine Teas here in Ottawa, which has a slightly chocolate-blueberry flavour mixed with Earl Grey. However, any loose leaf tea will work; you just need to grind it in a spice grinder.

The macarons were fairly tasty to start with, but after they’d aged a few hours they soaked up some of the lime curd and the texture was heaven. However, next time I think I’d do a chocolate or a buttercream filling, so there would be something with a bit more structure in the middle.

Paris Blend Macarons, adapted from Not So Humble Pie

Makes about 2 dozen

 

100 g egg whites, aged in the refrigerator for 4 days and then at room temperature for about 4 hours

28 g granulated sugar

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

225 g icing sugar

125 g ground almonds

 

Sift together almonds and icing sugar. My sieve had too fine a mesh for the almond meal, so after all the icing sugar was pushed through, I whisked in whatever didn’t make it through the sieve. Another approach would have been to grind the almonds a bit finer before incorporating.

Whisk together the granulated sugar and cream of tartar. Add egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Beat on medium-low until foamy. Continue to beat while slowly adding the granulated sugar mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until you have a meringue with firm, glossy peaks. Do not overbeat to stiff peaks.

Fold in the icing sugar mixture in thirds, using a rubber spatula. Work quickly but try not to deflate the meringue too much. (Some deflation is bound to happen due to the fat in the almonds; just try to minimize it.) When incorporated, scrape the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 290ºF. Pipe rounds onto the parchment paper. Mine were an average of 1 1/2″ diameter, and I wound up with about 4 dozen shells. Piping a touch of mixture onto the underside of the parchment paper will help to glue it in place as you pipe.

Let the uncooked macaron shells age at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes, and up to an hour. Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 15-16 minutes, until shells have risen and developed feet and are easily removed from the parchment. They should look dry. Let cool completely before filling.

 

The lime curd was made in a double boiler. I’d never made curd this way before, but it’s far more forgiving than cooking it over direct heat. It thickened very gradually, resulting in a silky texture. It’s a very tart curd; next time, I may add a bit more sugar.

Lime Curd

adapted from Christine Cushing via Food Network Canada

Makes more than enough filling for a double batch of macarons

 

3/4 c. granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

6 egg yolks

zest of one lime

3/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 c. butter cut into several chunks

 

Combine all ingredients except butter in a medium heatproof nonreactive bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Whisking constantly, cook the mixture until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove the curd from the heat. Whisk in the butter until melted and thoroughly combined. Strain the mixture into another bowl.

Cover the surface of the curd with plastic wrap and chill until cold. Use to fill macaron shells.