The MacTweets round 7 challenge is to create macarons inspired by my favourite wild animal. So without any further thought, my favourite wild animal of course is the cute cuddly looking Aussie marsupial - WOMBAT.
All credit goes to the owner of this photo on Photoseek.com
Despite living 3 and half years in Australia, I have never seen a wombat in real. However I fall in love with them from the very first time I saw their photos. That also explain why I have 3 wombat plushies in 3 different sizes - which I named Mama Wombat, Baby Wombat and Mini W.
Initially I wanted to do square macarons, mimic the poos of wombat - They really poo cubic poops, just weird nature, isn't it? Ok, I probably shouldn't go on about poop since this is about food, I don't wanna gross you guys out!
After a few unsuscessful attempts on the square macarons, I came out with some other idea, Wombat shaped macarons. I think they might look more like bears, but Wombat kinda look like bear anyway.
I hope you guys will enjoy this recipe
To start, you will need one piping which you use normally to pipe macarons, plus another extra bag, with a small head to pipe the ears. You'll also need a small amount of black food colouring.
FOR THE MACARON SHELL
1 room temperatured egg white(39-40g)
50g icing sugar
28g ground almond
30g castor sugar
2g unsweetened cacao powder
1. Put ground almond, cacao powder and icing sugar in a food processor or a small blender. Blend them finely.
2. Sift the blended mixture and set aside
3. With an electric beater, Beat the egg white, start from low speed and increase slowly to maximum speed. Beat until frothy (you will see lots of fine bubbles)
4. Now it's the time to add in the castor sugar, add half of the sugar, continue to beat in maximum speed for around 2 minutes, add in the other half, continue until you get very stiff peak.
5. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg whites. This process is called Macaronage. Start folding with a rubber spatula. Continue to mix until you obtain a smooth lava flow batter.
6. When you get smooth shiny mixture, stop folding, lift the mixture with spatula, if the mixture falls back slowly in the bowl means you're good to go. You could also check if the lines formed from the lifted mixture, they should slowly disappear in within 30 seconds. At this stage you're good to go. Do not over fold, it will be too liquid and becoming very hard to pipe.
if you're unsure, you could refer to my basic macaron recipe as a guide HERE
7. After you get the right consistence, scoop out 1 tablepoon of the mixture, put it into the bag with small piping head, set aside.
8. In a small bowl, scoop out 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture. Add in some black food colouring, and mix through with a chopstick or something with pointy head. You'll use this later on to draw the eyes and noses.
9. I started out to pipe out 18 rounds shaped macaron (9 which I'll add ears to it, 9 which I'll leave it round)
10. After the piping is done, I piped out the ears of the wombats on 9 rounds which I piped out earlier.
11. With the help of chopstick, dip lightly in the black coloured mixture, carefully draw the eyes and noses on the shells with 'ears' on it.
12. Let your macarons sit for about 30minutes. This will depend on the humidity in your house and the day. Try touching the macaron softly, after 30mins. it should not stick to your hand.
13. Heat your oven to 150 C on the (heating on the top only). When the oven is ready, put your macaron at the very bottom shelf. Bake for 12 minutes, check them in the mid time of 6 minutes, the feets should already start forming. Turn the baking tray to the opposite direction to allow even baking. When the 6 mins is up, change the heating setting of your oven to Bottom only. This will help cooking the macaron and rise the feet more. Bake for another 6 minutes. You can test if the macaron is cook, touch softly on the shell and when the macaron doesn't slide on the feet, it's cooked. if it's not add another 1 mins each time and check.
(This is the method i found the best that works for me after few trial and error. I baked with heating the oven top and bottom and i had crack macarons. Having said that, every oven is slightly different than another, so please adjust accordingly)
14. Let the macaron cool down before removing them. You could wet your working area and slide the baking sheet on it to speed up the cooling process, but do not let it sit there too long, if not the macarons will become soggy. Other wise you can leave them cool at room temperature and remove them.
Dark Chocolate Anis Ganache
10g liquid cream
70g dark cooking chocolate(chopped)
4-5 drops of Anis Aroma.
1. In a medium pot over low heat, add in anis aroma and cream, stir and let it warms up.
2. When the cream is warm enough, remove from heat, add in the chopped chocolate.
3. Stir constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. You should get a smooth shiny finished ganache.
4. Let cool in room temperature for 30 mins or until it's no longer runny.
5. Pipe the round shaped macarons, and cover with the wombat macaron shells.
6. Keep cool in air tight container in the fridge.
7. Take them out of the fridge 20 mins prior eating.Enjoy!