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SO mint to be – Mint Chocolate Macarons with Mint Chocolate Ganache Filling




After spending two weeks in Brisbane reuniting with my friends, I’m home and it’s about time I updated my food blog. Some friends of mine noticed that I’ve been updating my blog less frequently than before since I moved from Hong Kong to Sydney. My deepest apologies… living by myself has been unexpectedly draining and due to all the desserts I learn to make at Le Cordon Bleu, I do not bake as often at home. In fact, I am starting my intermediate level next week (NERVOUS and EXCITED), and hopefully I can share my learning journey with you all every now and then!

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These lovely mint chocolate macarons are to die for – lightly mint-flavoured macarons shelled with rich, creamy mint chocolate ganache filling. When you take a bite into these macarons, you’re going to fall for the textural contrast between the crispy & marshmallowy macaron shells and the smooth chocolate ganache. Again, mint chocolate is my all-time favourite flavour, so I am not kidding when I say I am happy to devour the whole tray of these by myself.

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No matter how many times I failed making macarons at home, there’s something unique about these little cookies that mesmerise me and makes me push on. If you are feeling frustrated with failing your macarons over and over even though you swear to god that you’ve followed the recipe completely (which usually isn’t true…), you might want to try with a different recipe or adjust the baking temperature and time. I used to believe one rule works for everything, but I’ve been proven wrong through all the failed attempts. There could be a millions of reasons for your macarons to fail, so doing some research online will be a big help to specifically resolve your macarons issues.

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Reality check: every oven works differently and you must spend time getting to “befriend” yours. Because I got a new oven as a gift when I moved to Sydney, it took a few times for me to know what the temperature and baking time work best for creating the best macarons with my oven –  bake at 150C on the lowest rack for 13 mins, then move to the middle rack for 5 mins (use a baking paper to cover the macarons to prevent browning the shells too much). But this is only what works for my oven and it might vary for yours. Also, as I noticed that my macaron batter was a bit too runny to pipe, I adjusted the amount of water I put when making  the sugar syrup. And guess what? This change made all the difference. Hope you enjoy these!

Ingredients (yield 36-40 macaron shells) :

Macaron shells

  • 95g almond flour
  • 95g icing sugar
  • 75g egg white, separated into two portions, 37.5g each
  • 1 tsp of peppermint extract
  • 25g water
  • 100g caster sugar

Mint-Chocolate Ganache FIlling

  • 120ml heavy cream
  • 150g dark mint chocolate
  • 15g unsalted butter

Instructions :

Macaron shells

  1. Place the icing sugar and almond flour in a food processor, and pulse for 30 seconds until well combined and fine in texture. Sift the flour-sugar mixture through a sieve into a mixing bowl, and pour in the first portion of egg whites. With a spatula, mix together until well combined. You can still be quite vigorous at this stage.
  2. Now you prepare the syrup. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and do NOT stir. Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the second portion of egg whites to soft peaks on a medium speed.
  3. When the sugar reaches 118C, pour it over the egg whites (pour the hot syrup on the side of the mixing bowl to avoid cooking the egg whites). Turn the mixer to high speed and continue beating for about 5-7 mins, until the meringue is cooled down to 50C and glossy stiff peaks have formed. In two additions, add the meringue over the almond mixture, and, using a spatula, gently fold in until combined and smooth. Work the batter until it flows in very thick ribbons when the spatula is lifted.
  4. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5cm in diameter, spacing them 2cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter to flatten the macarons and to remove air bubbles.
  5. Tap the tray on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth. Leave to stand for at least 30 minutes, until a skin forms on the shells.
  6. Preheat the oven to 150C, then put the trays in the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes. (Cover the macarons with baking paper if they become too brown on top in the last 5 mins). Out of the oven, slide the shells on to the work surface. Let cool.

Mint chocolate ganache filling

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Using a saucepan or microwave, bring the heavy cream just to boil.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for 2 mins before stirring. Whisk until smooth. Stir in butter and mix well.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Assemble:

  1. Place mint chocolate ganache into a piping bag topped with a rose nozzle and pipe it on the inside of the macarons and sandwich them together.
  2. Serve macarons at room temperature, or refrigerate for up to a week.

Yum




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Mint Chocolate Cupcake

Same as every other post, this starts with a declaration of love, and today it’s about my favourite dessert flavour combo – Mint Chocolate. I believe everyone has his/her own weakness in food choice; and no matter how hard I try to resist it, mint chocolate is beyond doubt mine. This is especially true when it comes to ice-cream flavour. Why? It is equal parts cool and sweet, and the best ones are so refreshing that they’d brighten up my day and clear my mind.

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Despite how mouthwatering and delicate they look, cupcakes are not something I’d usually order outside. Yet, as it’s one of my goals to try out as many kinds of desserts as possible on this blog of mine, I might as well give it a go, right? 

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From the base to the top of each cupcake, this recipe delivers great textural fun and flavour layering that I always strive for in baking. First, there’s an oreo biscuit added at the bottom as a nice, crunchy surprise. Thanks to the melted mint chocolate and coffee, the cupcake base is moist and rich, with just enough mint hit coming through. Finally, together with the mint-flavoured buttercream as well as the finishing touch of a cheeky little Andes mint chocolate chip, what you have here is a daydream literally packed with minty goodness. Hmm, too cool to be true. (:

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Ingredients (make 18 cupcakes):

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2  cup (188g) plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 18 Oreo biscuits
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter,  softened
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil ( I used canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup (113g) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) coffee, room temperature (2 tsp instant coffee powder melted in 1/4 cup (60ml) of water)
  • 50g Andes chocolate mint, melted
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla

For the buttercream frosting: 

  • 2 cups (250g) icing  sugar
  • 1 1/2 stick (170g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (30m1) whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5ml) peppermint extract
  • green food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 18  Andes chocolate mints

Instructions:

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175C) . Line pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift and combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt. Set aside.  
  3. In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar on medium high speed until creamy and smooth. This will take around 4-5 mins.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, and continue beating for 1 min. Add coffee, milk and melted mint chocolate, and continue beating for 30 secs.
  5. In 3 batches, pour the prepared dry ingredients into the mixture, and gently stir with a spatula until just incorporated. Do NOT overmix.
  6. Fill cupcake liners to nearly full and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake’s centre comes out clean.

For the buttercream frosting:

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at medium-high speed until smooth.
  2. Slowly add in the sifted icing sugar using a tablespoon, and beat until smooth.
  3. Finally, add milk, vanilla, mint extract, food coloring, and salt, and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Refrigerate the frosting for at least 30 mins before piping.
  5. Pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes with your favourite piping tip, and put an Andes chocolate mint on top as decoration if desired.

Yum




4 comments