I took an intermediate macaron class as a follow-up to the intro class I took Thanksgiving weekend.
In the class, we made three different types of macarons and fillings: pistachio with a lemon curd filling, hazelnut with a chocolate ganache filling and candied crushed hazelnuts, and vanilla with a ispahan buttercream filling (however, the photo below is showing the vanilla with a rose buttercream filling). My favorite was the ispahan flavored filling, but I actually liked it best with the pistachio cookie.
It’s one of the signature flavor creations developed by Pierre Hermé, which includes a surprisingly awe-inspiring combination of raspberry, lychee, and a wee touch of rose that blends together to form a delicately complex flavor trifecta that is just plum to die for. The ispahan is the name for a type of rose, although it doesn’t look the ones you get on Valentine’s Day along with other random sweet nothings.
Pierre Hermé actually came up with the flavor combination when he was young, producing an early version of the Ispahan for Ladurée (which is still sold in their boutiques).
All in all, I think I’m going to try to make the macarons on my own at home in the very near future. I love macarons far too much not to give it a go. Just need to focus!
Yes, I am well behind on updating this!! I missed the Olympics, the space shuttle Atlantis, and I think the end of the NBA finals. But… better late than never! (Is there an echo in here?)
I made these in the beginning of August for Lindsay’s birthday, since her kryptonite is all combinations of chocolate and peanut butter. I found the inspiration and recipe for these on Annie’s Eats and loved the look of these. I’d only ever used a spatula or frosting bag on my cupcakes, so I was pretty excited to try making the frosting “patties” – something a little different!
Instead of using my usual chocolate cupcake recipe, I decided to go with the one from Annie’s Eats. The fact that it called for hot coffee interested me, as I’d never made chocolate cake with it. Sour cream, sure. Guinness, sure. But never coffee. I used a little over half the coffee I bought and ended up throwing the rest… down my throat. No sense in wasting, right?
The cupcakes turned out a bit flat – maybe I over mixed the batter? Whatever – I’m blaming it on the coffee! Ugh, if only I could Anderson Silva my baked goods, and just win at it whenever I feel like it…
Okay, I admit that was a far stretch, and I’m pretty sure 80% of my 5 readers will have no idea what the hell I’m talking about. But if anyone saw the Bonnar/Silva fight last night (and really, ANY Silva fight), you’ll know what I’m talking about. Spider knows.
Any way, to make the frosting patty stick to the cupcake (and for a little extra chocolate-y oomph), I made a standard ganache to use as “glue”.
The frosting recipe was really thick, so that it would A) not melt and B) form cookie-like patties. I really had to be diligent about wiping my hands in between forming every other patty, as the frosting stuck to my hands and would then start sticking to the patties. You can sorta tell which were made with freshly wiped hands and which weren’t…
Overall, these cupcakes were a little too rich for my taste, especially with the ganache. However, I tend to veer towards those with lighter, fluffier frosting, and even then I usually end up scraping half or more of it off.
As long as the birthday girl was happy, that’s all I cared about!! Miss you, Lindsay!!
I’m absurdly late on this post, but better late than never!
Opportunities for writing have been few and far between, thanks to tourney season, the NBA playoffs (go OKC!), and work bleeding into my free time.
I wanted to make a little treat for St. Patty’s Day that was different and fun, without turning anyone’s mouth green. I decided to do another cupcake, this time themed to everyone’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day libation – the Irish Car Bomb – using three different types of liquor.
It was a Guinness chocolate cupcake with an Irish whiskey ganache filling, topped with a Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting.
I had a lot of fun baking with alcohol in my last post, and had heard of people using Guinness in chocolate cake recipes so I had to give it a chance. It was heaven… just HEAVEN! I finally found my new go-to chocolate cupcake recipe!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
Make the Whiskey Ganache Filling:
Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.
Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.
Make the Baileys Frosting:
Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.
Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.