Rising Artist, Sarah Harralson, Shares Two Recipes to Celebrate National Eat an Extra Dessert Day!
I have made a cake roll before, but the toughest part is always beating the batter for the perfect time and baking the batter for the correct amount of time so you can roll it up without the cake cracking or breaking. This was my first time making macarons, and since I chose to do two difficult desserts at the same time, it took me around 5.5 hours to make both. I learned that you also have to be careful how long you beat the batter with the macarons or they can come out too hard if you beat them for too long. Mine came out a little bit crunchy, but once I put them in the fridge, it softened the macarons. Overall, I think the appearance of my desserts didn't come out perfect, but the taste was amazing! I will definitely be making more macarons in the future.
Pistachio Macarons with a Pistachio Cream Cheese Filling. Drizzled with white chocolate, and topped with ground pistachio. (recipe by Pies and Tacos)
Pistachio Macaron Shells
3 egg whites 100 grams, 3.5 oz
1/2 cup granulated sugar 100 grams, 3.5 oz
3/4 cup almond flour 72 grams, 2.5 oz
1/4 cup pistachio flour* see notes 28 grams, 1 oz
3/4 cup powdered sugar 90 grams, 3.17 oz
A few drops of green food coloring
Pistachio Cream Cheese Filling
2 ounces cream cheese softened (56 grams)
2 tablespoons butter softened (28 grams, 1 oz)
1 cup powdered sugar sifted (127 grams, 4.5 oz)
1/4 cup pistachio flour* see notes 28 grams, 1 oz
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup ground pistachio* read notes
2 oz white chocolate melted and slightly cooled (56 grams)
Pistachio Macaron Shells
Before you start, get all of your ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat.
Under my parchment, I put a layout with circles that measure about 1 1/2 inches each. That’s how big I like to pipe my macarons.
Measure out all of your ingredients.
Sift powdered sugar, almond flour, and pistachio flour together. Set aside.
Now you can finally start.
Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and sugar completely melted. It will take a couple minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking mixture over the water bath.
Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. (I use my kitchenAid bowl when doing this, because it makes it easier)
With the whisk attachment, whisk mixture on high speed for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
You don’t want to overbeat the mixture at this point, because you don’t want to add too much air to it. Just whisk until stiff peaks have formed.
Pour powdered sugar, almond flour, and pistachio flour mixture into stiff whites.
Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula. Add the food coloring at this point.
It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this, and you might have to have a couple failed batches before you get this right.
First, I pick up some batter with my spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
Then, I grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto my parchment paper or silicon mat.
If the batter stays stiff and doesn’t spread out a bit, I start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.
Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy on the parchment paper, I transfer my mixture to the piping bag.
You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
This is the most important part about making macarons in my opinion.
Once you’ve piped as many 1 1/2” circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
Let your trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
Bake one tray at a time.
Bake for 4 minutes, rotate tray.
Bake for 4 more minutes and rotate the tray again.
Keep baking the trays for a total of 16-20 minutes each, rotating the tray in between to ensure even baking.
When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet.
Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Pistachio Cream Cheese Filling
Cream butter and cream cheese at medium speed for about 1 minute.
With the mixer off, add sifted powdered sugar, mix on low to combine. Add pistachio flour and vanilla. Cream for another minute or so until creamy and fluffy.
Put filling in a piping bag.
Pipe about 1 teaspoon of filling on top of each bottom shell. Top with the top shell.
I melted white chocolate and put it in a piping bag, cut a very small hole at the end and drizzled the white chocolate over the macaron shells, and then topped them with ground pistachios.
Store macarons in the fridge, in an air tight container for up to 5 days, and in the freezer for about 1 month.
Recipe Notes Pistachio Flour- To make the pistachio flour, you want to grind about 1 cup of pistachios in the food processor. However, you have to be extremely careful not to over process the mixture, otherwise the pistachio starts to turn into a paste, as you grind it out and it releases oils. You want this mixture to be dry. Once you’ve processed it, sift this mixture to obtain the dry powdered pistachio flour. You will use 1/4 cup of pistachio flour in the recipe for the shells and another 1/4 cup for the Pistachio Cream Cheese Filling. Remember to process the nuts just enough not to form a paste. The pistachio flour needs to have the same consistency as the almond flour does. You will have some big pieces of ground pistachio left back in your sifter, I used those big crumbs of pistachio to top the white chocolate drizzle after the macarons were assembled, for a cute decoration.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE ROLL (recipe by flavor the moments)
FOR THE CAKE:
1.5 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 1 tablespoon more for preparing the cake pan
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1.6 ounces (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) sifted all purpose flour
1.2 ounces (3/8 cup) unsifted cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
4 large eggs, room temperature*
4.3 ounces (2/3 cup) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
FOR THE COCONUT-PECAN FROSTING:
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut*
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
FOR THE COFFEE SIMPLE SYRUP:
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1-2 teaspoons instant espresso powder*
FOR THE DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
3/4 cup heavy cream
Sweetened shredded coconut and toasted pecans, for garnish
PREPARE THE CAKE:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with half of the 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Line the pan with parchment paper, cutting a diagonal line from each corner into the corners of the pan so the paper nestles in easily. Brush the parchment and sides with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium sized microwave safe bowl until melted, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. Set aside.
Add the room temperature eggs, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk just to combine with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture at high speed until it triples in volume, about 5 minutes, or until you can draw a figure 8 by dipping the whisk attachment into the batter and it holds.
While the eggs and sugar are being whipped, combine the flour, cocoa, and espresso powder with a whisk until combined. Sift the mixture together three times. Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture into the egg-sugar mixture, and gently fold it in using a rubber scraper. Repeat with the remaining 2/3 of the dry ingredients, being careful not to over-fold. Add about 1 cup of the batter to the butter-vanilla mixture and mix gently until combined. Add this to the remaining batter and fold in gently just until incorporated. Pour large dollops of the batter over the entire surface area of the prepared pan so it's easier to spread without over-working. Spread as evenly as possible with an offset spatula, and bake on the center rack of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack.
While the cake cools, lay a large lint-free towel on the counter. Holding the cake pan with the cake facing away from you, hold onto the sides with oven mitts or towels and invert the cake gently onto the towel. Gently roll the cake up in the towel while it's still warm, and cool on the wire rack for 1 hour or until completely cool.
PREPARE THE FROSTING:
Place the cubed butter, coconut, and pecans in a medium bowl and set aside.
Place the heavy cream, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until thickened and the custard coats the wooden spoon and you can draw a line in the back of the spoon and it holds. Add the hot custard mixture to the bowl with the butter, coconut, and pecans, and stir until the butter has melted. The frosting will thicken as it cools.
PREPARE THE GANACHE:
Place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
Fill a large sauté pan halfway full of water and heat over medium heat until the water simmers. Turn the heat down to low, then place the bowl of chocolate chips and cream, stirring constantly with a rubber scraper until the chocolate melts and emulsifies with the cream. When the mixture is smooth, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
PREPARE THE COFFEE SIMPLE SYRUP:
Place the water and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has melted. Add the instant espresso powder and stir until dissolved. Set aside.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
Once the cake and frosting have cooled, unroll the cake and trim the edges with a sharp knife. Lightly dab the simple syrup onto the cake using a pastry brush. You will not need all of the syrup, just enough for a light coating. Spread the frosting evenly over the unrolled cake, leaving a border of 1" around the cake. Carefully roll the cake as tightly as possible, tucking it gently as you roll. Place on a serving plate with two pieces of waxed paper on either side, which will be removed after frosting with the ganache.
If the ganache has cooled too much, heat it in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until just pourable. Pour some of the ganache over the cake carefully -- you won't need it all -- and frost the sides with the ganache on the waxed paper. Garnish the cake with more sweetened, shredded coconut and pecans. Chill at 4 hours or until set. Enjoy!
Total time above includes cooling time for the cake, frosting, ganache, and chilling the cake.
For quicker room temperature eggs, place the eggs in very warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. Warm eggs whip quicker than cold!
Using unsweetened finely shredded coconut will make for a cleaner cut when slicing the cake. If you use unsweetened coconut, try toasting it and adding a bit more sugar to the frosting.
Add as much or little of the instant espresso powder to the simple syrup according to your preferences. You can also use 1 cup of coffee in place of the water and espresso powder and heat with the sugar. Store remaining simple syrup in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
The ganache, frosting, and simple syrup can all be made ahead!
Cake recipe adapted from Alice Medrich.
Frosting recipe adapted from David Lebovitz.
Ganache and simple syrup recipes from Flavor the Moments.
One of my co-writers had this title in his phone, and when he said it, it really stuck with me. I can definitely relate with feeling independent and feeling like a rolling stone in life, but also wanting to settle down someday. I think a lot of young people can also relate with that, so I knew it was a song I would want to write and record.
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