Welcome to 2011 Cookbook Challenge! My regular readers will remember last years list of 52 cooking themes. This year the themes are fortnightly, so I will only have 26 topics to contemplate creating a dish to represent the week. Last year there were themes I had difficulty interpreting in culinary terms, and readers were fantastic, making suggesting of dishes and providing recipes via facebook. I really hope that continues this year, the interaction was something I really enjoyed. As soon as I know the year’s topics I will post them so you can look ahead at the topics and help me with ideas.
This week’s topic is stone fruit. I love Christmas time for all the delicious fruit available to us. Stone fruit means Christmas to me. There have been so many delicious cherries in the stores that my next thought was to create a dish using cherries.
The most famous cherry recipe I could think of is the Black Forest Cake, but I wanted a twist. So I give you, my version of a Black Forest Macaroon.
I had a little trouble finding Kirsch so I substituted for a cherry liqueur which was delicious and much easier to find. The sentiment amongst my tasters was that these macaroons were the best I have made. The reason they gave was that they are not too sickly sweet. I usually fill my macaroons with a flavoured ganache and this time chose a cream flavoured with the cherry brandy and Morella cherries.
3 egg whites
¼ cup caster sugar
1 cup icing sugar (sifted)
120gm ground almond
¼ cup cocoa powder
5 Tbs pure icing sugar
100gm canned cherries drained and patted dry
2 Tbs cherry brandy
3 Tbs pure icing sugar
1 t/s vanilla
100gm dark chocolate
Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add the caster sugar beating well between each addition. Beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer the mixture to a larger bowl and gently fold through the icing sugar and then the almond and cocoa.
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees. Prepare two baking trays with paper.
Once the mixture is combined place the meringue into a piping bad and pipe round macaroons. Leave the macaroons to sit on the baking tray for 20mins prior to cooking.
Bake for 30 mins or until cooked. Leave on the tray to cool.
To make the cherry cream filling, beat the cream with brandy and icing sugar until it is very stiff. Stir through the cherry and refrigerate.
The cream topping is made by beating all the ingredients together until stiff. Refrigerate.
Chocolate Cherries are made by melting the copha and chocolate in the microwave together. Stir until smooth. Place baking paper on a tray. Ensuring the cherries are completely dry dip them in the chocolate mixture and place onto the baking paper.
Once complete refrigerate the cherries.The remaining chocolate is used for the shaved chocolate on top of the macaroons. Pour the chocolate on to baking paper and refrigerate. Once harden grate the chocolate into a dish to sprinkle over the macaroons.
Assembly the macaroons when you are ready to serve.
Just a warning, the macaroons need to be eaten on the day they are assembled. The cream will soften the macaroon over time. This wasn’t a problem for my tasters, and the ones that were eaten the following day were still delicious, but they lack some of the previous day’s meringue crunch.