Sunday 27 December 2015

Guinea Pig Stuffed Toy Giant Macaron (baking tips for XXL macarons)

My family of four all have our birthdays within the last two months of the year so I have quite a few birthday bakes around this time of the year :). No, I don't bake for my birthday :p and we prefer to keep our celebrations simple. I made special macarons for my younger kid and hubby earlier on. These are the special macarons I made for my elder kid :).

Guinea pig macarons modelled after his favourite stuffed toy!

These guinea pig macs are huge. More than 10cm tall. I baked these along with the full bodied Hello Kitty macarons and Christmas macarons.

Macaron mania!

You may refer to this post for the basic macaron shell recipe, this post for macaron basics such as how to fold the batter and test the consistency, and this post for piping complex shaped macarons.

I made my own template by using the drawing tool of Microsoft Word to trace the outlines of the guinea pig and resized it to the size I wanted. The outlines don't show up very clearly if I use an edge detection function of an imaging software so I resort to this when that happens.

Divide the mass according to the ratio of 5:5:2 for black:orangey brown:white. Portion the Italian meringue according to this ratio by weight too.

As these macarons are big, they need to spend a longer time in the oven to dry out. Bake at 135°C for 10 minutes with the oven rack at lowest position, rotate the tray and bake for another 8 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 120°C and bake until the feet on the shells no longer appear wet. Reduce the temperature to 110°C if the shells appear to start browning. Check on the state of the shells every 5 minutes after about 20-22 minutes of baking. Total baking time may take up to 35-40 minutes. Carefully peel the baking paper away from the shells when they have cooled.

Just to share some photos...

Piping macaron shells. Wait for base shell to dry for 15-20 minutes before piping on the snout and arms.

Prepare some royal icing to add on features like the eyes, nose, mouth and paws.

Decorated macaron shells

Just to show the back view. Makes me want to smack its bum :p

Filling the shells with spiced apple swiss meringue buttercream and salted caramel. All made from scratch! You may refer to this post for details on the filling.

A closer look at the feet on the shells!

My elder kid loved the macarons very much :). He insisted that Guinea takes a look at the macaron before it's being eaten.

Here's a sight of the interior of the shells!
Gooey and messy :p but nicely baked with no hollows!

Blessed birthday Mun Yew! May you grow to love and know God more and more each day!

With lots of love,
Phay Shing

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