Those who know me will know that I don't like to repeat designs. Even if they are of the same characters. I have made the Tsum Tsum and Ufufy versions of Winnie and Friends macarons so I decided to do a "plush toy" version this time round.
I actually baked this set concurrently with two other separate requests. The bake was so massive and intricate that I decided to spread it over two days to make it more manageable because I have other commitments as well. I used the French method for the smaller batch and Italian method for the larger batch. You may use your favourite macaron recipe or any recipe in our blog. You may refer to my macaron books Creative Baking: Macarons and Creative Baking: Macaron Basics for a more systematic review of the basics and piping techniques, as well as the macaron shell recipes I used here.
What I really want to share in this blog post is the awesome, mellow and not so sweet filling that is full of tea flavour. I tweaked my standard whipped white chocolate ganache filling base to make a firm enough for Singapore's tropical climate but less sweet ganache. Here are a couple of pictures of the macaron shells...
Freshly baked! The amount of details makes the whole bake tedious! The mushrooms and squirrels are for another request so stay tuned!
I drew the facial features with black edible marker. Check out the feet on the shells!
Tea flavoured macaron filling
Honestly, I am not sure whether to call this a ganache or buttercream, or put "cream cheese" in the name somewhere because the filling contains all of these but not in huge proportions. Heavy cream (or whipping cream) makes up about one-eighth of the total weight as it is the liquid that will cause the whole filling to be really soft. I added some vegetable shortening and cream cheese as it is firmer at room temperature than butter. The amount is also about one-eighth each to add stability but not alter the taste too much. White chocolate is the ingredient that will make the filling most firm but it is also really sweet. So over here white chocolate is only about three-eighths the total weight.
I also make sure that the tea flavours are strong enough by both infusing the dried flowers in melted butter, shortening and cream, and adding tea powder to the mixture.
Feel free to upsize the recipe. This works well for both small and large quantities.
Ingredients (fills about 12-18 macarons):
Tea Infusion mixture
15g whipping cream/ heavy cream
15g vegetable shortening
30g unsalted butter
1tbs dried lavender flowers or 2tbs dried osmanthus flowers
Tea flavoured cream
30g white chocolate (chips or finely chopped)
40g tea infusion mixture
1/2-3/4 tsp Earl Grey powder or ground osmanthus flowers
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
12g cream cheese, at room temperature
1. Make the tea infusion mixture for your choice of tea flavour. Place dried flowers in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat whipping cream, shortening and butter over medium-low heat in a small saucepan until it starts to bubble, stirring the mixture to ensure even melting of the butter and shortening. Pour hot mixture into bowl of dried flowers. Let it steep for 15 minutes. Strain out 40g of the mixture, squeezing as much of the liquid out from the flowers as possible.
2. Add salt and sifted tea powder (and vanilla extract if using) to the tea infusion mixture and mix well. Add white chocolate to the mixture. Microwave over medium power for 10 seconds and mix well. Repeat heating and stirring until white chocolate is melted. Alternatively, you may double-boil the mixture. Be careful not to overheat.
3. Chill the white chocolate mixture in freezer for two minutes. Use a spatula to mix well. Repeat freezing and mixing until you are able to whip the mixture to buttercream texture.
Whipped Lavender Earl Grey and Osmanthus white chocolate cream cheese buttercream
4. Use a spatula to whip the cream cheese in a mixing bowl to loosen up the cream cheese. Gradually add the tea flavoured white chocolate buttercream mixture into the cream cheese. Mix well after each addition.
Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto the bottom shells.
Filling up Tigger and Pooh with Osmanthus white chocolate cream cheese buttercream
Filling up Piglet and Eeyore with Lavender Earl Grey white chocolate cream cheese buttercream.
Refrigerate for at least 24h before consuming. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 10 min before eating.