Peppa Pig meets some representatives from the Paw Patrol squad on top of a black glutinous rice and purple sweet potato sponge and pudding cake!
I have shared the recipe for the black glutinous rice chiffon with purple sweet potato pudding in detail in another blog post. It is a more diabetic friendly cake without compromising flavours and aroma. I didn't use any white sugar in the black glutinous rice chiffon cake, but used coconut palm sugar (Gula melaka) instead. The pretty purple sweet potato pudding contains only a fraction of white sugar as compared to the reference recipe I adapted from. There isn't a need to use a lot of white sugar in the pudding as the coconut milk, fresh milk and sweet potato imparts some natural sweetness to the dessert. The harmonious mix of coconut milk, Gula melaka, pandan, black glutinous rice and purple sweet potato is really nice if you love all these.
What I would really like to share here is the recipe for the macaron shells. As all macaron bakers know, it is a pain to work with many colours within a single batch of batter, and even more so when the quantity of macarons required is so few. That makes it not economical to use Italian method although it is my preferred method for multiple colours of batter within a single batch. I prefer the Italian method when working with multiple colours as it is easier to adjust the colour of the batter without risking overfolding as much as French and Swiss methods because you add the colouring to the batter base before the meringue is added. If you split a single batch of macaron batter into many colours made from French or Swiss method, you have less folds to make before you risk overfolding, because the colouring is added to the batter after the meringue is folded in. The French method also has a less stable meringue than Italian or Swiss meringues as the egg whites are not cooked at all. This means you have to try to work really quickly with the French method if you want to make designs with multiple colours, or resort to using a lot of sugar in the meringue. You could choose to use the Swiss method to make the meringue more stable but you still have to be careful not to overfold the batter while adjusting the colours to the desired shade.
How do I overcome this dilemma? I decided to stick with the French method as it is the simplest logistically and suitable for small batches. But I tweaked the regular recipe to make the meringue stable for a longer time. The key ingredient I added here is cornflour. Much as cornflour helps the macaron shells to dry faster, be less prone to cracking during baking and slows down the breaking down of meringue, adding too much of it will make the batter very thick and the texture a lot more chewy. The slightly higher icing sugar to almond flour proportion used also helps with the stability. Care still needs to be exercised when colouring the batter to prevent overfolding.
Here is the French method recipe for making a more stable macaron batter. Feel free to halve the recipe for an even smaller batch.
Ingredients (makes about 24-28 macarons):
90g superfine almond meal
110g icing sugar
1/4 tsp cornflour
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
80g egg whites
75g caster sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Gel food colouring as needed
1. Sift all the powdered ingredients together. Set aside. Prepare baking tray with template and parchment paper. Set oven rack to lowest or second lowest position.
2. Make the meringue. In a small bowl mix cornflour together with caster sugar. Set aside. In a clean metal bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, gradually adding caster sugar and cornflour mixture once the egg whites are foamy. Make sure the meringue is really stiff, like whipped cream consistency.
3. Make the batter. Scatter half of dry ingredients into meringue. Gently fold in with a spatula until just combined. Scatter the rest of the dry ingredients. Gently fold in until just combined. Divide the batter to to the number of desired colours. Carefully add as much gel colouring as is needed and gently fold in until the batter is homogeneous. If the batter consistency is still too thick at this point, continue folding until it is able to flow like slow-moving lava.
4. Transfer into piping bag and pipe away! Dry the shells before baking. You may find the details of the basics of making the batter, piping and baking in my Creative Baking: Macaron Basics and Creative Baking: Macarons books.
Just to share some photos of the process...
Freshly baked macaron shells. Checkout the awesome feet!
I made only 9 characters in total with a little leftover batter to spare. But it was tedious! Fine details were added in using edible marker and royal icing.
I mounted the macarons on cake pop sticks so it is easier to display on top of the cake.
I have a few photos to share for the sponge and pudding cake too. Some people are hesitant to replace all the white sugar with coconut palm sugar in the meringue as they are afraid that the meringue will not whip as well. This is to prove that it can!
Egg whites beaten to firm peak with only coconut palm sugar added
Folding in the egg yolk batter and meringue. The black bits are black glutinous rice grains that I didn't process until superfine to provide some bite to the cake.
Nice and tall pulut hitam chiffon!
Layering the sponge and pudding layers. I love the natural colours!
I added on simple deco with white chiffon sheet cake