Tuesday, 18 February 2020

'Rainbow Bunny In Pink Castle' Macarons on Chocolate Banana Cake

This is perhaps one of my most massive bakes that is almost on par with my macaron playground on strawberries n cream cake I made in 2018. I made a pink ombre castle with rainbow and rainbow bunnies out of macarons! The whole thing sits on top of a 6-layered dark chocolate banana cake!

A macaron structure like this really needed time for planning and execution. I used the swiss meringue method but tweaked the recipe for a reduced sugar version without needing to use rice flour to replace some icing sugar in the dry ingredients portion like I always did. In order to maintain stability of the meringue while reducing sugar content, I replaced some of the caster sugar with icing sugar that has cornflour added, and cook the egg whites to a slightly higher temperature. I am still in the process of finding the optimal higher temperature to heat the egg whites to so I won't be sharing the detailed updated reduced-sugar swiss method recipe yet. You may refer to this post for the original swiss method recipe, and this post for the reduced-sugar swiss method recipe using rice flour and cornflour substitution for icing sugar.

Just to share some pictures of the process...

Piping the batter for various components! 

Freshly baked shells! 

Adding the details of the rainbow bunny using edible marker and gel colouring dissolved in vodka that is painted on. This bunny is modelled after baby Ashley's favourite toy

Just to show the heartbreak I get sometimes when working...

Oops! I accidentally dropped one fully decorated shell! All the hardwork 😂. Thank God I made extras! 

The rainbow is a huge macaron that extends quite tall vertically so I had to take pains to make sure that it is securely anchored. I didn't want to risk it toppling over during transport. Here is a sneak peek of how I did it.

The anchoring actually starts all the way down to the cakeboard with 2 wooden skewers on each end of the rainbow. Stiff royal icing at both ends of the rainbow may not be sufficient to secure it. 

Works-in-progress! Stiff royal icing is used to glue the pieces together, as well as to create the grass

Does this sight put a smile on your face? 

My ultimate chocolate cake has always received rave reviews and this time round, I decided to add bananas to complement the rich chocolate. I baked the banana slices briefly in the oven at 200°C, with some slices sprinkled with sugar on top so that it caramelizes. You may refer to this blog post for the detailed recipe.

Here was how I assembled...

Add a little chocolate custard on cakeboard, place a layer on sponge on top, pipe on the mixture of chocolate ganache and custard, add the bananas, add a thin layer of custard-ganache mixture, place the next layer of sponge and repeat, finally crumb coat with whipped dark chocolate ganache

You may choose to leave the cake in a semi-naked style or cover it with more dark chocolate ganache. I ran 3 wooden skewers through the whole height of the cake to prevent the cake layers from sliding.

I did a simple vertical-line pattern using a spatula, and covered the base with some chocolate pearl crunch sprinkles. 

Thank God the cake was really well received and people were amazed that you can actually construct a castle out of macarons!

With love,
Phay Shing

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