Monday, 4 May 2020

Mango Sticky Rice Macarons

Since homebakers aren't allowed to sell bakes for a period of time during this circuit breaker, I took the chance to experiment with a new flavour for macarons that I don't normally have time for - - mango sticky rice!

Are you feeling a little like Pooh and Piglet here, getting really tired of quarantine/ lockdown/circuit breaker? Hang in there, it will end one day! 

As this was a "do for fun" bake, I didn't think too hard about planning. I baked these along with a small batch of macarons for a friend which I froze. As a result, I didn't prepare enough batter and here was what I did 😂

Nobody looks at the bottom side of macarons right? 🤣

I used the Swiss meringue method and you may find the recipe over here.

Freshly baked shells! 

I used black edible marker to add on the facial features of Piglet and Pooh.

What I would like to share in this post is the recipe for this new filling. I drew on my experience working on pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) macarons 3 years ago to adapt a famous and well loved Thai dessert to a macaron flavour.  You could just slap on the coconut milk covered glutinous rice and fresh mango slice between 2 macaron shells. But this doesn't keep well. The rice is either too dry (if used as it is from the dessert) with storage, or too wet (if you make rice pudding) so it turns the shells soggy in no time. I came up with a sticky rice filling that still retains some glutinous rice bite, full of coconut and pandan aroma, and yet with a consistency of buttercream like regular macaron filling. My kids could taste all these elements when they bite into the macaron! The mango part is more straightforward as it is just homemade mango jam/compote. I like it not perfectly smooth. When cooking the jam, try to reduce it until the jam is really thick and chunky. Mine was just slightly a little too wet still. I would reduce it further next time.

The portion of recipe for coconut sticky rice and mango jam is more than enough to fill 20 macarons but it is easier to prepare these items in larger portions. You may freeze any extras for future use. We start by making the mango jam.

Mango jam
2 mangoes, cut into chunks (about 330g worth of mango chunks for mine)
5g lemon juice
20g sugar (depends on taste and sweetness of mangoes)
1/8 tsp salt

Notes: I try to make my jams for macaron filling more tart as the shells are sweet, just to balance the flavours a little. Feel free to add less sugar or more lemon juice to make it really sour if you wish.

Steps :
1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook until reduced and thickened like jam, using a potato masher to mash the mangoes into smaller chunks. Use medium low heat and stir often.

2. Cool completely and store in airtight container. This can be prepared in advance and stored in fridge or freezer.

Coconut sticky rice
1 cup glutinous rice
1  to 1.25 cups of water
1/8 tsp salt
A few pandan leaves, knotted
200ml coconut cream
40g full fat milk (you may replace with coconut cream but I didn't want to end up having a half-used packet opened)

Notes: I used a lazy way of preparing the rice that is faster and easier. Traditionally, the glutinous rice is prepared by steaming and those recipes call for longer soaking times of 2 to 6 hours. I just use the rice cooker since I have it. I adapted the recipe from here. I didn't add any sugar as the macaron shells are sweet and the sticky rice part will be mixed with a white chocolate base, which is sweet.

1. Rinse rice until water runs clear. About several times.

2. Put rice, water, salt and pandan leaves in rice cooker. Let the rice soak for 30 min. Start the rice cooker. Let the cooked rice sit in cooker for 5 min.

3. Loosen the rice. Transfer into saucepan along with coconut cream and milk. Cook over medium low heat until rice absorbs most of the liquid.

4. Briefly blend the rice. Blend less if you prefer more bite, blend more if you prefer smoother rice pudding.

Blended sticky rice is super sticky! 

You may freeze the excess until you need to use it. Be sure to freeze in smaller portions as needed so you don't have to defrost everything.

This next part is the unique part of the filling. I didn't directly use the sticky rice as it is problematic with its high water content. I made ganache using the sticky rice puree with a 1:1.2 ratio of white chocolate base: sticky rice puree. The introduction of more fat into the filling helps to prevent the shells from turning soggy too fast.

Coconut sticky rice ganache
Ingredients (fills about 20 macarons) :
80g glutinous rice puree, thawed if frozen
40g white chocolate, chopped or use chips
10g cocoa butter (may replace with white chocolate)
15g unsalted butter or shortening
20g coconut cream powder
1/8 tsp salt

Notes: feel free to double or triple the portion if you find it easier to work with.

Steps :
1. Place white chocolate, cocoa butter, butter/ shortening and salt into microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium power for 10 sec and stir. Repeat until melted. You may use double-boiling method but be careful not to overheat.

2. Chill the melted chocolate mixture in freezer for 1 to 2 min and whip until smooth. Repeat until mixture has a light fluffy buttercream texture. You may use an ice bath and electric mixer if you wish.

3. Add coconut cream powder and mix well.

4. Add 10g of sticky rice puree at a time and fold in until incorporated before adding more.

Transfer into piping bag to fill the shells.

When you assemble, make sure you coat both top and bottom shells with a layer of coconut sticky rice ganache to insulate them from the wetter mango filling. Pipe a wall of sticky rice ganache to encase the mango jam.

Store in airtight container lined with paper towel to absorb any excess moisture released, in the fridge. Best consumed a day or two after assembly. Freeze immediately after assembly for longer storage. Always keep the airtight container closed and left to sit at room temperature for 15-20min before opening to prevent condensation from forming on the shells.

A peek at the insides! 

With love,
Phay Shing

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