Monday, 23 September 2019

Alpaca Cookies n Cream and Matcha Macarons

When given freedom to design a centerpiece with the theme "alpacas", this was what I came up with, along with a bunch of loose pieces of alpaca macarons ๐Ÿ˜Š.

Whimsical land! 

I used the Swiss meringue method to make these but reduced sugar in the meringue since Audrey (my friend who shared the recipe) mentioned it works just as well. You may refer to this post for the detailed recipe. I reduced the castor sugar from 85g to 75g. Remember not to overbeat the meringue but beat it firm enough until it is able to form a firm peak (peak with a curled hook) when beater is slowly raised.

I love the mesmerising look of a well beaten meringue! 

Just to share some photos of piped batter...

Loose pieces of alpacas

Pieces of alpacas that go on the structure. I made an extra set just in case. 

I decorated the macaron shells with edible black marker and pink royal icing.

I have been including cocoa butter in my white chocolate based ganache nowadays since it works just as well and it makes the ganache less sweet too! I will share the recipe for the fillings here. Feel free to scale it up if you wish to make a bigger portion.

Matcha whipped white chocolate ganache
45g white chocolate chips or finely chopped
10g cocoa butter shavings
10g unsalted butter
15g heavy cream
2 tsp Matcha powder, sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/8 tsp salt

1. Place white chocolate, cocoa butter, butter and cream in microwave safe bowl. Heat on medium-low power for 10 sec and mix well with spatula. Repeat heating and mixing until mixture is smooth. If there are stubborn pieces of chocolate or cocoa butter that refuse to melt, sieve them out. Be careful not to overheat. Press the chocolate/cocoa butter against sides of bowl during mixing to help them melt more evenly.

2. Add salt and vanilla and mix well. Add matcha powder in a few additions and mix well after each addition.

3. Chill in freezer for 1-2 min and mix well with spatula. Repeat chilling and beating until texture is light, smooth and creamy.

Cookies n cream Swiss meringue buttercream
35g egg whites (about 1 egg)
22g castor sugar
1/8 tsp salt
60g unsalted butter, slightly softened but cool
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
32g oreo cookies without cream, crushed

Steps :
1. Place egg whites, castor sugar and salt in a clean metal mixing bowl. Set the bowl over a simmering pot of water without the water touching the base of bowl. Whisk continuously while monitoring the temperature of the egg whites wihh a candy thermometer. Keep whisking until temperature reaches 71.1°C.

2. Remove mixing bowl from heat and beat on medium high speed with electric mixer until cool to room temperature. The meringue should be able to form stiff peaks.

3. Gradually add butter and beat well with electric mixer fter each addition until fully incorporated.

4. Add vanilla and mix well. Fold in crushed oreo cookies.

I filled the "hill" pieces with the matcha filling on outer ring and Oreo filling in the middle.

Filling the "hill" 

I filled the alpacas with Oreo filling.

Filling the alpacas 

Store assembled macarons in fridge in airtight condition for at least 24h before eating. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 15 min before opening the airtight container to prevent condensation from forming on the shells.

I glued the alpacas on the hill and created the grass using Royal icing. The flowers on the hill are store bought sugar flowers.

I hope this whimsical bake puts a smile on your face as it did mine ๐Ÿ˜Š.

With love,
Phay Shing


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  2. Hi. With regards to the split Swiss method: I've tried it and the heated sugar egg whites were extremely thick. The temperature got to 50c. Once I started beating it was extremely difficult to beat. It took very long to get to a soft peak.. Is this normal for this method? They also turned out lopsided ๐Ÿ˜”
    I do love the split method for smoothness.

    1. Hi Ashley, try increasing your mixer speed when beating to firm peak (peak with a curl at the end). It usually takes me only about 5 to 6 min to get to the peak I want on my stand mixer/electric mixer. Did you also heat your egg whites slowly? My students or myself only have that issue that you faced when we heat up the egg whites too fast and as a result, have some undissolved sugar in there. Start with room temperature water when you whisk the egg whites and sugar over saucepan of water. I find this helps. Usually it takes several minutes to get to about 49°C

  3. Thank you. I've reduced the sugar to 70g and had success. Also the meringue turns out very glossy and white. Baking on lower shelf in the oven helps avoid lopsided macarons. Will practice more and share the results ๐Ÿ˜€ Thank you

    1. Yay glad to know it works for you ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š