This cake is dynamite. Don’t do it if you don’t intend to do it again and again and again afterwards. This cake is so good, your kids will ask you to have it at every single occasion. So stock up on Guinness, turn on your Thermomix and get cracking!
250 g Guinness or stout
250 g unsalted butter, diced
60 g cocoa powder
400 g sugar
140 g sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
280 g plain flour
2½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking powder)
250 g dark chocolate
250 g double cream
1 tsp real vanilla extract
1 tsp unsalted butter
- Weigh Guinness into the TM bowl. Add butter and melt 3 min/50C/Speed 1 (the butter should be softened or melted).
- Add cocoa, sugar, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Mix 45 sec/Speed 5.
- Add flour and bicarbonate of soda. Mix 20 sec/Speed 3. Pour into a buttered and lined 23cm springform tin.
- Bake for 45 to 70 minutes at 180C without fan/160C with fan/Gas Mark 4.
- Cool completely before applying ganache topping.
- Ganache: heat all the ingredients together 3 min/50C/Speed 2 or until chocolate is completely melted. Pour onto cooled cake and smooth over the edges.
I love making macarons. They are beautiful, tasty and you can fill them with an infinite variety of ganaches and fillings. Since teaching how to make them at my Kitchen Complements cookery classes, I have found a great fail-safe recipe, which I am giving you today. For ideas to fill these, you can choose from my raspberry and rose or my dark chocolate ganaches. Maybe you prefer the salted butter caramel filling or for a tangy taste, lemon curd would get your preference. If none of these tickle your fancy, then why not a beautiful white chocolate and olive oil emulsion infused with vanilla seeds?
Please refer to my previous post on macarons shells for some tips on how to make successful macarons before making the recipe.
Source: Macarons inratables for the shells and A 2 mains Cap délice for the ganache
Makes about 100 shells
160g ground almond
160g icing sugar
140g egg whites
180g caster sugar
Food colouring of your choice (preferably in powder or gel form to avoid changing the texture of the mixture)
200g white chocolate
75g single cream
85g Extra virgin olive oil (choose a very good quality olive oil with a mild taste)
1/2 vanilla pod
- Line the baking trays with baking paper or silicone sheet (you need 4 baking trays)
- Take out all the ingredients (egg whites a few hours in advance) and tools needed: silicone spatula, piping bag + round nozzle, pastry scraper, scale and a big bowl.
- Mix together the ground almond and the icing sugar in the food processor (Thermomix: 5 sec/speed 6). Don’t overheat the powder though! Alternatively, sieve the mixture. Tip out and reserve in the big bowl.
- Beat the egg whites until they start to foam and there’s no more liquid at the bottom of the bowl, and then add 1/2 of the sugar. Continue whisking until the whites start to firm up and form soft peaks Add the other 1/2 of sugar. Continue whisking until the sugar is totally dissolved (taste a little bit to check) and add the food colouring (quantity is up to you but add a small amount at a time until you’re satisfied with the result).
Stop whisking at this stage and add the ground almond and icing sugar.
- Now use a silicone spatula to fold in the almond mixture. Cut in the middle of the bowl with the spatula and turn the bowl a 1/4 to the left (if you’re left-handed, then to the right) while lifting the mixture. Once the almond/sugar is roughly mixed in, change the spatula motion to a fold and then scrape gently the top of the mixture. Continue doing this until all the almond is mixed in. Now you don’t have to be too delicate here as you want the mixture to be well mixed and it should form a ribbon when pouring it from a height.
- As soon as this is done, put the mixture in a piping bag with a round nozzle (about 1 cm wide). Evacuate any air out of the opening of the piping bag using your hand or pastry scraper and push the mixture towards the nozzle to remove air bubbles.
- Hold the piping bag firmly in your hand as shown in the picture and move to your ready lined baking tray
With the nozzle about 1 cm away from the tray (at a 45 degree angle) pipe out a small amount of the macaron mixture (about a walnut size). You should have 25 to 30 shells per tray.
- Continue piping a line of macarons well spaced (they will spread out while resting). Tap the tray firmly against the workbench to remove any air bubble trapped.
- Let the macarons rest for up to 1 hour at room temperature. Check it is dry by slightly touching one macaron: it shouldn’t stick to the finger.
- Preheat your oven at 150C (even less if your oven tends to overheat).
- Add the tray with the macarons and cook for about 10 minutes (again, check them through the window to make sure they don’t get yellow). You don’t need to use 2 tray in this recipe as it is fail-safe and the feet will form with just one tray.
- To see if they are cooked, slightly move the top with your finger. If it moves away from the feet, it’s not done. If both stay together, they are cooked.
- When they’re cooked, leave them out for a few minutes before carefully lifting them out with a thin spatula.
- Ganache: heat the olive oil with the seeds of the vanilla pod 5 min/70C/speed 2. Leave to cool completely (you can leave the pod in the oil and remove when cool). Tip out and reserve.
- Melt the white chocolate and the cream in the TM bowl 5 min/50C/speed 2.
- Add the olive oil and mix 1 min/speed 3.
- Place in a piping bag and leave to cool in the fridge for 20 minutes before piping into your macarons shells.
- Store the macarons in an air-tight container in the fridge for at least 1 day before eating (I know it’s torture but they are much, much better after a day or 2 as the flavours will have developed!). They also freeze very well…
- Tip: to make the golden shimmer look on the shells, I have sprayed them with an edible shimmer bronze spray (I used gold shimmer for the paler ones), available in specialised shops. Place them in a cardboard box before spraying to avoid redecorating your kitchen!
This very nice spongy cake will delight children and adults alike and is a doddle to make with (or without) Thermomix. I had seen the recipe a while ago in one of Demarle’s magazines. For those who don’t know Demarle, it’s a French company who specialise in very high quality silicone moulds. They are probably the best on the market but like Thermomix, they only sell through demonstrations. Anyways, I had the recipe in the back of my mind when I see it in Lylou’s blog “Quand Lylou cuisine“. So no more prevarication, I finally decided to try it and here is the recipe…
180g softened unsalted butter
180g sugar (I only put 150g)
60g ground almond
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g chocolate vermicellis (or a mixture of vermicelli and chocolate chips)
For the ganache
100g dark chocolate
- Preheat the oven at 180C
- Butter and flour individual moulds or use a silicone tray of any shapes you like (I used the square savarins tray)
- Place the butter and sugar in the TM bowl and mix 30 sec/speed 4.
- Continue mixing at speed 4 and add the eggs one by one through the hole on the running blades.
- Turn off the speed and add the ground almond, flour and baking powder.
- Mix for 10 sec/speed 6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix another 10 sec/speed 6.
- Add the chocolate vermicelli/chips and mix 10 sec/speed 3/reverse blade.
- Pour into the silicone moulds or individual tins and bake for 12/15 minutes.
- Take the cakes out of the oven and let them cool down while you prepare the ganache.
- In the clean TM bowl, place the chocolate chunks and cream and cook for 5 minutes/90C/speed 2.
- Pour onto the cakes and serve warm. I used a thickened orange coulis for decoration but orange segments or any other coulis will do…
I posted a recipe of macarons on this site before with a step by step. This recipe is a bit different because we are doing an Italian meringue instead of a French one. An Italian meringue is a meringue cooked with a sugar syrup at 118C. The French meringue is simply a meringue beaten with caster sugar until glossy. When using Italian meringue, you also have to add unbeaten egg whites to mix with the ground almond/icing sugar. I find the meringues made that way have a better shape but the sugar content is far higher! Also, I have learned not to fiddle with different colours with any batch of macaroons as there is a high risk of over-beating the mixture and ending up with flat macaroons as I sadly experienced during my month certificate. Just add the colour to the meringue while whisking and you’ll avoid that pitfall! Please refer to the step by step with pictures as the process is the same for any macarons after the meringue is made and ready to mix. I will give you the classic way to make macaroons (without Thermomix) and the Thermomix version. Just remember to have everything ready before starting (including the trays and all the bits and bobs you will need along the way) as once you start, you have to look after these babies without any interruption (they are very demanding little buggers!)
For the macarons:
100g egg whites (about 3 egg whites left at room temperature)
300g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
125g egg whites (to mix with the “tant pour tant”: mix of ground almond/icing sugar)
300g caster sugar
Food colouring of your choice in powder form
For the Chocolate Ganache
400g dark chocolate (either in callets or ground with your Thermomix)
250g single cream
1 tbsp of any flavouring you like: coffee essence, Kalhua, rum…)
(Lemon macarons are made with a Lemon Curd filling)
- Make sure you have everything out before starting the macaroons: a spatula, a stand mixer or hand whisk if not using Thermomix, a saucepan, a 1g precision scale, a piping bag with a large round nozzle, at least 2 trays (4 is better). If using 4 trays, place 2 on a grid at the 2 lower shelves of your oven. No need to preheat just yet. If using 2, just place one in the oven (lowest shelf). You will need to have the trays that are not in the oven lined with either greaseproof paper or silicone sheet. Have a large bowl and a sieve ready also. A food thermometer is also useful if making the sugar syrup (no need if using Thermomix!).
- For the non Thermomix Method: sieve the weighed ground almonds and icing sugar together into a large bowl. Mix with 125g of egg whites and set aside.
- Whisk the 100g of egg whites until fluffy and white.
- Meanwhile, place the water and 300 caster sugar in a saucepan and stir a little before bringing to the boil (make sure there is no sugar stuck on the side of the pan). While boiling, check that no sugar was spat on the side, if it happens, use a brush dipped in cold water and brush the sugar back down. This step is necessary to ensure there is no cristallisation.
- When the sugar syrup has reached 118C or more (it’s ok if it’s a little higher but do not let your syrup colour!), pour slowly on the beaten egg whites while whisking at low speed until the whole syrup is used. Continue whisking at high speed to cool down the meringue (touch the side of the bowl and you will see it is quite hot to start with). The cooling down can take a while, so if using a hand mixer, you will end up with a very muscley arm 😉 Stop when it is below 25C. Add your colouring while whisking the meringue until you’re happy with the intensity (the colour always goes paler after it’s cooked).
- Now, it’s time for the macaronage: use a third of the meringue to loosen up the ground almond/egg white mixture. At this stage, you can mix quite vigorously.
- Next, add the rest of the meringue and fold it gently using a spatula with the almond mixture. You should make a round movement starting at the center of the bowl, then dragging the spatula along the side of the bowl to lift the mixture up and back down again. Turn the bowl after each folding motion.
- When the mixture is ready, it should form a ribbon when you pour some from your spatula (see step by step).
- Place in piping bag with nozzle in, remove any air pockets by smoothing with the edge of your hand).
- Pipe the mixture at a slight angle and with your nozzle almost touching the greaseproof paper/silicone sheet. Make your rounds smaller than you want them as they will spread a little. Make sure you leave enough space between each macaron.
- Lift the tray and tap it strongly against your worktop a couple of times to burst any air bubbles.
- Let them dry for 30 min to an hour (they should not be sticky when touched with your finger).
- While they are drying, preheat your oven at 150C for light coloured macarons to 170C for dark ones. I used a fan oven so I am not sure of the temperatures if using a conventional oven (gas ovens are absolute no-no for making macaroons!).
- Place cold trays on the trays you have placed in the oven before starting (the doubling of trays will help the feet forming) and bake for 11 min for small macarons at 150C (8 min at 170C) and 15 min for bigger macarons (12 min at 170C).
- Let them cool down before lifting them up with a hard spatula.
- You can store them in a plastic container with a lid for up to a week.
- To make the chocolate ganache: boil the cream in a saucepan. Add the flavouring, stir and pour over the chocolate. Mix until it’s all melted (you might need to reheat gently if some of the chocolate is not melting and the mixture is cold). Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and spread it with a spatula. Cling film and leave to cool 30 min at room temperature. Place in a piping bag (no need of a nozzle) and pipe on one macaron shell and place another shell on top and press slightly. Leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating to soften the macarons).
Macarons with chocolate ganache
- Thermomix version: sieve ground almonds and icing sugar (you can make your own icing sugar with Thermomix by mixing granulated sugar 20sec/speed 10). Mix with the 125g of egg whites.
- Only use 150g of the sugar needed to make the syrup. With Thermomix, we don’t need to make a syrup as you can whisk your whites while heating at the same time. You’re gaining lots of time and effort!
- Place 150g of granulated sugar in the TM bowl and turn it into icing sugar (see step 1).
- Tip out and reserve.
- Place the butterfly whick in the TM bowl and measure 100g egg whites.
- Whisk for 5 min/speed 3/70C with measuring cup OFF and when it starts foaming, pour a little bit of the icing sugar.
- Continue adding more icing sugar, about 20/30g at a time until all absorbed.
- If the 5 minutes are not over, turn off the speed and press the ON/OFF button to clear the temperature setting. Continue whisking at speed 3 with no temperature until the light under the 37C is off.
- Proceed as in the classic recipe above from step 6.
Macarons with lemon curd filling