Strawberry Basil Macarons

I headed out to the little town of Benalla yesterday and visited the local fruit grocer. They had beautiful strawberries for only $2 a punnet and I knew right then that I would love to make some strawberry macarons with them.

I made plain macaron shells and painted them with red and gold lustre dust mixed with vodka. The colors don’t show up very well unfortunately. I filled them with a white chocolate strawberry ganache and a small basil leaf. The basil really cuts through the sweetness making this macaron a very satisfactory mouthful.

Filling recipe as below (fills a 100g almond meal shell recipe)

50g white chocolate
50ml cream
50g strawberries, roughly chopped
1 tsp powdered gelatine

  1. Heat white chocolate and cream together in microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each heating until chocolate is fully dissolved.
  2. Add chopped strawberries into ganache and incorporate.
  3. Sprinkle 1 tsp of powdered gelatine into 2 tablespoons of cold water and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until gelatine dissolves.
  4. Pour ganache mixture into gelatine while stirring to avoid gelatine clumps.
  5. Leave in fridge to cool and thicken.

 

Chocolate Dipped Hazelnut Biscotti

My housemate is quite the grammar stickler and as I perused through her bookshelf I came across a book on that very subject. Decided that it may end up a rather dry read and decided I should get a nice snack and drink ready pre-emptively.

Biscotti is one of those things that I really enjoy as in theory but somehow just never really make. Here’s the recipe for hazelnut ones – I find that hazelnut has a very distinct flavour that is very welcome on my palate after the recent onslaught of macaron batch after macaron batch made of almond meal.

125g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
2 small eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp orange rind
60g hazelnuts
100g dark chocolate, chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Mix all ingredients together and knead on a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Roll into a log about 25cm long and 8cm wide. Place on a baking sheet. Dough will spread so err on the narrow side or else you’ll end up with a pancake like item in the oven.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and slice into 1cm slices. Arrange on baking pan flat side down.
  5. Reduce heat in oven to 130 Ceclsius (fan forced) and bake for 8 minutes. Turn biscuits and bake a further 8 minutes or until biscotti is crisp and dry. Leave to cool
  6. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second bursts in a microwave safe container, stirring in between each burst.
  7. Dip biscotti into chocolate and lay on grease proof paper to set. Store in an air tight container.