Monday, June 14, 2010

Studmuffin Macarons: Raspberry Tea Macarons with Tahini Dark Chocolate Cream

Raspberry Chcocolate Tahini Macarons (0004) By MeetaK  

I've made you wait for this - haven't I? I began receiving emails and FB messages asking me if I had forgotten about my promise to reveal not only the recipe, but many of you were very keen on hearing what a studmuffin is!

First allow me to thank everyone for the fantastic Birthday wishes on my teaser post, for the emails, FB messages and tweets. I was touched and found myself teary eyed often on the day.

Studmuffin is a word that exists to date in the vocabulary of maybe a handful of ladies. By definition it refers to anything, but more likely to apply to anyone completely droolworthy, delicious and downright scrumptious. It is vital that every girl have a studmuffin. Because studmuffins not only are eye-candy and makes ones pulse race faster, they often are the inspiration to incredible creativity. 

Studmuffins can also be responsible for an email exchange between you and your girlfriends, in which 35 emails are exchanged in the most hilarious manner in a span of a few hours. Don't believe me? Send an email of your studmuffin dressed tastelessly and disclose that the stylist needs to be shot! You'll cherish those emails and love your girlfriends at their ability to join you in pure teenage silliness. I do!

That email exchange was in actual effect responsible for this macaron creation. The flavors for the macarons was something I brought back with me from my recent trip to Dubai, where I had the opportunity to test various macarons at a divine place in Dubai Mall. The original macarons that I tested there were raspberry and tahini. There was nothing else I came away with. No recipe, no other ingredients. So I began experimenting with my own ideas.

Raspberry Chcocolate Tahini Macarons (0007) By MeetaK 

These macarons brought out the wild side in me as I experimented, scrapped ideas then went back and experimented some more. But then on that day as my lovely sweary, saucy, sporty and snarky girlfriends were talking studmuffins via email something clicked. We did not even mention macarons in that email nor did we talk about food or ingredients, I was just fueled by my urge to take something homemade for my girlfriends to London as a special treat. A few days before I was to leave I decided to stop the experimenting and throw it together.

Wait - throw ingredients together for a macaron? Can one do that? Well like I said this recipe brought my wild side out. I had egg whites leftover from making the pistachio rosewater croqembouche, aging in the refrigerator and had a pretty good conception of the filling. What I was missing was the true raspberry flavor for the shells. It was Soeren actually who gave me the idea of using raspberry tea, indirectly. He wanted me to buy some flavored tea to make homemade iced tea and as we were looking at the aisle of teas provided at my supermarket, I was overwhelmed by the variety. I picked out the teas for our iced tea and as I was about to walk off, I stopped. And thought. Then looked at the aisle again, shrugged my shoulders and grabbed the packet of raspberry tea. It was worth a try.

The rest was pretty much winging it as I went along. I had abandoned the ideas and notes I had jotted in my notebook and went to work on the concept I had in my head.

I ground the tea leaves and dried raspberries along with the almonds for the shells and part of the color comes from the dried raspberries. The filling is an irresistible mix of rich dark chocolate couverture from Lindt, a light sprinkling of fleur de sel and a few tablespoons of tahini paste.

The reason I used couverture was basically  because one can use a higher proportion of chocolate to cream. As couverture is more viscous than ordinary plain chocolate one can increase the amount of couverture to that of double cream. Resulting in a more rich and intense chocolate flavor.

Raspberry Chcocolate Tahini Macarons (0003) By MeetaK

Note: If you are making macarons for the first time please read my comprehensive collection of macaron tips. All the way from the prep work to removing macarons from the baking paper, you’ll find valuable tips and tricks for perfect macaron making.

Raspberry Tea Macarons with Tahini Dark Chocolate Cream

Printable version of recipe here

For the macaron shells

110g icing sugar
60g almonds, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g castor sugar
15g raspberry tea with dried raspberries, finely ground (with the almonds) 
a few drops of red food coloring

For the filling

200g Dark chocolate couverture, finely chopped
150ml double cream
3-4 tablespoons tahini paste
good pinch of fleur de sel


Method

For the macaron shells

  1. Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around. Or use this macaron template.

  2. In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.

  3. In a food processor pulse together icing sugar, almonds and raspberry tea until everything is finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.

  4. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Add a few drops of red food coloring to get the desired color tone. Fold the mixture a few times to break the air. Continue until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds. 

  5. Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 15 to 30 minutes.

  6. In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack.

For the filling
  1. Put the cream into a saucepan and bring nearly to the boil, so it is scalding hot.

  2. With the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl, pour the hot cream over and leave to allow the chocolate to melt into the hot cream. Add a pinch of fleur de sel and gently stir to mix.

  3. Leave it to cool long enough for it to be a nice spreadable consistency.

  4. Once the chocolate ganache has cooled stir in the tahini paste. Place in refrigerator for it to set and thicken further.

Assembling the macarons 

Pipe small portions of the chocolate-tahini filling on one of the shells and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.

Storing Macarons
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.

They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.

Macarons taste best the next day. Prepare and fill them, then keep them in an airtight container in the fridge. This allows the flavors to intermingle with each other. Enjoy them at room temperature the next day.

Transporting Macarons

These were transported in my hand luggage to London. I simply lined a plastic air-tight container with bubble wrap and placed the macarons on the wrap. Then covered with a second piece of bubble wrap and sealed it with the lid.

 

     


    Verdict

    Raspberry Chcocolate Tahini Macarons (0009) By MeetaK

    I was nervous about this verdict. For the first time I had fellow food bloggers tasting one of my recipes. And they know their sole from their plaice (which sometimes is the same thing). Of course I was very excited too to present to them one of my macarons creations. As I unpacked the box I could feel the suspense building up and could hardly wait till they bit into the macaron they held in their hands. They were good to me. The flavor explosion of chocolate and tahini really hit them. I got them to guess what the flavors were and loved their expressions on their faces as the quizzed.

    In my own opinion I think the tahini flavor could have been a bit more dominant and the raspberry flavor slightly more prominent. So, the next time I'll add some more tahini and maybe try drying fresh raspberries for a more intensive flavor. My macarons also stood up in our macaron tasting evening on Sunday night. More about that in my next post.

    This macaron creation is heading on over to Mactweets. This month we were to let our wild side loose and get inspired by a wild animal, beast or bird. Well ladies this is one is inspired by my studmuffin. Beast or bird? I think a bit of both wouldn't you say? ;o)

    A few of these are also specially going over to Erin, who is my gracious hostess for this session of the Monthly Mingle. Erin's theme is Special Sweet Treats and for me it does not get more special than macarons traveling to London for my special Spice Girls!

    More Macarons from WFLH:

    Spiced Chai Latte and Salted Caramel Macarons Matcha Macarons with Passionfruit Curd Black Sesame and Nutella Macarons

     


    All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

    46 comments :

    1. Not fair my lovely... why didn't you make them in '09! Just too darned unfair!! These are outrageously fabulous Meeta. Beautiful colours and gorgeous styling. Love your personal touch ... so very inspiring!

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    2. I *heart* those macs Meeta - I bet they tasted amazing. Very interesting combo you have going there - can't wait to try it out!

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    3. Such perfect looking macarons Meeta! And as always ... wonderful snaps and a beautiful write. :-)

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    4. ah! beautiful macs Meeta. And, I LOVE the little tray with the pretty pink flowers on it. gorgeous!!!

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    5. Stunning images and macarons Meeta! :)

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    6. here's sporty's verdict... phenomenal ! those macarons survived a 300 km/h race on the autobahn, that's a test alright ! and they survived the critical eye of 4 seriously passionate macaron loving palates, haha ! plus that of sweary's husband. as i exclaimed when tasting them, that filling is fantastic. and i will definitely be playing with it - cookie sandwiches, tart base, hmmm... bowl with spoon, LOVE it ! i love tahini, love dark chocolate, love fleur de sel. and loooove that you made those studmuffin macs for us, thank you zesty ! :)

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    7. I can't tell you how much I love the color of these Raspberry Tea Mac. Stunning and oh what gorgeous feet.

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    8. I guess this kinda creativity is something that I am not blessed with and what makes you YOU!Those macaroons are a work of art. Lucky london buddies who got to eat it!

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    9. I just returned from a vacation in Greece and while there I got totally turned on to the idea of tahini in sweets - that's new for me! These sound wonderful :)

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    10. Wonderful! I particularly like that filling!

      Cheers,

      Rosa

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    11. Beautiful colour, mine always seem to fade a lot in the oven no matter how bright the mix beforehand. Those little flowers look so cute balanced on top. Can I eat my studmuffin?!

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    12. I thought recipe must be complicated by the way they look ie stuffed and very pretty but comparatively easy recipe. Tahini paste is unique, great looking cookies Meeta, worth the wait girl! :)

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    13. Oooh - they look exquisite. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and tea x

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    14. Wow is all I can say. Just a lot of wows!

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    15. Ah, darling Zesty! I remember the studmuffin e-mail exchange so well and yes: every girl NEEDS a studmuffin! I still can't believe you showed up at Cooksister HQ with a box of these delectable macarons. I remember our guesses at the filling. Mmm, peanuts. No, Nutella... until you revealed that the secret was tahini. And then of course we were off on flights of fantasy, involving the filling on, umm... studmuffins!! :o) Incredible recipe from my incredible blogsister!

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    16. Ooooh, Studmuffin definitely BEAST (gggrrrrr!!!) and how perfect is eating a box of your studmuffin macs watching studmuffin rugbymen undress on a dvd? And I can tell everyone that my very Saucy verdict is: your outrageously good macs were better than either Ladurée's or Fortnum & Mason's macs hands down! Gorgeous color, delicious, intriguing flavor! Wild, baby, wild! xo

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    17. They are just beautiful I was reading your post and even mt hubby was saying the pics are so good. I love that filling too. Now we know all the name of the others what is your name? with the girls.

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    18. That flavor combination sounds delicious Meeta and I love the photos!

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    19. These are pure gorgeousness and fabulous flavors. I think most of us American girls know what a studmuffin is but thanks for reminding us! I haven't heard the word in a long time...

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    20. Studmuffin? A-ha!?? ;-D
      I think I actually think I forgot to wish you a hppy birthday during your rather hectic and happening birthday week/ weekend. So here's sending you a basketful of belated birthday wishes. :)

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    21. These are beautiful colors and perfect macs. I think the flavors would be very interesting together.

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    22. Thanks for explaining, studmuffin. hahaha! The tahini paste in the macaron sounds interesting, need to try that combination out. Nothing beats couverture chocolate!

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    23. Meeta! tese macs look absolutely stunning! You've got such a lovely colour. And the tray is so pretty.

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    24. Gorgeous macs Meeta; wish I was there to bite into these beauties too :-)

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    25. You have the definition of a studmuffin tied down perfectly!

      Happy Belated!

      Your images are always such a delight.

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    26. The tahnini is an inspired touch. I bet it does compliment the chocolate so well, too. The macarons look absolutely lovely.

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    27. The color on your macarons is amazing. I have never had tahini in anything sweet. It is intriquing.

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    28. You always impress me - these are no exception! The flavor combination is amazing!

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    29. Your macarons look spectacular! I love the pink-red color and the addition of tahini is really inspiring.
      Magda

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    30. These are amazing! Such a gorgeous colour, and the flavour sounds incredible!

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    31. i LOVE your photos!!! and ideas... so beautiful!

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    32. Oh, what pretty little cookies! Beautiful photos!

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    33. Pink as pink can be! Love their colour!
      It's always interesting reading how the idea of recipes born into one's head, I love the role played by Soeren!

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    34. THANK YOU! Thanks for all the great comments. The filling was explosive in this for sure and can be enjoyed without anything else but a spoon.

      But I do find the tangy flavor of raspberry added a bit of zing to the whole chocolate tahini thing.

      STUDMUFFINS are always hot!

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    35. I have to be very honest, I have not read your whole post but feel the urge to comment because I seriously just STARED at the gorgeous photos of your macs for at least 5 mins straight. Stunning macs, stunning photography..... *in awe*

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    36. Meeta, these are so pretty! I'm completely in love with all your photos, actually. :)

      What an interesting idea to add tahini to a ganache - I'm so intrigued I'll have to give this a go! ;)

      xx

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    37. This is just a really stunning feast for the eyes, Meeta. Lovely. And yummy!

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    38. Not only do I love the name of these, but they look absolutely amazing!!! A beautiful treat I wouldn't even want to eat because they're too pretty. But I still wouldn't be able to resist!

      Sues

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    39. a dark chocolate filling... how could I resist! Your photos are beautiful, as always!

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    40. Wonderful macarons! I am a big fan of the flavors including the raspberry and the tahini-chocolate cream in the filling.

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    41. Amazing pictures! Love to try the combination

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    42. everytime i see these i fall in love with them, they are so perfect and pretty, but im ashamed to say i've never actually tried one ! are they as nice as they look ?

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    43. They are adorable - but so is the tray you served them on. Where on earth did you find this?? SO cute!
      CJ

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    44. I love macaroons...what a great colours!Congrats!

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    Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

    In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

    Hugs
    Meeta