On a somewhat recent shopping trip I came across some freeze-dried fruit powders from The Melbourne Food Depot at a local store. As I was checking out the different varieties, I spied the passionfruit powder and immediately picked it up as the hubby and I both looooooove passionfruit.
It did take me a little while to get around to using it, which is normally the case for anything, but as I was in the mood to make macarons for some folks we had coming around, and it also turned out to be October’s Daring Bakers challenge, I decided to grab the powder and an extra ingredient, to make Popping Passionfruit Macarons.
For the month of October we got to take on one of many bakers’ deepest, darkest kitchen nightmares : macarons. Our talented bakers Korena from Korena in the Kitchen and Rachael from pizzarossa made the intimidating task of mastering these French beauties a breeze.
First up, is the ganache and I decided I would use white chocolate in my ganache for these macarons as I did not want either milk or dark chocolate to overpower the passionfruit flavour, even a little bit. In addition to the chocolate, you will need cream and the passionfruit powder.
Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl, and heat your cream. As it was such a small amount of cream, I used the microwave and it took about 50 seconds to get the cream hot but this may vary in yours. Pour it over the chocolate and place a plate over the top of the bowl to keep the heat in then leave for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.
Stir the chocolate and cream together until you have a nice smooth ganache. Sprinkle your passionfruit powder over the top and then stir through until dissolved.
If you wanted to add some yellow food colouring to enhance the colour of the ganache, you are more than welcome too. I was happy with the slight change in colour once the passionfruit powder was added so decided against it. Place some cling wrap on top of the ganache, so it is touching the surface, then set aside.
You have seen the process for making the shells in my 10 (!) previous macaron posts but I will go through it again if this is your first visit here (and if so, thanks for dropping by!). You will need two portions of egg whites, almond meal, icing sugar, caster sugar, water, food colouring (yellow and purple today) and egg white powder (or cream of tartar).
To get as smooth a shell as possible, place your icing sugar and almond meal into a food processor and blitz it for a minute or so, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Sift this mixture into a large bowl and you should be left with a very fine powder which will result in a very smooth shell.
Add one portion of your egg whites to this powder and mix it through until you have a paste.
Into a saucepan, pour in the water and caster sugar and place on a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil until the temperature reaches 119°C and in the meantime whisk the remaining egg whites and egg white powder/cream of tartar in a stand mixer until they start to foam.
Remove the sugar syrup from the stove and allow the temperature to rise slightly further to 121°C, at which time it is to be poured into the egg whites. Continue to whisk until you have a thick, glossy meringue and it is completely cool.
Fold a third of the meringue into the almond meal paste to loosen up the mixture. Carefully fold the remaining egg white through until just combined, but don’t over mix!
I usually add my colouring into the sugar syrup, but as I wanted to have two-toned macarons, I split my batter into two at this stage, added the purple gel paste to one bowl, and the yellow food powder to the other and mixed until I was happy with the consistency and the colour.
To achieve the two-tone look, rather than mess around scooping the purple onto one side of the piping bag, then the yellow on the other, I thought I would try putting the batter into a freezer bag (you could also use a ziplock or pastry bag) then placing both into the larger piping bag.
This did work, however I put a little too much batter into the freezer bags so it made it difficult getting them into the piping bag, so less is more. One colour will probably dominate a little at first, but continue to pipe your macaron shells, in this case using my 4cm template, until all of your batter is used up. You can see below the stages of the colour where yellow dominated at first, then it evened out before the shells were mainly purple at the end.
Let the shells sit for 30-60 minutes until a skin has formed.
Bake the shells in a preheated 150°C oven for 16-20 minutes or until the top of the macaron is cooked and you are able to lift the shell from the tray easily. Leave the macarons to cool completely on the trays.
Once completely cool, pair up similar sized macarons and then pipe on your ganache to one half.
Now for the extra ingredient. You have probably guessed already given the title of this post, but if not it is time for some popping candy!
You are able to add this directly to the ganache so it is mixed in, but even when coated like this popping candy is, it can kill the fizz so I decided to sprinkle a little bit on top of the ganache. This also kept it hidden a little so was a nice surprise. Granted, some of the fizz did go as well because of the moisture, but there was still enough for the effect to be complete.
Keep the macarons in an air-tight container in the fridge overnight and then when ready to serve, bring to room temperature.
These bad boys certainly did have the passionfruit kick I was after, and the popping candy was a nice addition, especially given it meant alliteration in the title!
What flavour would you like me to create next?