When organising my best friend’s baby shower, I asked what sweet treats she would like me to make for the day. At the top of the list was macarons and despite my Popcorn and Malteser Macarons being M’s favourite, for her baby shower she asked if it was possible to make some that tasted like one of her favourite lollies.
It just so happened that they were my favourite lolly as well so I set about creating these Pineapple Lolly Macarons.
My birthday was the week before the baby shower was held so it was a perfect occasion to make a test batch of the ganache to see if I could get it right, or work out what needed to be tweaked. I made my favourite chocolate cake recipe then filled and topped it with my first batch of ganache to take to lunch. Prior to filling the cake, I actually whipped the ganache as I was concerned there was not going to be enough and that it would not spread. By whipping it, I think the ganache thinned too much and it became quite runny. Don’t worry, the cake was still eaten and the flavour was there (chocolate and pineapple is a great combination) but I kept this in mind when it came time to make the macarons.
To make the ganache, I used my food processor which is a great way of making ganache super quick. In addition to the standard ingredients of cream and white chocolate, you will also need pineapple lollies.
Start by putting your chocolate into your food processor and blitzing it until you have small pieces. This is quite noisy to begin with but it will help melt the chocolate quickly once the hot cream is added.
Chop up your pineapple lollies so, like the chocolate, you have small pieces to help them melt easily. Cutting each lolly into 3-4 pieces was adequate, and it will be going through the food processor which will take care of any that have not melted entirely.
Add the lollies to the cream in a saucepan then place over a medium heat.
You will need to stir the mixture frequently as the lollies begin to melt, to ensure they don’t stick to the saucepan and burn. Don’t fret if you cannot get them all to melt completely, just take it to a stage where the cream is hot and the majority of the lollies have melted.
Granted, the mixture does not look all that appealing at the moment, but now it is time to add it to the chocolate. Depending on what you are comfortable with, given it is a super hot liquid, you can either pour it all into the food processor whilst it is off, put the lid back on and start the machine. Or, my preference when making any ganache, is to pour the cream in whilst the food processor is running.
The ganache will be made in seconds, the chocolate will have melted and any remaining lollies will have been pulverised. Transfer the ganache to a bowl and set aside until you are ready to use.
Onto the macaron shells. For those who have not seen one of my previous macaron posts, to make the shells you will need almond meal, icing sugar, egg whites, sugar, water and yellow food colouring.
Place the almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor and blend until fine. If you don’t have a food processor, you can skip this step and put it straight through the sieve, however this will result in a super smooth shell. Put the mixture through a sieve into a large bowl and mix in one portion of the egg whites.
For the meringue, place the sugar, water and yellow food colouring in a saucepan and place on a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat then 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!
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle, then pipe onto a tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat. My size preference is 4cm, however I also have templates for you to use in other sizes, simply check them out in the right hand side bar.
Let the macarons sit for at least half an hour, or until a skin forms on top. The time required can vary depending on the weather, particularly the humidity, and it has taken over an hour at times for me previously.
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 and then pair up similar sized macarons before piping the ganache on one half.
Sandwich the other macaron shell on top, and there you have it! Place them into an airtight container and leave in the fridge overnight (it is hard to not eat them there and then I know, but trust me, this step is worth it). When you are ready to serve, bring to room temperature.
What was your favourite childhood lolly/candy/sweet? Is it still the same today?