15 February 2016

Boston Cream Pie Macaron

Sweets for my sweet...

The plan was to have these ready for Valentine's Day but then we don't really celebrate it, so you see the urgency wasn't there. Understand, I love my husband dearly and like him almost every day of the week but we just don't do the whole gift giving, ceremonious proclamation of love on one specific day, every year. I much prefer that that to happen, on say a Tuesday, when it's been a rough day at school, the house looks like a dump, there's nothing on for dinner, my Masters isn't writing itself and he brings me tea and biscuits in my favourite mug.

Now that ladies and gentlemen, is way better than anything I might get on Valentines Day. It's the simple things right?

But then I had started making these and.. just kinda left them be. So I put them together this morning and went with something for Macaron Monday instead. Husband still got his sweets, they happened to be for after breakfast instead.

EEeeehhhh responsibility me should say... I don't necessarily recommend these as a breakfast, they are very heavy and very sweet but really, who am I to dictate your mornings choices? You follow that sugar laden yellow brick road if you want to. I'm just saying, some bran flakes might see you straight first!

BEFORE try to make these, make sure you have allotted yourself some time. For the cream pie filling I would recommend starting it the day before and just have it waiting for you in the fridge. The macaron take as much time as they need, they can't really be rushed. But giving yourself time here will ensure success, plus you can avoid doing anything in your real life because you're baking, and you have to concentrate.

The Cream Pie Filling

1 vanilla pod
100g sugar
500ml milk
4 egg yolks
45g cornflour
2 tbsp butter

Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and put the pod, plus the seeds in a pot. Add 50g of sugar and milk and gently heat over a low-medium heat. but do not allow it to boil.
In a separate bowl whisk together the rest of the sugar, the eggs and the corn flour. When the milk is hot, but not boiling, remove it from the heat and pour 3/4 of it into the egg mix. Whisk it all together and transfer it back into the pot and back onto the heat. Allow the custard to cook, to become thick and bubbling for about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and push through a sieve to remove any lumps, into a clean bowl. Stir in the butter and allow to cool before popping in the fridge for at least four hours, or even better over night.

The Vanilla Macaron

4 egg whites (keep the yolks for the filling)
100g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
280g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Start with a clean, grease free mixing bowl and a mixer. (I use the silver bowl and whisk off my stand mixer but, a hand mixer will do perfectly if that’s what you have!)

On a high speed, whip your egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla. Continue whipping the egg whites on a high speed and start pouring the caster sugar into the mixing bowl. I start off with a slow and steady stream and stop after 1/3 has gone in. I let it whip for a while and start again, adding another 1/3 and then stopping pouring sugar. Repeat for the third batch. 

Continue whipping for a further 3-4 minutes until your egg whites form a thick and glossy stiff peaked meringue. 

Sieve together the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large bowl and discard any large lumps or bumps you found were too big to go through the sieve. 

Taking a spatula, fold the egg whites into the almond, dry mixture. Your aim here is to squash out any air in the meringue. You can be rough with your folds, just make sure to keep folding through, making sure all the dry mix has been incorporated into the meringue.

You’re going for, what the internet describes as, a “thick ribbon” consistency. Essentially that means the mix almost falls back on itself in around 10 seconds.

I use a silicone macaron mat to pipe my shells to size. You can print off macaron templates which are very helpful in giving you a good reference for size. Line a few baking trays with parchment, and using your template, pipe circles onto the tray. 

Holding your tray about a foot off above the counter top or table you are working it... drop it! Repeat this procedure a few times to pop any air bubbles left in your shells and allow the circles to settle. 

Leave the shells to rest so that they form a skin and have become dry enough on the outside that you can lightly touch them.  This process could take up to an hour. (TIP: Leave them in a warm part of your house, like the windowsill where the sun is shining in.. they’ll be dry in no time!)

Preheat your oven to 130C/260F or gas mark 2. Once the macarons are ready for the oven,  pop them in for 8 minutes. After the 8 minutes, insert a wooden spoon into the oven door to keep it a little bit open. Continue baking for another 4-6 minutes until the top of the shell is crisp and if you wiggled it, gently, from side to side it should be one piece!

Remove from the oven onto a cooling tray and cool completely before filling. Continue baking whatever other shells are left in the same way. 

The Chocolate Coat

100g dark chocolate (I used 60%)
100ml double, heavy cream

Put the heavy cream and the chocolate in a bowl and pop it in the microwave. You want to heat the cream enough so it will melt the chocolate, but not too hot that it boils in the bowl. I use a medium setting for a minute, then check and stir. Then pop it back in for another minute and stir again until it's completely melted and mixed together.

Set it to one side to cool. It will thicken as it cools. 

Putting it all together...

Match your macarons together so that they are in equal enough sized pairs. Using the top shell, gently dip it into the chocolate coating until it is evenly covered. Be very gentle and only apply a thin coat on the top. Pop into the fridge to firm up.
On the other half of the shell, pipe or spoon out as much filling as you like and once the chocolate coat on the other half of the shell has firmed pop it on.

These are messy as all hell... So I advise storing them in the fridge until you are about to serve/eat them.

Are you a Valentines kinda guy or gal? What did you do? Or are you like me and just act as if it's any other day and sneak some romance into the mundane days...


  1. These do sound very good, but I just know I can't be bothered to do something a day in advance and wait all that time! We don't really do Valentines but I had some left over cookies from a baking order so my husband got those from me... And he vacuumed the entire house, which is a pretty good Valentine's gift in my eyes!

    1. haha! Sounds like you scored this Valentine's! I hate hoovering so am now super jealous of your freshly vacummed house! Enjoy it :) Hazel x

  2. Oh gosh I think I could eat that cream pie filling by itself - it sounds so good! I've never been brave enough to make macarons and don't think I'll attempt it but I love seeing yours all the same!

    Sarah xx

    1. Ha! Thanks Sarah, the filling is so delicious and really yummy with vanilla bean cake. Definitely give that part a try, even if you never attempt the macarons!

  3. I was going to write "I'd love to crawl into your brain where you conjure up all these awesome ideas for baked treats" but actually I'd rather crawl into your kitchen to eat your baked treats. Reading both of these statements back, I sound like a proper creep. I should just leave it at "WOW, those look sooooo good!"

    I like how making a custard filling solves the left over egg yolk problem with making macarons. Win win situation!

    1. Jo, you know what even if all you said was those two creeper statements, I would get it! And be totally ok with it!!

      The custard is a great way to use up egg yolks so keep it in your back pocket for any time you only need egg whites!

  4. They are so cute and look just like little boston cream pies don't they! Wonderful!! xx

    1. They sure do Amy! But they didn't last long after their photo shoot.. vultures swooped and made an easy treat of them! Thanks for popping by my dear xxx

  5. These look delicious Hazel, and really, not too too big for a breakfast treat? It's nice to hear that both of you do little things for each other throughout your ordinary days. My husband HATES all commercial holidays, so nothing comes my way. But I do give him a card and a small amount of dark chocolate (which he loves), but we don't decorate or go overboard. I wish he was a little more for the everyday "gifts" of love, but it seems he is losing that romantic trait he had when he was young. Ah well, what can you do.

    1. Ah swings and round abouts Wendy.. I bet it's the subtle things he does that makes him perfect! My husband has said he told me he loved me the day we married, if anything changes he'll let me know, such a Casanova, hahahha!! Men are so fickle sometimes.. X


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