These little macarons were truly scrumptious, the plain macaron shells are sprinkled liberally with cinnamon and filled with rice pudding ganache! I know! They really are rather fancy.
These little macarons are the first batch I baked on my new macaron mat, I have since baked three further batches and my macaron mat and I are getting on famously. This first batch was a little off though, I didn't allow enough space for the macarons to spread as I piped and consequently some of my macarons spread outside the rings a little. This didn't actually effect the macarons a huge amount but some of the feet were a little brittle.
I'm not talking too much about my new macaron mat just now because I am still giving it a thorough run for it's money but I'm going to post a big review in a week or so. You can find out more about the macaron mat I am using on the Silicone Moulds Blog and also at Siliconemoulds.com.
The rice pudding ganache recipe I have used is adapted from Zumbo by Adriano Zumbo. I recommend making the rice pudding before the macarons as it takes a while a needs time to cool.
The rice pudding is absolutely wonderful so I also highly recommend making it purely for rice puddings sake.
Rice Pudding Macarons
300g icing sugar
300g ground almonds
220g egg whites, separated into two equal batches
300g caster sugar
cinnamon for sprinkling
Place the icing sugar and ground almonds into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until fully combined. Sieve this mixture into a large bowl. Add the first batch of egg whites (unbeaten) to almond mixture but do not mix.
Tip the second batch of egg whites into a heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk at the ready. Place 50ml water and the caster sugar into a small saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C, using a sugar thermometer, at which time start beating the egg whites on a high speed. Once the syrup has reached 118C pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture - the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm.
Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold everything together. It is important not to over-mix the batter - it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula. The ribbon should fade back into the batter within about 30 seconds - if it does not, fold a few more times.
Heat the oven to 160C/150C Fan/ gas 3-4. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds onto the prepared baking sheets, (or indeed fancy new macaron mat) and tap the base of the tray against the counter to remove any air bubbles. Sprinkle the macarons liberally with cinnamon and leave to to rest for 30 minutes on the kitchen counter, or until the macarons have developed a skin.
Bake the macarons for 10-14 minutes until they no longer wobble when gently pushed. Once out of the oven immediately slide the parchment onto a work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling off the paper.
For the rice pudding:
188g whipping cream
70g jasmine rice
50g caster sugar
75g brown sugar
6g vanilla extract
For the Ganache:
58g whipping cream
1/4 tsp vanilla paste
pinch of cinnamon
95g white couverture chocolate, chopped
30g unsalted butter, softened
Mix all of the ingredients for the rice pudding in a small saucepan and place over a medium-low heat and cook until the rice is tender. (This took far longer than I expected, my rice was tender in around 45 minutes). Stir the rice pudding frequently to prevent any sticking to the base of the pan, you may need to add additional milk if the mixture becomes to dry before the rice is cooked.
Once the rice is tender, remove the rice pudding from the heat and allow to cool completely.
To make the ganache, combine the cream, vanilla and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring just to the boil. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl, pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave to stand for 2 minutes. Stir the ganache until smooth and cool the mixture to 50C.
When the ganache mixture has reached the right temperature, gradually blitz in the soft butter, using a stick mixer. Mix until smooth and set aside to cool completely.
Mix together the rice pudding and ganache until combined.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a 12mm (1/2 inch) piping tip with rice pudding ganache.
Pipe the ganache on the flat side of half of the macaron shells before topping with the remaining shells. Place the finished macarons in the refrigerator to set.