Tag Archives: winter

American Campfire meets French Pastries

Being a kiwi, the idea of an American campfire with smores, is the stuff of childhood dreams (fuelled by television's portrayal of what Americans ideally do).

So every winter, out would come the skewers and the marshmallows, and as we carefully held our safe end of the stick the marshmallow slowly roasted in the fireplace. Many a cold winter's night was spent toasting the outer layer of these sugary delights, and my goodness were the Americans onto something great!

The crispy caramelisation and burnt bits, combined with the gooey molten centre is what I wanted to recreate from Adriano Zumbo's recipe for Toasted Marshmallow Macarons.

I toasted a tray of marshmallows in the oven on grill, and let the sweltering heat emulate a fireplace, (that my current flat does not have). Out came a giant cloud of toasted marshmallow mass. This was whipped into a healthy amount of creamed butter in addition to creme patissiere – as if this recipe couldn't get any better 😍 this is then piped between two French Macarons and left to mature in the fridge overnight.

I know I said in a previous post that English Coconut Macaroons are my favourite out of these two cousins, but this filling may just tip the scale 😉

Until next time,
Happy baking (and eating!)

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Layers

Winter time calls for finding your gloves and the collection of knitted jumpers that you have hidden away from the sweltering Summer sun. As much as I love to layer my Winter outfits with thermals, shirts, jumpers, leggings, tights, and jackets, topped off with a scarf (of course!), this post is about cake, my other love.

Layers upon layers of cake.

Before I start to design a cake, I think of flavour combinations that I love to eat. For example I love white chocolate together with coconut, lemon, blueberries, and cardamom. It sounds weird, but trust me, it works.

It’s not only layers of cake and ganache filling, but it’s layers of flavours that work harmoniously together, that just belong. Each on their own being delicious, that somehow become even more so when all is tasted in one bite.

It’s like layering your Winter thermals, each is warm on their own, but when layered with others, it gets even warmer! (Yes, I do realise I am comparing a delicious cake flavour profile to being warm in Winter, but I think you get my drift!)

So once I have the flavour profile, I think about how to incorporate them into cake form. Like what can be the cake, and what flavours will be in the filling, and what can be used in the decorations and also what can add a textural element.

For this sweet creation, I thought about combining flavours into each element. So for the cake part I combined lemon and blueberries; for the filling I infused the white chocolate ganache with cardamom pods (which I removed once imparted its aroma), and then I toasted desiccated coconut to sprinkle in between the layers, and as a decoration on top (along with some pretty Pansy flower petals). And for added crunch, I sprinkled some white chocolate crispy pearls, they finish off the look perfectly.

This rustic and wholesome beauty is all you need to warm you up from the insides, on a cold Winter’s day; and don’t worry about the calories, let the thermals, jumpers, and jackets hide the extra layers of love you put inside of you!

Happy eating!