This weekend I had the pleasure of partaking in a baking demonstration in Meubles furniture store down in County Kilkenny. It was all in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, it was thoroughly good fun and so many people turned up. It was excellent to share the kitchen again with Jerry, Oonagh, Tom, Aoife and Bridget. Also many of my cousins and family turned up which was brilliant too, I was absolutely chuffed. I will hopefully report back this week with how much we raised. For the day I decided to do savoury macaron and normal macaron, the savoury being today's recipe. When I knew I was going to be involved in this event I wanted to use a local product and what better than Knockdrinna cheese.
Myself and Joanne regularly stay in Stoneyford at Lawcus House, so Stoneyford's Knockdrinna cheese was the first thought that came to mind. I had a few Direct Messages back and forth with Helen in Knockdrinna and she advised their Snó would fit my brief. So before the event Saturday morning myself and Joanne took a detour to Stoneyford to collect some cheese. I met with Helen, and tasted the cheese, it was perfect so creamy. Helen obliged with some free samples for the event, I was delighted! I matched the cheese up then with the ever gorgeous Blackcurrant preserve from Abbey Farm which remains my favourite. Here is my recipe I think everyone enjoyed it on Saturday :
Myself demoing, so happy at this moment to be doing the thing I love most in the world talking about food
Knockdrinna Snó Goats Cheese Mousse with Blackcurrant Preserve Macarons (Makes 72 Shells)
225g old egg whites
300g ground almonds
300g icing sugar
300g caster sugar
Yellow food colouring
150ml full-fat milk
300g creme fraiche
300g cream cheese
Salt & pepper
250g soft Snó goat’s cheese
Abbey Farm's Blackcurrant Preserve
Pre line 2 baking trays like in my previous Macaron blog posts found here.
- Sieve the almonds and icing sugar together. Blend together in a food processor for 2 mins, sieving again in to a bowl.
- Add 112g of the egg whites to the almonds and sugar. Mix all together in to a paste with some yellow food colouring.
- Now you want to boil 300g caster sugar and water together until it reaches 118c degrees, make sure to brush down the sides of the pan with cold water to prevent sugar crystallization whilst boiling. Whilst waiting, beat the other 112g of egg whites to soft peaks.
- When the sugar syrup reaches one 118c remove from the heat and slowly drizzle in to soft peaked egg white whilst beating. Once all sugar syrup is incorporated continue beating on high speed for 2 mins. You have just made an Italian meringue! Allow cool for 5 mins.
- Back to your almond paste; before we go further you should know you are gonna use your hands here. Take one handful of meringue and mix in completely to loosen the mixture. Next fold in with your hand the rest of meringue, be very careful not to over mix
- Now fill a piping bag full of macarons mixture and pipe on to the baking sheet.
- For the mousse, add all of the ingredients to a free-standing food mixer and beat until the mixture thickens and comes together in to a creamy mousse seasoning with salt & pepper. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes until needed.
- Heat oven to 180c/160c fan/350F/gas mark 4.
- Bake the macarons for 8 mins, open the oven door briefly to let out steam, cook for 2 mins, open the oven again to let out steam and finally cook for 2 more mins, 12 minutes in total.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the sheet from baking tray to a wire rack. Leave for 5 mins then remove from grease-proof paper.
- Match all the macarons shells up, spoon about 1/4 tsp of blackcurrant preserve in to the middle of the macaron and then pipe a small blob of mousse in to the middle.
Quickly brush each top of macaron with some food colouring for a brushed effect.
I would like to thank Meubles and especially Emily Miller for pulling together such a fantastic event. You can check them out here : http://www.meublesfurniture.com/.
Also check out Knockdrinna and their stunning cheeses here: http://www.knockdrinna.com/.
Whilst we are at it check out Abbey Farm, their jams and preserves are beautiful, http://www.abbeyfarmfoods.com/.
Finally last one, if you are in Kilkenny go to Lawcus, these people are the salt of the earth and run the most nicest guesthouse I have ever been, my Lawcus Guest House review, and http://www.lawcusfarmguesthouse.com/.
Thanks for reading,