In London last year, I discovered that I did like macarons after all. This is the magic of Pierre Hermé! I bought just two macarons the first time, a lime & yoghurt velouté and an ispahan. Just a couple of minutes after leaving the shop I dragged my poor mum back to get more! My favourite was the velouté range which featured a yoghurt filling in various fruit flavours.
I wanted to recreate the yoghurt filling, so here’s my take on it. I think it comes pretty close, but quite honestly, it’s been so long since I had Pierre Hermé’s that I can’t quite remember what it really tasted like anymore! But the yoghurt flavour does come through well and the lime juice and zest makes it nice and tart, so for me, it’s close enough!
Lime & Yoghurt Ganache
200g white chocolate (good quality, otherwise the ganache will not set)
180g whole milk yoghurt
20g lime juice
zest from 2 lemons
Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler. In another pot, bring the yoghurt and juice to a boil (don’t overcook otherwise the yoghurt might split; it’s ok if it splits slightly though). Add the yoghurt to the white chocolate in 2 additions, then add the zest. Cool over an icebath until it reaches room temperature, then pour into a shallow dish and cover with clingfilm; the clingfilm should touch the surface of the ganache. Place in the fridge to thicken, best overnight.
Dried osmanthus flowers is a chinese medicinal herb that’s believed to have excellent antioxidant properties and, more importantly- it improves complexion! I love the beautiful tiny blossoms, it’s peachy fragrance and delicate bittersweet and floral flavour. I used them to make a simple osmanthus tea and pomegranate jelly sweetened with plenty of honey. I’d recommend more honey than you’d think, the sweetness dials down when the jellies are chilled.
1 tablespoon dried osmanthus flowers (or to taste)
3 tablespoons honey (to taste)
2 1/2 teaspoon gelatin, bloomed in 30ml c0ld water
seeds from 1 small pomegranate
Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat and add the osmanthus flowers. Let it steep for 5 minutes then add then honey and gelatin. Divide into small glasses and sprinkle in the pomegranate seeds. Chill in the fridge until set, about 2 hours.
Crème chiboust is crème patissiere lightened with meringue, in this case, italian meringue. It’s light, mousse-like and the least rich of all crèmes. But on the other hand, it’s also one of the sweetest because of the meringue. The chiboust tart is a classic French tart filled with caramelised apples, soft crème chiboust, and a crisp caramelised sugar crust. Calvados gives the apple flavour a boost, but I swapped both the apples and Calvados for pears and Grand Marnier because that’s what I had on hand. Overall a pretty tasty tart, although not one I’d usually choose if I had a choice, haha. I think it’s the burnt sugar and meringue combination, it tastes quite like Baked Alaska which is not my favourite thing. But it’s a fun pastry to make, all the components are easy to make and assemble, and caramelising the sugar is fun/dangerous. It’s usually done with an electric carameliser but it’s not a common piece of equipment to have at home, so I just used a cheap but solid chef’s knife with a wooden handle which I placed directly onto a gas burner to get it red hot (yes, scary!) and then used it to brulée the surface of the chiboust which I had sprinkled with caster sugar. I wouldn’t recommend this technique- it’s pretty (very) dangerous. And sugar catches on fire.. so yea. Lol. Do this at your own risk and open all your windows.
I love blueberries with green tea, I think it’s such a mellow and well-balanced pairing. I adapted Dorie Greenspan’s cheesecake recipe from her book, and changed it up quite a bit. I found hers slightly too sweet and salty, but texture wise, it was perfect for me- dense yet still fluffy..? And very creamy. Besides adding matcha powder and reducing the salt (I left the sugar amount as it was, as the bitterness of the green tea would need it) , I swapped the graham cracker crust for an oreo one. I just thought it’ll be a better crust for the green tea.
For an 8″ springform pan
1) Butter and line a springform pan and cover the base with 3 layers of foil. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
♡1 pack oreo cookies, cream removed
♡1 tablespoons sugar
♡55g unsalted butter, melted
1. Bash the cookies into crumbs, and mix with the sugar and melted butter.
2. Press into the base of the cake pan. I like to level the surface by pressing a slightly smaller cake pan into the one I’m using.
3. Bake in the 180ºC oven for 10 minutes
♡600g cream cheese, at room temperature
♡1/4 teaspoon salt
♡1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
♡3 eggs, at room temperature
♡215ml heavy cream
♡27g matcha powder
1. Beat the cream cheese with a stand mixer for 5 minutes.
2. Stream in the sugar and salt and continue beating for another 4 minutes until light and creamy.
3. Add eggs in 1 by 1 and then the vanilla.
4. Mix the heavy cream and matcha powder together. This will form a very thick paste. What I did was I thinned it with some of the cream cheese/egg mixture. When it’s slightly more liquid, pour this green tea “sludge” into the batter and beat it in. I do this so the matcha will be incorporated properly and won’t form lumps in the batter.
5. Bring water to a boil in a kettle and pour into a roasting dish larger than the cake pan, then place the cake pan in the bain marie.
6. Bake at 150ºC for 1 hour 15 minutes. The time varies according to your oven. It’s done when it jiggles only just slightly in the middle.
7. When baked, let it cool in the oven then chill in the fridge overnight. The texture improves after a few hours of refrigeration.
Blueberries & Cream
♡a handful of blueberries
1. Whip the cream to medium to stiff peaks and either simply spread it over the chilled cake or pipe it on. I chose the latter and piped it with a St Honoré tip.
2. Scatter blueberries over the cream.
I haven’t had much luck with bread making lately. The problem is definitely my oven- the dough was soft and supple and rose beautifully but the tops getting burnt when they’re baked! Really annoying because the oven needs to be quite hot to properly bake it, but the tops get much too black. I’ve placed a piece of foil over the top but my oven doesn’t really deal well with this- it never gets baked properly.. I’m guessing the heat doesn’t really reach the bread/cake that’s covered with foil properly. It’s been burning quite a few of my cakes and bread lately, probably the temperature setting thingy’s malfunctioning or something. But on the other hand.. for an oven its size and capacity, it’s also produced a crazy number of good cakes, muffins, cupcakes, bread, cookies, pastries. So I still love it, oh yes mama still loves you little microwave oven *crazy eyes*