GUYS. It’s almost D-day. But when I mean d-day, I mean V-day, of course. K always laments about how overpriced everything suddenly seems on that day, and guess what? I actually agree…
But, the best gifts don’t have to be expensive. Plus you’ve still got 1.5 more days so there’s still time to roll up those sleeves and get cracking on some homebakes! Growing up in an all-girls’ school meant that Valentines’ day chocolates and flowers and cookies were the norm. It’s kinda like a part fund-raising, part novel thing that the student leaders organised, and everyone would get involved and bake cookies/brownies/cupcakes for each other. And we’d all get high on sugar and buy huge sunflowers from the cafeteria.
Fast forward to now, and I guess Valentines’ day is still a day I legitimately get to feed sugary treats to people. And also consume some amount of chocolate (ahem). Cliché, yes. But I like cliché and so here are some HEART-SHAPED macarons filled with a cherry-chocolate ganache!
For these, I used food colouring gel. I don’t usually prefer doing so, but I had no other alternative and I wanted these pink in the name of all things sugary, sweet, and lovey dovey. Natural alternatives to food colouring include beetroot powder or a few drops of rose/raspberry syrup, but nothing too liquid-y else the meringue may collapse and die. (I’m kidding. I really don’t know, but I’m not about to find out.)
To create the heart shape, I highly, highly, recommend you draw/print out heart shapes on your baking paper before piping. My handy life-sized kitchenaid, K, helped me draw the hearts on the underside of the paper (thank you!). Draw them on the underside so you can see the outline through the paper and pipe on the side not drawn on. Pencil flavoured macarons aren’t yummy. Or, if you’re super high-tech you can print out hearts on paper and slide the printout under your baking paper. Pipe, then remove the printout. Also, use a small round tip for piping! I tried to be all speedy about it and used a large tip- such a bad idea. My wonky hearts made me want to call 911.
This is how I piped!
Starting from the top left tip, squeeze once, drag and lift to get a teardrop shape. Do the same for the other side.
In event of wonky-heartness, fret not, they can be saved! Straight after piping, use the end of a skewer to neaten up the edges of your macaron shells. It’s imperative that you do this quickly so that the shells don’t get a chance to dry and set. If all else fails… I’m going to be gross and say that love isn’t perfect, so neither should your heart-shaped macarons. (I just cringed big time at myself. Ew.)
While these are filled with a chocolate-cherry ganache, I don’t see why you can’t substitute in your favourite berries! Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries all go well with dark chocolate and the plain almond macaron shell. If you want to get real fancy, a few drops of rosewater/lemon oil etc in the shell mixture works too.
Detailed macaron-making steps here.
Makes about 16 filled macarons
Plain macaron shells
- 53g egg whites
- 25g granulated/ caster sugar
- 100g icing/superfine sugar
- 60g ground almonds
- a few drops of red food colouring gel/powder
1. Weigh out all the ingredients.
2. Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar together. Do this twice.
3. In a squeaky clean and dry bowl, beat egg whites till foamy. Add half the caster sugar and beat till soft peaks. Add the rest of the caster sugar and a few drops of food colouring and beat till stiff peaks.
6. Transfer to a piping bag with a small round tip/ use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off and pipe hearts, about 1.5 inches apart.
7. Let them dry in the open for about an hour. The surface will become like a film and you can prod it (gently) with your finger without it sticking.
8. Bake in the middle rack of a 150 degrees Celsius (or 300F) oven for 20-22 minutes. Watch the little feet develop!
9. Cool, and remove from baking sheet. Fill with a teaspoon of filling and refrigerate overnight.
- 50g unsweetened chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 35g single cream
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 15 cherries, fresh or tinned.
1. Heat up the cream and caster sugar until nearly boiling (small bubbles will appear around the edges of the mixture.)
Spread the love!