3 years ago
sophiamor
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Balsamic Strawberry Butter Cake with Macarons
(Makes one 20cm cake) For the cake: Ingredients 5 large egg whites (5 ounces/150 grams) at room temperature 3/4 cup whole milk (180 mL/6 liquid ounces), at room temperature 2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (12.5 mL) 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (10 ounces/285 grams–weighed after sifting) 1 3/4 cups sugar (12 ounces/350 grams) 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder (19.5 grams) 3/4 teaspoon salt (5 grams) 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6 ounces/170 grams), at room temperature and cut into cubes Method 1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease, line with parchment, and flour two round 8-inch pans. 2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside. 3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds. 4. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 90 seconds. 5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition. 6. Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh to ensure 2 even layers. 7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not overbake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely. 8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked. For the macarons: 100g (about 1/3 cup) aged egg whites (you can use fresh eggs too, just make sure they are room temperature. I always use fresh these days, and zap it in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds) 110g (about 1 cup) almond flour, at room temperature and well sifted 200g icing sugar (about 1 cup by volume) 50g caster sugar (about 1/4 cup by volume) Pink powdered food coloring Optional: 1 tsp powdered egg whites, helps to stabilize egg whites but is not necessary For the Balsamic Strawberry Icing: 150g (a little over half a punnet) ripe strawberries, hulled 280g (2.5 sticks) unsalted butter 500g icing sugar (about 4 cups), sifted Approx. 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, adjust to taste (I used a fantastic caramelised balsamic - a sweeter, thicker balsamic is preferable but any balsamic will do, just adjust to taste) Prepare the macarons. 1. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Place icing sugar in food processor and pulse for a minute to remove any lumps. Stir in almond meal and pulse for about 30 seconds to combine. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside. 2. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and egg white powder in a medium mixing bowl until the egg white powder dissolves and it reaches soft peaks. With the mixer on high speed, gradually add sugar (and then add food coloring) and beat until it reaches stiff peaks. 3. Add meringue and to your dry mixture and mix, quickly at first to break down the bubbles in the egg white (you really want to beat all the large bubbles out of the mixture, be rough!), then mix carefully as the dry mixture becomes incorporated and it starts to become shiny again. Take care not to overmix, the mixture should flow like lava and a streak of mixture spread over the surface of the rest of the mixture should disappear after about 30 seconds. 4. Place in a piping bag and pipe rounds of about 3.5cm diameter on baking sheets. Alternatively you can pipe heart shapes using a 1cm piping tip and piping fat 'V' shapes. Tap baking sheets carefully and firmly on the counter top a couple times to remove any large bubbles. 5. Leave to dry for about half an hour to an hour, so that when you press the surface of one gently it does not break. This will help prevent any cracking and help the feet to form on the macs. 6. Preheat your oven to 140-150°C (285-300°F), depending on your oven. Place on top of an overturned roasting tray or another baking sheet if your sheets are not professional grade, for better heat distribution. 7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your shells. Carefully test if the base of the shell is ready by gently lifting one and if it's still soft and sticking to the baking paper, then it needs to bake for a few minutes longer. 8. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes, then gently remove from the sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Prepare the icing 1. Remove the butter from the fridge 30 mins before starting. 2. Puree strawberries in a food processor or blender (if unavailable you can chop it up and try to mash it through a sieve). 3. Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth, fluffy and pale. While beating on medium, gradually add sifted icing sugar and then add the strawberry puree and balsamic vinegar (to taste) and beat on high until smooth and fluffy. You may need to add more puree or more icing sugar to get the right texture, you want it to be spreadable but not runny. 4. Sandwich macarons together with the icing and place macarons in the fridge while you ice the cake. 5. Spread icing over the top of the one cake layer, about 1/4-1/3 of the remaining icing. Place the second cake layer on top and crumb coat the cake by covering the entire cake with a thin layer of icing. 6. Use the remaining icing to cover the cake with icing. Smooth with an offset spatula (it helps to run the spatula under hot water often before smoothing over icing). 7. Decorate top of cake with macarons. Chill in the fridge for about 30-60 mins before serving. Finished! Enjoy :)
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5 comments
I've always wanted to learn how to make macarons!
3 years ago·Reply
Balsamic Strawberry? I can get behind this. Sounds delicious.
3 years ago·Reply
The balsamic vinegar and ripe strawberry mixture for the macarons is decadent.
3 years ago·Reply
balsamic strawberry? I've never heard of anything like it - but I'm definitely willing to give it a go!
3 years ago·Reply
I am not a huge fan of balsamic but you've made me curious enough to try!
3 years ago·Reply