*looking back at PH’s book, how did my filling turn out to be so yellow?! haha *
Ah.. I can breathe now, at least for a couple of days. As you’ve read from yesterday’s post, my dog has just delivered 10 beautiful golden pups. The waiting-for-her-to-whelp was very nerve wracking for me. I had to go check on her once or twice every hour to see if her baby is ready to come out. The worst part was it was raining and you defenitely DO NOT WANT rain on the day your dog is whelping. It’s cold, wet, windy and horrible!! Her 1st water sac broke at about 12 ++ midnight. I was just really counting the hours then. There’s a possibility that she doesn’t want me to be there when she pops her babies out, or there’s also a possibility she wants me to be there.. And there’s also other possibilities that there’s something wrong and the babies aren’t coming out!!
So I slept for 1 hour, woke up and check on her, slept for another 30 minutes, woke up to a reallly strong wind. I was like OH DAMN!!! WIND !!! I went out to check on her to make sure she hasn’t caught the wind and with my half closed eye, I suddenly saw.. OMG!!! BABY!!!! 1st baby was out at about 5am, and the rest was history. Up until the last one that came at 12.40 noon. Was quite worried of the last one cause it took about close to 2 hours for it to come out and when it came, i think he had chocked on some water. Had to swing the baby a few times and try to get the water out. It was kinda breathing but really slowly. So I gave a call to the vet and said, ok my dog and her babies are coming NOW! please get ready for me 😛 you know, like a priority customer. HAHA
Vet did her thing, gave Summer a jab so she could expose whatever left inside in her. My Mom washed the house cause it stinks really bad from all the broken sac water. (Yes, always trust a mom when you need help) Cleaned and ready with new beddings for the newborn and their mom to rest. Here’s a pic of them, just back from the vet. Now hopefully (really fingers crossed on this one) all the 10 newborns grow up to be healthy and Summer recovers from this healthily.
Em, I knew there were 10 cause I had x-rays done coincidentally just the day before she delivered her pups. So I guess on the safe side, it’s better to check how many pups are inside her first so you know which is the last one and when to bring them all to the vet.
This is just Day 1, and on the day u read this post, they’re a week old now.
Ok now on to a new post
Montebello macarons. I did this a few weeks ago, almost immediately after I received Pierre Herme”s Macaron book. Can’t say I liked which one better, PH’s or zumbo’s macaron. PH’s definitely got the elegance / posh thing working but gotta love Zumbo’s flamboyant macaron flavours.
I’ve been stocking up on random stuffs in the freezer / fridge lately. Pistachio paste and frozen whole raspberries seems to be one of them. You know it’s just one of those cases where when you want something, it takes forever to find. Better to get them first and figure out later.
I’m a fan of the pistachio and raspberry combination. together with white chocolate as well. But even if without, I’m good too. You can see the last pistachio and raspberry combination I’ve made, the Emeraude inspired from Lenotre’s in Bangkok. (haven’t been making much cakes lately anyway, December’s far too busy for leisure baking, or cakes that takes a huge amount of time to make)
Macaron it is. There’s a raspberry jelly inside, accompanied by the white chocolate ganache which I’ve made with Valrhona Ivoire. It’s quite tricky to get the ganache at the right temp as per your room temperature so it does not fall into a pool of mess, but only a yummy mess.
(makes about 30 macs)
(adapted from Pierre Herme’s Macaron )
150g fresh or frozen raspberry
30g caster sugar
7 g gelatin powder
*PH made 2 batches, 1 colour of each thus making about 70 pcs of macs. I made a basic non-coloured batch and then separated the mixture and added in red and green* If you want more even colouring, you can make a batch of red and a batch of green.
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
55g liquefied/aged egg whites
150g caster sugar
55g liquefied/aged egg whites
120 whipping cream (PH uses creme fraiche but it cost a bomb here. no joke)
120g Valrhona Ivoire couverture. (For white chocolate, I’m a Valrhona convert)
20g pistachio paste (or 20g shelled unsalted pistachios blended with the cream)
1. Make Jelly. Soak gelatin powder in 1 tbsp water for 10 minutes to bloom. Blend raspberries with sugar using a hand blender. Strain the puree to remove the pips. Heat a quarter to 45 C. Microwave gelatin till it melts, add into the hot puree. Stir. Add in the rest of puree. Pour into dish lined with clingfilm to a depth of 4 mm. Leave to cool for 1 hr and put in the freezer for 2 hours or till it hardens. Turn ou the jelly and cut into 1.5 cm squares. Return squares of jelly into the freezer.
(pictorial step by step from earl grey macaron)
2. Make MacaronSift almond meal, icing sugar and blended roasted tea in a wide bowl. Add in the egg white and salt and mix well. Do this only when you’re ready to cook the sugar, otherwise it gets hard.
3. In a medium sized pot, pour in caster sugar and water. Bring to a boil and to 118 C. Which means that yes you need a candy thermometer. When the sugar syrup reaches 110 C, in a mixing bowl, whisk egg whites and egg white powder (I’ve tried without it, it’s alright) It should be somewhat medium peaks when the sugar syrup reaches 118 C.
4. While the mixer is still whisking (about medium speed), gradually pour in the sugar syrup. (To wash the pot, add in water and bring to a boil, it’s easier to wash) Then turn up the speed of the mixer for about 2 minutes till it turns glossy. Reduce the speed to medium and let it whisk till it’s stiffer. It should be somewhat stiff, but not so stiff.
5. Now, add in 1/4 of the meringue into the almond mixture from step 1. Whack it till it’s well incorporated. At this first step, I usually literally do it un-TLC-ly just to get some air out from the meringue and to lighten the almond mix. With the remaining 3/4 of meringue, add into the almond mix and fold it in. This time, a little more TLC until it becomes lava like. Separate batter into 2 and fold in colouring. Which also means that you should undermix the initial colourless mixture so when you mix in the colour, it’s just nice.
6. I’m using a 10mm nozzle. Fit into a piping bag and scoop the batter into the bag. Pipe onto a tray lined with parchment paper or silpat. Lightly tap the tray on a table top. Let it rest for about 10 minutes then bake at 150 C for 14 minutes.
7. When it’s cooked, remove from the oven and let it cool on a rack. Once it’s completely cool, it should be able to peel off easily.
8. Pair the right sizes and arrange them on a tray. If the macarons turn out right for you, then proceed to make the filling and fill in between the macarons.
9. Make ganache. Chop u pthe chocolate (if it’s in a block, if it’s in button, it’s ok to use as it is).Melt chocolate over a bain marie or in a microwave (30 secs interval). Bring the cream to the boil with the pistachio paste. Pour over chocolate a third at a time. Stir to obtain a smooth ganache.
10. Transfer to a dish, press clingfilm over the surface of the ganache. SEt aside in the fridge for the ganache to thicken. Pour ganache into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle.
11. Assemble. Pipe a generous mound of pistachio ganache on to the shells. Lightly press a cube of frozen jelly into the centre. Pipe a dot of ganache on top then cover with the remaining shells.
12. Store macarons in the fridge for 24 hrs to mature.