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Midweek Treats with Louise Lennox

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Midweek Treats with Louise Lennox

Today Louise is making Macarons, which are tipped to be the 'next big thing' as far as food trends go. They're huge in France and not to be confused with Macaroons! She'll also be showing you what to do with any leftover chocolate eggs!

Chocolate Truffle Cream Cake

Ingredients for cake:

. 3 Large eggs
. 85g Caster sugar
. 70g Plain flour
. 2 table spoon Cocoa powder
. 1 Tea spoon Baking powder
. 9" Round ring cake tin
. A little margarine and flour to grease the tin

Ingredients for Truffle cream:

Filling and sauce

. 150g Milk Chocolate( left over Easter eggs)
. 5 Tablespoons Boiling hot water
. 1/2 Pint Double cream
. 200g Chocolate - dark, Milk or White
. 8 Tablespoons Milk
. 50g Unsalted butter


1. Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale.

2. Sieve dry ingredients all together then gently fold in the flour to the egg mixture spoon by spoon.

3. Pour into a greased ring tin and bake in a preheated oven @ 180oc for 20-30 mins.

4. Check the cake is fully cooked by sticking a scure into the middle of the cake.If it comes out with no mixture on it the cake is ready.If not allow another 5 mins to bake in the oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in the tin on a wire rack.

5. For the chocolate filling, break up 150g milk chocolate and place in a bowl. Pour the water over and stir until all the chocolate is melted. Allow to cool then pour in the cream and whisk until thick.

6. To make the sauce, Chop up the chocolate then put it in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of hot water. Add the milk,stir until melted then remove from the heat and add the butter.

7. Slice the cake in three. Place the bottom on a serving plate, drizzle the sauce on the bottom of the sponge cake the spread the truffle cream on top. Repeat this step then spread the remaining sauce all over the cake. Place in the fridge for 1 hour before eating.

If you have any chocolate bars left over chop them up to bite size pieces the put in the centre of the cake or on top.

A little history behind the Macaron

It is said that the macarons were brought to France from Italy as early as 1533 by Catherine di Medici and her pastry chefs. Macarons gained fame in 1792 when two Carmelite nuns seeking asylum in Nancy during the French Revolution baked and sold macarons in order to support themselves, thus becoming known as "the macaron sisters." The macarons they made were a simple combination of ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar. No special flavors. No filling. Just 100% cookie.

It wasn't until the 1900s that Pierre Desfontaines of Parisian pastry shop and café Ladurée decided to take two cookies and fill them with ganache. Today Ladurée continues to be one of the first stops for macaron-crazed fans in Paris.



. 3 egg whites
. 2 tablespoons caster sugar
. 200g icing sugar
. 120g ground almonds
. Food colouring


1. Line baking trays with baking parchment
2. Beat egg whites in a small bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
3. Beat in the caster sugar and 1 or 2 drops of food colouring
4. Fold in sifted icing sugar and ground almonds
5. Spoon mixture into large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain tube and pipe 30 small macaroons onto the trays
6. Tap the trays on the work surface to allow the macaroons to spread slightly
7. Dust with icing sugar
8. Bake macaroons in a preheated oven at 130c for 20 mins
9. Allow to cool for 5 mins and then transfer to wire rack.

The macaroons can be eaten on their own, or sandwiched together with chocolate spread.

To make chocolate spread: melt 100g white chocolate, and 2 tablespoons cream together and then refrigerate.

For Lemon macarons:

. Add the grated rind of 1 large lemon and 2 teaspoons of lemon oil to the mix.
. When cooked, spread a little lemon curd in between the macaroons

For Chocolate macarons:

. Add 3 tablespoons of cocoa power to the icing sugar
. Sandwich together with Hazlenut spread.

For Raspberry macarons:

. Add 6 Tablespoons of raspberry coulis to the mix
. Filling: Whip 75g of cream cheese with 75g unsalted butter(softened) to 150g Icing sugar.
. Fold in Raspberry coulis to taste.