Although I’m not a fan of candy cane myself, I really wanted to use it in my holiday baking since it’s so festive and seasonal! When I came across Adriano Zumbo’s candy cane macaron recipe, my eyes lit up because his candy cane-shaped macarons were too adorable for words. Besides, I greatly admire Mr.Zumbo’s creations and hope to purchase his recipe book one day!
Instead of piping out the macarons in the shape of candy canes, I piped them round. By brushing liquid food colouring on the inside of the piping bag before pouring in the white batter, the surface of your macarons will have the swirly effect. So artistic yet so effortless!
The filling is of a white ganache (white chocolate & heavy cream) with crushed candy cane. The recipe says to caramelize the candy cane in the sauce pan, but I wanted the crunchy texture so instead, I simply stirred in the bits of crushed candy cane at the end. One problem I had was my filling not setting well enough. Usually to make a white ganache, the ratio is 3:1 but if you look below, that’s not the case for this recipe. Maybe I boiled the cream too much, maybe the white chocolate wasn’t high quality enough, or maybe I used heavy cream instead of pouring cream (whatever that is), but for whatever the reason, my filling did not set. To rectify this, I whipped up some more butter and incorporated the candy cane white ganache to it. So if you have the same problem as me, try adding more butter to help it set.
Cooking Time Prep time 30 mins, cook 25 mins (plus standing, cooling, setting)
150 gm almond meal
150 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
150 gm caster sugar
110 gm eggwhite (about 3 eggwhites)
¼ tsp red food colouring, or to taste
Candy cane ganache
125 gm white chocolate, finely chopped
20 gm coarsely crushed candy canes (about 2 small)
75 ml pouring cream
½ tsp peppermint essence
45 gm butter, coarsely chopped
1 Preheat oven to 140C. Sieve almond meal and icing sugar into a large bowl, set aside. Combine caster sugar and 40ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and cook until mixture reaches 121C on a sugar thermometer (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk half the eggwhite in an electric mixer on medium speed, then, whisking continuously, gradually add syrup in two places to avoid syrup pooling in bottom of mixing bowl. Whisk until lukewarm (3-4 minutes), then add to almond meal mixture. Add remaining eggwhite and fold to combine.
2 Divide mixture between two bowls and add red food colouring to one bowl, folding to combine and colouring to your liking. Slap excess air out of white mixture with a spatula. Lay a piping bag fitted with a 1cm plain nozzle on its side, fill one side with white mixture and the other side with red mixture. Pipe half the mixture into 8cm-long right-facing candy cane shapes on baking trays lined with baking paper. Pipe remaining mixture into 8cm-long left-facing candy cane shapes, firmly tap trays on work bench to expel excess air, then stand until a skin forms and mixture doesn’t stick to your finger when touched (45 minutes-1 hour). Bake in batches until firm and tops are set (10-12 minutes), then cool on trays.
3 Meanwhile, for candy cane ganache, place chocolate in a heatproof bowl, set aside. Cook candy canes without stirring in a small frying pan over medium-high heat until caramelised (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, warm cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, add to candy canes, shake pan until combined (10-15 seconds). Add to chocolate with peppermint essence, stir to combine, then stir in butter. Stand until ganache reaches spreadable consistency (1-1¼ hours), spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 9mm plain nozzle and pipe on flat sides of right-facing candy cane macarons. Sandwich with left-facing candy cane macarons and stand until set (10-15 minutes). Candy cane macarons will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 days but are best eaten on day of making.
*recipe from Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine