Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bastardised Patisserie

Has anyone been watching Raymond Blanc's Kitchen Secrets? If so, did you see the cakes and pastries episode? If so, do you remember the chocolate macaron cake? If your answer to the first two questions was yes then, undoubtedly, your third answer will also be yes because this cake was unforgettable.

For all my non-Brit, non-Raymond loving readers, let me fill you in. Raymond Blanc - hilarious French chef; latest love of my life; 65 if he's a day. His cake of dreams - imagine a cheesecake; a single giant chocolate macaron for the base; a chocolate delice (set chocolate custard); decorated in individual macarons and chocolate swirls. It was a thing of beauty. I was hypnotised. Rather optimistically I thought I could replicate it. To cut a very long (4 hrs maybe?) story short, I couldn't! I made a perfectly yummy chocolate almond custard cake but it was not Raymond's wonder cake. I am going to be a bad workman and blame my tools. A) I don't have the experience to guess boiling sugar temperature by eye and I lacked a sugar thermometer. B) Agas, much as I love them, do not give you enough temperature control to make macarons. I have made macarons successfully before in electric ovens, which I know a lot of people don't like, but they did go a bit weird in the Aga. Still edible but more like very slim brownies. This might also have been to do with the technique - previous macaron recipess have not involved italian meringue and have recquired standing and were generally easier and more effective. Raymond's is presumably the official French way though!

In the end, rather than decorate the cake with them, I made the individual macaron-brownies discs into individual macaron-brownies. I glued them together with the leftover delice rather than make any real ganche because I'm lazy and the delice was totally delice-ious (see what I did there!?). The delice is the only part I will make again, perhaps in its original context, but these poor bastardised macarons were actually rather irresistable in a gooey kind of a way...

The BBC doesn't have a recipe for the chocolate macaron cake of dreams which maybe I should have taken as a hint. Instead I patched together Raymond's chocolate macaron recipe and his chocolate delice recipe to create delicious chocolate-y messes. It was a lot of fun and the results were good but, note to self, am not Raymond. Remember this!

One day...

Chuck x


  1. Those look fantastic!! Thanks for checking out my blog :)

  2. Those look so insanely delicious! I love it when you girls bake, and then describe baking:)

  3. my mouth is watering at the sight of these.

    Thanks for your comment :).

    Helen, X

  4. i always say they look better than they taste, shame for me!