Thursday, May 23, 2013

Yuzu Macarons with Orange Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache

It has been a while since I had made macarons and in fact this is not even a recent baking adventure.  I had made this early this year but had not managed to put up the post until now.  These are yuzu macarons and the flavours were really refreshing.

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Yuzu Macarons with Orange Buttercream
and Chocolate Ganache
Makes about 30 filled macarons
Macaron Template

For the Macaron Batter


98g almond powder or almond meal
98g icing sugar
67g egg whites (aged 2 - 3 days in the refrigerator)
50g caster sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp egg white powder (dehydrated egg white)
1/2 tsp dried yuzu fruit powder
Food colouring


1) Combine the icing sugar, yuzu powder and almond flour in a food processor. Pulse until fine and powdery.

2) Remove and then sift into a dry bowl. Set aside.

3) Add the egg white powder to the caster sugar and stir with a spoon until mixed through.

4) Place egg whites into another clean bowl. Beat with mixer on medium. until frothy. Then add in the cream of tartar and beat until it is mixed - about one minute. Then slowly add in the sugar with egg white powder. Switch to high and continue beating until medium peaks.

5) Then add in the food colouring and continue to beat until stiff peaks.

6) Add 1/3 of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold to combine. Then add in the rest. Don’t overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip, pipe 1.5 cm rounds onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

7) Once you have finishing piping all the macarons lift each baking sheet with both hands and then bang it down on the counter (you need to get the air out of the batter).

8) Rest the macarons for an hour to develop a skin on the surface.

9) Preheat oven to 150°C. Bake for about 15 minutes (baking time can be varied, from 12-15 depending on your oven) or until firm to the touch. Mid way through baking, rotate the pans.

10) Remove from oven and cool on trays. Slide a knife under each macaroon to release from paper. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week or until ready to assemble. Once assembled put the macarons into the refrigerator. Best eaten a day later so that the flavours will develop.

Chocolate Ganache:

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate (65%)

In a heavy saucepan set over medium heat, bring the heavy cream to a boil. Remove from the stove and add the chocolate to it. Let stand 2 minutes and then stir until fully combined. Let cool in the fridge until firm enough to put in a small piping bag.

Orange Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp orange extract
1-2 tbsp milk, if necessary
Pinch of salt
1-2 drops of orange food gel

In a large bowl, cream together butter, salt and powdered sugar. Add orange extract. Stir in milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Stir in orange food gel. Put in the fridge to set slightly before putting into a small piping bag.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ultimate Sticky Pork Ribs

The secret to this dish is to get the ribs really well caramelised before you add any of the other ingredients. As they braise in the oven, all that colour will turn into the most amazing flavour. The glaze is packed full of vibrant, citrusy flavours, with the sweetness of the honey counteracting the spices.  It is the ultimate sticky ribs for me! 

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Sticky Pork Ribs
Recipe Adapted from "Gordon Ramsay" Ultimate Cookery Course"
Serves 6 - 8


2kg pork ribs, separated
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
vegetable oil, for frying
6-8 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
10cm piece ginger, peeled and sliced
2-4 tsp dried chilli flakes, to taste
8 whole star anise
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
8 tbsp honey
280ml light soy sauce
4-5 tbsp rice vinegar
600ml Shaoxing rice wine or medium-dry sherry
10 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
800ml chicken stock


1) Preheat oven to 180°C.

2) Season the ribs with salt and pepper, pushing the seasoning into the meat.

3) Heat a roasting tray on the stove top with a little olive oil and brown the ribs for 5-10 minutes until they are coloured on all sides. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli flakes, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and honey and continue to cook over the heat for 2 minutes until the honey begins to caramelise.

4) Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar and Shaoxing wine and bring to the boil, simmering for 1 minute.

5) Taste and adjust the flavours, adding a little extra vinegar if necessary. Add the spring onions and stock and bring to the boil.

6) Place in the preheated oven and cook for 1 hour until tender, turning the ribs halfway through the cooking time.

7) Remove the pan from the oven and place back on the stove top. Heat the marinade and reduce for 8-10 minutes until the sauce is thick and syrupy. Turn the ribs in the sauce to coat them well, then serve.

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