Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Battle of Chocolate and Caramel: A Banoffee And A Macaroon

Ok. I promised to tell you what desert I cooked this weekend so this is the big moment you’ve all been waiting for! Really, I believe that this time I nailed my desert. No more cake disaster! Even my friends said I could win a prize with this one. What a great compliment!! But really, this isn’t for the faint. It’s a really sugary desert and if you can’t handle sugar, then you certainly won’t handle this!

I’m more of a caramel person than a chocolate one… but I know that most people are more chocolate than me. So I decided to create a battle between salty caramel and chocolate; a total drama in the plate. It’s a dish where both flavors come to mend and end up exploding in your mouth as if they were always meant to be together. And believe me, my friends and I were awe struck with the perfect match… shouldn’t both flavors always be together? They taste soooooo good together!!!

So this plate consisted of two main deserts, the first one being a small Banoffee whish is a very popular English pastry made from bananas, cream and toffee (dulce de leche). The second one was a chocolate caramel macaroon. I made both with a salty touch to balance out the intense presence of sugar. To decorate, I made candied kumquats, which resembles a tiny orange.

If you’ve got time on your hands and are game enough to try to make the whole thing, than go for it. And please let me know of what you thought of it… I want to know if my friends and I were simply delusional from all the food we ate that night!

Makes 8 servings

200 g of Digestive cookies
2 bananas, sliced
1 lemon juice
1 can of condensed milk
50g salted butter
200g milk chocolate
Whipped cream for decoration

Make a small whole in the condensed milk can (or open slightly). Place it in a small saucepan filled with boiling water. Let boil at low heat for 2 hours. Take the can out and let cool.

In a large bowl crunch the cookies. In a small bowl, melt the butter. Add the butter to the crushed cookies and press the mixture into a muffin pan.

Cut the bananas into slices and roll them into the lemon juice so they don’t oxidize. Place them on top of the cookie mixture. Pour the caramel mixture on top of the bananas. 

In a small bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Be careful not to overcook. Pour the chocolate on top of the caramel. Put in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 hours.

When ready to serve, unmold the circles by simply pressing on the chocolate. Garnish with whipped cream and let the caramel spread onto the plate.

Note: If you have small round rings (8cm diameter), you can use them instead of the muffin pan. Then the recipe should make 6 Banoffee.

Makes about 20 macaroons
3 eggs
240g icing sugar
40g granulated sugar
135g almond powder
10g cocoa powder
230g granulated sugar
80g 35% cream
100g salted butter

In a bowl, mix the almond powder, icing sugar and cocoa to obtain a fine dry powder. Sift and set aside.

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. In a bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 40 g of sugar and continue beating until the peaks are firm.

Slowly incorporate the dry mix to the egg whites, blending delicately until you obtain a shiny and homogenous mixture. Preheat your oven at 300˚F (ideally convection).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. With the help of a pastry bag, pipe the meringue onto the baking sheet in round shapes (3cm diameter) keeping them well spaced. Let them rest for 20 minutes. The macaroons are ready for baking when your finger doesn’t stick to it. Put in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (depending on the size). Let cool.

For the caramel, melt 230 g of sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and without blending. Once the sugar starts boiling, immediately take off the heat and let the caramel become a darker brown. Heat the cream and incorporate to the caramel. Add the butter and mix well.

For the assembly, stick 2 macaroons together with a little bit of salted caramel in between.

Notes: If you have a hard time taking your macaroons off the parchment paper without destroying them, you can put a little bit of water underneath the paper. But be careful, if there is too much water or if you leave it for too long, it will melt your macaroons!

The macaroons will keep in an airtight container for about 1 month without the caramel. They also freeze well.


250 g sugar
9 Kumquats (or orange or lemon peel)
500 ml water

In a medium saucepan, mix the water and the sugar. Over low heat, let the sugar dissolve and bring to a boil. Add the kumquats. Slowly let boil for about 20 minutes. Take the fruits out and let them cool.

No comments:

Post a Comment