Last week, a couple of us food bloggers went to the Royal Albert Afternoon Tea Tour in association with Breast Cancer Care. It was an afternoon of fun, eating and oohing and aahing the gorgeous, gorgeous vintage style tea sets that were used to serve the cupcakes and tea in. Just a few days before, we were oohing and aahing their collection at one of the department stores and Id seen this one particular cup and saucer set with tiny flowers inside, and I even remember exclaiming to a fellow foodie that some pretty and dainty macarons would just look gorgeous in them.
Little did I know that two days later I’d actually get the exact same cup and saucer from Royal Albert in my goody bag at the tea party. I HAD to make macarons and I even had a clear idea what colour and how Id style and photograph it. I am very pleased with how they have turned out and even had a small afternoon tea party at my place. The tea tour will be heading to different locations around London, so please do drop by, enjoy some tea and cakes and support the great cause.
Thursday 12th and Friday 13th- Bloomsbury Square
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th- Parsons Green
The filling for the purple one was Pineapple cheesecake a really pleasant one made with the Castello Pineapple Halo, a soft cheese coated in pineapple and almonds. Castello has this fabulous range of cheese which go great with white wine. My favourite however is the pineapple flavoured one which works great as cheesecake (trust me on this, I tasted it at the Castello event and loved it). So inspired by that I made the cheesecake filling for the macarons. It was a hit. (I added some yellow colour to emphasise the pineapple bit)
Castello pineapple halo cheese- 1/3 rd cup, at room temperature
Double cream- 1/4 cup
Honey- 2 tbsp
Whisk the double cream till soft peaks form.
Fold in the soft cheese slowly, till well mixed and no traces are seen.
Add the honey (or icing sugar) and mix well.
Refrigerate till ready to use.
Raspberry jam buttercream filling
The pink macarons made specially for Breast Cancer Care were filled with raspberry jam filling. This is a really easy one and quite versatile because you can use any jam and make it into a filling.
Butter- 4 tbsp, at room temperature
Raspberry jam- 2 tbsp
Vanilla extract- a drop (optional)
Icing sugar- 2 tbsp (add more if you like it sweeter)
Whisk the butter and icing sugar together in a bowl, till light and fluffy
Add the jam and vanilla and continue whisking till they all come together.
Refrigerate till ready to use.
Cardamom cream cheese filling
I love cream/ soft cheese fillings and frosting and my macaron fillings are almost always cream cheese based. I used the Lactofree soft white cheese for this and was pleasantly surprised at how nice it tasted. Lactofree products are perfect for those who are lactose intolerant and doesn’t have to give up dairy altogether. I had the privilege of tasting some of their products and you wouldn’t even be able to make out the difference. Check out the website for more details.
A couple of us were invited to Preeti’s place for an Indian themed lunch and while breaking my head on what to take for her, Suchi came up with the idea of the tricoloured Indian flag theme. The party was just two days after Indian Independence Day and it was the perfect theme. It looked gorgeous when put together and I filled it with cardamom to give it an Indian touch. Personally, I find cardamom to be an over powering spice, and I prefer it in the mildest possible dose, so this was not really my favourite. I did get good reviews about it though.
Cream cheese- 1/2 cup
Icing sugar- 3 tbsp
Vanilla extract- a generous splash
Cardamom powder- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp (powder the cardamom seeds to make enough)
Whisk the cream cheese and sugar gently using a wire whisk. Make sure it doesnt become too loose.
Fold in the vanilla extract and cardamom and continue mixing till they all come together.
Do a taste test and add more cardamom if required.
With thanks to all the brands for inviting me to the events and for the samples.