Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons

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I went missing last week, from the internet and from the world in general. But I'm back! It was a rough week, I was struck down with an incredibly nasty virus that refused to go away, so I could do nothing but lie in bed and wait to get better. Everyone realised how sick I was when they saw I didn't have the energy to bake. It was sucky. It's so nice to be healthy again.

Things don't seem to be going as planned recently, I've had the idea for this macaron flavour running around my head for the last month, and I had all the ingredients ready but only just got the chance to experiment with it. I wanted to make blueberry cheesecake flavoured macarons, with a cream cheese and blueberry filling, and possibly incorporating the cheesecake crust into it somehow. The first experiment was a disaster. I was still on cold & flu meds and a little out of it, and my macaron shells ended up neon blue after I tipped in half a container of food colouring. The sight of bright blue shells with a purple filling made me completely nauseous, so I threw the whole thing out and went back to bed.
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Now I'm still on the mend and much more clear headed, but things still didn't quite work out exactly like I had hoped. Maybe it was because I was out of practice or a little out of it from the illness, but my shells turned out bumpy and ugly and rather than having a pretty purple swirl they just looked unfinished and pale pink. I set the oven too high so the shells were a bit hard and hollow. And my tastebuds are still a little off, so I asked A to help me taste while I was making the blueberry cream cheese filling. That...was a bad idea. It went something like this:
Me: How is it?
A: It needs more lemon zest.
Me: *adds more* What about now?
A: Maybe a bit more lemon zest.
Me: Now?
A: Good.
Me: Does it taste like blueberry cheesecake?
A: No, it tastes like lemon.

Hmph.
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So they didn't really taste like blueberry cheesecake, but that was my fault. I reckon someone out there can take this recipe and adjust it to taste and make it taste just like blueberry cheesecake. I ended up incorporating the cheesecake crust into it by creating tiny thin little disks of crust out of digestive biscuits & butter. The filling is delicious, even though mine was very lemony and not very blueberry...-y. I think it may be because I used this wild blueberry jam, since it's the wrong time of year for fresh blueberries and I was worried frozen ones would be too watery. Next time I will have to try it with fresh ones and I'm sure that will taste closer to blueberry cheesecake. These definitely aren't the prettiest macarons I've ever made but they are very moreish. The disk of cheesecake crust and cream cheese ensure that the macaron is not too sweet, and has a slightly drier texture than some of my previous macaron recipes. The important thing is, they taste really good.
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Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons
(makes 20-25 macarons, depending on the size they are piped)
100g digestive biscuits/graham wafers
50g butter, melted

100g aged egg whites (you can use fresh eggs too, just make sure they are room temperature. I always use fresh these days, and zap it in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds)
110g almond meal, dried in a cool (100 degrees C) oven for 5 minutes and sifted
200g icing sugar
50g caster sugar
Optional: 1 tsp powdered egg whites (available from The Essential Ingredient)

100g cream cheese, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp blueberry jam OR 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 tsp lemon zest

Place digestive biscuits in the food processor and crush to a fine crumb. Gradually add melted butter until the crumbs start to stick together nicely (you may not need all the butter, I only used about 40 grams in the end). Place mixture on a piece of baking paper and flatten into a tightly packed layer that is about 2mm thick. Using a 1.5cm cookie cutter, cut out small rounds of this packed crust. You will need about 20-25, one for each macaron. Place in the fridge to set while you prepare your macs.
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Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Place icing sugar in food processor and pulse for a minute to remove any lumps. Stir in almond meal and pulse a few times to combine. Place in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and egg white powder in a medium mixing bowl until the egg white powder dissolves and it reaches soft peaks. With the mixer on high speed, gradually add sugar and beat until it reaches stiff peaks.
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Add meringue (and powdered food colouring) to your dry mixture and mix, quickly at first to break down the bubbles in the egg white, then fold carefully as the dry mixture becomes incorporated and it starts to become shiny again. Take care not to overmix, the mixture should flow like lava and a streak of mixture spread over the surface of the rest of the mixture should disappear after 30 seconds to a minute. Place in a piping bag and pipe rounds of about 3cm diameter on lined baking sheets or silicon baking mats. Gently rap your baking sheets on your bench top to remove any extra bubbles from your piped shells.
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Preheat your oven to 140-150 degrees C (temperature varies depending on your oven). Leave shells on bench to dry for about an hour, so that when you press the surface of one gently it does not break. Place on top of an overturned roasting tray or another baking sheet if they are not professional grade. Bake for 13-15 minutes, depending on the size of your shells. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes, then gently remove from the sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
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Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add icing sugar and beat until combined. Add blueberries/blueberry jam and lemon zest and beat in lightly. You may need to chill it for a bit if it is runny. When you are ready to fill your macarons, place a disk of cheesecake crust on a macaron shell and surround the disk with some cream cheese filling, then sandwich with another macaron shell. Refrigerate overnight. Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.
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44 comments:

  1. Gorgeous presentation! Love the sounds of blueberry cheesecake macarons too - the lilac filling looks very pleasing to the eye - much more than vivid bright blue purple stuff would've! Hope you're on the mend

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  2. Ahhh these look swell! So early on a Tuesday to be craving macarons but you did a sweet job (pun intended?)

    Glad to see you're headcold-free! =]

    PS. New header..? Or do my eyes deceive me?

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  3. The flavour combination is a stroke of genius, as is the little circle of crumb base. There should be more cheesecake goods in the world!

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  4. Awesome shots! As long as they taste good, that's all that matters! I like :)

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  5. You are a genius! So much awesomeness. I remember I had the Zumbo strawberry shortbread macarons for VDay and they were great! So I could imagine how fantastic these would have been.

    Good to hear that you are on your way to recovery; damn the stupid virus that is going around.

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  6. These look AMAZING!!!! and welcome back to the world of the healthy! ;)

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  7. These look amazing. I am in even more awe now that I know how difficult the French method is. The incorporation of the cheesecake crust is ingenious and I love your little exchange with A too. It tastes like lemon. lol!

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  8. These macarons are awesome and your pictures are amazing! You have started the 2nd wave of macarons... all of us are itching to make them agai.

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  9. Aww good to hear you're on the mend! I think baking/cooking when you're not 100% is the worse thing to do, but being in the kitchen is such a comfort. Love the concept! And they still look gorgeous from where I am sitting.

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  10. hee i love how you blitzed the digestive biscuits and then reformed a dough and then cut into circles! that's brilliant!

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  11. Glad you are on the mend, it really isn't fun being sick. These look gorgeous. Lemon is a great flavour too :)

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  12. Still never made macaroons, these looks gorgeous

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  13. Gah mine were a fail last night. And I have no motivation to try again yet :(

    Can you just make them for me? You pipe so perfectly!

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  14. I'm not a big fan of macaron but I love that you have come up with a new flavour (and I do love the idea of a blueberry cheesecake one). I also love the swirl of colour in your baked macaron.

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  15. you are like the macaron goddess! and always coming up with new flavours. i need to rub on your blog for good luck when i make them.

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  16. Blueberry cheesecake sounds like an awesome flavour and I really like the idea of adding some of the cheesecake crust into the macaron filling. I might try out this flavour when blueberries are back in season. Great idea Steph!

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  17. wow. love your photo set up. macarons look great as well :-)

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  18. I'm impressed to hear you got up and baked the moment you could stand. I enjoyed the lemon zest story too.

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  19. These look beautiful! Blueberry cheesecake flavored macarons is such a great idea!

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  20. wow, these sound amazing. I wish my macaron conquests could turn out a 1/3 as good as these. great job, you so creative!!

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  21. What an ingenious macaron flavour! And the cheesecake crust idea is so creative as well. I WISH I could reach out and take a bite...

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  22. I'm so glad to read that you're back to you healthy self, now on to eating unhealthy food =D Your macarons look beautiful as per usual Queen of Macaron. I love the way you experiment with flavours, never in my wildest dream would I have thought of Blueberry cheecake macaron.

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  23. Those look lovely! And your presentation is getting prettier and prettier by the days :)

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  24. OMG...these are sooo goood.

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  25. Liam passed the Macarons around and I must admit those are some of the yummiest Cheesecake Macarons I have yet to taste. I am a huge blueberry cheesecake lover - Kudos to you for the great work and keep it up.

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  26. I have just had the pleasure of indulging in your macaroons courtesy of my lovely workmate Mel. They are divine, a perfect balance of flavours. Thank you so much!

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  27. Great flavour choice! Glad to hear you're feeling better. Love your photos!

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  28. absolutely gorgeous and wonderful flavours!

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  29. OH noooesss you can always throw neon blue shells my way! and LOL at A, gw man!

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  30. I am continually surprised and delighted by your wonderful styling & photography. These macarons sound scrumptious.

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  31. i love it! what a bright idea!

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  32. Wow, they look amazing!! How do you get that 'lift'?? My latest attempt at macarons was a dismal failure due mostly to under beating the egg white (I think)... oh, and a heavy hand with the green food colouring which resulted in snot coloured filling!! Eeeek

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  33. Clever ! I definitely make it.. thanks :D

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  34. The disc of biscuit base was an excellent idea! Bet its inclusion really sells the whole cheesecake thing. Awesome work :)

    Love the help fail, though I imagine it wasn't so funny at the time.

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  35. gosh that looks great... lovely colour too

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  36. Great idea for macaron flavour - those little disks of base are so cute, I'd like to see some tiny baby cheesecakes to go with these :) And anyway, lemon cheesecake is damn tasty so I still see this as a complete success. Glad you're on the mend now!

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  37. Oh boy, you are baking queen.

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  38. im currently bowing in the presence of macaron greatness.

    my two favourite desserts all rolled into one! amazing!
    nothing like a sweet treat to make the flu go away!

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  39. Forager @ The Gourmet Forager - Thank you! Haha yeah the bright blue was never going to work. Much better thanks :)

    Margaret Tran - Haha thanks! Yes a new header! Angry cupcake's name is Neville :)

    OohLookBel - Aww thanks so much! I agree, more cheesecake for everyone!

    Bett @ The Hungry Girl - :) They did taste good! xx

    Phuoc'n Delicious - Ooh strawberry shortbread macs sound amazing! Yeahh that virus was pure evil :(

    Rhonda (thedaintybaker) - Haha thanks Rhonda!

    Helen (Grab Your Fork) - Aww shucks, thank you! Yes the french ones can be temperamental little buggers. LOL he's such a silly boy.

    Ellie (Almost Bourdain) - :) Thank you Ellie! Hahaha yeah but now I'm a bit over them! Time to bake something else I think.

    Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! - Thanks! I actually bake a lot when I'm a little under the weather, but this time I was just too far gone!

    chocolatesuze said - Hehe thanks! Shez & Lex helped me brainstorm that idea :)

    Sara @ Belly Rumbles - Thank you! Yeah being sick sucks :( Haha they still tasted good, just very lemony

    Jennifurla - Macarons are a fun baking challenge. Thanks!

    Karen @ Citrus and Candy - :( Don't let them defeat you! Haha sure I'll make you some ;)\

    Gummi Baby - Thanks! Haha I am not a huge macaron eater myself so I always try to make them a bit less sweet and lighter than the store bought ones. Thanks!

    sugarpuffi - Haha I wouldnt go that far! I love coming up with new flavours though. Haha err rub away!

    Jacq - :) Thanks! The cheesecake crust was my fav bit. I think it would def be better with fresh blueberries!

    Karen @ Citrus and Candy - HAHAHA busted ;)

    Simon Food Favourites - Thanks!

    Arwen from Hoglet K - Haha yeah, I don't know what I was thinking! :) Thanks

    Cecilia - Thanks! I love blueberry cheesecake :)

    Maria@TheGourmetChallenge - Aww trust me I've had soo maybe failures. They are so frustrating! Thanks!

    Honey @ honeyandsoy - Haha thanks!

    linda - Yay unhealthy food all the way! Aww <3!!

    Anh - Aww thanks so much! I'm always trying to improve :)

    Anonymous - Hehe thank you!

    Abboud - Aww yay glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for stopping by :)

    Alison - :) I'm so glad you liked them! You are very welcome!

    Anita - Thanks so much!

    Danielle - Thank you! xx

    FFichiban - Haha sure thing, they're sitting in my freezer right now! LOL i know rite?

    Erica Lea {Cooking for Seven} - Aww *blushes* thank you! <3

    melissa - Hehe thank you!

    letthemeathomebake - Hmm it just takes a bit of practice! You might want to try adding egg white powder to give it more stability or perhaps it was undermixed when you added the dry mixture? It's hard to tell! Eek snot filling doesnt sound the best, good luck with your next attempt!

    Bean Sprout's Cafe - Ooh I hope you do!

    Simon @ the heart of food - Haha thanks! Yeah it didn't really feel like a cheesecake macaron without the disc. LOL no he got a bit of a bollocking

    thang @ noodlies - Thanks so much!

    Conor @ Hold the Beef - Thank you! Haha omg tiny cheesecakes would be so good, I was obsessed with miniature food for a while.

    Laura - LOL thanks!

    Gianna - :D Hahah thank you! Yes sugar makes everything better!

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  40. The Urban Baker - Thanks so much! <3

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  41. First time to try macs and they turned out really really well! Thanks for the awesome recipe. The only problem I had was the icing was really runny...i think too many blueberries? Thoughts there? Even after being in the fridge it was really runny. Ended up making another batch with more cream cheese in it..

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    1. Probably too many blueberries. I used blueberry jam when I made them, so I might have over-estimated how much fresh blueberries would be equivalent. I'll update it in the recipe, thanks for the feedback!

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