My mom is adorable. Everytime I visit home she works on this massive spread of all my fave dishes way before my arrival, something new for every lunch or dinner. Hence, I love visiting home. I get my laundry done, I wear my old pyjamas and laze about all day long, I snooze on the couch with my niece and my dog, and I catch up on really bad bollywood movies. Unfortunately during my recent short break at home, N&D got diagnosed with appendicitis and was rushed into a Parisian hospital, where not a word of English was spoken. And of course, his iPhone had to die too. So while I was being fed by mother with prawn malai curry, garlic crab, biryani and butter chicken, poor ol’ N&D was being starved for two days and then being force-fed rusk on his wheat intolerance after they lobbed out his appendix.
Cutting the visit short, I came back to rescue him from those evil rusk-wielding clutches, but I wasn’t very imaginative with preparing his sick food either. As a result, he ate boiled rice seasoned with butter, salt and pepper…for three days straight. I didn’t feel too guilty about popping pringles in my mouth before him while he had to dumb down his palate and I couldn’t really get too creative in the kitchen while we had to be kind to his gut. I did however preach loads about healthy eating etc, and to be honest, I was getting sick of my own preaching since I had to put it in practice too. Now that he’s all recovered and out and about, I had a whole bag of dark chocolate chip cookies for my lunch and dinner today. It felt so good, and now I feel so sick. But the sickness may be owing to the fact that I over-dosed on the Isapahan macarons I made today. They were kind of bad @ss. If I may say so myself.
Ispahan Macaron (inspired by Pierre Herme’s recipe)
300g ground almonds
300g granulated sugar
220 aged egg whites
8g red food colouring
300g icing sugar
400g white chocolate
4g rose essence
1. Sift the almond powder and icing sugar together. Separate half the egg white and mix in the food colouring. Pour the egg white + food colouring into the almond mix and set aside without mixing further.
2. In a saucepan, pour in the water and the granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. When it reaches 115C, start whisking the rest of the egg white in the mixer over medium speed. When the syrup reaches 118C, pour it into the whisked whites and keep whisking till the meringue cools down to 50C.
3. Fold in the almond, sugar and coloured egg white mixture into the meringue. Make sure the folds are less than 50 times. You should get a lava-like consistency.
4. Pipe out into 3cm rounds on baking parchment. Let rest for 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 180C and once the piped babies have rested, pop them into the oven for 12 minutes.
5. Once done, pull out of the oven and let cool. Peel them off the parchment paper and set aside.
6. Blend 400g of the raspberries with the rose essence in a blender. Break up the white chocolate into bits and melt in a bain marie. In a separate saucepan, mix the cream and the raspberry puree together and bring to a boil. Pour and mix in the raspberry cream into the melted white chocolate in three parts. Let chill.
7. Peel and de-seed the rambutans. Cut into brunoise. Cut the remaining raspberries in half across the cross-section.
8. Place the raspberry slices around the perimeter of a macaron shell. Stick some rambutan brunoise pieces in the middle and pipe over the ganache. Sandwich with another shell. Chill for 24 hours (unless you can’t resist…)