Anyway, the cake below also stems from one of my ‘creative’ episodes. I have had many a failure with those dainty little things called macarons, and it’s really a pain having to deal with them. This is because with pretty ‘footed’ macarons, I can gift them to various people, but with macarons that look like whoopie pies…well… let’s just say taste is their only redeeming factor, which is sad because many people ‘eat’ with their eyes first. And the thing is, macarons are always hit-and-fail thing for me, I have as many successes as failures, which makes me hesitant every time I want to make macarons because I’m afraid of the results, or lack there of.
So after a particularly crazy streak of macaron baking which saw me using dozens of egg whites, I ended up with several pretty macarons and a hundred more feetless, shapeless macs. This meant that I had trays and trays of maca-fails, and being the thrifty person that I was, I didn’t dump them in the trash right away. I really hate wasting food, so I stored them in airtight containers in the fridge, to the point that there were MANY such containers in the fridge, and my mom started nagging at me, asking me to get rid of them.
So what could I do?
Anyway, I made a few liberal modifications to the recipe (like using the processor to make the cake), so do check out the original recipe if you’re interested in the original cake!
- Melt the chocolate, brewed coffee, rum and butter in the microwave or on a bain marie. Stir well to combine and allow to cool.
- Place the macaron shells in a processor and blitz them for a minute, or until fine, like ground almonds. Do not over process. Add 70g of the sugar and salt into the processor and blitz for a few seconds to combine the ingredients. Next, add in the 5 egg yolks and process for about 5 seconds. Add in the chocolate mixture and process for 10 seconds, or until all the ingredients are well combined. Empty the mixture into a clean bowl.
- In a metal mixing bowl, beat the egg whites together with the remaining 25g sugar, until you get stiff white peaks.
- Take some of the egg whites (about 10% worth) and mix them into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. You don’t need to be gentle with mixing this 10%. Once the egg white is completely mixed into chocolate mixture, gently fold in the rest of the egg whites into the lightened chocolate mixture. This time, making sure to gently fold to retain the air in the egg whites.
- Line your cake tin with baking paper and lightly butter the sides. Pour in the cake mixture and give it a few raps on the counter to get rid of any unsightly air bubbles.
- Bake at 170°C for about 40-50 minutes before removing it. If you want it more fudgey/moussey – bake it for about 40 minutes and your cake tester will come out slightly wet. If you want a more cake-like texture, bake for 50 minutes or more, and some crumbs will still adhere to your tester.
- Cool it in the pan for about 15 minutes before removing it to cool on a wire rack.
- BEWARE: I actually made 2 vital errors for this recipe – which accounts for the picture you see above – I used a dark-colored pan, and failed to reduce the baking temperature, which explains why the bottom of the cake is quite over-baked. As for the dense layer slightly above the bottom, that was because I was multitasking while beating my egg whites and I slightly overbeat them, to the point that it was almost turning clumpy :/ This was probably why the cake didn’t rise to its requisite height. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the dense layer at the bottom of the cake, because it tasted almost fudgey, and very chocolatey, which was a perfect contrast against the airy cake on top! That being said, I’m not sure if these 2 problems were the result of the powdered macarons, but I doubt so. Anyway, I’ll probably try this out again soon (I know I’ll have more maca-fails to try them with) and see where I go with it.
- Note: You should process the macaron shells when they are at room temperature so that they are less ‘wet’ and can be processed into powder more easily. Otherwise, you might get tiny clumps because of the moistness of the macarons. However, don’t worry too much because these clumps will dissolve somewhat after baking (whee!) :]
- Taste: Having made the original and the modified version, I do feel that there is not much difference in taste, except for the fact that the almonds are much more discernible in the original version. I’d probably use a mix of half almonds and half macarons in the next try to get the best of both worlds :] Do remember to reduce the amount of sugar by a little as well, because the macaron shells after all, are half sugar, and will contribute to the sweetness of the cake.
- Texture: The chocolate cake feels almost mousse-y (and tastes that way too), but has a cake-like crust (thanks to my slight over baking), which is a delight to dig into. The best word to describe it would be ‘airy’.
- Modifications: I reduced the sugar from the original of 150g to 95g, because I took into account that the macarons were half sugar. I felt that the amount of sugar can be decreased further because the cake is still a tad sweet for my liking. My family liked the level of sweetness though.
- Storage: The cake does not store well at room temperature because of its gooeyness but they did very well in the refrigerator. Let it sit for a while at room temperature before consuming for the best texture, but even if you don’t, it’s still really good. I stored a slice in an airtight container for almost 2 weeks and it tasted as delicious (maybe a little drier) as it did when I just baked it.
- Would I make this again?: Definitely! Now that I know how to make use of the maca-fails, I have no reason to try and try again :] I’d also serve this with some icing sugar on top, to hide the unsightly cracks – note that this cake WILL sink! Just maybe not as much as mine did.
Have a great weekend y’all!