My not-so-sincere but sombre apologies to everyone who hates pink. I’ve created a fluffy pink airhead. Yes, I did it again. I mean, I can’t help it, can I? Just look at it, just look at it! Yes it’s pink, but it’s pretty. Like these other ladies who look so alluring in shades of passion. Come on, admit it, you like this. Even if it’s pink… Urgh, forget it, memyselfandI like it, and that’s good enough reason for its existence.
I made Miss Legally Blonde’s reincarnate here, only two days after birthing this pretty lass. Sometime in February this year, I must have been bitten by the lovebug after Valentine’s Day. Pinks and reds were synonymous with amore, as were lychees+raspberries+rose with bites+of+heaven. I couldn’t run away from it. I just had to put these flavours in every single thing I made., well okay, except the curry puffs that sing..(that’s another story). M must have been sick of all these fruity and floral notes in February, not that I really cared…
Making this isn’t complicated at all, contrary to what I thought when I first tried The Ispahan (yes that’s her name). It’s much like making macarons, only bigger! Instead of making a white chocolate ganache base for the filling, I opted for a more weightless alternative – very much befitting an airhead – and made a lychee-and-rose infused whipped cream. This also means that you can’t mature the Ispahan as you do with macarons. The whipped cream is wetter than ganache, and will make the shells soggy. Assemble the Ispahan only when you are about to consume it – that’s the way you should have my version – young and airhead-ish.
Here’s the recipe:
(Makes 2 Ispahans from 4 shells)
For the shells:
50g egg whites, aged
2g egg white powder
45g caster sugar
70g almond flour
60g icing sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon liquid red food colouring (depends on desired intensity)
1. Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celsius.
2. Sift almond flour and icing sugar together in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites and egg white powder till soft peaks are formed. Whisk in caster sugar until stiff peaks form.
4. To the egg white mixture, fold in dry ingredients from Step 2 in 1/3 portions to combine. Add colouring, then fold in the mixture more vigorously. Test the consistency from time to time by lifting a generous dollop of macaron paste and dropping it into the mixing bowl. If the macaron paste does not settle smoothly after 30 seconds, continue folding the paste. If the macaron paste smooths out too quickly, you’ve gone too far.
5. Pipe out the shells (10cm diameter) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and leave them to rest for 25 minutes before baking.
6. When a ‘skin’ is formed, turn temperature on oven down to 140 degrees Celsius and bake for 11 minutes. Rotate the tray and then bake for another 9 minutes.
7. Cool parchment of baked shells on cooling rack. Unmould when the shells are completely cool.
For the filling:
4 pieces of canned lychees, diced finely
250ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 teaspoons essence of rosewater
1 teaspoon lychee liquer
1 teaspoon canned lychee juice
1. Whisk whipping cream will frothy, add caster sugar and continue to whisk till thick and of piping consistency. Do not over-whip the cream as it will split.
2. Add essence of rosewater, lychee liquer and lychee juice to the whipped cream and whisk gently to combine.
3. This cream can keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Assembling The Ispahan:
You will need the cooled shells, the cream, 12-14 raspberries and some edible gold lustre.
Note: Only assemble when you’re about to consume or serve this. Once assembled, serve immediately.
1. Pipe the whipped cream onto the centre of the shell, and arrange raspberries around the edge.
2. Add a dollop of diced lychees to the centre of the piped cream (where the large lychee is in the photo –> the intact lychee was added for photo-taking purposes as it looked prettier than a bunch of macerated lychees…).
3. Pipe more cream over the top of the lychee layer (same circumference as the first layer of cream). Also pipe more cream in teardrops between the raspberries.
4. Cover the top with another shell and add raspberries to the top to decorate.
5. Brush the top shell with some edible gold lustre, and dust more lustre on top of the raspberries to create the speckles you see in the photo.
If you love lychees, check out my lychee chiffon cake or my lychee mascarpone & Emperor’s Seven Treasures macarons here! I’ve also made a cake version of The Ispahan, which the editors of WordPress.com really liked, so do drop by and have a look!
If you love macarons, join me on my macaron journey.