Sarah Bernhardt Cakes

In February this year, myself and Steve took an amazing trip to Iceland, what a beautiful country I would recommend it to absolutely everyone, although I would say to make sure you've done everything you wanted to do in life before you go as the driving conditions almost took us into a frozen lake ...a few times. Anyway getting onto this recipe, wherever we go tends to be planned around meal times so when we stopped for a coffee at this great little cafe 'Reykjavik Roasters', I went straight for the sweet stuff, although a traditional Icelandic cake these beauties actually originated in Denmark and are baked over the christmas period, although clearly everyone thinks they're bloody good because February is definitely verging on spring.

I've based this recipe on what I can remember them tasting like but I've opted for a macaron base....just because :)....hope you guys enjoy and over indulge just as much as I did. G x

Makes about 20

Macaron Base 

  • 140g ground almonds
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 3 x  free range eggs whites (keep them yolks)
  • 105g granulated sugar

To start turn the oven to 150'C, to make the macaron base, blitz the ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor until it's really fine and then use a sieve to make sure no lumps get through, put half an egg white to the side and whisk the remaining ones in a clean bowl until foamy.

Add the granulated sugar in thirds, each time making sure that the sugar has been thoroughly incorporated, when the last sugar is in, whip it for one more minute. Fold in the almond/icing sugar mix gently trying not to knock out the air then In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining egg white until frothy and add to the mix to loosen it a little.

Transfer the mix to a piping bag with a plain tip and line a baking tray with parchment, pipe on the macarons so they are about 4cm in diameter leaving space between each macaron, lightly tap the tray and then leave them to sit uncovered for 10 minutes. Bake for about 15 minutes until they get a light crust on them.

 when they are out of the oven a good tip to get them off the sheet easily is to pour a teeny tiny amount of water between the tray and the paper so that the steam loosens the macarons (I mean tiny or they will all go soggy and it will be really tragic), allow the macarons to cool. 

Chocolate Cream Layer

  • 2 x free range egg yolks
  • 115g granulated sugar
  • 115g Goats butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 115g good quality 70 % or above dark chocolate

Put the granulated sugar and a splash of water to cover it in a saucepan and place over a high heat, if you have a sugar thermometer you're aiming for it to reach 116'C which is the soft ball sugar stage, if not then you want a to take it off when it is just changing from a clear colour to very light caramel (beware this can happen very quickly as there is not a large amount of sugar, if you are doubling the recipe it will take a lot longer), Meanwhile, whisk the yolks to a creamy colour, sparingly add the sugar syrup with continuous whisking, then add the butter and cocoa, it should look all creamy and delicious.

Spread on about 1 tbsp of chocolate mix to the flat side of the macarons and sort of make a mound shape on each one, Melt the chocolate on the stove using a pan of boiling water with the chocolate in a metal or glass bowl on top, now dip each cake into the chocolate so that the creamy layer is covered completely and place on a tray and repeat for all macarons, whack em in the fridge to harden the chocolate and you're done!

I like to keep them in the fridge in an airtight container, I wouldn't recommend leaving them out as 1. They will not be as crisp and chewy but 2. Someone is going to eat them without your consent.