Our inspiration for this year’s specials came from exploring the traditions and symbols which are important at Chinese at New Year, which is on the January 31.
During this period, mandarins are given as a sign of good luck and fortune. So we decided to use the fruit to flavour our dishes.
Also important is the colour red. In China red envelopes are given to loved ones with money inside. So we wanted that to feature, too.
Now, there is also something else, too: the Chinese Lantern festival, with its beautiful oval lanterns.
We took all these ideas, and more, and combined them into three lovely desserts, the recipes for which are below.
Be warned, they're not easy dishes to make. But have a go, don't worry if you don't at first succeed.
RED MACARONS – MAKES 20 5cm Macarons
600 Ground Almonds
600g Icing sugar
220g Egg whites
- Mix ingredients together until smooth.
150g Ground Almonds
150g Icing sugar
55g egg whites
10g red colour
55g egg whites
150g caster sugar
- To prepare macaron base, beat the icing sugar, ground almonds, red colour and egg whites in a bowl until smooth.
- Place egg whites into a mixing bowl, whisk, on low speed.
- Place caster sugar and water in a pan and cook the sugar, then egg whites and 20g caster sugar.
- Pour the sugar over the egg whites and whisk until the meringue has cooled and is firm.
- Mix the meringue into the macaron base in stages ensuring the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper, fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe 4cm diameter balls with the macaron mix.
- Tap the tray gently to allow macarons to spread and settle.
- Place in pre-heated oven (130) and cook for 15 minutes until cooked. Remove from the oven and cool.
ORANGE AND MANDARIN GANACHE
180g whipping cream
20ml mandarin Liqueur
165g Dark chocolate 70%
70g butter – chopped softened
8g Orange Zest
- Bring whipping cream to boil in a pan, add orange zest and infuse for 20-30 minutes.
- Strain the whipping cream into another pan, and place the chocolate into a mixing bowl.
- Bring the infused cream back to the boil, pour over the chocolate, and stir until a ganache is formed.
- Gradually add the softened butter, and mix fully.
- Place the ganache in a piping bag, pipe around the edge of one half macaron.
- Stick a second half macaron to the base.
CHINESE CHARACTER HORSE STENCIL
- Cut out the stencils on thick plastic to draw or pipe the design with black icing onto the top of the macaron.
CHINESE LANTERN PETITS GATEAUX
You will need:
12 x oval mousse rings – lined with acetate strips and placed onto a tray lined with baking paper.
85g plain flour
15g cocoaq powder
1 pinch salt
40g icing sugar
1.Place the icing sugar, flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl, rub in the flour and mix until a dough is formed.
2.Roll out 4mm thick and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
3.Cut out 12 x 40mm diameter discs and 12 x 20mm diameter discs and place on tray lined with a non-stick paper.
4.Place into the pre heated oven and cook for 12-15 minutes. And allow to cool, then brush with edible gold glitter.
TO PREPARE THE INSERT
Sacher sponge – make 1 sheet 40cmx30cm
150g Dark chocolate 70%
135g unsalted butter
135g ground almonds
80g egg yolks
35g Plain flour sieved
120g egg whites
135g castor sugar
- Pre heat the oven to 190C
- Place the chocolate and butter into a mixing bowl and melt together. Mix in the egg yolks.
- Whisk egg whites to make a meringue, add caster sugar and whisk until firm.
- Fold the meringue into the chocolate, butter and egg yolk base, and fold in the flour and almonds.
- Spread onto a baking tray to create a sheet, and place into the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Line a 30 x 30 cm baking tin or mousse ring with baking paper. Trim the sponge so that it fits into the mould and place inside.
165g whipping cream
10g Jasmine tea
115g Dark chocolate 66% cocoa solids
45g unsalted butter, softened
- Place the cream in a pan and bring to the boil, add in the orange zest and infuse for 20-30 minutes.
- Strain the cream into another pan, and place the chocolate into a mixing bowl.
- Bring the cream back to the boil, pour over the chocolate, and stir until a ganache consistency is formed.
- Add in the softened butter, mix until emulsified, then pour onto the top of the sponge and place into the fridge to set.
- Peel and segment the mandarins and place on top of jasmine ganache.
Jasmine and caramelised honey pannacotta
675g whipping cream
225g Whole Milk
6g leaf Gelatine
12g jasmine tea
- Place the cream and the milk together in a pan and bring to the boil, add in the jasmine tea and cover with cling film and allow to infuse for 30 minutes
- Strain the mixture into a container. Place the leaf gelatine into a container of cold water and soak until it has softened, once softened strain off the excess water.
- Place the honey into a pan and cook on a moderate heat until the honey starts to gently smoke and caramelise.
- Add the infused cream and milk to the caramelised honey, bring to the boil and then add in the gelatine, allow to cool to room temperature then pour into the top of the mandarin segments, place the layered centre into the freezer to set for at least 4 hours
- Remove from the freezer and lift out from the mould, cut into 2.5cm x 4.5 cm rectangles and return to the freezer until required
Jasmine and chocolate mousse
100g Whole Milk
100g Whipping Cream
15g Jasmine Tea
65g egg yolks
20g castor sugar
375g Milk Chocolate 40% cocoa solids
375g Whipping Cream
9g Leaf Gelatine
- Place the milk and the 10g whipping cream into a pan and bring to the boil, add in the jasmine tea and Clingfilm and allow to infuse for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile melt the milk chocolate
- Once infused, strain the mixture into another pan, place back onto the heat and bring to the boil
- In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar
- Place the gelatin into cold water and allow to softened, once softened strain off the excess water.
- Once the cream has boiled, add half to the egg yolks mixture and mix well, return this mixture all back into the pan.
- On a moderate heat stir continuously until the mixture reaches 83C, pass through a fine sieve onto the chocolate.
- Mix until a smooth ganache consistency is formed
- Meanwhile place the 375g of whipping cream into a mixing bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate base in three parts
- Fill the oval moulds ¾ full with the chocolate and jasmine mousse, push in the layered centre so that the sponge touches the flat side of the oval mould.
- Place into the freezer to set for at least 4 hours
- Take the moulds from the freezer and remove from the ring and peel of the plastic.
- Place onto a tray evenly spaced out with the sponge side touching the tray and return to the freezer.
Red chocolate spray
200g white chocolate
60g Raspberry red cocoa butter
40g Orange cocoa butter
50g cocoa butter
Melt all ingredients together, strain through a sieve and place into a spray gun.
Take the tray from the freezer and evenly spray all the cakes from all sides. Return to the freezer
Chinese Character Design
- Black cocoa butter
- Melt the cocoa butter and then pass through a fine muslin cloth, place into a spray gun or airbrush and using the stencils created spray onto the front of each of the petit gateaux.
- Place onto the larger chocolate sable then top with the smaller disc of sable
To celebrate New Year, the Year of The Horse, Yauatcha has joined forces with Harvey Nichols. Until 10th February, guests can check out the Harvey Nichols-designed windows of the restaurant, themed around the horse, and each diner will receive an envelope containing Harvey Nichols' treats, eight of which will contain golden prizes.