My internal dialogue went on for hours - should I write this post now or make another batch with perfectly shaped cones and post another one later. The question was should or shouldn't I let my sometimes annoying tendency towards perfection be in my way, as so many times before. It takes the fun out of blogging and fills my draft box with bakes that will never see the light of day. I sift through it from time to time, delete some of them, and with no particular reason decide to keep others knowing that if I didn't like them at the time I made it, there is a slim chance of me changing my mind. But there they are - waiting. These cookies didn't deserve to share the destiny of my "failures" and I am pleased to give you my perfectly imperfect Sarah Bernhardts:
Extraordinary for some, controversial for others would be the word(s) to sum up the life and persona of Sarah Bernhardt, who inspired many to dedicate poems, create cakes and name the flowers after her (Sarah Bernhardt Peony). I have nothing more to add to the subject.
As for the recipe, this is one of many versions of these little cookie cakes. The macaroon base is common in all of them, but the filling varies from country to country, and it goes from chocolate mousse to truffle and butter-cream. I made dark chocolate truffle and topped it with some milk chocolate.
Preheat oven to 150C/300F/gas 2
75 ml double cream
25 g butter
150 g chocolate, chopped
100g finely ground blanched almonds
125 g sugar
1 egg white (35 g)
200 g finely chopped chocolate
For the base, mix all of the ingredients to make a smooth paste. Divide it into 12 portions, make little balls, then press them down as you lay them on a baking sheet to create circles of about 5 cm in diameter. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, until golden brown at the bottom, while the tops remain pale. when you remove it from the oven, leave it to rest for couple of minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the truffle filling, heat the cream and butter until it boils, put the chocolate in, remove from the heat, stir until smooth, chill until thick enough to hold shape.
When both parts are ready, spoon the filling on each macaroon and using a small palette knife make conical shape. Chill until firm.
Melt the chocolate , dip each truffle into it, keeping the base as smear-free as you can.
Keep them covered and refrigerated, but serve at room temperature.