When asked to create an exclusive Year of the Snake-themed Zumbaron for SBS, Adriano Zumbo devised a decidedly twisted sweet. His edible version of gold-flecked, red-bellied macaron snakes filled with pomegranate ganache and milk chocolate ladders is as cunning as it is clever. And you don’t need to be a master pâtissier to recreate our Year of the Snake Zumbaron – he shares his very achievable recipe for a simple pop-in-the-mouth morsel to make at home.
- 300 g almond meal
- 300 g pure icing sugar
- 110 g eggwhite, at room temperature, plus 110 g eggwhite, extra
- 300 g caster sugar
- 75 g water
- a few drops of red or orange food colouring
- 2 g powdered eggwhite
- 200 g pomegranate purée
- 80 g apricot purée
- 20 g orange juice
- 2 g ground cumin
- 1 g saffron
- 500 g white chocolate
- 1 orange, rind finely grated
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 24 hours
To make the macaron shells, put the almond meal and icing sugar in a food processor and process to a fine powder, and then sift into a large bowl.
Put the eggwhite in an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Use a clean pastry brush to brush down the side of the pan to avoid any crystallisation. Increase the heat and bring to the boil. If required, add the food colouring at this stage. Cook until the mixture reaches 118°C. When the sugar syrup is approaching 118°C, add the powdered eggwhite to the eggwhites in the mixing bowl and whisk on medium speed until frothy.
Once the sugar syrup is at 118°C, add it to the eggwhite mixture in a thin steady stream down the side of the bowl. Whisk until warm, approximately 8 minutes.
Add the extra eggwhite to the dry ingredients, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to fold them through until combined. Continue to fold the mixture so it begins to loosen. When the mixture falls slowly off the spatula, it is at the right texture.
With a 7 mm plain nozzle, pipe 4 cm rounds onto a lined baking tray, leaving a 3 cm gap between each macaron. Leave the macarons at room temperature for 30 minutes to form a skin.
After 10 minutes, preheat the oven to 135°C.
Bake the macarons for 16 minutes, until they have a firm outer shell. Slide the paper and shells onto wire racks to cool completely.
To make the pomegranate ganache, heat the pomegranate purée, apricot purée, orange juice, cumin and saffron in a small saucepan over medium-high heat till almost boiling. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl, pour over the pomegranate mixture and stir to combine. Fold through the orange rind. Allow the ganache to cool at room temperature until firm enough to pipe. Fill a piping bag fitted with a 9 mm plain nozzle with the ganache.
Pipe the ganache onto the flat side of half of the macaron shells, then sandwich with the remaining macaron shells. Store the sandwiched macarons in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours to set, then bring to room temperature before serving.
Photography by Chris Chen. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd.