Sweet Condensed Milk Cake with Bear Macarons

Recently, I was visiting the "newest" baby in my circle of friends, little Luisa. I had also baked her a gingerbread heart and a cake (for stressed-out parents) because I was invited for coffee. I thought that bear macarons would be the ideal ornament for a baby's birthday cake. Unfortunately, mine were nowhere near as perfect as the original, but I keep practicing! 
The cake was a sponge cake with sweetened condensed milk I had discovered here, with the dark chocolate ganache that I fill into my chocolate macarons. I made the macarons without food coloring, only using homemade elderberry syrup to dye them purple!

Ingredients for 35 macarons and 16 pieces of cake:
For the cake:
800 g sweetened condensed milk (2 jars)
8 eggs
250 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
120 ml oil
1/4 teaspoon salt 

For the macarons: 
90 g egg whites (about 3 egg whites) 
30 g sugar 
200 g powdered sugar 
110 g peeled, ground almonds 
about 10 ml of elderberry syrup or food coloring

about 30 g white chocolate 

For the ganache: 
200 g whipped cream 
300 g dark chocolate, 55% cocoa 
100 g chocolate with 70% cocoa 

Energy: 60 kcal per macaron, 400 calories per slice of cake 

Cake: Grease the baking pan. Beat eggs and sweet condensed milk until fluffy.

Add flour, baking powder, oil and salt, stir briefly and fill into the mold. Bake at 175 °C for 60 min, test with a skewer.
Draw the bears heads on two sheets of baking paper, I used this template from the page with the original recipe. However, the ears of my bears turned out significantly smaller, so next time I would pipe them a bit bigger.
Put the baking paper on a baking tray or the work surface with the painted side facing down
Mix the almonds and icing sugar, I think that works better with a mixer or whisk than with a stand mixer (which I found out, _after_ I especially repaired the blender ;-))
Beat the egg whites until stiff, gradually adding the sugar and then the elderberry syrup or food coloring. The color of the egg whites should be strong, because the powdered sugar will be added afterwards and make the color lighter.
Turn the colored egg whites onto powdered sugar and almonds and gently mix.
Do the 10-second test: When a solid line drawn with a spatula has disappeared into the batter after 10 seconds, the consistency is right. 
Fill the mixture into a piping bag with a large tip and pipe the teddy bear heads. In the original recipe, they say to wait a few minutes before piping the ears, so that a smooth skin forms on the head part and the macaron does not run, a problem I had with my snowman macarons.
This time, the macarons were not runny, but quite a few had cracks! I probably could have let them dry longer, but it was about 20 minutes. Well, I continue to try!

Break the chocolate into pieces, boil the cream, remove it from heat and add the chocolate, stir until smooth and let cool.
Flip the macarons in pairs, fill about a third of the ganache into the piping bag and 

fill the macarons, fitting the pairs together.  Let the macarons dry a bit.
Put the white chocolate into a plastic bag and melt it in a water bath or in the microwave at 50%. Cut the end of the bad open.
Pipe a small dab of melted white chocolate on each bear face and let it dry again. Here you can see that the bears in the background spent a little too much time in the oven ... but luckily enough, the recipe yielded more than 2 trays, more than 20 bear macarons!
Paint eyes, nose and mouth with black food coloring onto the finished bears macarons.
With the remaining ganache, decorate the cake and let it dry a bit.
Set the bear macarons onto the cake, maybe fix them in place with small dots of ganache.
On the 26cm cake, eight bears fit comfortably! And of course, baby Luisa liked it :-)


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