Recipe: Pineapple-coriander macaroons

Macaroons became a huge hit last year, and they’re proving as popular as ever in 2012. For all macaroon fans, here’s a tropical recipe from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice.

Macaroons from Constance Hotels Experience

Macaroons at Constance

Serves 4
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration: 2 hours

  • 310g icing sugar
  • 190g powdered almonds
  • 5 egg whites
  • 25g caster sugar

For the ganache

  • 250g milk chocolate
  • 1/2 small pineapple
  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 50g caster sugar

 1. Make the macaroons: sift the icing sugar with the powdered almonds. Whip the egg whites, adding the caster sugar, then add the sifted icing sugar and almonds and mix carefully with a spatula. Pour this batter into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm plain tip and drop regular-shaped disks, 5cm wide, on a biscuit sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
2. Preheat oven to 140ºC. Bake the macaroons for 20 minutes. Take them out of the overn and let them cool on the paper.
3. Make the ganache: peel the pineapple and dice the flesh finely. Finely chop the coriander. Mix pineapple and coriander, and refrigerate.
4. In a large bowl, break the milk chocolate into small pieces. Bring the cream to simmering point with the sugar, mixing well, then pour it over the chocolate. Mix until smooth. Add the pineapple and coriander, mix well and keep refrigerated for 2 hours.
5. Assemble the macaroons: lift them from the parchment paper and paste them two by two by spreading 1 small teaspoon of ganache between them.

And for inspiration, take a look at these delightful looking macaroons from Constance Belle Mare Plage on our Constance Facebook page.

Sea creatures at Constance Halaveli Resort

Continuing our series this week on underwater creatures in the Maldives, here’s a peek at the watery world of Constance Halaveli.

Turtle at Constance Halaveli Resort, Maldives

Turtle at Halaveli

Dive locations close to Halaveli have been included in lists of the World’s Best Dive Sites.

Diving here is superb for both beginners and advanced divers.

At Halaveli, it’s all about choice:  diving 12 months of the year, easy access to dive sites, amazing visibility and an abundance of sealife.

Enjoy these beautiful photos from our dive masters at Halaveli. 

And if you have any underwater photos, we’d love to see them. You can post them to our Constance Facebook page or tweet them @constancehotels.

 

 

Maldivian clown fish

Maldivian clown fish

 

Black cheek moray eel

Black cheek moray eel

 

 

Protecting sharks at Constance Moofushi

Scuba divers and Blue Tribe Diving Centre at Constance Moofushi are raising awareness of how to protect dwindling shark populations around the world, and what divers can do to help. Their work is part of Project Aware’s Sharks on Tour campaign.

Shark underwater

Working to protect sharks at Moofushi

Constance guests can join Blue Tribe at their Shark Awareness evenings, where they share knowledge about sharks, and information about what the Maldivian government is doing to keep them off the endangered species list.

Guests can also earn their PADI Shark Diver Aware certification and help donate funds to the work.

What is the Maldivian government doing to protect sharks?

Scientists estimate that over 73 million sharks are killed each year to support the global finning trade.

The Maldivian government has made 3 very big steps toward the protection of sharks in the Maldives. They have banned the practice of:

  • catching sharks
  • sale of sharks
  • shark feeding

This has already had a big impact on the numbers of sharks living around the Maldives, including around the Ari Atoll and Moofushi.

How to get involved

You can find out more about Blue Tribe’s efforts, as well as the Sharks on Tour adventures worldwide by visiting the Project Aware website.

Photographs of sharks

Photographs of sharks in the Ari Atoll, close to the Island of Moofushi will be entered into a global competition with the best photographs  chosen as winners on World Oceans Day, 8 June 2012. Visit the Project Aware website for more information.

Send us your photos

If you have photographs of sharks from around Moofushi, we’d love to see them. You can post them to our Constance Facebook page or tweet them @constancehotels.

Recipe: Green papaya achard

Liven up curries and rougails with this deliciously exotic papaya pickle.

Green papaya

Green papaya

Serves 4
Preparation time:
20 minutes
Resting time: 24 hours
Raising time: 2 hours
Draining time: 30 minutes

  • 300 g green papaya
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • salt and pepper

1. Peel and grate the green papaya. Add the coarse salt, mix well and let rest for 30 minutes to drain out the moisture.
2. Peel and chop the onion and garlic separately. Slit the green chilli lengthwise.
3. Fry the onion, garlic and green chilli for 1 minute in a saucepan, in 1 tbsp olive oil without cooking.
4. Dissolve the turmeric in vinegar and add it to the saucepan. Add mustard and remaining olive oil. Mix well and take off the heat.
5. Rinse the papaya in cold running water and squeeze it carefully between your hands to remove all moisture. Add it to the sauce, mix well, correct seasoning.
6. Let cool, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Serve with curries, daubes or rougails.

Trends 2012: wedding cakes

Guest blog by Fay Millar, creative director of UK based Pink Rose Cakes.

Chocolate wedding cake

Chocolate wedding cake

There was a time when ordering a wedding cake meant opting for three white tiers of traditional fruit cake with a bit of piping and maybe the odd sugar flower.

But the world of wedding patisserie has undergone a huge transformation in the last decade and now pretty much anything can be made in cake.

This change is partly due to the popularity of cake programmes such as Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes as well as many innovative bakers thinking outside the box. But it’s also down to couples wanting to be different and willing to cast aside tradition.

What’s new for 2012?

Cakes are being glammed up with decorative lacework, sugar pearls, edible cameos and frou frou ruffles which gives them a modern twist while some brides use elements from their dress, shoes and jewellery to inform their cake design.

Vintage

Vintage styles are hugely popular at the moment, mirroring the wider trend for retro or vintage-themed weddings.

Flowers

Sugar flowers are enjoying something of a renaissance having dropped in popularity in recent years. Cakes with delicate roses, hydrangeas, sweet peas and full peonies, which echo the vintage styling, are on the rise. And intricate piping is enjoying a return but with classic simpler lines to make it more modern.

Stunning two tier wedding cake

Stunning two tier wedding cake

Themed weddings

Rustic, glam and monochrome themed weddings are popular and cake designers draw inspiration from that. Cakes decorated with large bows, feathers and glittery broaches are being used in designs, giving brides that elusive wow factor.

The Royal Wedding

Lastly, no mention of wedding trends would be complete without a nod to the Royal Wedding last year. The beautiful cake created for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has led to a huge rise in people requesting scaled down versions of tiered ivory cakes with delicate piping and small sugar flowers.

It was a timeless, elegant cake in a style that will remain popular for many years to come.

Find out more about Pink Rose Cakes

Keep up-to-date with Fay’s latest creations on the Pink Rose Cakes Facebook page and Twitter.

Underwater tour at Constance Moofushi Resort

Our dive masters at Constance Moofushi take us on a tour of the beautiful underwater world of Moofushi.

The Island of Moofushi is located in a very fortunate position for diving. It lies exaclty on 2 ocean passes to the cemtre west of Ari Atoll, the most colourful atoll in the Maldives.

Diving with manta rays at Constance Moofushi

Diving with manta rays at Constance Moofushi

In the dry season from November to April the northeast monsoon pushes the currents to the West, bringing with it manta rays and whale sharks, which can be encountered on almost every dive around 10 minutes boat trip from Moofushi.

In the monsoon season with the oceanic currents pushing from the southwest, the water is extraordinarily transparent. This provides fantastic diving conditions especially in the ocean passes where groups of up to 50 to 60 gray reef sharks can be spotted.

The coral is beautiful. In the Ari Atoll the diving is very colourful – white, blue, pink-red, and there’s a wide variety and quantity of fish. The diving centre is managed by Blue Tribe, whose guides are intimately familiar with the waters in the area and the whole team have made thousands of dives.

There are many dives full of colorful, soft coral of various species, white and blue, pink and red, deep blue… ideal for lovers of underwater photography.

Colourful corals at Moofushi

Colourful corals

Photography buffs will be rewarded with many different species of fish to photograph. Clown fish are in abundance, so cute and photogenic. Those without a camera or who wish to get the best from their own camera can learn with Bluetribe’s instructors, with their popular ‘Bluetribe Digital Underwater Photography’ programme.

Clown fish
Clown fish