Black sesame macarons
Just like last year at this time, I’m back in a macaron mode. Having made the macaron tips & tricks for Christmas and reviewed all the macarons that have been made so far for the blog, I’ve got a new inspiration wave to bake a few more.
Black sesame is one of ingredients I have had on my trying list for months, so when I finally got around to buy it, macarons were naturally the first thing I’ve did. Then followed many attempts of various, soy – coconut black sesame panna cottas and anything that can be presented in layers (I’ll elaborate on it as soon as I’ll have something visual to show).
Those familiar with black sesame in desserts will probably know the distinctive nutty taste it imparts, for me on the other hand it was a surprise, as I don’t recall tasting too many sweets with black sesame in the past.
Macarons, being the ultimate crunchy – chewy cookie, have a fairly neutral taste when made with almonds only, hence adding black sesame seeds brings out another layer of nuttiness; while in the ganache black sesame balances the sweetness of the white chocolate and all together make a rather distinct macaron.
- FOR THE SHELLS
- 90g egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
- 200 g powdered sugar
- 100g almond flour (after sifting)
- 35g granulated sugar
- 15 g black sesame seeds, grounded
- pinch of salt
- FOR THE BLACK SESAME AND WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
- 150 ml cream
- 150 g white chocolate
- 50 g butter
- 1 tablespoon grounded black sesame seeds
- The day before: Separate the egg yolks from the whites, place the egg whites in the airtight container (or cover with foil) and leave on the kitchen counter for 24 hours.
- On the cooking day: heat the oven to 100°C, place the almond flour on the baking parchment and dry in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. This is especially important if your house tends to be a bit humid, macarons tend to be very sensitive to any additional moisture.
- Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes, then ground them in a pestle mortar or food processor.
- Then mix them with the powdered sugar and almond flour and sift.
- Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat them lightly until they start to foam. Add half of the granulated sugar and beat for a few minutes until well-combined, soft peaks, then add the second part of the granulated sugar and beat till you have a thick glossy mixture, stiff peaks, but don’t over beat it.
- Add the almond flour, powdered sugar and black sesame mixture, break it with a few strokes (to break down the merengue a bit,) I’ve also added here a few drops of brown food coloring.
- Continue to gently mix with spatula until combined. Try to do this with about 10 strokes. Next, take a dough scraper and use it to mix until the right consistency, which is when the batter falling of the scraper and the formed “ribbons” are dissolving within a minute.
- Pour the batter into the piping bag and pipe out rounds about 1.5 cm wide, then let them rest for 30 minutes to an hours for a skin to form.
- To check if the skin has formed lightly tap on the macarons and if they no longer stick then they are ready (don’t forget to check the sides as well).
- Bake the macarons in 160°C for 15 minutes. Ovens tend to be different, hence the baking time can vary, it’s always good to take one (or two) shells and check;
- Bring the cream to boil and pour on top of the chocolate (roughly chopped). Use a hand blender to blend until homogeneous. Next, add the cold butter and blend again, then stir in the grounded sesame seeds. Leave to chill in the fridge for about an hour.
- Pour the ganache in the pipping bag and pipe some onto macaron shells top with another and leave the macarons for at least 24 hours in the fridge. This will allow for the crunchy/chewy texture to develop.
- An hour or so before serving take the macarons out of the fridge to bring to room temperature. Enjoy!