Monday, January 27, 2014
black sesame macarons with cream cheese and pineapple filling.
You will not believe the obstacles I had to overcome just to make these. Firstly, I realised that I had run out of ground almonds, which is one of the essential building blocks of macaron shells. So instead of the 50-50 ratio of ground almonds to black sesame powder I was planning to use, I took a gamble and used only the finely ground black sesame seeds. The macaron batter was markedly more fluid than usual when I made it and I honestly thought that they would end up as a flop but they turned out pretty okay surprisingly. More on that later.
The second thing that sent me into panic attack mode was the fact that I couldn't find my piping bags. You just cannot make macarons without piping them. No. Way. But after 5 minutes of frantic rummaging in my junkyard of a storeroom I managed to locate the final two. One for piping the macaron batter and one for piping the filling. I could have collapsed onto the floor in immense relief. I mean, running out of piping bags is a major crisis in my house. Running out of butter is another. And let's not even mention flour.
I think this batch of macaron shells are possibly the most perfect-looking ones I've ever made. But when I removed them from the silicon mats I noticed that they were also much lighter than usual macaron shells. More fragile, essentially. And the filling made them even more prone to breakage.
That aside, I think these macarons are pretty much one of my favorites ever taste-wise. The black sesame flavour was definitely intense and the slightly tangy cream cheese filling and sweet pineapple paste played against each other nicely.
They're too hard to share.
Black Sesame Macarons with Cream Cheese and Pineapple Filling
makes about 18 macarons
If this is your first time making macarons, you may want to check out this tutorial which I found immensely helpful when I was learning how to make them myself!
For the shells:
62g black sesame seeds
72g powdered sugar
pinch of salt
50g egg whites
a pinch of cream of tartar (optional)
For the filling:
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
Combine the black sesame seeds, powdered sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Sift into a bowl.
Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar, if using, in a bowl. Whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy then turn the speed up to medium-high and gradually add the sugar until the meringue reaches stiff peaks.
Add all of the black sesame mixture into the meringue and fold until the batter has the consistency of lava.
Pipe the macaron batter into about one-inch wide rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment or silicon baking mats. Let the macarons sit out for half an hour to an hour, depending on the level of humidity, until the tops feel dry to touch.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 320F. Place the macarons in the oven then lower the temperature to 300F. Bake for about 15 minutes. Let the shells cool completely before removing them from the sheets.
Make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until just combined.
Assemble the macarons: Pipe the cream cheese filling onto one shell, place an adequate amount of pineapple paste in the middle; sandwich with another similarly-sized shell. Refrigerate for at least 1 day before eating.