BLACK SESAME MACARONS

My macaron obsession goes on and on. I would love to bake a batch each weekend, but must keep in mind that even the most understanding departmental colleagues might say enough is enough. Plus, if I only make macarons…  brownies, cakes, and cookies will get jealous. So here I am to share with you a batch I am quite proud of: Black Sesame Macarons. Because, although I’m addicted to colors, we all know that black is beautiful…

 

BLACK SESAME MACARONS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

for the shells:
198 g powdered sugar
100 g almond meal
15 g black sesame powder (or you can grind black sesame seeds to a powder)
113 g egg whites (aged for three days)
1 g or a pinch of cream of tartar
100 g granulated sugar
Black Gel color  (about 1/2 teaspoon, add 1/4 to start and adjust as you mix)
for the filling:
8oz (227g) cream cheese
⅔ cup (134g) brown sugar
1 tsp (5g) vanilla extract
½ cup (122g) heavy whipping cream

Line 2 or 3 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Layer the powdered sugar, almond meal and black sesame powder in a food processor or mini processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal, about 15 seconds. Pass through a sieve and transfer to a small bowl. Set aside.

Place the egg whites and pinch of cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Make sure that the bowl and the whisk are impeccably clean. Starting on medium speed, whip the whites with the cream of tartar until they look like light foam. The whites should not appear liquid. The foam will be light and should not have any structure.

Slowly rain in the granulated sugar, trying to aim the stream between the whisk and the side of the bowl. Turn the speed up to medium-high. Continue to whip the meringue until it is soft and shiny. It should look like marshmallow creme. Add the gel color and the vanilla. Staying at medium-high speed, whip the egg whites until the mixture begins to dull and the lines of the whisk are visible on the surface of the meringue. Transfer the whites to a medium bowl.

Fold in the almond meal mixture in three increments. Paint the mixture halfway up the side of the bowl, using the flat side of a spatula. Scrape the mixture down to the center of the bowl. Repeat two or three times, then check to see if the mixture slides slowly down the side of the bowl. Put the mixture in a piping bag fitted with one of the tips listed above. Pipe on the prepared baking sheets.

Slam each sheet hard four to six times on the counter. Then fist bump each end of the sheet’s underside twice. Let the unbaked macarons dry until they look dull but not overly dry. Drying time depends on humidity. In a dry climate, the macarons can dry in 15 to 20 minutes; in a humid climate, it can take 35 to 40 minutes.

While the macarons are drying, heat the oven to 330 F (170 C). Bake one sheet at a time on the middle rack. Check in 11 minutes. If the tops slide, then bake for 2 to 3 more minutes. The macarons should release without sticking. Check one or two. If they stick, put them back in the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes. Let the macaroons cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Make the filling:Whip the cream in a clean bowl till stiff peaks. In another bowl, whip the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract.   Gently fold in the whipped cream into the bowl until well combined. Reserve.

Assemble the macarons: find two macarons similar in size and add a good amount of filling to the bottom of one of them. Place the other on top and squeeze gently to take the filling all the way to the edge.  Ideally, store in the fridge for 24 hours before digging in…

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

 

Comments:  I am definitely not the first person to bake black macarons. A quick google expedition will show you a few other examples. Some recipes go to extent of using exclusively powdered sesame seeds as you would use almond meal for the shells. I did not want to do that, fearing that the change would be too much of a departure from the classic. So I used a small amount of black sesame powder (15 g in 115 g total seed/nut component). We could definitely taste it in the final product and I thought it was just right. More could have been overpowering.  My intention was to use a white chocolate filling, but I ran into problems and my filling never set enough to use. White chocolate is a temperamental creature. So I quickly whipped up (literally) a vanilla cream cheese filling and used it instead. It complemented well the sesame flavor of the shells, and the slight hint of caramel color given by the brown sugar looked good with the black surrounding it.

I was very happy with the way these turned out. Not a single shell cracked during baking, and the surface was for the most part pretty smooth. Beautiful, well-formed feet, and the black food coloring rose to the challenge. I am almost to the point of trying the Italian  meringue method, but want to tackle this simpler version a few more times. You know, build confidence first before facing the combination of hot syrup with egg whites.

 

I have yet another macaron post for you, shockingly green…  Stay tuned!

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30 thoughts on “BLACK SESAME MACARONS

    • In the French method (which I used), the sugar is added to the egg whites, raining it slowly to incorporate – the Italian meringue adds to the egg whites sugar syrup at a particular exact temperature as you beat them. It is pretty much hell in the form of a hot pan and a Kitchen Aid… BUT the method is supposed to give the most stable meringue and macarons that are near perfect in shape and smoothness. I tried once but had problems, so I’m trying to get real comfortable with this method first. It is however a bit hard to justify changing when things are going well…

      but a challenge is always tempting…

      Liked by 1 person

    • OH, so nice to see you, the Macaron KING! COming from you, this compliment made my day…

      It is true, it’s hard to change when the French method is working so well… as you see, I use more or less the exact recipe you do. Now I must work on some other flavors and fillings… so many options, so much fun….

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Beautiful as always, Sally. Regarding the recipe: “113 g egg whites (aged for three days)”

    Two questions:
    1) The precision in the weight gives me pause. What if it’s 115 or 110 instead of 113 g (i.e. off by 2.7%)? I bought a more precise scale recently only to find that I need a 3000 g calibration weight to do it right. The scale was inexpensive but a 3 kg calibration weight is $$$ – I’ll find another way to calibrate.

    2) How does one age egg whites? Break them in a bowl and then refrigerate (I would assume covered by plastic wrap)?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I doubt a variation of a couple of grams up or down will make much difference. I try to be as precise as possible but do not lose much sleep over it. Heck, even in the lab for certain things I allow a bit of variation. I suppose that a 5% variation will not affect negatively the outcome. I would not push to 10% though.

      as to aging egg whites – place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, poke a hole or two in the wrap – I age mine in the fridge, but some people age them at RT. I remove them to RT the night before making the meringue

      Like

  2. Pingback: Modish Taste | BLACK SESAME MACARONS

  3. Great minds Sally. I also showcased my first attempt at macarons for First Monday Favorites. My goal is to be a professional macaron maker just like you, my friend.

    Like

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