Time to try a new macaron flavour. There’s one that has been lingering at the back of my mind, and I’ve not had the opportunity to make it. With Mother’s day coming around this Sunday, I think it is perfectly timed for me to make a black sesame macaron paired with a mascarpone and red bean filling. This is for my mum who cannot resist anything red bean. I love you mum! (these won’t survive the postal service so you will just have to wait till our trip home later!) Happy Mother’s Day!
Macarons shell ingredients
150 g icing sugar
100 g almond meal
50 g ground roasted black sesame seeds
110 g egg whites
150 g caster sugar
38 ml water
A tiny glop of black colouring paste, if you wish to add colour to the shell
Making macarons shells
Roast black sesame seeds in a heavy-base pan over a low-medium heat until they are aromatic. They will start to pop. Shake the pan regularly to ensure the seeds don’t get burnt.
Grind roasted sesame seeds in a powerful nut processor until they are finely grounded. I dug out my magic bullet and gave it 15 seconds of blitzing and there I have a bowl of black sesame seed meal. It was so easy I couldn’t believe I didn’t think of it before.
Put the first lot of egg whites into your stand mixer.
Clip the sugar thermometer according to manufacturer’s instructions to a milk saucepan, put the water and caster sugar in and dissolve the sugar over a low heat. Some recipes say you should stir this gently – I’ve found that so long as I didn’t splash the sugar around, I won’t even have to stir. Use a clean pastry brush to brush down the side of the saucepan to avoid any crystallization if the liquid splashes up. Increase the heat.
To make blackish-coloured shells, I added the colouring paste to my Italian meringue. The amount depends on the strength of your gel, what depth of colour you desire and how it mixes with other ingredients. Practice is the only way to test it out. I scrapped tiny balls out using a tooth pick.
Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 70°C. You should monitor your sugar thermometer, and as it reaches this temperature, add the meringue powder to the egg whites and whisk in medium until it becomes frothy.
Once the sugar syrup has reached 118°C (soft ball stage), take the saucepan off the heat, decrease the mixer speed to medium and slowly trickle the sugar syrup in, down the side of the bowl. (Be warned not to get the syrup onto the whisk as you will then have spun sugar.) Increase speed to high and whisk until the bowl is warm to touch, about 8 minutes.
Add the extra egg white to the almond meal mix, then add the meringue and use a large spatula to thoroughly combine it. Continue mixing the mixture to soften the meringue. Don’t be afraid to slap the mixture down.To achieve “macaronnage”, I mixed the batter about 18 times. Don’t over do this.
I fan-baked them at 125°C, for 16 minutes. After a few minutes in the oven, I could see them rising nicely.
Once out of the oven, the macarons were left for 2 minutes on its trays before I checked them. They peeled off the baking paper quite easily. I then slid the whole sheet off the baking sheet onto my cool marble counter top. This causes a thermal shock and will make it even easier to peel off.
I paired these with a mascarpone cheese and red bean filling.
Azuki red bean filling Ingredients:
5 tbsp mascarpone Cheese
3 tbsp azuki red bean paste
Mix the mascarpone cheese and azuki bean paste together. Chill while your shells are baking. When the shells are cooled, spread the filling onto the macaron shells.
These need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the ganache to flavour the shells, so don’t eat it yet! I have not tried freezing these so cannot comment on that. However I’m sure my friends will gladly polish these off for me so that they won’t have a chance to go near the freezer!