Week 131: Macaron Imagine

My book shelves are full, but after I skimmed through Pierre Hermé’s new Macaron book, I knew I just have to buy it. (It’s now sitting on my ironing board.)

The one recipe that really stood out is this. I have always loved the matcha and black sesame combination. And to see Pierre Hermé’s version is truly inspiring.

Makes 20 to 25 macarons

For the macaron shells

75g ground almonds

75g icing sugar

26g egg whites


75g caster sugar

10g mineral water

27g egg whites

Leaf green oil-based coloring

Black sesame seeds, for garnish

1) Grind the icing sugar and ground almonds together in a food processor for approximately 5 minutes, scrapping the mixture halfway through to ensure they are finely ground. Sift the mixture into a large bowl.

2) Pour first portion of egg whites over the icing sugar-almond mixture but do not stir.

3) Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the second portion of egg whites to soft peak. When the sugar reaches 118C, turn the mixer speed to low and pour the syrup in a thin stream down the side of the mixing bowl, without letting it hit the whisk. Turn the mixer speed back on high and continue to whisk and allow to cool down to body temperature.

4) Scrap the meringue into the almond-sugar mixture and lightly fold the mixture.

5) Split into 2 equal portions, then, add some leaf green oil-based coloring into one portion.

6) Fold each portion further until the mixture is glossy and flows like lava.

7) Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5 cm in diameter, spacing them 2 cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Rap the trays on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth.

6) Sprinkle black sesame seeds onto the non-colored piped shells.

7) Leave the shells to stand for at least 60 minutes until they form a skin and do not stick to the finger.

8) Preheat convection oven (bottom heat only) to 180C, then put the trays into the oven. Bake for 3 minutes, then, without opening, turn down the heat to 120C and bake for another 15 minutes. Shells are ready when they can be easily lifted from the baking parchment.

For the black sesame crunch

25g white chocolate couverture

5g cocoa butter

10g unsalted butter

80g black sesame paste

10g almond paste

10g black sesame seeds

30g puffed rice, preferably Kellogg’s Rice Krispies

1) Melt the white chocolate couverture and cocoa butter over a bain-marie.

2) Add the black sesame paste and almond paste and stir to combine.

3) Carefully stir in the sesame seeds and puffed rice.

4) Scrap mixture into a baking tray lined with cling wrap spread to about 2mm.

5) Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

6) Remove from refrigerator and peel off the cling wrap. Cut into squares of approximately 1.5cm. Place in container and freeze.

For the matcha cream

125g white chocolate

138g heavy cream

10g matcha powder

1) Melt the white chocolate in a bain-marie.

2) In a saucepan, bring the cream to a light boil.

3) Let it cool to 60C, then stir in the matcha powder until completely dissolved.

4) Pour the matcha cream into white chocolate in thirds, stirring to incorporate after each addition.

5) Blend using a hand blender until smooth.

6) Pour matcha cream into a bowl and cover with cling wrap pressed onto its surface. Refrigerate for 4 hours until the cream has developed a creamy consistency.

To assemble

1) Transfer prepared matcha cream into a piping bag.

2) Pipe a generous dollop of matcha cream onto green macaron shells.

3) Press a black sesame crunch square onto the piped cream.

4) Top the square with a dab of cream.

5) Cover with a white macaron shell.

I am a little out of practice. But thankfully they turned out okay-ish. And I love how the white chocolate is balanced by the bitterness of matcha. And that crunchiness of rice krispees covered with black sesame paste made these macarons super special.


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