MOTO vs. Ladurée: Black Sesame + Kinako Macarons
I know, I know, I have to revisit the Flødeboller Battle, but it takes too much effort so I diverted to macarons this week. You may be sick of how I keep praising myself for making perfect macarons, but if you know the precision it takes for macaron-making, you will all agree that I rightfully deserve to write about this over and over.
Since many people asked for different cream variations of the original macaron, I thought about options, and found out that you can make macarons with many other flours (ground nuts, basically). I found this at the Japanese grocery store. This is black sesame and kinako powder (ground soy) mixed together.
I thought the nuttiness from both the sesame and kinako would make an interesting twist on this French sweet. Come to think of it, I know Pierre Hermés has some kind weird wasabi macaron at his shop, so this variation isn't totally crazy.
4 egg whites
1/4 cup of sugar (used for meringue)
275g powdered sugar
70g almond flour
70g black sesame soy flour
As usual, the egg whites sat on the kitchen counter for two days prior to making it. I'm reading that by letting the egg whites rest for longer allows the water to evaporate so that the concentration of the egg protein produces a stiffer meringue, which means a shinier macaron. Does this make sense?
Instead of the usual 140 grams of almond flour, I used 70 grams of it, and used 70 grams of black sesame soy flour. You can see bits of black sesame in the batter. Please refer to the Matcha Macaron post on my perfected method to make the batter.
For the cream filling, I came up with a brilliant idea. Since the shell includes kinako, why not use the same into the cream as well? The cream mixture is pretty simple and let me tell you, BRILLIANT.
1 cup of mascarpone cheese
4 tbps of kinako (ground soy, you can find at any Japanese grocery store)
3 tbsp of honey
Since mascarpone is a lot subtler compared to cream cheese (who calls it Italian cream cheese?) , the cream has a really smooth texture, yet very nice nutty flavor from soy and honey adds a slight sweetness, but not too sweet. As you can see from the recipe for the shell, it uses a lot of sugar, so you always want to be a little careful about how much sugar you use in the cream.
The sesame flavor of the outer shell, plus the kinako cream creates a nutty, elegant Asian twist.
Since I am making my macarons smaller and more bite-sized ones these days, I made almost 60 macarons for this batch. At the store, macarons are around $2 a piece, times 60 is, holy shit, $120! Margins for macaron are pretty high. Yeah, they are hard to make, but macarons could be one of the highest-grossing desserts out there.
I nicely added my label to a box and carefully laid out 35 of them (retail value $70).
I had an empty box of Laduree macarons, and I stuffed them with my own creation.
With this professional look and flavor, I think it's now legal for me to put my own label on top of Ladurée logo.
On a side note, I was invited to a birthday party Saturday, so I made pink macarons for him. The pink is just a touch of red food coloring, and the filling is cream cheese, melted white chocolate, and a little bit of custard that I had leftover from making apple and custard pie the other day.
As I said, recipes for macarons are limitless. I am sure I can come up with hundreds of different flavors.