June 12, 2010

Mactweets Mac Attack 8 Challenge! - Black & White Sesame Macarons

 After missing the last few rounds of Mac Attack challenges, I am finally back! Thanks to Jamie of Lifesafeast, who reminded me this month's challenge was due this week when I met her at last weekend's Food Bloggers Connect (more on that soon I promise!), I am back with a vengeance!

This month's theme is "Take A Walk on The Wild Side", macarons inspired by Africa and the safari. The first thing that sprung to my mind when I thought about the theme was zebras. Don't ask me why but somehow that's the first animal that popped up in my head :) And since this month the World Cup kicks off in South Africa, I thought I'd make black & white macarons, inspired by both zebras and footballs! Other than the colours, I picked sesame as a flavour as it comes both in black and white variations and I love black sesame anything.

I made the shells using the tried and trusted recipe adapted from Cannelle et Vanille's basic recipe,
colouring half the shells with black colouring (though it didn't really come out very black) and left the other half au naturel. While they were drying, I sprinkled some black sesame seeds on the white shells and white sesame seeds on the dark shells. As for the filling, I whipped up a creme chantilly and flavoured it with black sesame paste (see recipe below).

May 21, 2010

Macaron Shells (makes about 50-54 shells)
recipe adapted from Cannelle & Vanille

100g egg whites, aged
3g egg white powder
130g almond flour (blitz in food processor to get a finer texture)
160g icing sugar
55g castor sugar
black gel food colouring (according to how dark you want it, I put about 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds

Sift icing sugar and processed almond flour together in a bowl. Set aside.

Mix egg whites with egg white powder and whisk in electric mixer until soft peaks on medium high speed.

Lower speed on electric mixer and add in castor sugar slowly while still whisking until fully incorporated. Continue whisking on medium high speed until your egg white meringue mixture reaches stiff peak stage.

Fold in 1/3 of dry ingredients (icing sugar + almond flour) into meringue with a spatula gently. Add in 1/3 more and fold again before mixing in the last 1/3 of the dry ingredients. Make sure all dry ingredients are incorporated into the meringue and start folding mixture more vigorously to form a shiny batter with the consistency of flowing magma or drips down like ribbons when you lift the batter up and let it drip down, and it should slowly disappear into itself without leaving a peak. Be careful not to over mix. If you are adding colour, add it just after all dry ingredients have been incorporated and before working the mixture into a shiny mass.

Line 2 baking trays with non-stick parchment paper (or silpat). You can stick it down with bits of batter in the four corners.

Fill a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round tip with the batter, and pipe even rounds of batter, about 3cm across, onto the tray. If you've mixed the batter properly, it should not spread flatly out too much (overmixed) or leave a peak (undermixed). Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of shells.

Let the batter dry for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 170 deg C (convection oven or 180 dec C if conventional oven).

When batter is dry to touch (it forms a slight crust), turn the oven down to 140 deg C (or 150 deg C for conventional oven) and bake shells for 14-15 min, turning the trays halfway through baking.

After baking, lift parchment onto wire rack to let shells cool and gently unmould when cool.

Black Sesame Cream Filling

200ml whipping cream
20g icing sugar
20g black sesame paste (available from japanese grocery stores)

Whisk whipping cream in electric mixer on medium high speed until almost stiff, taking care not to overwhip.

Sift icing sugar over whipped cream and continue whisking to incorporate, until cream is stiff.

Fold in black sesame paste with a spatula until evenly incorporated.

Fill cream into piping bag fitted with 1cm round tip.

Assembly

Match pairs of shells of even size.

Pipe a small mound of cream filling onto one half of each pair of shells.

Top with the other shell.


So there you go, my entry for Mac Attack 8!

Also wanted to share some other pictures I took the other day when the girls came over for a girly sleepover. I was very inspired by the flowers I saw on my way home, and spent wayyyy too much than my usual flower budget on many different types of flowers. Arranged them into several different designs and decorated the house with them. We also went to Borough Market and bought saucisson, cheese and fruits for a pre-dinner snack, accompanied by some lovely Gewurztraminer. I do miss doing flowers, really need to practice more often, though it's not a cheap hobby!

May 21, 20101

18 comments:

Bonnie said...

Your macarons are beautiful in their simplicity. I have never tasted black sesame paste. I will have to try it. I am also anxious to try Canelle et Vanille's macaron recipe. It's new to me to.

TeenieCakes said...

Your macs turned out beautifully and very nice delicate colors. Lovely photography!
~Cristina

Françoise @ Chocoparis said...

These are beautiful! The sesame seeds are lovely finishing touch and the black sesame cream sounds wonderful!

Lora said...

I think your macarons are chic. Lovely job.

Gemma said...

Beautiful! I have never tried to make macarons. One day...

thepleasuremonger said...

I made macarons recently with Canelle et Vanille's recipe too, but oh gosh, they are nowhere as pretty as yours. *kowtow*

and the floral arrangements are sooooo beautiful! you've really got great talent. keep it up!

Deeba PAB said...

What an absolutely gorgeous post ... feet that exist only in my whimsical dreams! Your styling is beautiful too! Thank you for brining your talent and creativity to MacTweets!

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Cristie said...

Your macarons are beautiful. I love the two tone colors. Your pictures of flowers and mac's are stunning!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Such a pretty post, these pictures and your blog look so delicate. I'm not sure we managed to talk at FBC last weekend but I'm very glad to be have been introducted to your blog because of it.

Ms McGarves said...

Hi Eunice - I love your attachment to 'all things floral' - such a nice hobby, and when I read your words I really get a feel for how much flowers make you swoon!! Loving the Macarons as well - Ive been too scared to try making them... but you've made it sound so easy I'm going to give it a bash!! Will report back with results!!

heavenwildfleur said...

thanks for the encouragement and lovely comments! i'm thrilled to know that some of you will attempt macarons too! let me know if you need any help, more than willing to share my trials and tribulations :) lovely to meet the FBC-ers here too!

Jamie said...

Gorgeous! And wow they are so stunning and perfect! And I am so intrigued by the black sesame flavors. Could I try one? I am so glad I pushed you to join us again because boy do you make us proud! But seeing how perfect your macs are they must be so easy for you which alleviates my guilt about pushing you to bake them! Fabulous fabulous meeting you in person at FBC and can't wait for your post about it!

The Cooking Ninja said...

Wonderful to have met you at FBC. Who knows we need to cross the sea to meet each other when we are both from the little red dot. LOL! Your photos are fabulous. Wish I can take pics like u.

芸茂 said...

與朋友在一起,分擔的痛苦是減半的痛苦,分享的快樂是加倍的快樂。 ............................................................

Jeanne said...

Oh, I LOVE those macs! Not to mention the platter with the figs... Drooling now :)

heavenwildfleur said...

Thanks for the lovely comments! I'm looking forward to the next challenge.. still thinking what I should make!

sunita said...

What gorgeous macs, love the sesame touch; I've added sesame to my macs once, but in the batter itself.

Your styling is beautiful.

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