Wednesday 31 October 2007


black sesame macarons with black sesame buttercream filling

Now that my battle with the various macaron recipes is over, I can relax and enjoy experimenting with the different flavour combinations one can achieve with these little sandwich cookies. I've got the "macaron bug" and I'm trying different flavours with my trusty basic macaron recipe. I'm starting to get the feel of making these cookies and it's getting easier with every batch I make. This is heartening because initially, they can seem quite aggravating and temperamental if you do not have a solid recipe from which to work. macarons waiting for the oven to heat up

I purchased a sesame seed grinder at Daiso for $2 (what else? everything's $2!) and used it to grind the black sesame seeds. It was a cinch. The recipe went together smoothly and quickly and I didn't even have to wait hours for a skin to form. In fact, I threw caution to the wind and I put the macarons in with a tacky skin! Daredevil, eh?
macarons, straight from the oven
After dickering with a whole bunch of different techniques, I was able to finally arrive at a combination of techniques which allowed me to make macarons at ease and as quickly as possible. This was so great because I didn't have to "age" my egg whites, I used commercially ground almonds, I didn't use a sugar syrup, and I didn't wait for skins to form on the macarons. I'm now able to get macarons, with "feet", smooth tops with no cracks and a delicate shell exterior and tender and every-so-slightly chewy interior. They taste fantastic and I'm getting consistent results. I mean, why wait hours for egg whites to age? I used them at room temperature, but that's the only concession I made. I even cheated a bit by heating the whites over a bowl of warm water. The egg-whites couldn't tell that I didn't take them out hours ahead of time. Geesh!
the macarons created feet! (without even having to wait hours for a skin to form: bonus!)

I would say that the macarons, complete with the buttercream, were a tad too sweet for my liking. I generally don't like things as sweet as this. That being said, they were still addictive and I couldn't stop myself from wanting to pop more of them in my mouth. They kind of just melt in your mouth so quickly. Next time, I will doctor the buttercream by reducing the sugar. The shells themselves were not too sweet. They were just right.

My next experiment will be raspberry and white chocolate macarons

please see here for my recipe


Anonymous said...

Hey! Your macarons look so nice! Could u post your recipe or maybe email it to me at, I really want to give it another shot, though the one made using the italian meringue method turned out lopsided again. sigh

Cakebrain said...

Hi Felicia,
Sure, I used the Pistachio Macaron recipe and played around with it. It's pretty forgiving. I'll give you the proportions as soon as I can. Don't give up!

Helene said...

Isn't it just fun when there's that click of "I get it" with the batter and then your mind start running wild with crazy experiment ideas?!

Cakebrain said...

Hi Tartelette,
Your food blog is a treasure. Thanks for putting the passion and fun into experimenting with and sharing recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I made this recipe a week ago and it was a came out good....I am wondering...would there be a difference if unsalted almonds are substituted for salted ones because I accidentally bought the salted ones yesterday so I am not sure if it will change the you know if there is any way to unsalt them?

Cakebrain said...

Hey anonymous, I'm thinking you meant to say "if salted almonds were substituted for unsalted almonds" right? If I were you, I'd use the salted almonds for my recipe for Salty Almond Chocolate Chunk cookies instead and go out and buy blanched whole almonds (which usually come unsalted anyway...I have never seen them salted). I guess you could try rinsing them under water in a sieve, then rubbing them dry and then roasting them lightly to dry out in the oven but that seems a bit much work. Plus, if you don't dry them out enough, the nuts might prove to be too moist for the batter. I wouldn't chance it. Macarons are finicky. Do your almonds have the skins on too? because often salted almonds have the skins on...not my favourite things in macarons.

Anonymous said...

Thanks...i guess i will just buy another batch of almonds (unsalted)....thanks again...i really like your raspberry macarons...did you just take out the ground black sesame for this one?...sorry i couldn't find the recipe on your blog...maybe you did put it somewhere but i couldn't find it....:)...Thanks

Cakebrain said...

in response to your question about the raspberry macarons: yes, just replace the black sesame with ground almonds. As long as the total weight of your ground nuts mixture is equal to the total amount of the sesame/nut mixture, you're fine. You can experiment with other nut combinations too. You can't just omit the sesame without adding ground almonds because otherwise your mixture will be too wet.

Peabody said...

They turned out great.

Lady Macaron said...

hi!! thank you for posting this flavour, i got inspired! i actually used the italian method to bake my macarons since my oven is very temperamental and everytime i used the french method the macarons always turned out too burnt...anyway i love your macarons!


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