I couldn’t resist trying to bake up another batch of macarons in the kitchen. This time round, it was for friends who were coming to our Singapore food feast. I wanted them to try some of our Asian flavours infused in this little sweet treat so I decided to play around with whatever Asian ingredients I had in the pantry and the refrigerator.
Friends had already tried the Matcha macarons with red bean filling, so I cracked my brains and wondered what else I could do with the leftover Azuki red bean paste. Inspiration came about when I was clearing out the pantry and out dropped this packet of black sesame seeds. Ooh cool I thought, I could use some of these black sesame seeds and incorporate them into the macrons. As for the filling, I had wanted to experiment with mascarpone cheese so what I did to reduce the sweetness of the Azuki red beans was to mix them with the cheese.
Black sesame macarons with Azuki Red Bean Mascarpone
Makes about 14-16 filled bite-sized macarons
For Macaron Batter
- 1 egg white (preferably aged for 3 days) brought to room temperature
- A pinch of egg white powder (I used Dr Oetker Egg White Powder purchased in London)
- 38g icing sugar
- 36g powdered almonds
- 30g granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons of black sesame seeds
- Line baking tray with 2 pieces of parchment paper.
- Roast black sesame seeds on hot pan till fragrant. Remove sesames seeds, set aside and let it cool. Thereafter, blitz the roasted black sesame seeds in a food processor.
- Sift powdered sugar with the almond flour to ensure that there are no lumps. Put sifted mix with powdered black sesame powder.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white until they begin to foam. At this stage, add the pinch of egg white powder and the granulated sugar gradually. Continue beating until very stiff and firm. When you invert the bowl, the egg white batter has to stay put. That’s the time you know when you should stop. I decided to play it safe and whisked the egg white batter for about 5 minutes before stiff peaks were formed. Add colouring. Continue to beat the egg whites on high for another 1-2 minutes.
- Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in 3 batches, into the beaten egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula (ideally). Stop folding when the mixture is smooth and there are no streaks of egg white. I used about 40 strokes to incorporate the dry mixture into the egg whites. Scrape the batter into the pastry bag (standing the bag in a tall glass helps if you’re alone).
- Pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1-inch circles, evenly spaced one-inch (3 cm) apart.
- Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons and to remove the air-bubbles in the macarons. Sprinkle black sesame seeds on top of macaron shells.
- Leave the macarons out in the open for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This step is important to allow the top of the macaron shells to dry up so that you get a smooth surface for the macarons. You will know when to pop the macarons into the oven when you touch the macarons and the batter does not stick to your fingers. Be careful not to leave them out too much for it will give you crunchy macarons and you don’t want that. This step is important and if you skip it, your macarons might flatten . While waiting, preheat oven to 140 degrees C.
- Bake for 15 mins and let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
For Azuki Red Bean Mascarpone filling
- 2 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese
- 2-3 teaspoons of Azuki Red Bean paste (I got this from Daiso Singapore)
- Mix well Azuki Red Bean paste with mascarpone cheese.
- Remove mix and leave it the refrigerator to be chilled.
- Spread Azuki Red Bean Mascarpone on macaron shell.
- Sandwich and you are done!
It’s recommended that you let the flavours sit inside the macaron for 1 day before having them.
Verdict? These macarons tasted pretty good for friends enjoyed them very much. The sweetness of the Azuki Red Bean paste was greatly reduced thanks to the mascarpone cheese and both flavours complemented each other very well. As for the black sesame macaron shells, I probably need to increase the amount of sesame seeds used for the flavour didn’t quite come out as strong as I had imagined it to be.
I’ve been busy in the kitchen… Click here to check out my baking adventures in Geneva.