I never had macarons before and I always want to make them because they look so very cute, colourful, delicate, and delicious! So when I saw this book, I <3 macarons by Hisako Ogita, in the library (not for studying finally!) during my Christmas break in Ottawa, I had to get it. It has detailed instructions including step-by-step pictures plus tips for how to make macarons.  Chocolate, pistachio, cinnamon, caramel…with different fillings like chestnut cream, coffee cream, and honey cream. They even had red bean paste macarons with matcha green tea powder (you know I am a sucker for red bean paste XD). Since I didn’t have matcha powder, I decided using sesame powder instead. Sesame and red bean paste is always one of my favourite combination!
Macarons are so fun to make! The three main ingredients are powdered sugar (icing sugar), almond meal, and egg whites. I didn’t have almond meal so I grounded up my own almonds and sifted through the strainer to get all the bigger chunks out. The book said to use powdered sugar without cornstarch because the macarons may crack; however I couldn’t find any but thankfully it didn’t crack!
Because I made these at night…due to bad lighting…I couldn’t take good process pictures. So hope you enjoy the finished product!

Sesame Macarons (Recipe from I <3 Macarons)

Ingredients: 


For the macaron batter:

2 tablespoons of black sesame powder
2/3 cup of ground almonds
1 ½ cup of icing sugar
3 large egg whites at room temperature
5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the filling:
Red bean paste (I also added a bit of the black sesame powder and ground almonds to this to make it less sweet)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, ground almonds and icing sugar and black sesame powder together to a fine powder. Sift the mixture through medium-mesh sieve twice and leave it in the fridge while you prepare for the egg whites
  2. In the stainless steel mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until they are foamy. Gradually add in the granulated sugar to egg whites. Beat on high speed until they reach soft peaks. Add in vanilla and stir lightly. Continue to beat until they reach stiff and glossy peaks.
  3. Add half of the sifted flour mixture into the beaten egg whites. Stir with spatula while scooping it up from the bottom of the bowl. Add rest of the flour and mix lightly in a circular motion until you run out of flour at the bottom of the bowl. 
  4. Spread out batter against side of the bowl and scoop the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down. Repeat this for 15 times. This step is called macaronnage, if it’s repeated less than 10 steps the baked macarons will lack luster, if it’s repeated more than 20 times, oil stains will remain on surface of the macarons. Mixing is done when the batter becomes firm and drips slowly as you scoop it with a spatula.
  5. Use 0.4 inch tip for the pastry bag and fill the pastry bag with the batter (I didn’t bring my piping set to Ottawa, so I had to be ghetto and use Ziplock bags with the corner cut). Place parchment paper on the baking sheet and pipe the batter onto the baking sheet (Note: batter will spread out after being squeezed).
  6. Gently tap the baking sheet against the counter. This will help the macarons hold their rounded shape and the pied (foot) to form!
  7. Dry batter at room temperature uncovered for 15-30 minutes. The batter should look like it formed a slight crust and should not stick to your finger when you touch them. 
  8. Preheat oven at 375 degrees. Put the baking sheet with the batter onto another baking sheet to prevent the bottom of macarons from getting over baked. Put them into oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. (I lowered my oven temperature to 350 degrees F because my macarons started to brown on top! =( probably because my oven was too hot?) 
  9. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack. When cooled, spread red bean paste mixture on the flat side of the macaroon puff and put another macaron puff on top and voila!

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