Vanilla bean French macarons with matcha white chocolate filling
I’m in a complicated relationship with French macarons. On the one hand, I love their taste and cute, sophisticated, effortlessly chic look. On the other hand, they are challenging to make, at least for me, which is why they’re not my favorite dessert. It’s not the number of steps involved, I’ve had far more complicated recipes (sourdough bread, anyone?). There is just so much that can go wrong! The first time I tried my hand at them, a few years ago, I was young and naïve and failed miserably. My macarons were deflated, sad-looking and were not even edible. My pride was shattered. I was so disappointed that I had not attempted ever since.
Somehow, I had to try again. I had the perfect excuse: using tea as an ingredient. My dear friend Melena had the solution for me, a foolproof method! I gathered my courage… and the results were good! Still not perfect, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the macaron queen just yet, I still need to hone my skills but my macarons were really delicious. Matcha + white chocolate is one of my favorite flavor combinations. Oh, and with Valentine’s Day approaching, how about a baking project that will make you and your other half happy? If it’s your first time with macarons, I suggest you take some time to research the technique because it’s not straightforward. Did I mention that there is so much that can go wrong?
INGREDIENTS (recipes yields approximately 38 shells)
3 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ cup (50 g) white sugar
2 cups (200 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (120 g) almond flour
pinch of salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
4 ounces (113 gr) white chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons matcha (I used this by Yunomi)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, diced
Well-executed macarons have feet. That ruffled edge, their signature feature. Nevertheless, I don’t think they are going to stand up, run around your kitchen or jump for joy because you made it! So, don’t get your hopes up.
Beat egg whites until foamy, then add salt, cream of tartar and white sugar. Whip until they form a peak on the whisk that stands upright. Sift almond flour and powdered sugar. Discard larger almond pieces. If necessary, grind mixture in a food processor to get a really fine powder. I didn’t, which resulted in a slightly uneven texture on top of some macarons, I suspect.
Fold almond and sugar mixture into the egg white mixture with a spatula. It’s important to know when to stop folding, no under mixing, no over mixing. Easier said than done! Experience here is key. The recipe I’ve adapted here suggested 65-75 turns of your spatula but I haven’t counted (and maybe I should have). Transfer batter to a pastry bag.
Pipe out 1 inch (2.5 cm) rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tap the pan at least 2-3 times to release air bubbles. Let macarons sit out for 30 mins or up to an hour. When they dry out they can't spread out in the oven, and are forced to rise up. While the cookies rest, preheat oven to 300 F / 150 C. Bake for 20 minutes.
While the macaron shells cool, mix the filling. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl. Sprinkle with matcha and set aside. Gently heat the cream over medium heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 30 seconds. Add the butter and whisk until smooth. Let cool until thick. It might need to be refrigerated for a few hours. Transfer to a pastry bag. Reverse cookie shells on their backs, and pipe the filling on one of them. Sandwich cookies together. Dust with matcha before serving. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!
Recipe for the macarons adapted from here.
Recipe for the filling adapted from here.
Disclaimer: matcha tea sample provided by Yunomi. I am not affiliated with Yunomi nor with the manufacturer of this product.