Yesterday I had an epiphany about macarons. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but in my previous post, I wrote that I’d been wondering why 90% of macaron photos I’d seen had filling that could hardly be seen from the outside and I think I may have stumbled upon the reason.
I may be entirely wrong, but it could be because these macaron shells are too soft on the bottom and either collapse under the weight of the filling when the filling is piped on or when they are sandwiched with another shell. This means that even if there’s a load of filling inside, it may not be visible from the outside. Of course, this probably doesn’t apply to ALL macarons with “camera-shy” filling. Some could really just be filled with a small amount of cream/paste.
I experienced this “phenomenon” today with my experimental green tea and mango macaron shells. I’d tweaked my usual recipe a little and the new ratio of dry to wet ingredients didn’t quite work out the way I’d hoped. I prefer my macarons a little firmer on the bottom and not quite so delicate that they collapse when sandwiched or turn soft less than 5 minutes out of the fridge.
But enough about my moment of revelation. This post is really about these new macaron flavours:
Mango Shells with Mango Mousse: The shells had a healthy amount of fruity flavour. The filling was light and ethereal compared to regular buttercream or paste filling. However, I’ve concluded that mousse is too soft a filling for macarons, even though my family liked the combination. The macaron would also have to be consumed within a few hours of being sandwiched, since mousse tends to give off moisture. I think I’ll stick with buttercream blended with mango puree in the future.
Verdict: Mango macarons will be on the menu, but with a further adjustment to the shell recipe and a change in filling.
Green Tea Shells with Chestnut Puree Buttercream Blend: I’d always been hesitant about making green tea macarons, mainly because I’m not a green tea fan. The “herbal” and “earthy” taste of green tea works as a drink for me, but not as a flavouring in cakes or cookies. For these macarons, I used matcha powder, instead of sencha powder. In fact, while I was searching the supermarket shelves for matcha powder, I came across several brands of sencha powder which listed sugar as an ingredient! Apparently, not all powdered green tea are created equal and techically speaking, not all green tea macarons are matcha macarons unless they really contain matcha. But I’m no green tea expert and I digress.
Verdict: The green tea macaron was actually surprisingly good and I really liked the chestnut puree buttercream blend, which helped to cut out some of the green tea’s herbal taste. I’ll definitely make this available, once I get the recipe for the shells right.
Black Sesame Shells with White Sesame Paste: These macarons were my favourite flavour of the day. The colour of the shells were wonderful - grey with flecks of black. They reminded me of smooth granite pebbles. The taste was also deliciously nutty and fragrant.
Verdict: A definite keeper, but I’ll be switching to black sesame for the filling. I found that the white sesame paste sometimes left a slightly bitter aftertaste.