I've been neglecting this pastry journal of ours for a long while, but at last I'm bringing it to life again.
The last few months have been busy and lazy in the same time. We visited my sister in France but this wasn't the usual trip to Paris since she moved to a small village near La Rochelle.
Although I do missed Paris and all the rumpus there I found the sojourn extremely relaxing and quite charming.
What a shame, the region was really lacking good patisseries, but there were other goodies that more than made up for this nuisance.
The markets in La Rochelle were exuberant with oysters, greatly appreciated by Ivan who even bought an oyster knife and became impressively proficient in using it. We devoted ourselves to decadent delights such as wine, pineau des Charentes, cognac, walks in the fields, wandering about the small paths between the villages, kisses in the rain...
It was autumn but the pastures and fields were so green and vivid, just like these macarons.
Although a typically French treats these macarons have somewhat of a Japanese sound.
Matcha Macarons with Shiro-an – Kuro Goma Filling Recipe:
- 35 gr egg whites;
- 95 gr almond meal;
- 95 gr confectioner's sugar;
- 8 gr matcha tea powder;
- 35 gr egg whites;
- 95 gr granulated sugar;
- 30 gr water.
Make the Italian meringue. In a saucepan combine water and granulated sugar and bring to a boil. When the syrup reaches 115ºC, in a separate bowl, start beating the second portion of egg whites to soft peaks. Once the syrup reaches 118ºC, pour it slowly on to the whites, beating all the time. Keep beating till the mixture cools to 50ºC. Remove the beaters.
Fold the Italian meringue into the confectioners' sugar-ground almonds-egg whites mixture.
Line 2 baking sheets with silpat. I prefer silpat to paper regarding the end result – I find that macarons baked on silpat have better feet, but this is only according to my humble opinion.
Pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip (we use № 7) and pipe about 3 cm large rounds leaving 2cm space between them. Tap the pan on the counter several times to bring up any air bubbles.
Let the macarons rest to form a skin. At the end they should not be tacky on touch.
Preheat the oven to 160º C. Bake for around 13 - 14 minutes. During baking quickly open and shut the oven door twice to let the steam escape.
Remove from the silpat and let cool on a wire rack. Store the shells in an airtight container.
For the White Bean – Black Sesame Paste Filling:
- 60 gr kuro goma (black sesame) paste;
- 100 gr unsweetened shiro-an (white bean paste)*:
- 25 gr butter, room temperature;
- 15 gr honey.
* I find the shiro-an (white bean paste) too sweet, so I made it myself. I soaked lima beans in water for 12 hours, then boiled them till soft, drained the water, peeled the beans and discarded the skins. Then I passed the beans through a mesh strainer and that was it.
However, on the Wagashi Maniac blog there is a wonderful article and recipe regarding the making of shiro-an.