kiss my matcha

by hungryrabbit on January 25, 2011

Matcha Macarons w Bittersweet Ganache

One of the reasons I love participating in Mactweets is to turn desserts into a compact variation in the form of a French macaron. Most of the time the challenge is more about the theme and flavor profile not the actual dessert. Nevertheless, I’ve converted Pumpkin Mousse Tartettes and Cremisicles into macarons. The great thing about macarons is that just about anything is possible.

During my recent trip to Asia, I discovered these magical little morsels in a store called Melty Kisses. They are chocolate covered matcha (green tea) ganache that you can pop into your mouth like over-sized Tic-Tacs. I’ve always had a soft spot for the taste and color of matcha, but I realized that I’ve never used it as an ingredient in a macaron.

For this month’s Mac Attack #15: Macinspirational, we are to either combine macarons in desserts or turn our favorite desserts into macarons. (I know these Melty Kisses are not exactly dessert per se, but if I eat an entire box of them, they’ll add up to more than a slice of cake in terms of caloric content and everything else.) Matcha Macarons w Bittersweet Ganache are bite-size confections that take the original inspiration to a new dimension, if not a new continent.

Matcha Macarons

recipe by hungryrabbitnyc, 2011
make 32-35 macarons 

 

2/3 cups (3 oz) ground almonds
1-1/2 cups (5 1/4 oz) confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons matcha powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 teaspoon meringue powder (optional)
3-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Prepare baking sheet and template: Using two half-sheet baking pan, fit each pan with a sheet of parchment. Use either a circle template or the wide end of a pastry tip, draw 1-1/8 inch-diameter circles on the papers, spacing them at least 3/4 inch apart. (I get 35 circles per sheet). Set aside.

2. Attach an Ateco #804 or #806 tip to a pastry bag. Twist the bag to hold the tip tightly. This prevents the batter from leaking out. Place the pastry bag, tip down, inside a measure cup or any container that will hold the pastry bag vertically. Set aside.

3. Grind almonds confectioner’s sugar, matcha powder and salt in food processor until powdery, about 30 sec. Sift almond mixture through a medium-mesh sieve. Set aside.

4. Add egg whites and meringue powder (if use) into the bowl of a hand mixer or a standing mixer with whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 45 seconds to break up the whites. Increase speed to medium high and beat until foamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until meringue holds stiff, glossy peaks, about 1 minute.

5. Reduce speed to low, add food coloring and vanilla extract to just combine. Remove bowl to a work surface. Using a silicon spatula, fold in half of the sifted almond mixture with a circular motion (scooping from bottom of bowl) until just incorporated. Fold in the rest of the almond mixture with same motion. (Meringue will deflate slightly.)

6. Press and spread out the batter against the side of the bowl. Scoop the batter from the bottom and turn it upside down. Repeat this process about 12 times. This is what the french refers to as ‘Macaronnage’. This technique gives the baked macarons a luster. Be careful not to do it too many times, or you might get oil stains on the surface of your baked macarons, not so pretty.

7. Pour batter into prepared pastry bag, twist or clip to close.

8. Pipe the batter onto the center of the circles. Batter will spread out after it’s piped. (You’ll get the hang of it once you’ve piped a few.) Rap the baking sheet firmly on the counter. This will help the macarons to hold the rounded shape and pied (little foot) to formed.

9. Adjust oven racks to middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350°F.

10. Dry the batter at room temperature, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes. A slight crust should form on top of the macarons. (This might take longer on rainy or humid days). The batter is ready if it doesn’t stick to your finger when you touch it gently.

Place one baking sheet in middle rack and immediately reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Bake macarons for 8 minutes. Rotate baking sheet, front to back and place it on rack in lower-middle position. Continue to bake for another 8-10 minutes, until crisp and interior does not give easily when gently pressed. (Check macarons around 16 minutes into baking to make sure they don’t brown. You can place a piece of foil or parchment on top at this point to prevent top from browning. When done, move baking sheet from the oven and cool on wire rack. (Residual heat from baking sheet will harden bottoms), about 30 minutes. Loosen macarons gently from parchment with offset spatula (they will be fragile).

Chocolate Ganaché Filling

make 1 cup 

 

1 ounce heavy cream
1/4  teaspoon corn syrup
Pinch of table salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Canton/Ginger Liquor (optional)

1. In a small saucepan combine the corn syrup and heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and add espresso powder, whisk to combine.

2. Add chocolate, whisk until smooth. remove from heat and stir in vanilla and Canton (if use). Let ganache firm up and cool completely at room temperature, about 30 minutes.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

ladyironchef January 25, 2011 at 7:19 am

“The great thing about macarons is that just about anything is possible.” TOTALLY AGREE!

I love macarons! heh please experiment with more “special” flavours :D

Chris January 25, 2011 at 7:22 am

Ken, how inspiring! I love your interpretation of the Melty Kisses. Beautiful.

Brian @ A Thought For Food January 25, 2011 at 7:31 am

I love what you chose as your inspiration for this macaron. And it looks like it came out great!

RJ Flamingo January 25, 2011 at 7:34 am

Bookmarked this! You make me want to get back to MacTweets again. :-)

Heather January 25, 2011 at 7:51 am

They are PERFECT. Wish I had one!

SMITH BITES January 25, 2011 at 8:09 am

not sure i’ll ever, ever try to make macarons but i sure do love seeing your talent and creativity when it comes to these beauties!! stunning colors and a classic flavor combo!

foodwanderings January 25, 2011 at 9:18 am

You are brilliant my friend the thought process and how it all came around. Good that you snapped pics of the melty kiss against the macaron to illustrate your thought process. Always thought you already made macha macarons cause I was taken with the other macha dessert you made few months ago.

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen January 25, 2011 at 9:26 am

Now I want to know what a Melty Kiss tastes like if it can inspire such a beautiful creation! Love the close-ups on the macarons, really great detail.

domenicacooks January 25, 2011 at 9:27 am

Another great post, Ken. The recipe is really well-written. I like the way you broke it down into easy-to-follow steps. And, not surprisingly, the pictures are beautiful. Gorgeous!

Lawyer Loves Lunch January 25, 2011 at 10:07 am

Those macarons look perfect! I’m kinda freaked out at the prospect of adding other flavors to the macaron batter because I’m convinced they won’t rise but you’ve clearly proven me wrong!

Jean January 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

These are lovely. The Melty Kisses were a nice inspiration and I think you executed very well. I’ll really need to check these off the to-do list. Still a bit intimidated but the rewards of success would be so great. Nicely done!

The Pleasure Monger January 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Very beautiful macs you have here! I am a huge fan of matcha and can’t get enough of making matcha macs myself. I like that this was paired with bittersweet chocolate, yum!

Victoria January 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm

What fun inspiration! It looks like you did a great job replicating those flavors into a macaron, they look delicious :)

Annapet January 25, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I love, love your creativity when it comes to macaron transformations! I follow that mantra. Thanks for sharing this, Ken! Bravo!

Basia January 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

These look fabulous. Thanks for responding on the cookbook question. I tend to use different sources as well.

catty January 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

i loooooooooooooooooove melty kisses and discovered them in HK about 10 years ago and every trip I’m there I stock up!! The matcha ones are great and even just the regular ones are good. It’s in the texture! I’d totally kiss you, matcha! ;)

Cathy/ShowFoodChef January 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm

LOVE the look of your macarons AND those melty things. I’ve made the matcha macarons before and put lemon curd inside, but I like your idea of ganache and the addition of Ginger liquor. So cool.

robynski January 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Lovely. The colors alone say “eat me”! I’m thinking outside the box with some macarons myself. I’ll let you know if I blog about them.

Lora January 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm

These are just gorgeous! Love.

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 25, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Gorgeous Ken! Love the name “Melty Kisses” – I would be inspired too!

Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} January 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm

These looks so pretty, I LOVE that color green. Those Melty Kisses….yum!

Lora @cakeduchess January 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm

You are the mac master. These are incredible! Gorgeous photos. I want to try those candies;)

Vy January 26, 2011 at 12:24 am

Beautiful macarons! Gorgeous feet!!!

Su-yin January 26, 2011 at 6:43 am

Awww so pretty. Matcha and chocolate always works :) And omg what is this Melty Kiss delight – it looks SO good! Must. have. some. Arghh.

Meeta January 26, 2011 at 8:31 am

I want this kiss! They look fantastic!

arthi January 26, 2011 at 8:31 am

Gorgeous Macs and for some reason we have created the ditto Macinspirational Macs…love it

Karen January 27, 2011 at 12:45 am

Photos of Macs & melty kisses – awesome!!!! I bet they taste delicious.

Jun Belen January 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

I can clearly see how FG and TS were both smitten by your macarons. They’re lovely, Ken! And I bet the flavors are equally lovely, too. I have never made macarons before and 2011 will be the year I make them!! This will definitely be an inspiration! Thanks for sharing!

My Man's Belly January 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm

So Pretty!!! I haven’t decided if I’m going to try my hand at making mac’s again or rest on my laurels and my first try success. But I couldn’t agree with you more that they’re so much fun to recreate our favorite desserts in a tiny one bite morsel.

Deeba January 28, 2011 at 7:03 am

You bet I’m gonna kiss your matcha wabbit… brilliant! Love the very inspired macarons, and am glad you made these. Hugs… oops sorry xxx for the macs.

Victoria (District Chocoholic) January 28, 2011 at 8:24 am

Beautiful colors! I’m always scared to add things other than food coloring (like matcha) to my shells because they are so delicate, but the great thing about MacTweets is that it pushes us past our comfort zones!

HI Cookery February 3, 2011 at 11:26 am

Saw your macs on the Mactweets roundup. Hey, nice feet and color combinations. Bet they tasted great! The melty kiss candies look interesting, too.

Cecilia February 3, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Just love your meltykiss macs! I haven’t baked with matcha yet, and just love to see all the creative things that people make with it. These look delicious.

Nina | Salt February 7, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Wow–these are stunning! Beautiful colors! Matcha is awesome, isn’t it!

Drina September 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm

You are simply brilliant … How gorgeous!

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