I broke a few macaron rules with these macarons. Or rather I bent them. They were also created in the last minute rush between Soeren’s music festival and packing for Dubai. They had to be made before I left for vacation as I knew I would not have the opportunity to make macarons here at my parents place.
And boy was I right. Unfortunately I spent two days of my first week here in bed. I managed to catch a nasty tummy bug – probably by overeating and overindulging – and got myself an upset stomach. But I am on the way to recovery and yes venturing into eating and indulging again.
I had the idea for the flavors of these macarons quite a while back, however was thinking of a chocolate-espresso ganache filling. Then I had to kill two birds with one stone. Nutella Day was upon us, as was Mac Attack and the idea of doing a double feature hit me.
I love black sesame seeds. The sweet and nutty aromatic taste of the seeds make them versatile and perfect for savory and sweet recipes. Unlike the popular white colored seeds these black ones make any dish look extravagant and elegant.
The week before I left I separated two egg whites and left them to age for two days in the refrigerator. The plan was to take them out of the third day and leave them on the countertop to come to room temperature. But I forgot. I only had that one day to make these macarons and so I had to take them out a few hours before and see what happens.
It did not work. The whites were fairly liquidy and did not get to that gorgeous fluffy, foamy texture. I had to swing it nonetheless and grabbed two new eggs and separated them. With my fingers crossed I began beating and like magic things began coming together brilliantly.
I once again used the recipe from Ottolenghi as I did for my last macarons recipe, but this time reduced the temperature while baking them as the last ones were slightly overdone in my opinion. The results were simply outrageous. The macarons were the best so far with the perfect crunch on the outside, nutty from the black sesame seeds and soft and moist from the inside.
Nutella came to the rescue for the perfect hazelnut and chocolaty filling – a delicious complement to the aromatic sesame seed taste. Et voila! A delectable macaron creation made on the spur but with a lot of love for my loved ones.
Deeba and Jamie are looking for a Mac Valentine for this month’s Mac Attack, while Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy and Michelle from Bleeding Espresso want our Nutella Day creations today to spread the chocolate-hazelnut love across the globe. So to all you lovely ladies I am sending you lots of delicious love with my black sesame and Nutella macarons. Enjoy!
Note: If you are making macarons for the first time please read my comprehensive collection of macaron tips. All the way from the prep work to removing macarons from the baking paper, you’ll find valuable tips and tricks for perfect macaron making.
Black Sesame and Nutella Macarons
Printable version of recipe here
For the macaron shells
Adapted from Ottolenghi - The Cookbook
110g icing sugar
60g almonds, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g castor sugar
12g black sesame seeds
For the filling
jar of Nutella
For the macaron shells
- Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the baking paper back around. Or use this macaron template.
- In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater (alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while, until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.
- In a food processor pulse together icing sugar, almonds and black sesame seeds until the nuts and seeds are finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there are no lumps.
- Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage technique described in my macaron tips section. Fold a few times to break the air. Continue until you get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a few more folds.
- Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2 cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and dry for about 15 to 30 minutes.
- In the meantime preheat the the oven to 150 degrees C. When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack.
Assembling the macarons
Using two spoons place small dollops of Nutella on one of the shells and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.
These were a true delight. Soeren loves the macaron delicacies I’ve created in the kitchen to date but this was by far his favorite. Although Tom has moderate emotions towards the French treats, these black sesame and Nutella macarons were literally gobbled down with fervor. After trying the last macarons both B. and E. were looking forward to these versions with aspiration as I had discussed the ingredients with them. They loved it and we enjoyed a few with cappuccino and espresso – perfect girls lunch treat!
I’m off now enjoying the next couple of days – planning to get a ride to the top of the world’s tallest building, visit the spice souk and catch a bit of relaxing beach time with friends. I should be back after the weekend. See you then!
You might like these Valentine sweet treats from WFLH:
|Quark Blancmange with a Strawberry Compote||Coconut White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries on Coconut Joconde||Orange Mascarpone Quark Torte|
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