Sesame seed shells and honey buttercream filling.
Amazingly different and wonderfully tasty.
As I was planning these, I thought the biggest hurdle would be grinding the sesame seeds fine enough without just making tahini. My first thought was to try toasting them to dry them out, but the moisture in them is oil, so I realised that wouldn’t work. Then I remembered an instruction I read for making marzipan that talked about pulsing the almonds so as not to release too much oil. Why not try pulsing the sesame seeds? It worked like a charm. They aren’t quite as fine as ground almonds, but they still have a smooth shell, a preference for which is one of my personal macaron quirks.
If you missed my last macaron post and would like copies of my piping templates, you can find them here.
Makes 30 filled macarons
140g sesame seeds
140g powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
100g egg white (from approx. 3 eggs), room temperature, divided 50/50
100g granulated (white) sugar
115g (1 stick or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
80g dark liquid honey
100g (3/4 cup unsifted) powdered (confectioners) sugar
Prepare 2 parchment lined baking sheets.
Mix the sesame seeds and powdered sugar together then pulse in short bursts in a food processor until you have an extra fine texture.
Sift into a large bowl, re-grinding any bigger pieces of sesame seed.
Add 50g egg whites and mix thoroughly into the sesame seed mixture. Set aside.
In another bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the other 50g egg whites to stiff peaks.
Meanwhile, put the granulated sugar and water into a small saucepan and heat on medium-low to 118°C (244°F).
While whisking constantly on low speed (to avoid splashing hot syrup), slowly add the cooked sugar mixture to the beaten egg whites, pouring it down the inside edge of the bowl. Whisk at high speed until the mixture is cool, about 3 minutes. The mixture should increase in volume and become firm (you should get a beak when you lift the whisk) and shiny.
Scrape the meringue onto the sesame seed mixture and incorporate with a rubber or silicone spatula until you have a homogenous batter that runs from the spatula in a thick ribbon and a trail in the batter melts back into itself within 20 seconds. This batter will get thin far more quickly than an almond one, so watch it carefully.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 7 – 9mm plain tip (this is best done in two batches, so you don’t overfill the bag). Pipe 60 equally sized rounds, about 4cm, in staggered rows onto the prepared sheets. Hold the piping bag upright with the tip just above the sheet and pipe without pulling upwards or swirling in circles, so the batter comes out in a round blob around the tip, and give a little sideways flick at the end to break the stream.
Tap the baking sheet firmly on the bench several times to release air bubbles and obtain a smooth surface. Leave the tray to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes until a slight skin forms.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
Bake the macarons for 18 minutes, one sheet at a time, turning the sheet half-way.
Remove from oven and remove the parchment from the tray with the shells still on it and place on a cooling rack for at least 30 minutes, until completely cool, then remove macaron shells carefully from the parchment.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add honey and beat to combine well, about 2 minutes.
Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated, then beat on high until smooth, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add a bit more powdered sugar or a few drops of milk to adjust consistency as desired.
Pipe or spoon a generous blob of filling onto the flat side of half the shells, top with the remaining shells and press gently until the filling reaches the edges.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge to mature for at least 24 hours before eating.