Food

Matcha and Ube Macarons

These delicate French cookies are a marriage of flavours and textures.

These delicate French cookies are a marriage of flavours and textures

(CBC Life)

Smooth and crisp on the outside and light and chewy on the inside, these elegant French cookies sandwich a swirl of buttercream and a small ube gelée centre. While macarons can intimidate even the most skilled bakers, this recipe is more than worth the effort, marrying unique flavours and textures in every bite.

Learn how to make these beautiful macarons in the fifth episode of Raufikat’s Better Bake Along.

Matcha and Ube Macarons

Ingredients

Ube Gelée:

  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp powdered gelatin
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ tsp ube extract

Matcha Macarons:

  • 1¼ cups (120 g) almond flour
  • 1⅓ cup (151 g) icing sugar
  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ¾ cup (149 g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 large egg whites (105 g), room temperature
  • Leaf green gel food colouring, optional

French Buttercream:

  • 3 tbsp water
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, cool room temperature, cubed

Preparation

Ube Gelée:
Spray a 6-inch circle of acetate with baking spray and place, sprayed side down, in a 6-inch round baking pan.

Combine the water and gelatin in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes.

Heat the coconut milk until steaming, then stir in ube extract and bloomed gelatin until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and place it in the fridge to set, about 30 minutes.

Matcha Macarons:
Cut sheets of parchment paper to fit inside two rimmed baking sheets. On the underside of each piece of parchment, trace out 24 1½-inch rounds, spaced 1 inch apart, then place them on the baking sheets. Fit a piping bag with a large round tip.

Pulse the almond flour, icing sugar and matcha in a food processor until finely ground. Sift the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and set aside.

Combine the water and ½ cup sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until the sugar syrup registers 240 F on a candy thermometer, then immediately remove it from the heat and allow the bubbles to subside.

Meanwhile, whip the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until frothy then slowly add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Whip on high until the mixture resembles whipped cream.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium-high and slowly — and carefully — drizzle in the syrup along the side of the bowl (the syrup will be extremely hot). Increase the speed to high and whip until the egg whites are glossy, the bowl is warm on the bottom (not hot), and the egg whites don’t move when the bowl is turned upside down. 

Fold in about one-third of the almond mixture, lightly crushing it against the side of the bowl. Add the remaining almond mixture along with any food colouring and continue to fold and crush until the batter can make a figure eight without breaking when it drips off the spatula. Do not mix it further.

Transfer the batter to the piping bag and pipe 1½-inch circles onto the prepared baking sheets. Tap the baking sheets against the counter five times to expose air bubbles, then pop them with a toothpick. Set the trays aside for 10 minutes while the oven preheats to 290 F.

Bake the macarons until they are dry on top and can be easily lifted from the parchment, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the macarons from the oven and allow them to cool completely on the trays.

French Buttercream:
Bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium heat. 

Place the egg yolks in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat them on high until thick and foamy, about 3 minutes.

When the syrup reaches 240 F, immediately remove it from the heat. With the mixer running on medium-high, slowly drizzle the hot syrup along the side of the bowl.

Continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch and the mixture is pale yellow. Add the vanilla and salt, and mix to combine. Add the butter gradually, allowing it to mix in between additions. Continue mixing until the buttercream is smooth and creamy, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and set aside.

Assembly:
Use a ½-inch round cookie cutter or large piping tip to cut out 24 circles of the gelée. Place a circle on the flat side of 24 macarons and pipe buttercream around the gelée. Top each with another macaron.

Makes 24 macarons

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