Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Green Tea Macarons

I have been wanting to make green tea macarons for a while now but hadn't gotten around to finding and buying the necessary ingredient - green tea powder.

What a beautiful color! I added a tablespoon of matcha green tea powder to my powdered sugar before sifting.
My good friend Rieko knew I had been wanting to make the macarons and presented me with a can of matcha green tea powder last week. She and her family will definitely be getting a few packages of these.

The green tea powder is very fine, aromatic and a beautiful rich green color so you don't need to add any additional coloring. I added the powder to both parts of the macaron - the cookie and the filling.

Here are a few tips for making successful macarons and the recipe:

TIP 1: MEASURE CAREFULLY. Use a scale to precisely measure out all of your ingredients. Have all the ingredients ready before you start making the macarons.
TIP 2: SIFT. After measuring, sift together your ground almonds and the powdered sugar. For the green tea macarons, I also added a tablespoon of matcha green tea powder.
TIP 3: HAVE YOUR PANS AND YOUR PIPING BAGS READY. Before starting, also have four sheetpans ready that are lined with good quality parchment paper.  Also have your piping bags ready. When you are ready to fill the bags, use a glass to help steady them and put a rubber band or twist tie on the back of the bags. You don't want your precious macaron batter escaping out the back while you pipe.

 TIP 4: START SMALL. When you start making macarons you'll have better results if you start out small. When you clip your piping bag, don't make the hole too large because the batter will be hard to control. Just clip a bit off the piping bag and take your time to pipe 1.5- inch rounds.
 Green Tea Macarons
180g ground almonds, sifted
270g powdered sugar, sifted
150g egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
100g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder.

Line four heavy baking sheets with good quality parchment paper and set aside. Also, set aside two pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.

Sift together your ground almonds with the powdered sugar and matcha green tea powder and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the granulated sugar gradually in four parts.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites using a large rubber scraper.  Mix well. 

Fold the mixture with the rubber scraper by pulling down the sides and flipping the mixture over. Do this until you have a smooth mixture that falls like a “ribbon” off the scraper.

Transfer the mixture into the two piping bags. Use rubber bands or twist ties to close the piping bags. Clip the tip of the bags, one at a time, and pipe small rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set.

Leave to set for about 30 minutes or until the top has formed a crust and is not sticky to the touch.

While they are setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. A convection oven is preferable. 

Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.

Leave on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife to help lift them off.

Sort into pairs and fill with Green Tea Buttercream. Store the macarons in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

Filling the macarons.

Green Tea Buttercream
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons matcha green tea powder, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water and completely cooled
Pinch of fine sea salt

Place the whites in a clean mixing bowl. Whisk in sugar and cream of tartar.

Place bowl over a double boiler on medium heat, stir frequently until the mixture is very hot (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit).

Move to mixer and whip whites on high for 2 to 3 minutes; turn down to medium low until cool (use the bowl as your guide).

In a separate bowl with a wooden spoon, stir butter to soften.

With mixer on medium/high speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time, adding the next tablespoon just as the previous one is blended in. Once all the butter incorporated, add in dissolved and cooled matcha green tea powder mixture and salt.  Whip on high speed until fluffy.

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