Monday, November 30, 2009

Black sesame macarons

I made black sesame macarons some time ago. Tastewise, they were great. Visually, I have something minor to gripe about - they aren't greyish black! They are more of a I don't know brownish black shade. That's what irks me the most, otherwise, everything about these were pretty good.

I assumed that roasting and grinding my own black sesame seeds would produce a greyish powder as described by several sites that had used black sesame powder. Alas, it was not the case. When I grounded all the seeds the first time round to find the black skin falling off what looked to be white sesame seeds. My first thought were, are these black sesame seeds fake? Are they like white sesame seeds secretly masquerading as black sesame seeds with their black coating? Since they were packaged in an asian packaging, I thought perhaps a Japanese packaging would be the real deal.

I even walked out to NTUC to get a pack that had Japanese characters on them. I tested a small batch this time round and the same thing repeated. I was close to tearing my hair out by then. I gave up and proceeded to making the macarons. The ground up sesame seeds smell awesome so I assumed tastewise they would be fine.

I couldn't find a recipe that I was satisfied with (some seemed too sweet with too much sugar, some seemed unsesame-ish with insufficient sesame seeds), so I decided to come up with my own. And boy am I glad I did. The sesame taste was really prominent and I was glad that I had chosen a plain old vanilla buttercream to sandwich the cookies.

I used half a vanilla bean to make vanilla bean buttercream (yums) and I really liked the taste of it. I've mentioned my love for vanilla beans before and I just have to reiterate. Vanilla beans are the best! Go get some right now and you'll understand why after using them.

Black specks of finely grounded "black sesame seeds".


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