I love all things green (my towel, my mugs, my plates, my wallet, my clothes.. everything! Everything!) and it’s a wonder why this blog isn’t already overwhelmed with green by now, so, my love for green tea is, of course, completely justifiable.
I absolutely adore matcha. The gorgeous and vibrant green colour, the earthy smell, the slight bitterness that echoes down your throat as you consume it, and the beautiful flavour it adds to baked goods… But I do not love the price. Here in London, good quality matcha retails for a really high price, so when I managed to get my hands on some, I made sure to use it sparingly. Matcha is a high grade of powdered green tea, native to Japan (they have matcha Kit-Kat, which is full of wonder!), and when used in baking, gives a deep fragrance, and a delicate bitterness (which is in no way unpleasant). Moreover, when used in French macarons, it tones down the sometimes-cloying sweetness and complements it perfectly. I think I might have just found my new favourite thing to bake.
Matcha and bittersweet chocolate is a tried and tested combination, and it is perfect in so many ways. When K tried this, he said, “they echo each other; bitter, then sweet”, and I think that might just be the most apt description of these.
Of course, the fact that these are such a beautiful shade of green really puts them in my good books, but even for those not-too-fond of the grassy shade, these may be a very pleasant surprise. Detailed macaron-making tips can be found in my earl grey macaron post, so I’ll just be going though the basic steps here.
Matcha Macaron Shells
Makes about 40 small macaron shells
- 53g egg whites
- 25g granulated/ caster sugar
- 100g icing/superfine sugar
- 60g ground almonds
- 1 Tbs good matcha
- Weigh out all the ingredients.
- Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar together. Do this twice.
- In the second sifting, add in a tablespoon of good-quality matcha powder.
- In a squeaky clean and dry bowl, beat egg whites till foamy. Add half the caster sugar and beat till soft peaks. Add the rest of the caster sugar and beat till stiff peaks.
- Using a spatula, fold in half the almond-icing sugar-matcha mixture gently. Then add the other half.
- When the ingredients are mostly incorporated, begin macaronage. Swiftly fold and press the mixture using light strokes, check for consistency ever so often.
- Transfer to a piping bag with a small round tip/ use a plastic bag with the corner snipped off and pipe small circles, 1.5 inches in diameter, about 1.5 inches apart.
- Let them dry in the open for about an hour. The surface will become like a film and you can prod it (gently) with your finger without it sticking.
- Bake in a 140-150 degrees* Celsius oven at the bottom rack for 20-22 minutes. Watch the little feet develop!
- Cool, and remove from baking sheet. Fill with a teaspoon of filling and refrigerate overnight.
*edit: I found that these were more stable baked at a lower temperature for a longer time!
Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache
Makes enough ganache to fill double of the above recipe
- 100g unsweetened chocolate (at least 70%), broken into small pieces
- 70g single cream
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1 tbs caster sugar
- Heat up the cream and caster sugar until nearly boiling (small bubbles will appear around the edges of the mixture.)
- Pour the cream and sugar mixture over the bittersweet chocolate and mix quickly. The heat from the cream will melt the chocolate.
- Add in the butter midway and continue stirring till homogenous and glossy.
- Chill until set- the ganache should be spoonable, then fill macarons!
Here’s the recipe card!