March is full of celebrations—so in honor of both Macaron Day (this Friday, March 20) and St. Patrick’s Day, I bring you… green macarons featuring matcha green tea!
Matcha is definitely one of my favorite tea and dessert flavors. I can’t help myself but order anything on any menu that includes the descriptor matcha. It’s just THAT good! It comes as no surprise that I decided that I needed to try a batch of matcha-flavored macarons.
These turned out wonderfully, both in color and in taste! I, being the chocolate lover that I am, filled the macarons with a simple dark chocolate ganache that perfectly complemented the aromatic sweetness of the matcha cookie.
These beauties are festive, gorgeous, and delicious if I do say so myself! But if you’re looking to celebrate Macaron Day with a more fruity and spring-like flavor, take a look at these Pink Raspberry Macarons (complete with macaron-age tips).
- 100 g egg white, aged 3-5 days
- 40 g caster sugar
- 125 g almond flour
- 200 g confectioner sugar
- 2 tbs matcha green tea powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 8 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 c heavy cream
- Measure out dry ingredients using the food scale. Let egg whites sit until room temperature. Meanwhile, pulse together powdered sugar and almond powder in food processor until well blended.
- Meringue--In a very large bowl, whisk the room temperature egg whites, caster sugar, and salt into a meringue. I’ve found that it takes me about 7-9 minutes to completion, and I break it down into three basic steps:  Starting on a low-speed setting, whip the egg whites with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until frothy, adding ⅓ of the caster sugar and a pinch of salt along the way.  Move mixer to med-speed setting; continue whipping egg whites another 2-3 minutes until soft peaks form, and add half of the remaining caster sugar along the way.  Move mixer to high-speed setting; whip egg whites 1-2 minutes and add the remaining caster sugar along the way. Move mixer to highest speed for last minute until firm peaks form.
- Be careful not to over beat the egg whites! You will know when your meringue is ready by checking to see if (a) nothing falls out of the bowl when you turn it upside down, and (b) the meringue remains in the whisk/beater when you stop the mixer.
- Fold in the mixed and sifted dry ingredients into the meringue; this is the actual macaronage step. I find that it takes me anywhere from 40-50 folds (and I actually do keep count) to achieve the right consistency. Folding doesn’t require gentleness; the macaronage process requires one to “beat” out the air from the eggwhites. When a shine develops and the consistency resembles lava or thick pancake batter, macaronage is complete. I’m careful to count the folds in order to not overmix!
- Transfer macaron batter to a pastry bag (I use a gallon ziplock bag with a cut corner) fitted with a large round tip (I use the Ateco #11 round). Pipe even circles on prepped baking sheets lined with Silpat-like mats. For even circles, I count out 1-2-3-4 while piping to help ensure more even batter distribution for each circle. It’s not a foolproof solution, but it works surprisingly well! Alternatively, there are templates that can be used and placed under the Silpat-like mats for additional assurance.
- Knock the air bubbles out! To prevent cracking and empty shells, the extra air bubbles have got to go! In parallel, drop the fully-piped baking sheet from a 6 inch range onto a counter or table that can withstand an impact. Do this three times, rotate the sheet 180-deg and do so three times again. It’s loud and might seem excessive, but seeing those tiny bubbles rise to the surface and pop make it all worth it.
- Let the shells try in a dry place. The top coat of the shell should be dry to the touch; no batter should stick. This may take anywhere from 30-120 minutes. I tend to wait at least an hour to ensure a hardened shell. Drying the shell is required for a smooth shell and macaron feet to form without cracking. Bake too soon before the shells are dried and the shells will crack—I’ve had this experience once or twice before and it’s the last thing you want to happen after having invested so much work into preparing the shells leading up to the baking.
- Pre-heat the oven to 320º F. Bake for 15-18 minutes, rotating the sheet a touch more than halfway through the baking process after feet have formed. While I prefer to bake each sheet individually to exercise greater control over each, but in the interest of time, I have tried baking both together (on middle/bottom rack and switching them halfway through) and have found success.
- Remove shells from oven and let it cool completely before removing/peeling from the mat. Be sure to let the cool, as premature removal will result in decapitation—the “cap” of the macaron shell will literally come off, leaving the base on the mat. No bueno :(
- Place chopped (if needed) dark chocolate in a small-medium sized bowl.
- In a microwave safe dish, heat heavy cream until boiling. Start with 45 s, stirring, then incrementally adding 10-15 s at a time to prevent over-boiling and spillover.
- Pour heavy cream over chocolate and stir until incorporated and uniform texture to form ganache.
- Set aside to cool and thicken (this can be sped up by placing in refrigerator for 10 minutes).
- Move ganache to a pastry bag for fitted with a tip (I use the #8 Ateco, but the same tip from the shells above will work just fine).
- Sort and match macaron shells into pairs of roughly equal size. Lay the cookies out, flat-side up.
- Pipe a generous amount of ganache into the center of one cookie. Place the accompanying cookie on top and twist the cookies in opposite directions to distribute the ganache throughout the macaron. Repeat for remaining cookies. Adjust the amount of ganache placed on cookie as needed (largely dependent on cookie diameter).
- Store assembled cookies in an air-tight container in the fridge for 24-48 hours. This allows the flavors and ganache to penetrate through the entirety of the macaron, enhancing both the texture and flavor of the eventual tasting experience!
- To serve, remove from refrigerator and let the macarons warm to room temperature prior to enjoying.
- Food processor
- Flour sifter
- Electric Stand Mixer/Hand Mixer
- Food Scale (in grams and ounces)
- 2 Silpat-like baking mats
- 2 half-sheets baking sheets
- pastry bag and piping tip (#11 Ateco)