Monday, March 16, 2015

Asia Week Macaro(o)ns

It's Asia Week in New York, which means that J is having a magnificent show of contemporary and modern Japanese ceramics. To keep her many clients satiated, I typically make macarons, those finicky but heavenly French meringue cookies with cream or ganache fillings. This year I made matcha (Japanese green tea) macarons filled with white chocolate ganache, one of J's and her clients' favorites. I employed a new (for me) technique this time, using Italian meringue, which involves adding hot sugar syrup to mounted egg whites, rather than French meringue, which includes only powdered sugar. While the Italian meringue is more difficult to create, it is easier to work with and bakes more predictably than the more brittle French meringue.

Matcha macarons with white chocolate ganache
When the macaron supply became exhausted, I baked a batch of matcha and coconut macarOOns, simple confections made of coconut, sugar, a little flour (not all recipes have this, which is why people serve them for Passover), and egg whites. Here I added a bit of matcha powder to half the batter to achieve the two-part effect. (Thanks to Stephanie Le's excellent iamafoodblog for the concept.)

Matcha and coconut macaroons
While not as elegant as macarons, macaroons are easy to make and fun to eat.

Bobby Jay

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