Adore the flavor of black sesame… or perhaps you’re allergic to nuts? Look no further! These Black Sesame & Apricot Macarons are the perfect combination as it’s a nut-free macaron bursting with flavor!
Nut Substitute – Black Sesame
I’ve known a few friends throughout my life that have said to me… “I’ve never tried a macaron before, I’m allergic to nuts!”
To which I naturally respond…
WHAT A TRAGEDY!
So these macarons are dedicated to those that cannot enjoy a macaron due to an allergy or sensitivity! When you replace almond meal with black sesame powder, the macaron shells still retain their shape, have a developed foot, and honestly look exactly the same as the almond meal macarons I’ve made.
The most challenging aspect of using black sesame powder instead of almond meal is making sure that the seeds are ground fine enough. Using a food processor is key – you’ll need to grind the powder into fine and even pieces so that it resembles almond meal!
When it comes to buttercream, I am a die-hard fan of using swiss meringue. I find that the texture is incredibly smooth and velvety while the flavor is not overly sweet allowing the flavoring of your choosing to shine. In this case, we’ll be making Apricot Buttercream – let’s jump into how it’s made!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Process
To make apricot buttercream, we start with making a basic swiss meringue buttercream. This tends to be composed of a 3-2-1 ratio of butter-sugar-egg whites.
First, add your sugar and egg whites to the bowl of your stand mixer and place over a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure that your bowl is not touching the hot water! Your goal is to simply whisk the egg whites and sugar together until the sugar has completely dissolved, then attach your bowl back to the standing mixer. The temperature should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Start whisking the mixture at a low speed and gradually increase speed until medium peaks form. Continue mixing until the meringue has cooled, then switch to using the paddle attachment and start adding your softened butter bit by bit. When you’ve reached the point where the buttercream is glossy and smooth, turn the mixer speed back to low. Add the apricot jam, continuing to mix until completely combined.
The flavoring for buttercream can be modified and adapted easily! Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Various Alcohols or Liquors
- Brown Butter
- Citrus Zest
- Cookie Butter
- Fruit Powders
- Ground Nuts (for texture and crunch)
- Nut Butter
- Coconut Cream
- Cream Cheese
Maturation & Storing
Technically, allowing your completed macarons to sit overnight in the fridge allows for the best texture for consuming! If you have the patience, place your macarons in the fridge overnight and enjoy the following day. Macaron shells can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month and still taste as good as new! Take the frozen macarons out of the freezer and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying, In the fridge, filled macarons should be stored in an airtight container for no more than 3 days.
Black Sesame & Apricot Macarons
- Food Processor
- Fine Mesh Strainer
- Mixer with Whisk & Paddle Attachment
- Parchment Paper
- Baking Tray
- Piping Bags & Piping Tips
Black Sesame Macarons
- 76 g (1/3 cup + 1 tsp ) Granulated Sugar
- 90 ml (About 3 egg whites ) Room Temperature Egg Whites
- 80 g (3/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp) Black Sesame Powder, Ground Black Sesame Seeds
- 150 g (1 1/4 Cup ) Confection’s Sugar, Powdered Sugar
- 75 g (1/3 Cup + 1.5 Tbsp) Egg Whites
- 150 g (1.5 Tbsp) Granulated Sugar
- 225 g (1 Cup) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 70 g (1/3 Cup) Apricot Jam
- Line each baking sheet with your prepared parchment templates and prepare your piping bags along with your piping tips. I like to use a small, round piping tips for piping.
- Pour your egg whites into the bowl of a a kitchen aid and start whisking on medium speed. Once they start to foam, slowly add your sugar and bring up your speed to medium for about three to four minutes.
- While your meringue is whisking away, grind together your measured powdered sugar and almond flour using a food processor for one minute. Sift these dry ingredients into a large bowl with a fine sieve and set aside.
- Your meringue is complete when it holds stiff peaks – add desired food coloring and gently whisk for a few additional seconds to incorporate,
- Now it’s time for the ever so important Macaronage! This is the act of mixing your dry ingredients into your french meringue and folding these ingredients enough to allow for the perfect desired consistency. To start, pour your dry mixture onto the meringue and slowly start to fold with a spatula. While rotating the bowl, continue to fold ingredients together. Press mixture on the side of your bowl until the mixture the batter flows off your spatula rather slowly and smoothly. You should see that the batter will drip off the spatula back into the bowl, and rest on top for a moment. Then, the batter from your spatula will slowly sink back into the mixture. One too many folds and your batter could be over mixed leading to it being impossible to work with, so be careful not to overmix!
- Pour your macaron batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe in circles onto your templated parchment paper. In order to get rid of any air bubbles within your piped shells and to even out your tops, tap your baking sheet firmly on a flat surface. You can always use a toothpick to gently pop any extra air bubbles that you see hovering on top of your shells.
- Allow the shells to rest for approximately 30 minutes. Once the top of your shells are dry to the touch they are ready to bake!
- Place your macarons in your oven that has been preheated to 310 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 9 minutes, then rotate the baking tray and bake for an additional 2 minutes.
- You will know that your macarons are ready to remove from the oven when you gently touch the upper shell, and it barely moves, while the developed foot of the macaron stays set to the parchment paper. Remove from the oven to cool completely before removing shells from the parchment paper.
- Add your sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and place over a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure that your bowl is not touching the hot water! Your goal is to simply whisk the egg whites and sugar together over a gentle heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, then attach your bowl back to the standing mixer. The temperature or your egg whites and sugar should reach 170°F
- Whisk mixture starting at a low speed and gradually increase until soft peaks form and the mixture has cooled. Switch to using your paddle attachment, then start adding your butter bit by bit.
- When you’ve reached the point where the buttercream is glossy and smooth, turn the mixer speed back to low.
- Add apricot jam, and mix on low until combined to complete.
- Once cooled, the shells will peel easily off of your parchment paper. Find each shell’s matching half and pipe approximately two teaspoons of buttercream to the bottom shell, topping with the matching half.