Foodiva's Kitchen: Still Hopeful - Black Sesame Macarons with Dragonfruit Cream Filling

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Still Hopeful - Black Sesame Macarons with Dragonfruit Cream Filling


I am sick and tired of the perfect macaronages going on around me. Can we even remember what life was like before Ladurée and Pierre Hermé Paris came along and showed us that food superstardom could be packaged as small, colorful and incredibly tasty discs? All of a sudden, I wanted in on the fun.

There has always been a wall around my mind where the thought of making macarons refuse to penetrate. It is odd, but I was intimidated... afraid to jump in and look foolish if I failed. Which is even more odd because being perceived as foolish is something that has never stopped me from living a full life, the funnest life. And I've failed at a lot of things, actually.


Top left: Ground black sesame            Top right: Red-fleshed dragonfruit

Nevertheless, I mustered up the courage and tried my hand at making macarons just recently because this was on my list of "Must-Dos-Even-If-It-Kills-Me" in 2011. The first time I tried to make these delicious little monsters, I failed. I tried again and failed again. And if that wasn't enough of a blow to one's self-esteem...I, who'd learnt to bake for the first time in Alsace, the place where Pierre Hermé himself comes from, couldn't master the art of macaron-baking the third time round. Yet, everyone else in the blogosphere seem to be breezing through their macaron initiation. If making macarons is mostly about technique rather than a recipe, then something was amiss about the way I macaronage.

My unFrench, feet-less macaron siblings. Aaaargh...!

Spurred on by the recent successes of fellow bloggers, Xiaolu of by 6 Bittersweets and Roxan of Sweet Shanti, I set about my journey towards macaron-dom for the fourth time today. Flavorwise, I decided on black sesame meringue shells filled with a red dragonfruit buttercream (the pink color was natural). The results, as you can see, weren't all that bad but I show you not the whole story. Half the batch had cracked tops, and more than half were feet-less. *Deep sigh...* I think, I think I know where I went wrong. And because there will be a fifth time doing this all over again, there will be no recipe accompanying this post. Hopefully next time, there will be :-).




38 comments:

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

So, where did you go wrong? They look pretty good to me! I made four batches of macs last week and thought the 3rd sucked but when I went back to look at them, I realised they were perfectly fine. We're our own worst critics!

Foodiva said...

Mardi, your macarons always look perfect that I hold myself to the highest standards! I guess I just wanted the whole batch to have smooth tops and have feet. You are right, we ARE our own worst critics, LOL. Thanks for checking out my macarons, it's kind of a historic moment in my baking life ;-).

Roxan said...

Maya! Great job with the macarons! Perfection :) I'm so glad to hear that you didn't give up... You got totally stubborn with them, like I have. But it's a fun kind of stubborn right? I totally want to make the black sesame macarons! We don't have dragonfruit here though... I'm not even sure i've ever tried it before.

Now Serving said...

ONE WORD - INCREDIBLE
NOW TWO WORDS - ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL
NOW THREE WORDS - PLEASE SHARE SOME!
NOW 4 WORDS - BOOKMAKING TO MAKE THIS!

yummychunklet said...

Kudos for your perserverance! I'm going to take a stab at making macaroons this weekend. I've set aside a whole day, so hopefully it's not wasted. Great post! Love the dragonfruit buttercream!

Alina---Explora Cuisine said...

Wow, they look so beautiful Maya! and you're saying you were afraid???? these look perfect, how I wish I could make such beautiful macaroons someday :) when I'll have enough courage of course :)) I think the combination is to die for, I'll try it for my first macaroons, thanks for sharing, I actually love all your recipes with dragon fruit!

Christy said...

Oh my, this is a really brave attempt to reverse the colors of the macaroons and the filling as usually the colors on the outside would be bright and then complemented by the filling color, but these are amazingly gorgeous!! How did you manage to make them so lovely, even with the black sesame...it's really fantabulous!!:D

the [sugar] apothecary said...

THIS IS WHY YOU ARE AMAZING. I knew as soon as I saw "black sesame" in the title it would be a new Foodiva post :) So awesome!!! The very idea of this combination makes me happy, I don't know why. I love the pink and gray! Really beautiful.

Lora said...

These have to be some of the most gorgeous macarons I have ever seen Wow!

Foodiva said...

Wow, thank you to everyone for your very kind words here! I actually just made another batch with incredible flavors (well, at least I can say I'm good at flavor pairings), but still no feet :,-((. It must be my oven...I've got to unlock it's secrets! SOON.

Foodiva said...

Roxan, I'm not normally a stubborn kind, but yes, this has been a fun kind of stubborn. You should sooo make these black sesame shells, they taste a lot like peanut butter, they really do. Then you can make a jelly-like filling for PB&J macarons! ;-) PS. Thanks for inspiring me never to give up.

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Maya!!! These black sesame macarons are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I am speechless. Look at that pink color too! SUPER CUTE! You are too harsh on yourself... Well, maybe you shouldn't compare with me who doesn't bake, but these look wonderful.

Adora's Box said...

I can't imagine that these are the works of someone who has failed at this before. The most beautiful macarons ever. What a striking combination. I can imagine the taste. Mmmm!

Kate@Diethood said...

They are gorgeous! I love love love the colors! And the flavors... oh my the flavors...you never disappoint.

Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane said...

1) The dargonfruit cream filling is amazing (great colour too)
2) Well done! Your perseverance paid off :)
3) No way, these are epic.
4) Looking forward to more macaron adventures! :)

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

I think these macarons look perfect. I share your love/hate view of them too. I have only failed and am discouraged at seeing everyone succeed. Good for you for persisting. I have to make a "Must-Dos-Even-If-It-Kills-Me" list he he

Spicie Foodie said...

Maya I applaud you for holding yourself at such a high standard and for not giving up. I think your Macarons look so pretty and perfect. I have to say that you also "Divafied" them, black sesame and dragonfruit now that sounds like a stellar combination. I'll be looking for your next Macarons.

Pachecopatty said...

Gorgeous, love the colors, congratulations on a beautiful job;-)

Michael Toa said...

I think you've done such beautiful job here Maya. I love macarons but still don't have the courage to make them at home. They're scary, delicious, little things...

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Perfectly executed macarons. I am a big fan of dragonfruit, glad to see it used here.

elle marie said...

I'm proud of you! Well done! When I was a child watching my mother make them, she made them look so easy.... I'm quite happy these little lovelies took off like that did, I wonder why they weren't popular before? Know this, they are temperamental and even after years of making them.. I have a batch or two (fault of my own of trying to skip a step or in a hurry) that would fail epically. I Love your choice of flavors dahling!

Ben said...

these are pretty! I know how hard they are to make - 50% of the time, I still get them wrong.

Foodiva said...

Ben, you're from Brunei! Yeaaayyy... Yes, they are hard to make. I thought it's due to our weather here, but no, your macarons look exquisite! It must be my folding technique, my oven or just (gasp) ME...

Nourhan @ Miss Anthropist's Kitchen said...

Such pretty macarons! Love the grey and pink together :) and I've never actually had macarons, but love how they look! Do they taste as good as they look?

Foodiva said...

Nourhan, the answer to that is simple -YES, they do! Some are a tad too sweet but the colors and flavor pairings are often so divine you can overlook the sweetness!

spcookiequeen said...

The feet will come, I have no doubt. I think the cracks might be a moisture issue, but I also subscribe to the dumb luck theory. I love your flavor pairing, so I will be eagerly awaiting your recipe. I wish those dragonfruits were more widely available here. I'll send my fairy when I'm done with her, he he. Have a great weekend.
-Gina-

Amanda said...

Hi Maya! I've been trying to contact you regarding The Secret Recipe Club but haven't heard back. Please contact me right away amanda@amandascookin.com Thanks!

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

These are almost as foxy gorgeous as you Maya. Just Almost. Love the dragonfruit filling. Sooo cool! :)

Juliana said...

Oh! Your macs are perfect...love the combination of flavor and colors. Beautifully done. Hope you are having a wonderful week Maya :-)

Foodiva said...

Gina, thanks for the useful tip. As for that packing fairy, I'll be eagerly waiting for her...or him! LOL. Good luck with the packing!

Foodiva said...

Hi Amanda, I've already sent you an email. Sorry about not being able to get in touch before this!

Foodiva said...

Jenny, LOL, just almost...I like that! I need to get my macarons up to perfect!

briarrose said...

Gorgeous work in progress. ;) Can't wait to see the next batch.

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

You silly thing, these look amazing! You've just spent too much time looking at food blogs, I suspect ;) These are really lovely and I think you are inspired with the flavours!

Foodiva said...

Conor, but other food blogs have perfect macarons, it's really hard to post up anything less than the gorgeous ones that I've seen. But you may be right, I think I've been looking at too many 'Saveur Sites We Love'-stamped blogs!

chefpandita.com said...

These macarons look adorable and I'm sure they were pretty tasty too :)

Lauren Zabaneh said...

Wow, these photos are striking! I love the dragonfruit against the black sesame. Dragonfruit is something i've never had but am so curious about. What does it taste like?

I truly commend you on trying over and over on the little hell-treats you were making. Here's to macaronage...now have a drink!

Magic of Spice said...

Well at least the "half" looks perfect, I have a feeling you are being a bit hard on yourself...
Some things take a bit of practice and I think you are doing an excellent job with these :)

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