When I was deciding what desserts to make for my final showstopper, I knew it was one of those go big or go home type of moments. I've made macaron a few times over the course of my baking days and I gotta say I've definitely had more disasters than successes! So WHHHYY did I choose this? I believed that if I could nail one of the most difficult desserts while baking under stress and in a TENT, that it would really prove to myself that I really do deserve to win that title.
For me the last showstopper really was the culmination of me reflecting on all the people who have helped me get to where I am today. Not just baking but in life. The brief was to come up with 36 mini desserts for a winter celebration and I knew that I wanted to bake for everyone that I love. Filming in the U.K., it was extremely difficult to experience one of the most difficult things I've ever done without a single loved one near by. (Which is why the bakers end up getting so close!)
Being Chinese American, I grew up eating black sesame desserts! My favorite are Tang Yuan, which are rice balls with black sesame filling that you eat in a rice wine soup and these are typically eaten over Chinese New Year. Whenever I eat these I think of my family so it was an obvious pick to make macaron with black sesame where I could use the powder to flavor the shells. Black sesame is also one of those amazing flavors that pairs well with subtle sweet flavors that can play off it's earthiness and complexity. I always wanted to bake with champagne so made a buttercream filling that has the light, sweetness of honey but something tart to balance it being the champagne.
This macaron recipe is a bit more forgiving because it's using an Italian meringue method vs French meringue. That means you're creating a sugar syrup for the whipped egg whites vs adding in granulated sugar directly to the egg whites. I knew this was my only chance of nailing it in an environment that could have been high humidity and uncontrollable.
Hope you guys have just as much fun making these at home. I definitely look forward to making them again NOT in a tent. ;)
Recipe at ABC!