White Chocolate Wasabi Macarons

I think I finally found a fool proof recipe for making that little devil of a cookie that is the French macaron.  Although the ingredients are pretty simple, once you overbeat the batter you might as well throw the whole lot because your cookies will never have its most important characteristic - the foot.  That round even circle at the bottom of the cookie that has more texture and is about 2 millimeters thick.  All the recipes I've encountered on the internet and in cookbooks call for the folding of the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites, so as not to deflate it.  I've been making macarons for about 3 months now and I still can't quite get the folding right.  I always tend to underbeat the batter, which results in a chewy macaron.  Meh.

I came across Jill Colonna's Mad About Macarons! cookbook the other day and her approach is totally different.  She just mixes the beaten egg whites into the dry ingredients.  Yes, mixing well until you achieve "ribbon" consistency.  No need to fold.  No need to rap the baking sheets on the table to get the air bubbles out.  Now that I had to try.  The result?  Beautiful macarons without air pockets and of course, perfect little feet.
For the filling, chocolate ganache is my favorite.  Here I used white chocolate instead of the usual dark or milk chocolate since I prefer white with wasabi.  But go ahead and use whichever you like best. 
I made a paste mixing wasabi powder and water then incorporated it to the hot cream.  If you can't be bothered, you could just use ready-made wasabi paste from the tube.  I ended up putting about 2 teaspoons of wasabi paste since I remembered that the spiciness diminishes once the ganache cools and sets. 

basic Macaron recipe, from Jill Colonna's Mad About Macarons!  (makes 30-35 macaron shells):

50 grams egg whites, room temperature
33 grams caster sugar
60 grams ground almonds
90 grams confectioner's sugar

Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk the egg whites to form glossy, firm peaks adding the caster sugar gradually.  If making colored macarons, add coloring towards the end of mixing.

Sift the ground almonds with confectioner's sugar using a sieve.  Mix well to incorporate confectioner's sugar and almonds.

Incorporate the beaten egg whites into the dry ingredients using a large spatula.  Mix well.  There is no need to fold the mixture.  Do this for no more than 5 minutes until you have a smooth.  The result should form a soft and brilliant mixture that forms a "ribbon" on the spatula.  

Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a plain tip (around 1 cm diameter), then pipe on to  parchment-lined baking sheets (around 3 cm/1.5 inch-diameter rounds)

Leave for about 30-40 minutes to set, or until they are dry to the touch.  Do not skip this part, as this step helps produce the feet.

While they are setting, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.  Bake the cookies in the center of the oven, one tray at a time for about 10-12 minutes.

White Chocolate Wasabi Ganache filling:

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. wasabi paste
pinch of salt

Place white chocolate chips in a bowl.  Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add wasabi paste.  Pour the hot cream mixture into the bowl containing chocolate.  Stir constantly until smooth, then add the butter and pinch of salt.  Leave to cool in the fridge for about an hour.  Transfer to a piping bag and pipe filling onto shells.


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