Return of the Mac(arons): Green Tea and Strawberry Macs

After an early, leisurely stroll around the neighborhood this morning, I committed myself to the kitchen for most of the day because I wanted to see if I could repeat the Dessert Truck Works method of making macarons, but this time making green tea and strawberry. flavors.  I was so happy with the way the coffee macs in the previous post turned out that I was curious to see if it was just a fluke.  The answer is, even though these macs didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the coffee macs, I know where I went wrong.  The coffee macs weren’t really a fluke, I just mixed the batter to a more fluid consistency than I did this time out of fear of overmixing.

This is what happens when you undermix your batter:

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As you can see, the batter wasn’t fluid enough for the macarons to spread into smooth shells.  They were also mostly lopsided.  The batter had too much air and these macarons puffed up a bit too much for my liking.  The feet were also a bit too ruffly.

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Green tea macarons
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Strawberry macarons

…But hey, it could be worse!  A year ago when I first tried making macarons again, I would always be sorely disappointed whenever I’d end up with macarons like these.  As if the hours I spent preparing them were wasted hours if I hadn’t turned out perfectly cute and round macarons with smooth shells and dainty feet.  Today it’s a different story.  They aren’t perfect but they’re still delicious and the people at work tomorrow will still eat them nonetheless.  Macarons are very difficult to get correctly every time (unless you make them daily or on a very frequent basis), and even the best pastry chefs have bad days.  When making macarons I find that I have more (relative) success when I’m relaxed and not putting extra pressure on myself to turn out perfect ones and obsessing over where I might go wrong and how I might prevent it.  Besides, there’s always next time.

On the brighter side, although these macarons didn’t look as smooth and close to perfect as the coffee macs, the fillings I used in these were absolutely spot-on with their flavors.  The matcha green tea buttercream filling came from Oh Sweet Day! (the post is for green tea macarons, but I only used the filling recipe) and I’ve re-posted it below:

Matcha Buttercream

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese, softened (my addition)
  • 1/4 cup honey (my addition)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Beat butter, cream cheese and honey on high until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and matcha powder and beat until incorporated. Add milk, continue beating until fully combined.

The strawberry filling uses fresh strawberries that have been pureed and reduced to half the original amount and because there’s cream cheese in the recipe, reminds me a bit of cheesecake with strawberries.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced and pureed
  • 8 oz. block of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 – 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Place pureed strawberries into a small saucepan and heat until reduced to half its original volume.  Set aside to cool completely.

In medium bowl, whip cream cheese and butter until soft and fluffy.

Add 1/4 cup strawberry puree and mix until blended.

Add confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Both these fillings could also be used as frostings.  Tweaking of the consistency may be necessary depending on the application (spreading or piping), but I am saving these recipes for future use on cupcakes/cakes as well!

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