After seeing Sadaharu Aoki’s black sesame eclair, I knew I wanted to make some kind of pastry with black sesame. For some reason it had never occurred to me that this flavor would work well in desserts, but considering all the asian desserts I’ve had that were either covered in sesame seeds or consisted mainly of them, it all made sense; the nuttiness and slightly bitter aftertaste balances out with whatever sweet ingredients you want to combine them with.
So with this knowledge I decided I wanted to make an Asian-inspired macaron, but wanted to stray away from the typical green tea or coconut. Lemongrass it is! I love how the citrus-y floral aroma brightens up the entire cookie and gives the ganache in the center a nice flavour without being too aggressive.
Black Sesame and Lemongrass Ganache
makes enough to fill 100 macarons
180 g heavy cream
60 g lemongrass (about 2 stalks, trimmed and cleaned)
70 g black sesame seeds
225 g milk chocolate
With a mallet or a dull object (I used the back of my knife), bruise lemongrass until the stalks open up in the center. Cut into 2 inch pieces and combine with cream in a small saucepot. Bring cream to a boil, then turn off heat and let steep 30 minutes, covered. Set aside.
In a saute pan, toast sesame seeds until fragrant and until some of the seeds begin to pop. Remove from heat. Using a spice grinder, grind seeds (while still slightly warm) until oils are released and it turns into a smooth paste; this may take a few minutes.
In a bowl combine milk chocolate and sesame paste. Strain your cream mixture and bring cream to a boil again. Pour over chocolate and sesame paste, then whisk until ganache is smooth. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
For the macaron shells, I would recommend using My Food Geek’s recipe, or any recipe that uses the Italian meringue method. Happy Eats!