Tahini Chocolate Macaron Tart

I really wanted to start looking into other macaron types/ recipes.
I've been using the same one for... 5 years now? And yeah, it's been pretty faithful. We've had our ups and downs, but overall we've been good. Although recently I've been starting to wonder: is this the best recipe out there?
There are so many bakeries and patisseries that make macarons, so many blogs that post about them and yet I rarely come across the same recipe twice. The quantities and ratios are vastly different among the macaron community. How can there be so many ways of making this cookie when they are so critically acclaimed to finnicky-ness?
I know that whenever my recipe messes up it's for very odd/ specific reasons. But I wonder if slightly altering the quantities/ method could lead to even more consistent results?

Therefore, I decided to experiment. I mean, I just bought a crap-ton of almond flour so why not?
I tried the Swiss meringue method and guess what? It worked.
I for sure thought I would have a lot more difficulty with it. However, the process wasn't too different from the French method-- but the results were vastly different.
My experience with macaronage definitely helped. Because, a major difference I noticed between the two recipes was the consistency of the batter when beginning the macaronage process. The Swiss method was a lot thicker in the beginning, due to the more stable egg/meringue mixture.
This recipe would be a lot easier to start off with as a beginner macaron-er. Possibly more forgiving, and would take a lot longer to over-mix/ mess up.

And the feet came out looking great. That's really all I care about in a macaron to be honest, ha! But, another thing that I liked a lot more about this recipe was the cakeyness of the shells. They weren't as hollow as the French method.
The shells looked less shiny, and more matte. A lot sturdier.
And much less sweet.
Most likely due to the ratio of icing sugar to almond flour.

Overall, I'm impressed and glad I tried it out! And you should too! Alright, enough talking, here's the recipe. I had to use up a lot of leftovers in my fridge so I decided to throw all this together. Lmao.

Tahini Chocolate Macaron Tart

Makes about six, 4" round tarts

Macaron Shells

100g        almond flour
80g          icing sugar
80g          egg whites
80g          sugar
1 drop      black food gel (optional)
2 tbsp      sesame seeds (optional)

Sift almond flour and icing sugar into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a heatproof bowl add the sugar and egg whites. Place bowl over saucepan filled with one inch of simmering water, making sure that the bowl is not submerged (double boiler method). Heat the egg and sugar until it reaches 50 degrees Celsius. Take off the heat.
With an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip until hard peaks form. (Add food colouring now if you wish)
Once stiff peaks have been achieved, add half of the almond mixture and fold until incorporated. Add the rest and continue to fold until the batter can drop off the spatula to form a slight ribbon. If dropped from a spoon, will flatten within 15 seconds. Careful not to overmix!
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
Pipe 1" rounds onto a baking sheet lined with a silipat about 1" apart. Once tray is piped, smack on counter to flatten out and release any air bubbles.
Sprinkle tops with sesame seeds and allow to dry or form a "skin".
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Once dry to the touch, bake macaron shells from about 9 minutes. Allow to cool.

Chocolate Tart Shell

260g               a.p flour
87g                 cocoa powder
1/4 + 1/8tsp    baking powder
8oz                 unsalted butter
160g               sugar
2 tsp                salt

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt, beat to combine. Add the flour in two additions. Mix until just moistened.
Dump dough onto the counter and press together to form a 6" rectangle shape. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease about six, 4" tart forms.
Once chilled, roll out to about 1/8" thick, on top of plastic wrap or a large silipat so it doesn't stick to the counter. Transfer dough to prepared tart shell molds and press into place. Trim the excess and chill for about 10 minutes before baking.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until fragrant and slightly cracked on the top.
Remove from molds once cooled slightly. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Diplomat Cream

240ml               milk
48g                  sugar
2 egg yolks
40 g                 corn starch
1 tbsp              butter
75ml                whipping cream
4g                    gelatin
1 tsp                 water

Add sugar and milk to a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Bring to a simmer. Take off heat.Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine the egg yolk and corn starch. Temper the egg yolks by pouring the hot milk mixture over the egg yolks while whisking constantly.
Transfer mixture back into medium saucepan and place over low heat and while whisking constantly, allow to thicken. Remove from heat immediately and process through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Add butter and stir to melt.
Place plastic wrap over top and allow to cool in fridge for about an hour.
While pastry cream cools, bloom gelatin in the teaspoon of water. Once bloomed, melt in microwave, about 8 seconds. Whip the whipping cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Add the melted gelatin and whip to combine.
When pastry cream is cool enough, take out of fridge and whisk to get rid of any lumps. In two additions fold in the whipping cream, being careful not to deflate the mixture too much. Once just incorporated place in fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.

Tahini Ganache

4 oz           semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz            whipping cream
1 tsp          vanilla
1 tbsp        tahini
1 tsp          sesame seeds, ground

Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
Add whipping cream, vanilla, tahini and sesame seeds to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Once hot, pour over chopped chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes to allow it to melt. Whisk to incorporate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until slightly set.

To assemble:

Transfer diplomat cream and ganache to piping bags fitted with a round tips.
Fill the tart shells 2/3 full with diplomat cream and smooth out.
Fill the rest of the tart with ganache. Smooth out the tops with an offset spatula.
Pipe the remaining ganache onto the backsides of half the macaron shells and sandwich two sides together.
Arrange about 6-7 macarons with the seam side facing upwards on top of each tart. Finish them off with optional gold leaf or crunchy chocolate pearls.
Store tarts in fridge. Best if eaten same day. Macarons can be made up to 2 days prior to the tart. Enjoy!

To conclude this very long post... I'll say that I'm definitely going to stick to this recipe and see where it takes me. Eventually I want to try out all of the popular methods and hopefully come out a macaron expert! Wish me luck.


Elanne Boake