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I’ve been dreaming (fantasizing?) about the Pierre Hermes wasabi macarons.  You know a funny thing?  All my obsession with Pierre Hermes and I’ve never even tasted his pastries?!  It’s all on reputation…in fact, it’s all on the Ispahan flavor combination.  He makes a rather well-known macaron called the Ispahan which uses rosewater, lychee and rasperries.  You can see my attempt to re-create them here.   When I heard he had a macaron with wasabi my tastebuds almost jumped out of my head!  I had to find the recipe and try them.  Well I found it (1) on Zen Can Cook. Of course it calls for something exotic, Yuzu juice, what is that anyway?

Yuzu

I am going to submit these to Aspiring Bakers #17 March Macaron Madness (March 2012). I can’t wait to see other submissions!Another variety of citrus?  I must find it.  Well that is easier said than done. I went to a local gigantic Asian market and…nothing, no one knew what I was talking about.  Hmmm.  there is another bigger Asian market in downtown Seattle but I wasn’t going to go there today.  The recipe said you could substitute lime.  That’s what I substituted in the last Hermes recipe I made! That time it called for Buddha Hand citrus.  What’s with all the exotic citrus that can be substituted by a lowly lime?!   On to the recipe, oh and fair warning it takes at least two days unless you have candied grapefruit on hand.

I try not to make a full recipe unless I know I like something and I’ve found with some of these recipes that have been converted from commercial scale that they make too much.  So this is a half recipe that follows and I used my own favorite macaron recipe instead of making the Italian merengue that the Hermes recipe called for.  I’ve never made them that way and it just seems overly complicated.

Candied grapefruit

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1/2 liter of water
  • 235 g of sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 5 peppercorns (it called for Sarawak, I used Tellicherry, I’m sure any black peppercorn would work)
  • Oh and 2 Tb of lemon juice which I, of course, forgot.

You will need the peel of the grapefruit sliced into about 1 inch wide pieces including some of the fruit.  Usually you only use the peel.  Put in a saucepan and cover with cold water, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.  Drain, rinse in cold water,  cover with water, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes,  repeat 2 more times.  If you taste the peel along the way it will go from unbearably bitter to much milder.

When you’re done with that part put the 1/2 liter of water, the sugar and the spice (oh and lemon juice, don’t forget that!) in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Once it’s boiling add the peels and low simmer with the lid propped open for 1 & 1/2 hours. You will know they’re done when they look translucent. Let them sit in the syrup overnight.  In the morning take them out of the syrup and let them dry on a wire rack.  I used the syrup on pancakes with yogurt, quite yum!

To use in the macaron, slice the peels into small chunks.

They look like little jewels.

If you have any leftover you can store them in the syrup for about 3 weeks, or cover them in sugar and they keep for about 3 days, or dip in chocolate and eat!Now we make macarons.  Use whatever recipe you usually use.  Bravetart has a great recipe and lots of tips on how to make them come out right.  For this macaron you need to grind up some pistachios and sprinkle on top of the macarons before baking.

Pierre Hermes uses titanium oxide to make his macarons white! Very strange, if you look it up on Wikipedia it’s used for many things including sunscreen and making the white lines on tennis courts. Not sure if I want that in my food and I didn’t have any of it anyway. I decided not to add any food coloring and leave these natural.   Now for the wasabi part!  Again, I didn’t make a full recipe only half and it was more than enough for the amount of macarons I made, probably about 60 finished (2 pieces per macaron).  I can’t really count them since we didn’t track how many we ate along the way!  Ugg, if I’m honest, we probably ate about 20.

White Chocolate, Wasabi, Lime Ganache

  • 187 g white chocolate
  • 150 g heavy cream
  • 20-25 g lime juice
  • 10 g wasabi (I was hoping for fresh but couldn’t find it. I’ve heard the stuff you get in tubes isn’t even real wasabi but who knows!)

Make the ganache by melting the white chocolate over a simmering pan of water (bain marie), heat the cream in a pan to a near simmer, warm the lime juice in the microwave. Once the white chocolate is melted add in half the cream and stir well, then add in the other half and the lime juice, stir some more. Add in the wasabi and make sure it’s really well combined.  Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to cool.

My macaron shells did not turn out as well as other times, I think I may have overmixed just a bit.  You learn each time.   Now it’s time to assemble the macarons!  I put a layer of the ganache and about 4 chunks of the candied grapefruit between two of the macarons and tasted….what a strange, exotic, almost exciting combination!  You are hit with the wasabi first but it’s not enough to burn or anything, then comes the citrus and the chewy crisp of the macaron!  Jason says he likes these the best of all I’ve made.  I liked these but my favorite is still the rosewater lychee.

I think I will try one more wasabi flavored dessert….chocolate, wasabi, ginger cake!   We’ll see.

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