When I hear “graphic design”, I think crayons, colourful paper, glitter glue, and scissors, not fancy-smancy website stuff. Luckily, I have graciously been blessed with people in my life that complement my website/graphic/blog illiteracy. (See, I don’t even know what to call it!) My dad always tells me this story (I hope I get this right!) about how when I was maybe 7 or 8, I really liked Sailor Moon. I didn’t watch too much TV growing up... instead, I enjoyed my mail-order frogs, pet gerbils, and arts and crafts. So, when I liked this show, I kind of got weird and obsessive over it. I even wore my hair up in the two “meatball” style ponytails to school like Sailor Moon. Coolest second grader ever. Promise.
My two oldest sisters (twins!) were quite supportive of this newfound love for Sailor Moon. Since they’re kind of geniuses, they taught themselves HTML codes and built a Sailor Moon web site (when they were 14, by the way) to support our shared and unwavering love for this cartoon. One sister was into art, and she started drawing animated-style pictures, while the other sister was more into languages, and she taught herself how to read and write Japanese. She was even translating manga a few years later! (Now they are, respectively, an animator/free-lance graphic designer and a linguist/author/librarian.)
This recipe is dedicated to them, and in particular the animator/graphic designer, for she TOTALLY helped me fix the blog. Not too much has changed in the last 15 years… She’s still awesome at drawing/animating/art in general, and I still have weird hairstyles.
Since Sailor Moon is Japanese, and since she loves sweets (ice cream and cake are top priorities!), we are honouring her today by making:
I used the macaron recipe just as shown here: http://my.opera.com/trangskitchen/blog/matcha-green-tea-macaron-with-lemon-filling… but the recommended filling below I changed a bit. Instead of gelatin, which makes me itch inside (I’m not actually internally allergic, I just don’t eat gelatin), I used agar-agar powder. It worked perfectly!
Matcha Green Tea Macarons – What you need:
- 110 grams blanched almond flour
- 200 grams, minus 1 ½ tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons matcha green tea powder
- 100 grams egg whites, aged for 24 hours at room temperature (I put mine into a sealed container on the counter!)
- 50 grams caster sugar
Match Green Tea Macarons – What you do:
Sift together the confectioner’s sugar, almond flour, and matcha powder.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until fluffy, then slowly add in the caster sugar until stiff peaks form. Try not to overbeat! You know when the meringue (beaten egg white and sugar) is perfect when you can flip the bowl upside down without any slipping down the bowl.
Pour the almond/confectioner’s sugar mixture over the meringue. Fold the two mixes together. Again – it’s important not to over beat the batter… try to make fewer than 50 stirs here! The batter should be shiny and ribbon-like.
On parchment-lined baking sheets, pipe your macarons out using a pastry bag. Make sure you leave some space in between, for they expand a bit! Allow the macarons to rest for at least an hour before baking. Patience is key!
Preheat the oven to 140-150 c. Bake the macarons for 12-15 minutes, depending on their size, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. Allow the macarons to cool slightly before popping them off the baking sheet and placing them on to cooling racks. They should come off really easily, and if they don’t, just place them back in to the oven for a few more minutes.
Allow to cool completely, then pipe the goodness mentioned below in the middle of two cookies!
Lemon Macaron Filling – What you need:
- 2 grams Agar-Agar powder
- ¾ cup heavy cream (I think I used whipping cream… I never really know the differences between creams in French!)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
Lemon Macaron Filling – What you do:
In a large bowl, place the Agar-Agar and lemon juice together. Allow them to hang out for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cream and beat the mixture together until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
Place the filling into a pastry bag and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
After piping the filling in between the macaron shells, allow the macarons to sit over night in the fridge.
I made my macarons HUGE… so it only made 7, but I reckon if you make a more normal size macaron it would make around 15 cookies.
To be honest: I wasn’t the BIGGEST fan of the filling when I tasted it alone… however, when the final product was tested I was blown away! The flavours together are so subtle, yet perfectly complementary. This was a big, big win!
Sailor Moon (err, and my sister) saves the day once again. Keep on checking for BIG BIG improvements! : D.
... Now, if only someone can teach me how to use my external hard drive?
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