Daring Bakers Challenge : Macarons


(Black sesame and nori macarons)

The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

Funnily enough, I’ve never been excessively interested in macarons. I appreciate their beauty and the degree of difficulty involved in their success. As many people have said before, it’s amazing how complex a process it is to get right, considering macarons consist of merely three ingredients. So I have all the respect in the world for bakers out there such as Helen, Aran and Julia who love these sugary treats and manage time and again to present perfect and creative versions of them.

With regards to this month’s challenge, I had every intention of attempting Claudia Fleming’s recipe, but my brain was unfortunately asleep the day I stepped into the kitchen. It was only when half way through the process that I realised I had been baking on autopilot, and had somehow managed to whip up a batch of my normal macaron recipe, as opposed to the one provided for the challenge!


So I’m not sure if my contribution really counts towards this challenge, but here it is anyway. I made some bite-sized macarons flavoured with black sesame powder and paste, with dried seaweed (nori) garnishing the shells before baking. The combination worked well together, in my opinion, also because I quite like adding savoury elements to things that are quite sweet (as we all know macarons can be).

To keep things interesting, an impromptu dessert macaron was also cobbled together from items I scavenged from the fridge and pantry. Chocolate sauce, ganache, cake, cherries and vanilla cream formed a little nod to my obsession with Black Forest flavours.


(Black Forest macaron)

Thank you Ami, for bringing macarons into the Daring Bakers repertoire!

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  1. Rosa said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 1:32 am

    Gorgeous! Your macarons are a real work of art!



  2. dawn said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 2:57 am

    these are just so fabulous! I know how hard these are to make.

  3. courtney aka glamah said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    Perfection. Im partial to the the Black Forest flavored ones. I love the effects of he savory elements as well.

  4. snooky doodle said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 3:59 am

    oh that blackforest macaroons looks mouthwatering. Wow yours are perfect I ve never been able to make perfect macaroons.
    visit my blog which changed name at http://maltesebakes.blogspot.com/

  5. Sugar Chef said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 5:21 am

    I think your macarons count for sure!! Love them all.

  6. Hannah said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 6:04 am

    Now that’s a unique flavor combination! Oh, I’d be so curious to taste a seaweed sweet… But regardless, your macarons are just beautiful. I especially love the look of your black forest assemblage!

  7. Little Miss Cupcake said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 7:24 am

    wow! that black forest one is awesome!

  8. Trissa said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 7:26 am

    I love the black forest macaron – I think it looks beautiful. Would The black sesame and nori ones looks stunning!

  9. Julia @ Mélanger said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 8:09 am

    Y! Just delicious. Just beautifully photographed. Just perfect.

    Mr Mélanger would have loved to taste those little black forest macarons for his birthday on Sunday. Sure, sure, it may have been black forest overload with the black forest cake as well, but he has quite a sweet tooth so I’m sure he would have managed well!

    I really love your combination of flavours in the black sesame version. Where do you get that powder from?

  10. Steph said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:05 am

    Ahh just perfect. I knew this challenge was going to be a piece of cake for you :) Totally loving the black forest macaron, those flavours are right up my alley.

  11. Allison said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:08 am

    Truly stunning macarons and beautiful presentation and photogrphy as aways!

  12. shez said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:13 am

    Oh I was hoping you’d manage to get photos taken and the post up for today – I love seeing what you make :) Both versions of the macaron sound like they’d be a delight to eat!

  13. Cakelaw said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    Your macarons are so cute, regardless of the recipe, and thw black sesame falvour sounds very interesting. The black forest one looks delicious!

  14. lili - pikelet & pie said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:44 am

    Wish I had a pantry like yours! Looks great. I’m like you, never been macaron obsessed, but those little bites look delightful.

  15. Rose said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:58 am

    WHOA black forest macarons? Excellent creativity and photography as always. I am in awe!

  16. shaz said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 10:00 am

    Such beautiful macarons as usual Y! For a non-macaron obsessive you sure make some amazing macarons…was very inspired by your toast flavoured one :)

  17. diva said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 10:02 am

    your macarons are so creative and stunning! fashionable too 😉 x

  18. Ellie said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 10:14 am

    The beauty of your macarons left me with a gasp. Love the flavours and beautiful photos as always!

  19. Jessica said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 10:25 am

    I love the juxtaposition of the white and black!

  20. maybelles mom said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 10:37 am

    lovely lovely as expected. I love that you accidentally cheated on the recipe.

  21. anna said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 11:05 am

    OMGOMGOMG prettyprettypretty!! I love them! You know how I said the black forest macaron was the sexiest macaron ever? Yeah, the black sesame and nori may be sexier. Definitely a flavor I’d go for. Mmmmmsalty.

  22. Caitlin said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 11:46 am

    Y, you are awesome. Black sesame and nori sounds fantastic! And I must admit, my favorite part of macarons is making them – the precision of weight and mixing and baking, then filling them and stacking them into cute little pyramids and things. Eating them is just a side benefit :)

  23. Laura said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 11:56 am

    Both look so lovely! I love sesame and nori together, they must be so tasty in a macaron.

    Great job as usual!

  24. cyn said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

    oh i do love your creations! i’m with you on this, macarons are too sweet for my liking usually. toning the sugar level down sounds just about right.

    my best macaron experiences were a simple pistache macaron and the other, a burnt salty caramel flavour. i still salivate at the thought of them. :)

  25. Mrs Ergül said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    This is really lovely! All the photos are stunning!

  26. Nicole said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

    Never been fond of black forrest but when served with this version of black forrest I just might have a change of opinion. They look absolutely delicious.

    The nori and black sesame are interesting flavor. I hope you’d post the recipe for those so I could re create it at home

    Thanks! love the macaroons

  27. Ivonne said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

    Congratulations, Y! Those are works of art!

  28. Linda said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 1:49 pm

    oh wow/.. if only I could whip up something like that from left over ingredients in the fridge =D

    I love how perfect your macarons are, I also like them bite sized.

  29. Betty said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    WOW!! Both are gorgeous, I love how you just whipped up the last one! 😀

  30. cakebrain said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 4:16 pm

    I’d like you to take a picture of the inside of your fridge! gee! what delicious leftovers you have! I love black sesame macarons and it’s one of my favourite flavours. Neat idea with the nori!

  31. Memoria said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

    Wow! These are beautiful!

  32. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 5:14 pm

    The black sesame ones look very stylish in black and white, but the black forest filling sounds so beautiful!

  33. Fuji Mama said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

    Exquisite as usual! Do you have your usual recipe somewhere here on your blog? Off to look and find out….

  34. The Purple Foodie said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

    Looks lovely! I love how you add your unqiue touch to every Daing Baker challenge recipe.

  35. Anita said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

    What gorgeous photos! I said “WOW’ out loud, when I saw the first one! :)

  36. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

    Mmm loving the black forest macaron! Gorgeous 😀

  37. zorra said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:35 pm

    Creative as usual and beautiful pics! Stunning! And thank you for your kind words.

  38. Gala said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

    I don’t think that this try wont count…after all you did make macarons, and so beautiful ones on top! Love the savory touch to them.

  39. Meeta said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

    lovely looking macarons especially that black forest one!

  40. pontch said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

    they are beautiful !
    I love your pictures.

  41. FFichiban said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

    Cute edible works of art as usual ^^!

  42. veron said,

    October 27, 2009 @ 11:32 pm

    I love your flavor combinations for both macarons. Very creative!

  43. Ana Powell said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 1:10 am

    Beautiful combination of flavours.
    Delicious, loved the photos x

  44. Ahmad said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 1:22 am

    so beautiful!! so perfect!!!

  45. Asha@FSK said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 2:04 am

    mmm.. mmm… mmh! gorgeous.. love the little heart :)))) stunning photogrphy as usual!

  46. Hilda said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 2:51 am

    Hee, I wondered if you were going to make a black forest one, and you did. I love the idea of black sesame and nori as I too am looking for flavors that undercut the sweetness of the shells. A. liked these as opposed to the previous ones which he thought were too sweet. And I like you don’t really eat these much, my obsession with them was only in being able to make them successfully when I first set out, otherwise, particularly here, there are few people to hand them out too (soldiers like heartier treats than macs, what a surprise right?) Love the set-up against the dark background, beautiful.

  47. Vera said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 2:51 am

    Great flavors and pretty macarons!

  48. Audax Artifex said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    These are perfect and the idea of Nori is superb and the black sesame seed is priceless. Bravo Bravo Bravo full kudos to you. Sublime effort I will certainly be using these ideas in some of my next batches. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  49. Not So Vanilla said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 4:14 am

    WWOOOOWWWW!!! That pretty much sums it up.

  50. Lauren said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 4:21 am

    Wow. I don’t know what to say. Your macarons are stunning.

  51. Irene said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 4:52 am

    Very nice!!! I also like adding savory elements to sweet things.

  52. Jamie said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 5:01 am

    Stunning, simply stunning. I so want to try savory flavors too, but yours is amazing! Love the black, so elegant! And the black forest? Wow! My favorite combination of flavors. Beautiful.

  53. Tartelette said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 5:15 am

    Gorgeous macarons Y! As if you could turn a bad batch. Love the last picture :)-

  54. Cannelle Et Vanille said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 5:46 am

    beautiful… i love how you made them on auto-pilot. just like i do!

  55. sweesan said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

    wow they looked really beautiful!! the idea of adding seaweed, ingenious!

  56. Jenny Tan said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

    Your macs are gorgeous! Would love to taste one of the Black Forest macs please. Mine did not turn out well. :(

  57. Jill said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

    My favorite pictures so far….AMAZING, you really did such a beautiful job on these! I love the nori and black sesame combo–AWESOME! :)

  58. Christy said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

    You composed the black forest macarons from leftovers in your fridge? I wish I could live at your house!! Say, have you ever considered about moving to Melbourne? And I love that intense blackness from the black sesame!!

  59. Zita said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

    I heart your macarons :)

  60. tiina said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 12:31 am

    The b&w macaroons are absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful blog you have. Have a great rest of the week!

  61. Manggy said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 12:48 am

    Wow, if I had those components sitting around my fridge always, I’d never be in a bad mood, heh heh :) Love the pictures! 😉

  62. steph (whisk/spoon) said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 12:55 am

    wow–those black and whites are so sleek and cool looking! it’s always best to go with a recipe you know and trust. mine were not so stellar.

  63. ALEV said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 1:16 am

    I love the black forest macaron. it looks WOW….

  64. art and lemons said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    Just stunning! Black sesame and nori macarons, delicious.

  65. felicia said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    nice! i love black sesame macarons :)

  66. Jen Yu said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

    Oh honey! The black sesame macs are so strikingly lovely. That’s another Asian flavor I want to attempt :) And I’m personally happy about your Black Forest obsession because your macaron interpretation rocks. So cool that you’re able to make macs on auto-pilot… you studette!

  67. betty said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

    the black forest macaron looks AMAZING!

  68. Anda said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

    I am obsessed with Black Forest flavor myself so I will surely need to try it in a macaron form – never thought of it. Great job!

  69. Christie @ Fig&Cherry said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 12:04 am

    Absolute perfection. Your styling is next level! :)

  70. the caked crusader said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 1:07 am

    Stunning – no other word for it!
    That black forest one definitely has my name on it!

  71. Chez Us said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 1:47 am

    Great job for a girl who is not into the mac. I love the addition of seaweed, I would have never thought of it. As well the black forest one is brilliant and the photo is stunning, really stunning!

  72. deeba said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 2:51 am

    Baked such gorgeousness on autopilot? Of course it counts! Your every move counts, & these are eye candy. So glad to meet another who wonders why these sugary treats are so highly rated…though very very pretty yours certainly are!

  73. Marija said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 9:11 am

    Stunningly beautiful!

  74. Helen (Grab Your Fork) said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 11:28 am

    Love the look of those luscious cherries in your black forest macaron, and the use of nori with black sesame is inspired.

    and lol at the thought of you being on auto-pilot when it comes to baking macarons! just a walk in the park eh? :)

  75. Natalie said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    Simply Superb! An inspired choice in flavors.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  76. Lisa said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    OMG, Y..could your macarons be any more beautiful smf eliciously unique? You never fail to wow me with your talent and creativity, not to mention those amazing photos! You completely rock!

  77. nico said,

    October 31, 2009 @ 2:32 am

    beautiful!! white and black, really really nice.

  78. Cynthia said,

    October 31, 2009 @ 9:52 am

    The fact that you can make macarons on autopilot speaks to your baking ability. I’ve made them a couple of times and they never quite turn out right. I do love the innovative flavors you are playing with. These look wonderful.

  79. erin said,

    November 1, 2009 @ 6:39 am

    Yeah, I’m not really into the whole macaron trend right now, either, but your version sounds *really* interesting! Gorgeous pics!

  80. grace said,

    November 1, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

    what uniquely-colored cookies! black sesame and seaweed are strangers to me, but i’m definitely intrigued. i’m also smitten, but with the black forest version–very creative, y! i shall make macarons vicariously through you. :)

  81. Sophie said,

    November 1, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

    You are again the true MASTER in PURE FOOD ART!!!!!


  82. Su-yin said,

    November 2, 2009 @ 9:11 am

    These look amazing! I love black sesame macaroons, especially the slight crunch it gives to the ganache. :)

    Great black forest inspired macaron as well – it’s so beautifully thought out and so well presented! What wouldn’t I give to try that… 😛

  83. Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf said,

    November 2, 2009 @ 10:01 am

    The top photo is just spectacular ! All three pics are. So glad I had marked this page to come back to. Fantastic flavor combinations and ideas – as always.

  84. El said,

    November 2, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

    The macarons you made are divine! I love the color, design and the addition of a savory component – it’s wonderful!

  85. Marysol said,

    November 3, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

    Y, the pictures demand nothing but the utmost admiration, but that first image is a killer.
    And I find the addition of Nori intriguing. Your contribution counts, and how.

  86. Darina said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

    Wow, those are some sexy looking macarons. The black sesame sounds especially enticing.

  87. Trisha said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 10:49 pm

    Wow Y! The black and white contrast is amazing…. these are too good to eat! I can look at them the whole day!

  88. clumbsycookie said,

    November 6, 2009 @ 4:05 am

    The black forest one is genious! But I also love the sesame one, the one with the heart painted is just adorable!

  89. lauresophie said,

    November 7, 2009 @ 6:17 am

    Gorgeous macaron! the last one is just great! a great dessert in a small one! awesome!!

  90. Bread and Jam said,

    November 7, 2009 @ 7:27 am

    Black forest?! Too good to be true. What a great flavor idea for this challenge. They turned out lovely. Great job!

  91. Arfi said,

    November 8, 2009 @ 7:38 am

    Black forest macarons looks so good. Small portion will do for me, thanks :))

  92. Lisalicious said,

    November 11, 2009 @ 8:17 am

    I haven’t try any before and seems like it is always easy to bake it :S

    anyway, perhaps one day…….

    Hey since u hv a blog. Hehe. U might wanna check http://www.ozbloggers.com. It’s new & expanding :) connects via Twitter

  93. Shannon @ bakeandbloom.com said,

    November 17, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

    Your sesame macarons look so sweet with the little heart. I am trying to get past the supersticious side of me that is screaming that black hearts are bad luck though.

  94. ATigerintheKitchen said,

    November 29, 2009 @ 9:36 am

    I don’t understand how I only just discovered your Website. You are a true talent…in the kitchen and behind the camera! I’m in love with these pictures of your macarons. So pretty…and they look just delicious. Kudos.

  95. poppy girl said,

    December 28, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

    i predicting that macarons are the next “in thing”, they will replace the cupcake phase we’re currently experiencing in australia.

  96. Aqiyl Aniys said,

    March 20, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    Whoa! These macarons look totally awesome! Wonderful.

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