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. Irene said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 4:52 am

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

  2. 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.

  3. Tartelette said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 5:15 am

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

  4. Cannelle Et Vanille said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 5:46 am

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

  5. sweesan said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

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

  6. 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. πŸ™

  7. 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! πŸ™‚

  8. 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!!

  9. Zita said,

    October 28, 2009 @ 8:11 pm

    I heart your macarons πŸ™‚

  10. 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!

  11. 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 πŸ™‚ Love the pictures! πŸ˜‰

  12. 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.

  13. ALEV said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 1:16 am

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

  14. art and lemons said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 3:44 am

    Just stunning! Black sesame and nori macarons, delicious.

  15. felicia said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 11:53 am

    nice! i love black sesame macarons πŸ™‚

  16. 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 πŸ™‚ 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!

  17. betty said,

    October 29, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

    the black forest macaron looks AMAZING!

  18. 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!

  19. Christie @ Fig&Cherry said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 12:04 am

    Absolute perfection. Your styling is next level! πŸ™‚

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. Marija said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 9:11 am

    Stunningly beautiful!

  24. 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? πŸ™‚

  25. Natalie said,

    October 30, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

    Simply Superb! An inspired choice in flavors.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  26. 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!

  27. nico said,

    October 31, 2009 @ 2:32 am

    beautiful!! white and black, really really nice.

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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. πŸ™‚

  31. Sophie said,

    November 1, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

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


  32. 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. πŸ™‚

    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… πŸ˜›

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. Darina said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

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

  37. 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!

  38. 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!

  39. lauresophie said,

    November 7, 2009 @ 6:17 am

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

  40. 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!

  41. Arfi said,

    November 8, 2009 @ 7:38 am

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

  42. 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 πŸ™‚ connects via Twitter

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. Aqiyl Aniys said,

    March 20, 2014 @ 12:37 pm

    Whoa! These macarons look totally awesome! Wonderful.

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