I know, it’s not cherry blossom season. I’m late for that. (But it was a beautiful one this year, or perhaps I was just looking at them particularly closely, I don’t know.) But someone has captured it for me by turning a sea of blossom into a jar of jam. I bought the cherry blossom preserve when I picked up my lovely little wind chime, and have wanted something to make to use it up and these seemed perfect.
Clearly, the end of a busy week full of deadlines is just when I really need to bake something fiddly and complex requiring a level of delicacy, precision and detail that I never normally achieve. But the precision has calmed my spinning head and the theme – amuses me right now. I’m really pleased with the result.
I believe the correct phrase would be: Douzo meshiagare! – a politer form of ‘tuck in’ 🙂
Green Tea and Cherry Blossom Macaroons
Makes 10 macaroons, original recipe here.
For the macaroons
- 125g/4oz ground almonds
- 200g/7oz icing sugar
- 3 free-range egg whites
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tbs matcha powder
- 1 jar cherry blossom jam
For the green tea buttercream
- 200g/7oz icing sugar
- 75g/2oz butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp cooled strong green tea, made from a bag
- Using an electric whisk, slowly whisk the egg whites in a large bowl at a low speed until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed. Slowly whisk in the cream of tartar and caster sugar until the mixture is smooth and glossy, increasing the speed of the whisk as the mixture stiffens.
- Gently fold in the matcha, blended ground almonds and icing sugar until the mixture resembles shaving foam.
- Spoon the macaroon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in round nozzle. Pipe 5cm/2in circles onto the baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. If a peak forms, wet your finger and smooth it down. Sharply tap the bottom of the tray to release any air bubbles from the macaroons, then set aside for 60 minutes (the macaroon shells are ready to go in the oven when they are no longer sticky to the touch).
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C/315F/Gas 2½.
- Bake the macaroons in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Carefully peel away the greaseproof paper and set aside to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, for the filling, mix together the softened butter, vanilla essence, cooled tea and icing sugar until you have a smooth consistency.
- Use the filling and the cherry blossom jam to sandwich the macaroons together then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.