Do you love it, or hate it?
I just happen to love it. I love horseradish too, but I guess that's no surprise as they are in the same family. Horseradish with roast beef, corned beef, smoked trout; wasabi with sushi,with spinach, and of course wasabi peas for snacking on!
Kath, from has asked some of her fellow bloggers to do a Japanese recipe post to link in with her solidarity with Japan. http://myfunnylittlelife.com/category/kaths-stuff/solidarity-with-japan/ I thought of sushi, miso, teriaki, but then....... my thoughts headed in another direction.
I have been fighting it, I don't like to follow trends, I like to forge my own culinary paths, but .. but.. 'But all the other chefs are doing it' I justified. And so, ashamed, I did it, I caved into peer pressure. I had to see for myself what all the hype was about. The Macaron. They're everywhere at the moment, Master Chef has been promoting them, they're in every magazine, everyone is blogging and flogging them. And now , I too, have joined the darkside. Please forgive me. My excuse is that it's in a good cause, and if it had to be done, I might as well do it in style.
Thus was born the Wasabi Pea Macaron.
Now, there are amazing tutorials all over the internet and magazines and blogs and cooking shows, etc, etc, etc. So I'm just going to give you a quick rundown of my cheaty little sneaky way of making them using leftover meringue.
Every time I do a big bake for one of my clients I have extra Italian Meringue. Although it's very yummy, I usually wash it down the sink or feed it to my walking garbage bin, aka, the dog. This week I saved it for making my macarons instead.
I make my meringue the easy way, with no temperature testing. I just use 5 cups of sugar to 1 1/3 cups of water with a pinch of cream of tartar. I put this on high heat on the stove and bring it to the boil. I watch it, and as soon as the liquid is clear not cloudy, I pull it off and tip it slowly into 10 egg whites in the Kenwood as it runs at low speed. Once the sugar syrup is in, I increase the speed to high and beat it until it's shiny and holds a really good peak. That's it. The only thing to watch for is that the saucepan has no sugar above the water level or it might crystallize. I don't know how much this makes to be honest, it tops 4 dozen small lemon meringue pies, and there was 3 1/2 cups left over.
The other important part of a macaron is the TPT. This is equal weights of pure icing sugar and ground almonds sifted together. I still needed to get my wasabi peas in there, so I ground them up in my food processor. As you can see in the finished product, I should have gone a bit finer, they're not as smooth as they should be, but this was only a guestimate recipe this time round so I wasn't too fussed.
I mixed equal quantities of TPT and ground peas together, a cup of each, and sifted them. This was then folded with the 3 1/2 cups of meringue until well combined with no streaks of white showing. Pipe this into rounds on baking paper lined cookie sheets.
I then wet the top of each macaron and sprinkled them with some funky little wasabi flavoured sesame seeds I found at the asian supermarket and have been saving for something special. Leave these on the bench for about an hour to develop a skin, and so you can get the little ridge, or 'feet' to the macaron. Be careful putting the sheet in the oven, because if you just push it in the macarons can slip and not rise straight up and pretty.
Bake for 15 mins at 150*.
Leave to cool on the paper, then carefully peel off.
I sandwiched these little cuties together with a white chocolate ganache made from melted Sweet William white chocolate, a bit of butter, and a teaspoon of water. Sweet William is not really 'chocolate', rather a dairy, gluten and nut free substitute. Never mix water and genuine chocolate together like that it will seize up and be a waste of yumminess!
Well Readers, here are my cuties. They are posed with some of littlej's paper cranes. littlej is studying Japanese at school, and so has been following all the developments closely. As the class was discussing the disaster, littlej came up with the sweet idea of them all making as many paper cranes as they could to take to the Japanese embassy to show how much they care. The lovely teacher jumped on the idea and they dropped them off the following day. I know it's not much, but sometimes just knowing others are thinking of us in times of need can help us get through the day.
So what do you think Readers, would you like to try a Wasabi Pea Macaron?