Salted Egg Yolk Macarons | The Aries Achilles
August 12, 2018
Leave your Superstition at the Door
Superstition? Not for me. I’ve never really believed in the classic set of superstitious shebang because I like to think that I can manipulate how I live my own life. However, growing up in a pretty traditional Chinese family, fengshui was all the rage. My grandparents and parents would always chide me for little things that would bring bad fengshui. Of course, I paid absolutely no attention because that’s the kind of child I was (and maybe am), sorry mum.
Yet, despite all my previous doubts, I am somewhat becoming more inclined to believe that there may be some things that I simply must leave to fate. One of my closest friends, Mio, is a devout believer in astrology. After years of me nodding along to her theories and stipulations, it finally started to make some sense a few weeks back when she read me my birth chart. To say that I was surprised at how accurate the chart reflected my personality and behavior is an understatement. In fact, I think the accuracy made me feel a tad bit queasy. I think I can speak for most people when I say that it’s a bit unsettling when someone just reads into your life based on some text.
Cookie Cutter Aries Boy
Regardless, as an Aries, here’s what I found out, or more like confirmed, about myself. Hopeless romantic? Check. Overprotective? Check. Slightly possessive? Check. Touchy & Clingy? Check. An emotional wreck? HALLELUJAH SISTA. Ok, but all jokes aside, I think I really do fit into the cookie cutter Aries stereotype. The way I see it, being an Aries means that your virtues are also your flaws. I often feel like I incline myself too much towards a certain trait or belief that it can begin to impede my true thoughts & feelings. For example, lets take the classic Aries Achilles heel as an example: love. For me, love is a double-edged blade that is both fulfilling and debilitating.
The first thing about me when it comes this kind of situation is that I fall for people quick, and I fall really hard. Why? Well I'm a hopeless romantic who just wants someone who will do explore the world and do cRaZy things with me. I'm also a pretty fickle person and my actions never seem to match up with my intentions. One day I'll be head over heels for you and the next day I'll convince myself I was just seeing things and shake it off. Sometimes this strategy seems to work, but it's really quite flawed. Regardless, I am hopeless when it comes to love so at this point, I'm just gonna wait it out. Besides, I have these cute macarons to keep me company anyways.
Like I said before, I’m can be a stubborn fella and I definitely hold grudges. One grudge I have held to this day is the one against macarons. Not that I hate macarons, but I have simply never been able to successfully make a batch. What bothered me wasn’t really the puddles of macarons themselves, but the fact that I could successfully bake other intricate desserts and simply couldn’t nail this one. So to answer your question….yes it’s been a while since I’ve made macarons. But TAKE THIS stubborn inability to swallow my own pride and pursue my macaron baking dreams. As you can see, I am ecstatic that these turned out the way they did, especially for my first successful attempt.
These little critters are infused with a flavor that is common in Asian cuisine and that I grew up eating almost every other day: salted egg yolks. Salted eggs have pretty much always been a staple side dish in my family because my mother really likes her porridge, which salted egg is most commonly eaten with. While I was never a fan of leftover rice sitting in boiling water, salted egg yolks were more than enough to convince me chug my bowl. Ahh…the good old days. I actually came up with the flavor combination from an ice cream store in Shanghai called Bonus that features our favorite summer dessert with exciting flavors. While they rotate between flavors often, salted egg yolk is their one signature flavor that always stays on their menu....and it's a big hit. If you ever want to check it out, the address is Rui Jin Er Road 39, Shanghai, China.
The flavor profile of salted egg yolk is hard to describe. The addition of salt amps up the umami flavor of the egg, but also causes the yolk to take on a buttery, almost flaky texture. They work really well in this recipe due to the extreme sweetness of the macaron shells. If you haven’t had one yet, there is a whole world of flavor you’re missing out on. Even better, they should be easily accessible via shopping or in the comfort of your own kitchen! To make this Asian delicacy, whole eggs are essentially cured in a very very salty solution. Back in the day, charcoal was mixed with salt as the solution, but these days they can easily be made in a salt bath. I bought my egg yolks online to save time, but if you can’t find any at your local Asian market, I encourage you to roll up your sleeves and get curing! There is a plethora of articles on how to cure eggs online, all you have to do is hit that search button!
I’ve always found cured and fermented foods interesting because every culture seems to have their own cured/fermented product. From a practical standpoint, it makes how each culture developed their own curing products and methods in order to preserve the food they consume. However, I am always surprised by the fact that this practice seems to be somewhat universal. In any cuisine, you will almost always find one or two cured/fermented foods unique to that specific cuisine. Just a little fun fact I thought was interesting and worth sharing.
I hope this post has inspired you to, if you havn't already, seek out and try salted eggs. If you're already a fan...well then get baking! Alternatively, I guess you could also buy a plane ticket to Shanghai and bake with me :) I'll even take you to bonus. It's on me. Maybe I'll even fall in love with you because...you know...I'm an Aries.
Okay I should stop now. Until next time!
Ingredients (makes about 12)
For the Macaron Shells
- 60g of egg white
- 75g of almond flour
- 90g of powdered sugar
- 60g of granulated sugar
For the Salted Egg Yolk Buttercream
- 60g of butter, room temperature
- 120g of powdered sugar
- 4 salted egg yolks
- 1 tbsp. of heavy cream
Macaron Shells (adapted from Antonio Bachour's recipe)
In a food processor or blender, blitz the almond flour and powdered sugar until extremely fine. Sift into a large mixing bowl. Set aside
Make a French meringue by whisking the egg whites to soft peaks and then gradually adding the granulated sugar 1 tbsp at a time until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
Carefully fold the meringue into the almond mixture until the desired consistency. *
Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe small egg shapes (or the traditional circle) onto a parchment lined baking sheet, making sure there is about a half inch between each shell. Leave to dry out for at least 30 minutes or until the shells do not leave any residue when lightly prodded.
Bake in a preheated 135C/275F oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.
Let cool to room temperature.
Salted Egg Yolk Buttercream
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
If the salted egg yolks are raw, steam for approximately 15 minutes.
Beat in the cooked salted egg yolks.
Transfer to a piing tip fitted with a round tip.
- Pipe the buttercream directly onto the flat side of one macaron shell, leaving a bit of the shell uncovered.
- Place another shell on top of the buttercream (flat side down) and lightly press together The buttercream should not ooze out of the sides.
* The consistency is hard to describe, but the batter should just begin to flow from the spatula.
** If you want a really smooth buttercream, blitz the salted egg yolks and the cream in a food processor before adding it into the butter. I wanted bits of salted egg in the buttercream for added texture and simply mashed up the yolks before folding them in to the butter mixture.