These Milk Chocolate Miso Macarons combine the rich sweetness of milk chocolate with the savory saltiness of miso to produce a perfectly balanced, addictive treat. This recipe includes a variety of resources to help you learn how to make French macarons, including a video class.
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Desserts we make at home rarely include salty ingredients in any significant quantity, but pastry chefs love to incorporate savory elements in their desserts. The balance between savory and sweet is what makes the flavor of professional pastry creations so complex and memorable.
Personally, I like a classic brownie or chocolate chip cookie, but some of my favorite desserts—the ones I make regularly—are those that taste less sweet than a homestyle dessert would. There are many ways to balance out the sweetness in desserts: one of my favorite ways is to use citrus fruits. The sharp, zesty flavor of lemons and limes cuts through rich textures, balancing out the sweetness in desserts such as cupcakes and pies. Oranges and clementines add an incredible aroma to desserts and can completely change the flavor profile of familiar treats such cookies and carrot cake for the better.
A more unusual ingredient you can use to add depth and complexity to dessert is a classic Japanese savory seasoning: miso paste. Though it may sound strange to use an ingredient you’d usually add to soup in a sweet dish, the rich, nutty, salty flavor of miso is often just what you didn’t know you needed to transform your desserts from great to extraordinary.
Miso has long been used by pastry chefs, whether they stick to a more traditional pastry philosophy or like to create resolutely modern desserts. The first time I tasted a miso-infused macaron was at Pierre Hermé, in Paris. Pierre Hermé is my macaron mentor: his creations are what triggered my lifelong obsession with the French treat, and the flavors he uses in macarons I always find inspiring. Pierre Hermé’s miso macaron combined the fermented soy paste with lemon. It was a truly lovely combination: the soft, round richness of white miso softened the lemon’s sharp acidity. This convinced me that miso truly was an ingredient I needed to learn to use in my own desserts, too.
Wondering what a miso-infused dessert tastes like? Miso does not give a funky flavor to desserts, nor does it make them too salty. Think of miso as an enhancer: it adds depth and richness to flavors, and a touch of saltiness that enhances sweet ingredients.
There are different varieties of miso, and the flavor varies widely depending on the fermenting time. As a general rule, the darker the miso, the longer it has fermented and the more pungent the flavor. Red miso (aka miso) goes especially well with bold ingredients, such as chocolate, caramel, and banana. White miso (shiro miso) is fermented for only a few months, which means it has a delicate flavor and is less salty than other miso varieties. If you’ve never used miso in desserts, white miso should be your starting point: it is suited to most desserts, from ice cream to apple pie.
In my milk chocolate miso macarons, I use red miso because it is married to milk chocolate, which has a lively, very sweet flavor. The sharp taste of red miso reins in the sweetness of miso chocolate and provides incredible depth as well as an addictive je ne sais quoi to the flavor of the macarons. That “je ne sais quoi” would be umami, which literally means “pleasant savory taste” in Japanese.
If this all sounds confusing, just make the milk chocolate miso ganache and taste a spoonful of it. Once you taste the combination of chocolate and miso, there’s no turning back. You can use this ganache to fill macarons, of course, but you can also slather it in a layer cake or over brownies. You just can’t go wrong!
If this is your first time making macarons, prep, read, and watch before you start: Macarons are finicky to make, but if you set aside enough time so that you won’t be rushed, you can do it. I have a variety of resources available for you: a lengthy step-by-step recipe with photos to guide you through the process; a detailed troubleshooting post that’ll help you understand mishaps, should they happen; and a full video class—which I highly recommend watching before you make macarons for the first time. There’s nothing like watching someone making macarons to learn how to make them properly—that’s how I learned over 10 years ago, and that’s how thousands of my students did too!
My class is hosted on Skillshare and if you sign up using this link, you’ll get free access to the whole site for 14 days—which is just perfect to get you started on your macaron-making journey.
If you want to SEE someone make macarons before you take on the project of making your own, my Skillshare video class is for you:
I designed my Skillshare class both for novice bakers who want to learn new skills, and for experienced bakers who are seeking to master a new and impressive dessert. The class is divided into 15 short lessons that show you the essential equipment you need, the important steps to follow, the techniques to master, and the potential pitfalls to avoid. You can watch the videos on your own time, start practicing, share with other budding macaron makers, and ask me questions if you encounter difficulties along the way.
I myself learned how to make macaron by watching a friend making them for me repeatedly, and I believe a live (or video!) demonstration is the best way to learn how to make macarons because you can see exactly the techniques, textures, and results you should aim for.
Over 6,000 people have taken my Skillshare class so far and the class gets overwhelmingly positive reviews, most students stating the lessons exceeded their expectations. I’m confident that this video class will enable you to create perfect macarons.
Get FREE Access to my French Macaron Video Class for 14 days: Enroll Now!
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