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Milk Chocolate Miso Macarons

Milk Chocolate Miso Macarons

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. {Jump to Recipe}

Milk Chocolate Miso Macarons // FoodNouveau.com

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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.

Milk Chocolate Miso Macarons // FoodNouveau.com

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! Continue Reading

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