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daring bakers: french macarons

Recipe: green tea adzuki macarons

NaBloWriMo day 27.

World colliding: NaBloWriMo meets the Daring Bakers meets use real butter. Oy.

the daring bakers get stabby

The official line: The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.

The unofficial line: I went with a tried and true recipe from Helen, my macaron expert. Sorry – I didn’t have time for screwing around with an unknown this month. I had a few hours before my flight to California, but I wanted to make some macs to take to my grandma for her birthday. Helen’s recipes never let me down. Never.

i like the matcha very mucha

blend the matcha green tea powder with the confectioner’s sugar

I’ve made green tea matcha macarons with passion fruit buttercream filling before. It is one of my favorite flavor combinations. I thought my grandma would enjoy those.

starting the macaronage

drying the discs of batter

But I needed a new flavor combination for the DB challenge and sweet red bean (adzuki) is a favorite Chinese flavor. I didn’t have a lot of time to experiment, so I used a can of sweetened red bean paste that can be found in most Asian grocery stores and mixed a 1:1 ratio of red bean paste with Swiss meringue buttercream.

sweet red bean paste

sweet red bean paste buttercream

The filling gets a bit of that grainy mouthfeel because of the bean paste, which is fine – but I think I might prefer more bean paste in the mix than buttercream next time. It’s all a matter of personal preference. While I like the red bean version, I think the passion fruit version is still my favorite.

piping the filling

boxing them up for grandma’s birthday

My grandma enjoyed the French macs. She, like me, prefers the matcha-passion fruit pairing. My aunt liked the matcha-red bean paste macs better. Variety is the spice of life. More than anything, it’s lovely to share these goodies with loved ones.

match green tea with red bean and passion fruit fillings (plus fresh passion fruits from todd and diane)

Green Tea and Adzuki Bean Macarons
[print recipe]
adapted from Tartelette

110g blanched almonds
200g powdered sugar
2 tsps matcha (green tea powder)
100g egg whites, aged a day and brought to room temperature
50g sugar
1 cup adzuki Swiss meringue buttercream

Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add powdered sugar and matcha powder. Pulse until well-blended. Whip the egg whites until foamy and gradually add the granulated sugar while whipping until a shiny meringue forms (but not too dry). Add the almond mixture to the meringue and quickly incorporate the mixture into the meringue while taking care not to overbeat. You want to achieve a batter that flows and “ribbons” for at least 5 seconds. Pour the batter into a piping bag fitted with a large plain piping tip (Ateco 809 or 807) and pipe small rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The rounds should be about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and at least an inch apart. Let the macarons sit for an hour to develop a hard shell (@8500 ft., this takes about 15 minutes for my arid climate). Preheat oven to 300°F and bake for 8-10 minutes (10 minutes for me). Remove from oven and let cool. Remove from parchment.

adzuki swiss meringue buttercream
1 cup Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
1 cup (250 g) sweet red bean paste (adzuki beans)

Mix together to make adzuki buttercream filling.

swiss meringue buttercream frosting
4 oz. egg whites
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. butter, room temperature

Combine egg whites and sugar in a Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Whisk constantly over a gently simmering hot water bath until 140°F is reached. Remove from heat. Place on mixer with whisk and whip until stiff. Turn down whip speed to 3rd and whip until cool to the touch (this takes a while – should be cooler than your hand). Change to a paddle and gradually add soft butter by tablespoon pieces. Mix to emulsify. Once desired consistency has been reached, add desired flavoring and mix well. Makes about 3 cups.

Assembly: Pipe buttercream onto a macaron and sandwich with a second macaron. Makes about 2 dozen.

61 nibbles at “daring bakers: french macarons”

  1. The Italian Dish says:

    Great job, Jen. Great flavor combinations. I’m totally impressed with the “feet” you got on yours! I had trouble with that. . .

  2. sara says:

    What a great combo of flavors…sounds really interesting and delicious! Love the photos. :)

  3. Manisha says:

    Oh your matcha green tea macs totally rock! Medha thinks so too!

  4. Sophie says:

    wow,…I am amazed by your culinary talents!! They look awesomly delicious!!


  5. Y says:

    Green tea is one of my favourite flavours too. I’ve paired it with red bean before, but haven’t tried passionfruit, which seems like a great idea.

  6. Mrs Ergül says:

    I made matcha macaroons too! xxoo

  7. Sherry says:

    I’ve never seen passion fruit before but now that I have, I really have to wonder how one eats it… It looks like a gloopy mess with seed things in it? Do you suck the juice, spit out the seeds…?

  8. Lori says:

    The whole time I was making my macs, I was thinking I should be making Tartelette’s because I know I have had success. Oh well, experimentation, right?

    Meanwhile I love these flavors here. I just love adzuki but I also really love passion fruit and matcha. Goodness, I would love to taste those.

  9. Dharm says:

    Stunning! Love the flavours too.

  10. Rosa says:

    Perfect macarons and flavors! Great job, as always!



  11. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    These look just perfect and I love the twist on classic Asian flavors. I was actually just thinking about trying this combination in a cake. Great job!

  12. Tartelette says:

    I can’t wait for my T&D box to arrive so I can finally sink my teeth into passion fruits! But what I would love to sink my teeth into right this minute is one of each of your macarons! Gorgeous Jen!

  13. Jenny says:

    Very pretty. I’ll master them one day!

  14. Allie says:

    I went with Tartelette’s recipe too! Such an interesting combination – great job!

  15. Divina says:

    Very pretty and I love the combination.

  16. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is says:

    I love matcha as well. This looks wonderful. Hope I can get up the guts to try it!

  17. jen says:

    I was wondering how that combination would work in a macaron! thanks for posting!!

  18. zorra says:

    I should have gone with Helen’s recipe too. Your Macaroons are beauties.

  19. The Frugal Hostess says:

    I DIE for these. Like, seriously, I’m totally dead right now and am speaking to you from the afterlife. I would literally punch myself in the nose to have a plate of these cookies right now. I’m making them this weekend, and my ass thanks you.
    The Frugal Hostess

  20. Carolyn Parker says:

    oh my, works of art–

  21. Caitlin says:

    You are a sneaky sneaky (mean!) woman – tucking those fresh passionfruits from Todd and Diane into that last shot! *hmph* :P But now I know what to do with the can of sweetened red bean paste that I picked up on a whim when shopping for mochiko! Your flavor combo sounds fantastic, and the macarons look perfect!

  22. Carter @ The Kitchenette says:

    Nice Feet Jen!

    I think I’m going to do a do-over of my macarons, because I didn’t get the feet that you got on yours. I was thinking that it maybe had to do with the altitude… but now I’m thinking maybe I just need to dry them, since that wasn’t called for in the original DB recipe.

    Love it as always! xo

  23. France says:

    Your macarons look so good. You have a real talent taking each step in photo. :)

  24. Aran says:

    i’m sorry to hear about grandma darling jen… i just read it. big hugs! xx

  25. Kristin says:

    I’m with Sherry…how DO you eat passionfruit? I think I’ve only tasted passionfruit in chocolate, and it tasted very perfumey. Was that an aberration? How would other people describe the flavor? Beautiful macs tho!

  26. sarah says:

    Mmm sounds delicious! These really do make the best gifts, don’t they?

  27. barbara says:

    After all the macs I’ve seen today I’m determined to make them. I like the idea of matcha and passionfruit. When I started blogging the first recipe I ever printed off another blog was Tartelettes macarons. It is the first page of my book of blog recipes to try. One day I will actually make them.

    I imagine yours taste as wonderful as they look Jen.


  28. haya says:

    so lovely!! someday i will attempt these, but for now i will just admire yours. what an awesome granddaughter you are ;-)

    and lucky!!! re: passion fruits. i wish for those.

  29. Macarines not Macarons says:

    […] Use Real Butter’s Green Tea and Adzuki Bean Macarons […]

  30. mallory elise says:

    wow….the passion fruit looks like an oyster!!! haha! what a great shot! at foodgawker i thought they were oyster macarons!

  31. pontch says:

    I love the passion fruit ones
    and all the rest looks so good!!

  32. Susan at SGCC says:

    As usual, your macarons look perfect! It took me 11 batches to get some good feet! I made some matcha macaroons too. Such a pretty color!

  33. Michelle says:

    Beautiful as usual!

  34. maybelles mom says:

    yeah, i think everyone went with you friend’s recipe; the other one was kinda a bust for me.

  35. Audax Artifex says:

    Perfect macarons and wonderful flavour and colour. Well done they look so good. PAssionfruit yummy. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  36. Katie says:

    Those look amazing! I love macarons but I’m too scared to try to make some because I hear they are so difficult – but you just made it look easy!

  37. Bee says:

    Jen – you are amazing, you have mad skills in baking, and photography!!!

  38. rebecca says:

    wow wow

  39. Linda says:

    I’ve just bought two tins of matcha powder, definitely giving this a go. I love red beans.. I’m giving the entire recipe a go.. thanks =D

  40. Selina says:


  41. peasepudding says:

    lovely flavour pairing and great photos from start to finish!

  42. Simone (junglefrog) says:

    Wow, what gorgeous macarons and what fantastic flavor combinations!! I gotta see if I can find matcha powder. Have never seen it anywhere yet (but then I haven’t really looked closely… :)

  43. anna says:

    Ooh, I love passionfruit but I also really dig adzuki. That sounds so good.

  44. steph (whisk/spoon) says:

    so many people used helen’s recipe with gorgeous results! yours look perfect, and it’s lovely that you got to share them with your family!

  45. Manggy says:

    Is it day 27 already?!!? How time flies! I probably would have preferred the passionfruit myself but I quite liked some of the wagashi I ate when I was in the States, so definitely I would have given the adzuki a good shot :)

  46. Hannah says:

    Mmm, the perfect asian dessert flavor combo! Love it.

  47. Valérie says:

    I made green tea macarons too! But I used the challenge recipe, and it definitely didn’t work as well for me as the one I usually use (which it closer to yours and Helene’s). Plus, I added too much green colouring, so my macarons looked kind of toxic (as one of my commenters so eloquently put it). But yours look amazing, nice and plump and smooth!

  48. Esther says:

    They look lovely.. I really must search out some macha powder as I’ve never had it and too many wonderful things keep turning up on Daring Bakers and similar using it.

  49. Ruth Ann says:

    Very interesting combo. Beautiful macarons and beautiful photos as always.

  50. Anda says:

    What a lovely present for your grandma. The flavors are really intriguing.

  51. Lauren says:

    Gorgeous. Simply flawless! Tremendous job with this challenge – I love your flavours =D.

  52. lisa (dandysugar) says:

    This is one of my favorite macaron combinations yet! These are beautiful. Stunning work.

  53. jenyu says:

    Thanks everyone!

    Sherry – you can eat the seeds. Just scoop the pulp out of the foamy shell.

    Aran – thank you, sweetie. xxoo

    Kristin – well, don’t do what I did and eat it unripe because it is soooooo sour. You want the fruits to start shriveling up (not perfectly round) because that means they are ripe. Cut them open and the inside is pulp in a foamy kind of rind. The juice is tart, but sweet and scented like a perfumy peachy-plum kind of odor. Hard to describe, but it’s bright and fragrant. I love it so much!! :)

    Susan @ SGCC – oh dear, I saw all of your trials. Your final macs are great! I had seen so many problems on the forum with the recipe that I knew I had to go with Helen’s recipe.

    Valérie – some commenters can be so rude!! :( I’m sure yours tasted terrific.

    Esther – I usually get mine in bulk from Whole Foods.

  54. Natalie says:

    Beautiful job! I love your choice in flavors.

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  55. dollydoesdesserts says:

    I love your macarons and their feets!!

  56. Audax Artifex says:

    I love your honesty and I think if you have a recipe that works then don’t fix it – you were wise enough to go with a tried and tested recipe (Helen’s superb recipe which I use all the time). And I think I would like both red bean psste is excellent but I’m Aussie so passion fruit would be hard to beat. Lovely photos. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  57. clumbsycookie says:

    The unofficial line was funny! You’re right, Helen’s recipes are always spot on! And so are your macarons ;)

  58. betty says:

    these looks amazing and i just love the flavours you’ve used

  59. Juliet says:

    Great job! I’m a green tea fanatic and always find green tea and azuki red bean a perfect match. =) Yum

  60. DeeDee Bryans says:

    I made your Green Tea Matcha Macs yesterday. While quite tasty, they were not very pretty. They set up well and then fell. Ugly feet. But I am thinking, could that possibly be because I used gel food coloring? I wanted them to be a bit more green and the gel came out in a blob. I also don’t think the eggwhites were quite as fluffy although they had good peaks. I sure would appreciate your opinion. I have been using your recipes due to my altitude, 5700 feet. Any advice???? Thanks so very much! DeeDee

  61. jenyu says:

    DeeDee – it’s possible that gel coloring can alter the liquid content. Most folks try to use (the expensive) powder coloring. If you underbeat the whites, I think the shells won’t rise properly. If you overbeat the whites, the shells will crack and dome in the center. Also, you need to be sure to let them sit until the shells are dry to the touch before baking.

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