When I visited Thailand last summer, I developed a terrible addiction to Thai Milk Tea. It was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before so I got HOOKED from the first cool sip of that creamy milky goodness. At first, the rusty-orange colour was a little off-putting, but then I found out that it’s because of the type of tea that it is made from. What kind of tea? NO IDEA. That’s all I could gather from a rather pleasantly confusing interaction that I had with a barista in Bangkok. My sign language is quite limited. If you’re ever on my team for charades… I’m so sorry.
First order of business when I got back from my trip was to hunt down all of the exotic ingredients that I would need to make my favourite foods from my SE Asia trip. Surprisingly, the ingredients were easier to track down than I initially thought. One of the local grocery store chains started carrying things like galangal (Thai ginger), lemon grass, Ma Kua Puang (pea eggplant) – all of the things that I need to make some killer curry or soup! But who am I kidding? I can’t cook to save my life, which is why the boyfriend cooks dinner while I watch Friends on Netflix for the bajillionth time.
Dessert is my thangggg (as you may or may not have guessed from this blog) so I needed to find me the traditional flavours of Asian dessert: pandan and milk tea. The Asian markets here carry some weak powdered versions and blends of those flavours but that’s about it. Then one day, my sister stumbled upon this small mom and pop Vietnamese goods store and found AN AUTHENTIC BAG OF THAI MILK TEA LEAVES. Having a little sister has finally paid off :’) (Similar product on Amazon)
The easiest way to add flavour into these Thai milk tea macarons, or any kind of macaron, is to infuse it via the filling. Most people are intimidated by macarons too much to tinker with the meringue components of macarons but I say go for it! You can easily grind up tea leaves into really fine specks and add that to your almond flour mixture before you fold it into the meringue. I was too lazy to grind up the leaves though so I took a shortcut and only incorporated flavour into the ganache filling for these Thai milk tea macarons.
I heated up the cream then added the tea leaves for it to brew. Once I believed that the cream had already sucked out as much as the flavour as possible from the leaves, I poured the mixture through a fine sieve to separate the cream. I heated the cream once again and poured it over a mountain of white chocolate. Once it was cool enough, I dunked my finger into the ganache and tried it out. SO GOOD. Like omg, UNBELIEVABLE. The flavour was so pronounced and strong enough that it gave you an obvious kick of Thai milk tea but not so strong that it was bitter.
I chose white chocolate so that the sweetness of the chocolate could complement and cut out the trace of bitter in the tea. Also, traditionally, Thai milk tea is made with a swirl of condensed milk and I wanted to mimic that in my macarons with the white chocolate profile.
These Thai milk tea macarons turned out amazinggggg. Surprisingly. Like, it could’ve gone wrong in so many ways but the final result of the macarons taste like a solid version of Thai milk tea!
- 130g almond flour
- 130g icing sugar
- 90g berry sugar
- 100g aged egg whites
- ¼tsp cream of tartar
- Wilton gel food colouring in “copper”
- 3 cups white chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp thai tea leaves
- Place egg whites into a bowl, cover with saran wrap, poke holes in the saran wrap with a toothpick and let it “age” in the fridge overnight
- Sift together almond flour and icing sugar, set aside
- Beat egg whites on low until it starts to froth
- Add in cream of tartar, increase to medium speed
- When the egg whites start to aerate and the beater starts to leave “trails”, slowly add in the berry sugar
- Whip on med-high until soft peaks form
- Add in a dab of food colour and beat on med-high until stiff peaks form. DO NOT OVERWHIP, it’ll make you want to cry.
- Gently fold in ⅓ of the egg whites into almond flour mixture until incorporated
- Gradually add in the rest of the egg whites and keep gently folding until the mixture can fall off your spatula in a lava like stream. DO NOT OVERFOLD, you’ll wish that you didn’t have strong arms of steel.
- Pipe macaron mixture onto a baking sheet in 1 inch circles
- Rest for as long as it takes. It is ready to bake if you touch the surface and none of it sticks to your finger
- Turn on oven to 320-330 degrees C. You have to know how your oven runs in order to get the perf temperature. For me, I have found that 330 degrees C is the sweet spot
- Bake for 10-12 mins until feet have risen and centres are baked through, there shouldn’t be any browning on the sides of the macarons
- Cool completely before peeling off parchment/silicone baking mat.
- Heat up cream in microwave until simmering
- Add in thai tea leaves and let it stew to bring out the flavours
- Chop up white chocolate
- Strain to discard leaves and keep cream, reheat cream until simmering
- Immediately pour cream over white chocolate, let it sit for a minute then stir until chocolate is completely melted
- Cool on countertop then place in fridge until hardened
- Remove from fridge and whip with a fork until light and airy, DO NOT OVERWHIP, you’ll get an ugly curdled mess
- Pair macaron shells that are the same size
- Pipe whipped ganache onto one shell in each pair
- Sandwich the other shell on top and squeeze until ganache appears at the edges (to yenno, get that cute macaron look)