Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know that I have attempted macarons before. Theese tricky little mouthfuls have caused me hours of frustration over the years. There are lots of macarons out there for sale which are really just not up to scratch and I am sorry to say mine would be in this category too. When I was in Paris I tried one of Laduree’s and Pierre Hermés macarons and once you have tasted the best you are never satisfied with less. These small pieces of art have a shiny hard exterior on the shell and a soft  gooey interior and then the filling is so complimentary and delicious that you just have to close your eyes and make strange noises. Pierre Hermés’s most famous macaron is the salted caramel variety. Here are some photos of PH’s amazing talent followed by Laduree’s macarons. As you can see Pierre is more generous with the filling. For this reason his macarons are my favourite.

My attempt was probably the most successful yet, which is good news. Ideally I would try and make them again tomorrow and that way I would perfect them.  The tricky parts are getting the Italian Meringue just the right consistency, mixing the almond meal and icing sugar before hand so that it incorporates well and then the baking. A good macaron has a little foot on it. As you can see I did manage that on mine this time. There are lots of macarons from my batch that don’t look like this though.

Here is the Recipe for you to try. Let me know how you go…

Salted Caramel Macarons

Salted Caramel Filling

  • 250g heavy cream
  • 350g castor sugar (fine granulated sugar)
  • 10g fleur de sel
  • 350g butter, cut into small cubes

Caramel Macaron Cookies

  • 300g almond meal
  • 300g icing sugar  some people call this mix of almond meal and icing sugar TPT
  • 105 g egg whites
  • 300 grams of castor sugar
  • 75 grams of water
  • 120g egg whites
  • 2 grams of egg white powder

Make salted caramel filling:
Place cream into a small saucepan. Pour sugar into a medium saucepan and set aside. Cook cream until it just begins to boil, then remove from heat. Begin cooking the sugar, stirring occasionally so it caramelizes evenly. Once the sugar reaches a dark copper color, remove from heat and pour in hot cream, continuing to stir with a spatula.

Let mixture cool to around 115°F. Add fleur de sel and butter, a few cubes at a time, while continuing to stir the caramel. Once all the butter has been incorporated, pour the caramel into a shallow container and let cool in the fridge.

Once cooled, beat the mixture until light, shiny and smooth. Store in fridge until your macarons are baked and completely cooled.

Make caramel macaron cookies:

You can either line your baking tray with double baking paper or if you have a silicone mat, use this. The bottom layer can have the template drawn on it. (you can use a template if you want to make them the exact same sizes – just Google “macaron template”).

Sift together almond meal and powdered sugar. Run through a food processor if needed to remove any lumps. Mix with 120g of egg whites until it becomes a smooth paste and set aside.

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine castor sugar and water. Place the remaining 120g of egg whites in a stand mixer with whisk attachment.Begin whipping egg whites until they have a soft peak. Once the sugar has reached 121°C remove from heat and pour slowly into the egg whites, keeping the mixer on low speed. Turn the speed to high for about a minute, then reduce to medium speed for around 2 minutes. Let meringue cool while mixing at low speed.

Use a spatula to gently fold in the almond meal mixture into the meringue until batter becomes unified and shiny.

Pour batter into a piping bag with a plain, round tip. Pipe shells onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Tap the baking sheet gently so batter spreads a bit (if you use a template, stop piping before the mix reaches the outer edge of the circles and tap until it spreads to the edges).

Preheat oven to 200°Turn off the oven and place the macarons in the oven for ten minutes. After this turn the oven to 160 and leave in for a further 5 to 6 mins

Let them cool completely before taking off tray.

 

Assemble the salted caramel macarons:

Remove salted caramel filling from fridge. Soften over a bain marie (you could try using a microwave but be careful – you just want to soften it slightly). Once soften, remove from heat and whisk vigorously until it thickens to a buttercream consistency.

Match up pairs of macaron cookies that are the same size. Spread or pipe some filling on one, living approximately 3mm from the edge. Take it’s pair in your other hand and gently twist the two cookies together, letting filling spread all the way to the edges.

Store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and let return to room temperature before serving.

COMPETITION

I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening of Grill’d in the new spruced up Wintergarden. We had a great time and the fit out is very smart. This Grill’d has a bar, so it is a great place to have a drink and a burger before a show or after work. Grill’d was kind enough to give me two vouchers to give away, that entitle you to a free burger. If you would like one all you have to do is sign up as a follower. First two will win the voucher and I will email you and ask for your address. Obviously this is better if you live in Brisbane. Best of Luck.

 

 

 

 

 

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