Vanilla and salted caramel macarons

So it might seem a tad hyperbolic, but I am genuinely excited to have finally attempted to make macarons.

Although the plan had been to do the whole recipe from the Adriano Zumbo recipe book, a broken sugar thermometer meant we ended up melding a Roux recipe with the Zumbo one.

So now to the recipe.

Vanilla flavoured macaron shells

  • 110g ground almonds
  • 180g icing sugar
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 90g or 3 egg whites
  • 3 tbsps vanilla bean paste

Method

Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees C

  1. Sieve the ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl and combine evenly.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until firm. Fold in the vanilla bean paste.
  3. Slowly, fold in the dry ingredients to the egg whites until fully combined.
  4. Prep a baking sheet lined with parchment, you’ll need to pipe circles 3-4cm in diameter onto this – we drew around the bottom of a vanilla essence bottle to ensure that the circles were as uniform as possible.
  5. We didn’t have a piping bag, so used a large freezer bag and filled that with the almond, icing sugar and egg white mix. When full we cut the corner off ready for piping.
  6. Pipe out all the mixture (makes about 40 shells) and then put in the heated oven for approximately 7 minutes.
  7. When cooked, remove from oven and slide parchment and macarons onto a wire cooling rack.

Salted caramel filling
Caramel salt:

  • 220g whipping cream (35% fat)
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 60g liquid glucose
  • 120g water
  • 1 vanilla pod

Caramel butter

  • 75g butter
  • 150g caramel
  • 2g sea salt flakes

Method

  1. Heat the whipping cream and vanilla pod slowly until boiling. When boiled remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, add the water, liquid glucose and caster sugar to a separate pan and heat on a medium/low heat until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Once sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and heat until water has evaporated and the mixture has turned a golden amber colour. This took us quite some time to get to.
  4. Once the sugar syrup is ready, add the warm whipping cream vanilla mixture slowly, stirring all the time. Be careful as the mixture will spit as you do this.
  5. Pour all the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool.
  6. When the mixture is cooled, add the butter to a bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
  7. Slowly add the cooled caramel sauce, beating until mixture thickens (you’ll need to pipe it into the macaron shells so it needs to thicken to do that).
  8. When thickened, stir through the salt and then it’s ready to pipe onto the waiting macaron shells.

Finishing the macarons

  1. Match up halves of shells to pairs that are of similar size.
  2. Put the filling in piping bag and then pipe the desired amount onto one half of each of the pairs.
  3. Sandwich together and pop in the fridge to cool.

Now go lay down, you’ll need to recover from the sugar coma you’ll now be in.

We had a lot of caramel mixture left over, but I’m sure we’ll figure out something to do with it! Obviously, simply doubling the macaron ingredients and the butter part would use up more of the caramel.

It was a labour of love, but well worth it.

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