SALTED CARAMEL MACARONS
SKILL LEVEL : Advanced
Naturally gluten free*- can be adapted to a vegan diet
*Risk of trace particles from manufacturing of- Sesame, gluten, dairy,
Macaron mix (72g ground almonds, 108g icing sugar)
40g caster sugar
75g caster sugar
7.5g of Maldon sea salt
85ml double cream (dairy or plant)
70g unsalted butter (dairy or plant)
60g organic egg whites (or aquafaba & tsp cream of tartar)
Large baking tray
Parchment or a macaron mat
Spatula (silicon is preferable)
Ingredients to add:
Salted caramel part 1: Put the larger bag of 75g sugar into a saucepan on med/high. Watch carefully whilst it melts and becomes a deep amber colour. There should be no grainy bits remaining. Take the pan off the heat and add a 1/3 of your butter (approx. 27g). The caramel will start to spit and sputter. Add half of the salt.
Now put back on the heat add the cream a little at a time and stir with a wooden spoon. Once your mixture is boiling, keep stirring for approximately 2 minutes and watch it doesn’t burn or curdle.
Pour the caramel sauce into a plastic takeaway tub. Leave to cool on your windowsill or doorstep.
Using a wooden spoon as a wedge if needed, open your oven door by 1-2cm and heat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2/300°F. Alternatively, if your oven is a well-ventilated fan oven you can have the door closed and lower the temperature to 120°C/gas mark 1⁄2/250°F.
Lay the macaron baking mat onto a large baking tray. If you do not have a macaron mat from one of our full kits, you can use parchment paper with a template underneath.
Place the piping bag pointy end down, into a tall glass. Slightly tilt upwards so that the mixture doesn’t fall through.
Carefully separate out 60ml of egg whites or aquafaba (approx. 2 large eggs) into a clean mixing bowl or a freestanding mixer.
Into the mixing bowl add the remaining 40g of caster sugar. Using an electric whisk, whisk the ingredients together on a high speed for 5 minutes. Once complete, turn your whisk to face upwards and check that the ‘peaks’ in the mixture are very stiff (they should remain upright unaided). You now have a meringue mixture*
*if you do not have an electric whisk, you can do this by hand, but you will need to really whisk vigorously for at least 10-15 mins until you have stiff peaks as described above.
Empty the macaron mix into a bowl. Sieve our obvious lumps. The almond will not go through a fine sieve but that is ok, you just want to get rid of any obvious large bits (over 3mm diameter).
Once the macaron mix is lump free empty the dry contents into the meringue.
Now comes the crucial part of mixing the batter. Do this by scooping the mixture up with your spatula and pressing it back down into the centre of the bowl. Repeat this action 30 times, rotating the bowl as you go. With the spatula raised; you should now see a treacle like ribbon of batter that takes about 20 seconds to fall back into the batter. If it is thicker than this, fold again and re-check until the consistency is perfect. It should be smooth and shiny with no grainy bits.
When you have the right consistency, pour the mixture into the piping bag, keeping it in the glass. Pick up the bag with one hand on the nozzle end, and the other hand sealing the open end in a twist.
Pipe batter onto each of the cavities on the macaron baking mat. Pipe generous rounds (circular disks of mixture) 1mm outside of the inner circles of the macaron baking mat.
Pipe using a slight swirling motion from the centre of the round to disperse the batter, or pipe using a 45-degree angle. Experiment and see what works better for you. Take your time. The key is to get control of the flow of the mixture. Tilt the bag upward if you feel it starts oozing out too much.
Remove any air bubbles by tapping the baking mat firmly against your kitchen counter several times, rotating the sheet as you go. When complete, the macarons will form perfect circular rounds in the grooves of the mat. If they do not you may need to tease them a little with a teaspoon.
Let the macarons rest on your kitchen counter until the tops form a skin. They are ready to bake when you touch the tops of the rounds, and the mixture doesn’t stick to your finger. Depending on humidity, this will take around 15-30 minutes. You want to make sure they are dry.
Put your macarons into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Check if the macarons come away from the mat easily. If not, return them to the oven for 5-10 minutes at a time and keep rechecking.
The easiest way to take them off the mat is to flip the mat onto a tea towel (so shells are upside down) and peel the mat away. Note with a macaron mat it is not always the case that the underside is completely smooth, but rather they are quite porous. We actually prefer this as the shell absorbs the flavour of the filling more this way. IMPORTANT: Check out the video section on our website for a full demo on all of this!
Cool the macarons upside down for 10 minutes or until completely hardened.
Turn half the shells the right way up.
Caramel filling part 2: Meanwhile get on with your caramel filling.
Spoon out 2 tbsp of the caramel sauce and set aside in a separate non metallic bowl.
Make sure your remaining butter is soft and squidgy and your caramel cool otherwise it will liquify the butter! If not cool enough you could try popping in the freezer for 5 mins max! Put the butter in a mixing bowl and whisk until very pale and fluffy.
Add the sauce spoon by spoon to your butter, whisking in between until you have a consistent cream. It is now ready to fill into a piping bag.
Pipe the salted caramel onto the upturned half of the macaron shells. Try to pair up shells according to size and form sandwiches twist rather than pushing them together otherwise they may break.
Warm up the caramel sauce you set aside and take a teaspoon to drizzle the sauce decoratively over the macarons. Then sprinkle on the remaining sea salt.
Your beautiful macarons are finished!