Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Iterally Salted Butter Caramel Macarons

When it comes to baking, I get asked a lot about my macarons. I bake it so often, I've lost counted however I still feel I have not yet perfected the master of baking macarons by technique which is my goal before I venture out on wild flavours. So here is my basic macaron recipe for all to practice. Filled with my three favourite ingredients together.. sugar + butter + cream = CARAMEL. I found a fine salted caramel recipe online however since I can't find any 'Fleur de sel' (French) sea salt, I've opted the fully sick generic salted butter.

What worked?  I think the trick in making macarons is follow strictly to the recipe instructions (by the grams) and know your oven. If the oven seems hotter than normal reduce the temperature to 120 degrees, personally with my oven I slightly open the oven door for the first 2mins of baking (or else it starts to over heat and crack the shells). I also think letting the macaron sit for at least half an hour before baking is important, it helps develop the shinny top shell. Over all practice makes perfect.
What didn't? Not letting the caramel completely cool before adding the final butter which melted the butter and made the caramel runny.

Vanilla Macaron
110g almond meal
200g pure icing sugar
110 egg whites (left outside at room temperature for 24hours)
30g caster sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Sift the almond meal and icing sugar as fine as possible (it would be easy if you had food processor). 
  2. Whisk egg whites until it reaches soft peak slowly incorporate the caster sugar and pinch of cream of tartar. Keep whisking until it becomes stiff peak.
  3. Add 1/3 of the egg white and vanilla into the dry mix (almond meal & icing sugar) bowl, this is your opportunity to vigorously combine the ingredients together.
  4. Add the remaining 2/3 of egg whites however only mix enough when it's well combine. 
  5. Line the baking try with paper and pipe the mixture into round 3cms (an inch) leaving 3cms space in between.
  6. Allow the macarons to sit for 30mins until the top layer dries out (in the meantime complete the caramel recipe)
  7. In a preheated oven of 140 degrees, bake for approx 10-15mins.

Salt Caramel Butter Cream
140ml thicken cream   
125g salted butter (room temperature)    
170g caster sugar
  1. Melt the sugar in a pan (without stirring) until it is brown.
  2. Then add and mix 65g of salted butter and double cream then set aside to cool.
  3. Whip the rest of the 60g salted butter until it is soft and then blend in to the cold caramel until it becomes a smooth creamy texture.
  4. Fill half the macarons with the caramel and then top with a second shell.

Oh and I like to thank Sbuchanan for the photography tips. Notice a difference in my pics?