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Salted Caramel Macarons


Well, hello there! The last time we talked, I was posting popsicles. And now it's currently 40 degrees outside and I'm not even sure we are going to get an Autumn this year. But the weather isn't the only thing that has changed. I recently became a furbaby mom! Junie made her debut on my Instagram a few months ago and that picture looks nothing like her now because oh my goodness, cats grow so fast! We are trying to enjoy the most of her kitten days; she keeps us on our feet for sure.


In other news, I moved! Technically, that sentence doesn't really deserve an exclamation point because moving is NOT fun or exciting, at all. But decorating a new place is, and the reason I haven't been posting is because I have been living in Home Goods. Of course that's an exaggeration but, I am pretty sure that's what the employees thought based on how often they saw me there.
I was pretty much determined to have the place looking a certain way by a specific time, and I couldn't think about anything else. But when I finally finished and everything was complete to my standards, I knew I had to grace my new oven with some macarons first and foremost.
Macarons are the most finicky to make and the finickiest part is the baking process. Ovens are just totally unpredictable, temperature wise, but I have to say I was super impressed with mine. It did a pretty awesome job right off the bat. *knock on wood

In the past, I have had to double stack my baking sheets, or add a baking sheet on the top rack to shield my macarons from getting burnt. But, I had to do neither this time around and my first batch (minus a few lopsided shells) was perfection. Obviously, using the Italian meringue method definitely helps  with consistency and this recipe actually belongs to Bouchon Bakery so I think it's a keeper.

Even if the Italian method isn't your cup of tea, definitely save the recipe for the salted caramel filling. It is glorious.

Salted Caramel Macarons

Yield: 60 macarons
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Ingredients:

212 grams almond flour
212 grams powdered sugar
82 grams egg whites, for almond paste
90 grams egg whites, for meringue
236 grams granulated sugar
158 grams water

For the whipped salted caramel:
175 grams granulated sugar
60 ml water
120 ml heavy cream
175 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
sea salt to taste

Directions:

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.

Add almond flour and powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine and break apart any big lumps. Sift mixture into a clean bowl. Discard any large pieces that do not pass through the sieve. Add 82 grams egg whites to the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture. Mix together with a spatula until you form a uniform paste. Set aside.

To the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add 90 grams egg whites. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. At the same time, add water and granulated sugar to a small saucepan. Heat on medium-heat, monitoring the temperature with a candy thermometer while you do so. Once the temperature is 248 degrees F, you'll want to switch the speed of the mixer to low, and slowly stream the hot syrup unto the mixer. Then, increase the speed to medium and beat until the meringue reaches stiff, glossy peaks.

Fold 1/3 of the meringue into the almond paste, mixing until well-incorporated. Add in the rest of the meringue, and fold until the batter is able to run off the spatula in ribbons.

Pipe 1.5 inch rounds onto the parchment paper(or silicone mat). It is helpful to use a guide here, so all your macarons are the same size. Rest the macarons for 30-40 minutes, or until a skin forms.

Preheat oven to 320 degrees F. Bake macarons for 13-15 minutes. Allow macarons to cool on baking sheets before removing.

To prepare salted caramel, add water and sugar to a medium-sized saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, until sugar is dissolved and comes to a boil. Meanwhile, heat the heavy cream in another saucepan just until scalding point. Allow the sugar mixture to continue to cook until it starts to deepen in color. When it turns a deep amber color, whisk in the warmed heavy cream. It will bubble and hiss, but just continue to whisk to incorporate. Then, add room temperature butter,  in two additions, whisking continuously until mixture is homogenized. Remove caramel from the heat and allow to cool down completely. You can speed up the process by putting it in the fridge. Once the caramel is completely cool, transfer it to stand mixer bowl and whip on medium speed until it is fluffy and lightened in color. Add in sea salt to taste.

To assemble the macarons, match macaron shells into pairs of similar sizes as best as you can. Pipe whipped caramel onto the flat side of half the shells. Top with opposite shell. Refrigerate in an airtight container for 24 hours to let the flavors develop. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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