I always talk about how much I love to cook, how much I love to bake and yes also how much I love to click food (never thought this would happen one day but it did!) but I rarely talk about what I dislike about food blogging. And I have to say that cleaning the mess that I create after cooking and clicking pictures is what I hate the most. I REALLY REALLY hate it. Okay sorry for the caps, I just wanted to make it clear how much I hate it! Urgh!
The other day I made these salted caramel macarons, the shell making part was easy and I didn’t create enough mess. And then I made the salted caramel sauce and the rest is history. I was too impatient to wait for the caramel to thicken a bit more and as soon as it cooled down a bit I started filling the macaron shells. No, that didn’t cause the problem, the problem was that I overfilled the shells. I don’t know why I did that when I very well know that I should never go high on the filling else it will ooze out. I have made macarons several time before so it wasn’t that this was the first time. But still I did it and because the salted caramel wasn’t pretty thick to begin with, it just started oozing out of all the shells. It was everywhere! I really can’t remember how much salted caramel I ate that day. And then I spent like 3 hours trying to click these pictures and at the end of it when I looked back, there was salted caramel and food all over the counter. I wish I was more organized. It took me 1 hour to clean and mop the the entire kitchen and living room. Phew!
Anyway now let’s talk about the good stuff, like these salted caramel macarons. In my opinion, there’s nothing like french macarons. I think they are the cutest, the prettiest and the tastiest treats ever! And when you fill them with salted caramel, they become magical, they really do! These cookies aren’t as hard to make as they are commonly perceived but yes they do need some practice. I often make macarons and I can now say that they come out pretty perfect. It didn’t happen overnight, it took some time to understand how it all works.
I have written a post on the Basics Of French Macarons before and that’s pretty much what I follow. If your macarons don’t come fine even after following all the steps, don’t worry, practice some more. The thing with macarons is that every step is critical and a minor mistake here and there can ruin these gorgeous cookies. You don’t have to undermix the batter and you don’t have to overmix either. This is easy to write but in reality to understand “how much to mix” and “when to stop” comes with practice. Once you get a hang of it, making macarons would be a piece of cake.
And guys do use sea salt for your salted caramel sauce. I always used to add regular salt to my salted caramel and then one day I added sea salt and I never looked back. I mean it makes a huge difference, so just give it a try! And if you have some salted caramel sauce left after filling the macaron shells, make this Salted Caramel Mocha!
For Macaron Shells
For Salted Caramel Filling
To a heavy bottom pan on medium heat, add granulated sugar.
At first nothing will happen and then in few minutes the sugar will start forming clumps.
And it will then eventually melt completely.
While the sugar in melting, heat your cream (don’t boil) and set aside.
Once the sugar melts completely, add in the cream and stir for a minute.
Remove from heat and add butter. Remember to cut the butter into cubes before adding, mixes easily that way. And finally add sea salt and mix.
Let the caramel filling cool down, it will thicken as it cools. Pipe the cooled filling into piping bag and fill the macarons shells. And yes don’t do what I did, don’t go overboard with the filling!
Enjoy these delicious Salted Caramel Macarons!
* Using cream of tartar is optional but recommended. If you don’t have it, you can skip but it helps in stabilizing the egg whites.
* The macarons taste even better the next day when the flavors get intermingle.
* For the salted caramel filling, you can use unsalted butter. I prefer using salted butter.
* Adjust the amount of salt to your liking. I go with 2 teaspoons sea salt because I like very salty caramel, if you don’t stick to 1 teaspoon.
Serves: 25-30 complete sandwich cookies
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar or confectioners sugar
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup - 2 tablespoon granulated sugar [you can use 1 cup, I took out 2 tablespoons because the macaron shells are already quite sweet]
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt, depending how salty you like your caramel
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, cubed
- In a bowl mix together almond flour and powdered sugar.
- Sift the mixture 3 times and set aside. This step is important for macarons to have that smooth top.
- Separate eggs whites [they are best separated when cold] and keep them at room temperature for an hour before you start working on them. You can even leave them for 24 hours, this recipe does not work if egg whites are not at room temperature.
- Beat the egg whites at high speed using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer or using your hand mixer.
- When it begins to foam, add cream of tartar.
- Keep beating till it reaches a shaving foam like consistency and then add the granulated sugar. Beat more till the egg whites develop stiff peaks and are shiny.
- Start adding the almond flour-powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites. Don’t add the entire thing in one go, do it in 2-3 parts.
- As you start mixing, the batter will be tough at first but will loosen up as you proceed. Do not undermix and do not overmix either.
- The batter should not be runny but should still fall down from the spatula in a blob.
- Transfer batter to pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch round tip. Pipe the batter onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper making small blobs around an inch big.
- After you have piped all the macarons, let them sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, do not bake them immediately. If you bake them immediately, they will not develop their trademark “feets”.
- As the macarons are resting, preheat your oven to 300 F degrees.
- Bake at 300 F degrees for 16-18 minutes [time may vary depending on your oven].
- Remove the pan from oven and let the macarons cool completely. Do not try to remove them before that.
- To a heavy bottom pan on medium heat, add granulated sugar.
- At first nothing will happen and then in few minutes the sugar will start forming clumps.
- And it will then eventually melt completely.
- While the sugar in melting, heat your cream (don't boil) and set aside.
- Once the sugar melts completely, add in the cream and stir for a minute.
- Remove from heat and add butter. Remember to cut the butter into cubes before adding, mixes easily that way. And finally add sea salt and mix.
- Let the caramel filling cool down, it will thicken as it cools.
- Pipe the cooled filling into piping bag and fill the macarons shells. Don't overfill.
- Enjoy salted caramel macarons, they taste even better the next day!
Salted Caramel Macarons