Salted Caramel Macarons
I was determined to finally try making the famed and mighty macaron.
Once I had decided I was going to make them, I separated out the egg whites. I was a bit nervous about “aging” my egg whites. But surprisingly to me, they don’t go off when left out overnight.
I drew up my 3cm circle templates onto baking paper and prepped my piping bags. I thought I would kick butt at piping the macaron rounds but was I mistaken or what? It’s much different than tiny numbered tips with royal icing. It’s not easy to get perfectly round circles even with your template and then you worry that the little “nipple” where you left of piping will disappear. But I persevered and ended up with four trays of reasonably acceptable circles. I definitely didn’t know the recipe I chose would make so many. Which is both a blessing and a curse as who wouldn’t want to eat so many yummy macarons apart from the fact you’ll probably gain a kilogram from each one.
You should have heard the squeal and the “They have feet!” I yelled when I peered through the oven door halfway through the baking. Probably could have died happy right then having succeeded in getting feet on her macarons. (Feet are the floofy bits that rise up under the shell if you are lucky).
With the shells baked and cooling, I dived into making the salted caramel buttercream that Jason had requested for the middle flavour. What a freaking disaster! The recipe I was following was completely wrong. Turning the sugar into caramel was fine. Adding the cream to the caramel was where it started to go wrong. Firstly, my warm cream had cooled too much so it started turning the caramel hard. I stirred hard until my arm fell off and then stirred some more. The cream finally got incorporated, then I had to cool it so I could finally add the butter. But how the hell can you add butter to a hard lump of caramel? Impossible actually.
After two hours of trying to make this stuff work, I looked up some other recipes and realised that the amount of cream should have been triple what my recipe told me. Seriously, that got me mad. I really hate when recipes are wrong. So I heated the caramel up to melting again, added the additional cream and boiled it to the right temperature. I now had a dreamy caramel SAUCE, not TOFFEE. Even after it was cooled down it still maintained enough runny-ness to beat it with butter to form the buttercream.
I must admit it was fun piping big blobs of buttercream onto a macaron shell and smooshing another shell on top. Very satisfying.
Oops, Jason’s come and taken a bite while I was taking photos!
Verdict: Yum. Yum. Yum. And completely glad I tried to make them and that they worked! Might have to work on some of those other scared-to-try-and-fail baking projects.
Until next time, have fun!