I love salted caramel, I think it might actually be my favourite food. I’ve used it a LOT on Patisserie Makes Perfect, this is actually the third time I have featured salted caramel macarons here. I’ve made it into sweets, used it in my Stout and Salted Caramel Opera and baked it into tarts. I even have a Pinterest group-board dedicated to Salted Caramel.
I can’t promise that this will be the last time salted caramel will feature on the blog, but I do promise after this post, I won’t go on about these macarons anymore. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop making them, they taste fantastic. Sorry if I sound a little smug, but I think they look pretty good too.
I didn’t just want soft, pillowy macaron shells sandwiched with caramel this time, I wanted some crunch too. What better way to add crunch than to use praline and chocolate, turning them into Salted Caramel Praline Macarons.
I also thought that these special macarons deserved a special chocolate, one of my favourites Valrhona. These macarons have a tendency to be very sweet because of the combination of meringue and salted caramel. I decided that they’d benefit from 70% cocoa chocolate as a coating. The praline adds an extra layer of sweetness too, so this stronger chocolate was definitely a good choice.
Macarons are very popular and they don’t seem to be going out of fashion any time soon. The flavour possibilities are virtually endless and even savoury versions of this delicate treat are being created. There’s many a wedding where macarons have taken the limelight instead of the more traditional fruit cake. I can understand why.
I made these macarons slightly larger than usual, so they are more like the size of a biscuit than the usual smaller 3cm variety. It does mean the recipe makes less macarons, however you really need the larger size to make them easier to dip in the chocolate and praline. It’s also really important that you chill your macarons for around an hour (or 20 mins in the freezer – but no more) before dipping them, otherwise they slide apart and you’re left with a messy puddle of macaron – trust me, they’re still very edible though.
If like me, you’re a bit salted caramel obsessed you might want to take a look at this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake, or there’s Salted Caramel Rice Krispie Treats for when you need a fix in a hurry. Or how about these Salted Caramel Brownies if you’re still left wanting more, try this Honeycomb Crunch Chocolate Cake.
Here’s the recipe to make what I think is the prefect Salted Caramel Macaron.
- For the Macaron Shells
- 200g Ground Almonds
- 200g Icing Sugar
- 50ml Water
- 175g Granulated Sugar
- 150g Egg Whites (about 3 eggs)
- 1 x Quantity of Salted Caramel
- For the praline:
- 100g any nuts of your choice (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts etc)
- 150g Sugar
- To decorate:
- 150g 70% Dark Chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 170C Fan and line four baking trays with baking parchment. You can use these macaron sheets as a guide when piping out 5cm circles.
- Add the water and sugar to a pan and stir over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Put half of the egg whites into a stand mixer and whisk them on a medium speed until frothy.
- Bring the syrup to a boil and heat until it reaches 118 degrees.
- Pour the syrup in a slow steady stream into the egg whites as they are being whipped on a high speed. Keep whipping until the meringue forms a stiff peak, about 5mins.
- Grind the ground almonds and icing sugar together in a food processor and then sift them into a clean bowl.
- Add the remaining egg whites to this mix and beat it, until it forms a paste.
- Add a third of the meringue to the almond paste and beat it in thoroughly.
- Fold through the remaining meringue, ensure the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
- Put the macaron mix into a piping bag and pipe out 48 macarons.
- Tap the bottom of the tray to remove any bumps or air pockets, then put the macarons in the oven for 12-14 mins per tray. Turn the trays halfway through cooking to ensure an even bake.
- Let the cooked macarons cool completely before trying to remove them from the tray.
- To make the praline, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. You will spread your praline out onto this.
- Heat the sugar in a pan until it turns liquid and golden. Stir in the nuts, working quickly to coat everything, pour the praline out onto the tray and allow it to set.
- When the praline has set, tip it into a food processor and blitz until the praline is crushed and resembles breadcrumbs.
- Then sandwich the macarons together with the salted caramel and place them in the fridge to chill and firm up, you want them quite cold for dipping in the chocolate, otherwise they will separate.
- Melt the chocolate and then let it cool to around 30C, place the praline in a separate bowl. Take the macarons, dip half of them in the melted chocolate and then coat the melted chocolate with praline, place them on some baking paper to set.
- Macarons are usually best left in the fridge for a few hours before eating, so that the shells can soften up.