I love baking macarons, they can be a labour of love and are known for their unpredictability. I have always admired people that make them for a living, offering them as wedding favours, it’s too much pressure for me, too much uncertainty about whether they’ll work, what their shelf-life will be. I’d much rather bake these chocolate & salted caramel macarons, photograph them and then share them out amongst friends and family.
This most recent batch of chocolate & salted caramel macarons were made during a humid spell and I was a bit worried as meringue really doesn’t like humidity. I have to say that these are probably the most consistent and best looking batch of macarons I’ve ever made. I couldn’t find my usual macaron template which is 5cm, so I ended up making macarons that were 3.5cm. This meant I had something in the region of around 50 macarons, which was great, but I was a bit surprised. My piping has really improved and none of the shells cracked. I had to give lots away, which always helps to make you popular.
I’ve made no secret of the fact that salted caramel is one of my favourite things. These macarons are sandwiched together with a ring of chocolate ganache and a blob of salted caramel in the middle. There’s also cocoa powder from Food Thoughts in the macaron shell, giving these an extra chocolate hit.
You’ll really love these macarons, the flavour is so rich and indulgent. As the caramel and the shell are both very sweet do try to get a chocolate that is at least 66% cocoa solids, as this will cut through the sweetness. I used Valrhona Caraibe 66%.
I made these just before I went away on holiday, a few days camping on the South coast. We had barbecues, long walks and some time on the beach, it was bliss and I took a few of these macarons with me to share round. I’m back now though, refreshed after the break, it was only a few days and I do wish I was still there now, the weather was gorgeous and I actually quite like camping.
I’m back at work now and all I can say is, thank goodness for chocolate & salted caramel macarons.
- ***Salted Caramel***
- 280g Granulated Sugar
- 130ml Double Cream
- 200g Salted Butter (diced, chilled)
- ***Chocolate Ganache***
- 200g Double Cream
- 250g Dark Chocolate (60% cocoa)
- 40g Butter, softened, diced
- ***Chocolate Macarons***
- 185g Ground Almonds
- 185g Icing Sugar
- 30g Cocoa Powder
- 50ml Water
- 200g Granulated Sugar
- 150g Egg Whites
- Red food colouring
- Put one third of the granulated sugar into a saucepan and place on a medium heat, when it dissolves add the next third of sugar. Once that has melted, the final batch of sugar can be added.
- Heat the sugar until it turns a golden colour.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the cream in small batches. Take care as the mixture will bubble up, so you will need to stir quite quickly.
- When all of the cream has been added, take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter, this stops the caramel from cooking any further.
- Finally use an immersion or stick blender to mix the caramel until the butter and caramel are combined.
- Pour into a bowl, cover with cling-film, making sure the cling-film touches the surface of the caramel and put it in the fridge to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 170C Fan and line four baking trays with baking parchment, if using templates place these under the baking parchment. I used 3.5cm templates, but you can use anything up to 5cm, but you will have less macarons.
- Add the water and granulated 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. Add the red food colouring, enough so that it is a pale pink shade.
- Grind the ground almonds, cocoa powder 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 the macarons, you will have enough to make around 48 whole maarons.
- 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.
- Then sandwich the macarons together with the a ring of chocolate ganache filled with a blob of salted caramel and place them in the fridge to set.
- Macarons are usually best left in the fridge for a few hours before eating, so that they can set, take them out the fridge 30mins before serving.
Thanks for reading.