I know the macron is no longer the height of baking fashion (I always say, once they’ve appeared in “McCafe”, they’re no longer special) but they are always a joy to present and, more importantly, to eat!
This macaron recipe I found a few years ago, at the height of macaron fashion, and have made several times since but somewhow never actually blogged them. I found them on a blog called Girl Cook in Paris and it includes the most delicious caramel filling. The recipe for the macaron itself is a little different from most in that it incorporates an Italian meringue and therefore the piped biscuits do not require resting time prior to baking. I have made these with hazelnut, pecan and almond meal and all have turned out beautifully.
If macarons have been off your radar long enough to try them again, these are a fantastic, fail-safe recipe to get them back on your table for a high tea or a light dessert.
There are 3 parts to this recipe: The cookie, the filling, the assembly. You can do these in stages over a couple of days, if you don’t feel like spending 2-3 hours to do it all at once. I won’t lie, these are labor intensive & very time consuming…but they are worth it!
This will make about 70-90 biscuits (which means 35-45 filled macarons) depending on the size.
- 300g ground almonds
- 300g icing sugar
- 200g egg whites (about 5 egg whites)
- 300g Castor sugar
- 75ml water
Before you begin, line a baking tray with baking paper, set up your piping bag (andput the nozzle in place) and pre-heat your oven to 180°C. If you’re making the caramel filling today, I would also recommend getting out your butter and cream cheese before you begin, so they’re at room temperature when you need them.
To begin, mix the ground almonds and icing sugar in a bowl and set aside.
Secondly, make an Italian meringue using the castor sugar, water and 90g (2) egg whites.
Weigh 90g of the whites into the bowl of your KitchenAid with whisk attachment.
In a small saucepan, make a sugar syrup by heating the castor sugar & 75ml of water in a pan until it reaches 118°C.
When the sugar syrup reaches 115°C, turn on your KitchenAid and start whisking the egg whites on medium speed. When the sugar syrup reaches 118°C in the saucepan, the whites should be at a medium peak stage. Very, very slowly pour the sugar syrup into the bowl of the KitchenAid while it’s running. Continue whisking until the temperature comes down to 50°C. This may take some time to cool down so let it run while you do the next step.
In another mixing bowl, whisk 110g of egg whites until soft peaks form. Then fold the egg whites into the bowl of almond meal and sugar.
Finally, once the Italian meringue has cooled down to 50°C, fold it gently into the almond meal mixture.
Fill the piping bag and pipe out small circles (leave a little space between each so they cook evenly and to allow room for spreading). If you wish, you can smooth the point on each biscuit with a wet finger.
Bake each tray for 12-14 minutes, until they have just a hint of colour on them. Remove to a cooling rack, leaving them on the baking paper. Once cooled, they can be frozen for around three months or stored in an air-tight container for upto a week. I’d recommend filling them only on the day you intend to serve them.
300 g castor sugar
335 g cream weighed directly in another pan
235g regular butter (170 + 65) at room temperature
120g cream cheese at room temperature
Firstly, make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature. This is essential and non-negotiable!
To begin, make a ‘dry’ caramel by measuring 50g of the sugar into a large clean saucepan and heat until completely melted and has turned light brown. Add another 50g of sugar and repeat, stirring with a silicon spoon or spatula until melted. Repeat in 50g lots of sugar until all of the sugar is used. Be careful not to burn the caramel – it can happen very quickly and will be bitter and unpleasant.
Once the caramel is made, take it off the heat and, in a separate pan, heat the cream until it nearly reaches boiling point.
Add 65g of butter into the caramel pan, stirring briskly. It will bubble madly so be careful not to let it splash on you or you may get burnt. Once it has all been mixed, add the warmed cream and again, stir briskly but carefully.
Allow this mixture to cool in the saucepan slightly before pouring into a bowl to finish cooling. Cover (without letting the glad wrap touch the caramel) and place in the fridge. The caramel needs to be completely cool before the next step.
Once the caramel has cooled, whisk the cream cheese and remaining (170g) butter until light and fluffy (medium speed for about 8 minutes in a Kitchenaid). Once fluffy, add the cold caramel mixture and whisk briefly until just incorporated. Be careful not to over whisk or it may separate and become grainy. If you are filling your macarons immediately, fill a piping bag and proceed. If not, cover and refrigerate for later use.
If you have stored the caramel butter cream filling in the fridge, bring it to almost room temperature before using (1-2 hours).
Once you’ve filled your piping bag, pipe a generous circle of the caramel filling onto one biscuit and top with another biscuit.
As you finish them, place on a beautiful serving plate and enjoy!