The Macaron Chronicles Part III

Caramelfleurdesel

I did not mean to post another macaron-making round so soon, but these little babies were the absolute biggest hit among my taste-testers. Most of them mumbled an ecstatic “Hmm”, with eyes closed, while savoring each precious bite. They were so good, I made another batch on the same week and they were devoured in no time at all when the “Hungry” Hubby took them to his office.

So what made them so unforgettable?  Caramel, butter and fleur de sel – a new spin on salted butter caramel.

It was through Eggy’s blog, Greedy Goose that I found out that there was a Macaron Festival in Singapore. Imagine that! So I scoped out other Singapore-based blogs, and I came across a recipe Caramel Fleur de Sel by Canele’s Chef Pang Kok Keong on Chubby Hubby’s blog. I knew right away that my experiment with other buttercream fillings had to wait – this was just calling out my name so enticingly. 

I used my standard macaron batter for the cookies, substituting half the ground almonds with hazelnut. I love the way the skins of the hazelnut speckles the macaron so engagingly.

My only adjustment to the recipe was the way the caramel was made. Most of you know I have an issue with making caramel using the dry method, so I adjusted the recipe for a less daunting way of boiling sugar. Also it was hard to measure exactly 3.75 grams of Fleur de Sel on my scale so I just rounded it to ~ 5 grams.

Caramel Fleur de Sel

Adapted from Chef Pang’s version

  • 200 g sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tbs. corn syrup
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 200 g cream
  • 5 g fleur de sel
  • 140 g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil. Once it starts bubbling do not stir. Once the temperature of your sugar reaches 335 F, add in the scrapings of the vanilla pod. Take the saucepan off the heat and add in warm cream a little at a time – it will bubble up and splatter. Then add the fleur de sel. Stir to make sure all the caramel has dissolved. Cool the mixture to approximately 105F. Add in the well-chilled butter, cut into cubes. Using an immersion blender, blend in the butter till you achieve a smooth glossy paste. Line the surface of the caramel with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Cooking Notes:

I did not include the making of the macarons because I have detailed it in a previous post. Warming the cream first does prevent the caramel from seizing when you add it. If the caramel does clump, return the saucepan to the heat after the cream has stopped sputtering. It is important to add chilled butter and at the temperature specified- it makes for an unbelievably creamy caramel filling when the butter is emulsified properly. I also noticed that the taste of the salt came through only after the addition of the butter. Either the immersion blender dispersed  it more evenly or the butter was the optimal vehicle for transporting the flavor of the salt.

I had to exercise a lot of self-control from simply lapping up the caramel cream  with a spoon. You never get overwhelmed with the sweetness; the salt perfectly balanced the caramel flavor to a divine indulgence.

Chocomac

On different but related note. Sherry Yard’s new book Desserts by the Yard is now available. I had received an advance copy and had made the chocolate macarons from it but could not post the recipe until the release of the book in case of editing changes. Anyway here is the recipe as promised.

Chocolate Macarons

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 large egg whites, covered and refrigerated for 3 days and then brought to room temperature
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 drop red food coloring (optional)

In a food processor, fitted with the steel blade, combine the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar. Pulse a few times, then add the cocoa and pulse a few times more. Pass through a fine sifter, and set aside.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit a piping bag with #6 plain tip (I used Wilton #12 because my mixture was to dense).

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg whites on low speed until they begin to foam. Add the cream of tartar and turn the speed to medium. Slowly stream in the sugar and continue to beat to stiff, glossy peaks. Beat in the drop of red food coloring, if using.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the almond mixture into the egg whites until well combined.

Pipe the macarons to the desired size (Sherry used 3 inch disks) and let it sit 2 to 4 hours to develop the skin.

Preheat oven to 300F and bake cookies until no longer tacky when touched lightly. (10- 15 minutes depending on size of macaron)

38 thoughts on “The Macaron Chronicles Part III

  1. That is pure perfection. I love your use of hazelnuts and mmm mmm caramel. Each chronicle you post pushes me closer towards *trying* to make these. 🙂

  2. I'm saving this so I can read it along with your other macaron posts when I have more time. It looks like you're doing a great job! Making French macarons has been a quest ever since I ate some at Pierre Herme in Tokyo when I was there is summer. I must do this! I love the flavors you're using too. Great blog!
    Julie

  3. Hi Cynthia – yep, that's the only way to eat them…by savoring.
    Thanks Amy – the hazelnut macarons are my hubby's favorite – I hope you try making them.
    Hi Burnt Lumpia – well I am glad that you won't tire of my macaron posts…hope your wife do make them.
    Thanks T.W. – salt is a wondrous ingredient, isn't it?
    Hi anh – I hope your hands are itching to make macarons :).
    Thanks Lydia – whenever we are out of macarons to snack on, the hubby and I feel that we're missing something.
    Hi Julie – I hope you try them out soon!
    thanks Nabeela – I do really think this is a winning combination , hard to top.
    Thanks Dana – am hooked on salted butter caramel.
    Thanks Cheryl – this is really quite the treat!

  4. Oh wow. These look just…wow. I'm adding them to my list of "new baking experiments" to try during my three week break from the working world. Sweet+ salt is a heavenly combination…

  5. Such a great piece of information,you are a charmer. By the way, your chocolat macaroon can be called red velvet macaroon…. by …just add a drop of buttermilk essence….lol!

  6. Veron, those macarons look gorgeous. I love the fact that you used hazelnuts; tehy give such a lovely colour and texture!

    xxx
    – fanny

  7. your macarons simply look perfect. i used to enjoy macarons when living in Zurich. the ones from the Lindt shops were called 'luxemburgeli'. yours look just as scrumptious and professionally made as those. wish i could taste one of these caramel ones. yum!

  8. i love yr dainty and perfect macarons…well done! May i know how much in grams for the almond flour n icing sugar for the chocolate ones as i always messed up when i'm using cups measurement. Btw did u weight yr eggs as eggs sizes varies from each country.
    Did u leave the whites to aged outside room tempreture uncovered /covered or in the fridge to aged?

    thanks

  9. thank you for yr helpful reply …will let u know soon of my adventure in baking these little morsels. Btw Did u leave the whites to aged outside room tempreture uncovered /covered or in the fridge to aged?

    P/s: Did u personally like this chocolate macaroon taste n texture.

    thanks

  10. sandii – At first I thought the macaron texture was a bit cakey but overnight in the refrigerator gave it that nice slight chew that is so admirable in a macaron. It is also important to use a good cocoa powder , I used scharffen berger for this one but when I tried Pierre Herme's recipe with Valrhona – even if it got a bit too cakey due to my almond flour it had a very good chocolatey taste.

  11. I love your macarons! I had my first attempt a few days ago using the italian meringue method and they turned out fine, with feet but they're not as prominent like yours. My second attempt today was a total failure even though I used the same recipe.
    May I know if there's another way of ageing the egg white apart from living it out? I read somewhere another method is by using the microwave oven.

  12. I love the combination of hazelnuts and salted caramel filling. I used 100% hazelnuts with Chef Pang's recipe and it worked well. Also I cooked the caramel a bit longer so it would have a more pronounced flavor in the filling. Delicious! Thank you for this great post, your macarons are an inspiration.

  13. Thanks for your great tips from your blog. I have tried to make macarons but unsuccessful, for the 3rd attempt, my macarons can see the frilly feet but crack, would appreciate if you could let me know why my macaron crack. I have let it rest for 50 minutes before baking. thank you.

  14. Hi,

    I'm living in Singapore and have tried out a matcha macaron recipe yesterday.

    Although my batter seemed a little runny, it rose and had nice feet ard each little discs. However, they started to brown pretty quickly on the top just after 4-5 min in the oven at ard 300-325F.

    Would you know the likely reason to it?

  15. So I searched and searched for macarons online. Ordered one of each and they were either dry with too much flour or good, but the shipping was $50 to get them to me. Yikes. What to do…start my own macaron store. I can eat them whenever I want and now I share them.

  16. Pingback: Ponto de Teste: Macaron au Chocolat — Prato Fundo

  17. Hi,
    Like to ask How much in gram is 3tbs cocoa powder and 2tbs sugar? As I added 1 tbsp = 15g X 3 = 45g cocoa powder and 30g sugar, the chocolate macaroon doesnt turn out well. Kindly advise

    Thanks

  18. Thanks so much for the invaluable information. I tried your recipes and they come out beautifully. however I get a little gap of air between the shell and the chewy part. Can you think of a normal cause for this? I really appreciate it!!!

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