Most people think French Macarons are hard to make. Actually once you try it, you’ll find it is not that bad after all. It took me awhile to gain the courage to try. Now I bake them all the time, in different flavors and colors. But for this particular batch I left them simple. The filling is so dramatic I felt that was enough.
I would eat more vegetables if there was one that tasted like salted caramel with chocolate ganache!
These do come with a warning label- Irresistible !!!!!!! The salt adds a wonderful contrast to the sweet caramel, and the chocolate ganache has a rich finish. Bet ya can’t eat just one!
For a recipe like this, I would suggest having the fillings all made up before you start the cookies.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING1/2 cup heavy cream 6 oz. good quality dark chocolate
- Chop the chocolate in small pieces.
- Heat the heavy cream until just boiling.
- Mix in a small bowl until smooth and allow to cool until it can be put in a piping bag or spread as filing.
INGREDIENTS FOR CARAMEL FILLING10 oz granulated sugar (approx 1 1/3 cups) 2 tablespoons corn syrup 1/3 cup water 6 oz heavy cream (3/4 cup) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a small, heavy-duty saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water, stirring to combine.
- Place saucepan over medium heat and stirring constantly, bring the mixture just to a boil. Stop stirring and allow the mixture to caramelize to a deep amber color. Wash down the sides of the pot as necessary to dissolve sugar crystals.
- Once the mixture has reached the amber color, remove from the heat and slowly add the cream in three additions, stirring well to incorporate.
- Mixture will bubble furiously so take care to avoid steam burns.
- When a smooth sauce is achieved, stir in the vanilla and salt.
- Let cool and put in a pastry bag or small bowl if spreading.
Makes about 20-30 cookies
INGREDIENTS FOR MACARON COOKIES1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (6 oz or 168 g) 1 1/2 cups almond flour (6 oz or 168 g) 2 large egg whites (55 g) 2 large egg whites (55 g) 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 g) 1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cocoa for garish
1 tablespoon coarse salt to sprinkle on filling
gel paste food color, optional
- Line 2 baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. Prepare a piping bag with a 3/8″ plain round tip such as an Ateco #804. Preheat oven to 275F. *
- Place two egg whites (55 g) in a bowl of a stand mixer and attach wire whip.
- In a saucepan on medium heat (make sure the flame underneath the pan does not reach out over the edge of the pan), bring water and sugar to a boil. Slowly stir careful not to splash the mixture around the edges of the pan. Stop stirring when the mixture starts to boil around the edges of the pan. Remove spoon .
4. Place thermometer in pan and when the temperature reaches 230F, start whipping the egg whites on high-speed. When the sugar syrup reaches 235F and the egg whites whipping are foamy, remove pan from heat and slowly add the syrup to the whipping egg whites. Pouring carefully down the side of the bowl and not into the mixing paddle. Continue to beat the meringue for 8-10 minutes until mixing bowl is cool to touch.
5. Meanwhile, place the powdered sugar and almond flour in a medium-sized bowl. Mix to combine and add 2 egg whites (55 g), food coloring should be added at this time. Mix into a paste with spatula. Blend well so there are no lumps.
6. The meringue is done when it is stiff but the peak falls over a little bit. Fold in the cooled meringue until a shiny batter develops. This means gentle fold. The consistency here is critical. Don’t over mix.
7. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe out circle of meringue about 1 inch in diameter. Then sprinkle with cocoa powder, remember a little goes a long way.
8. Bake for 12 – 20 minutes. After 12 minutes, check every two minutes to see if they are done. To check, touch the top of the macaron and try to shake it. The cookies are done when the top barely moves against the ruffle or foot.
Cool to room temperature before filling. Now you are ready to fill.
- Pipe a small ring around the outside of one cookie with the chocolate ganache. This acts as a dam so that the caramel does not ooze out
- Next fill the circle with caramel. Sprinkle with salt and place the other half on top.
- For best texture, refrigerate cookies overnight, covered with plastic wrap. Let come to room temperature before unwrapping and filling.
- Store at room temperature for up to five days. Cookies may be also frozen successfully.
*Oven temperature is one important factor in the final look of your cookies. Too hot and the tops of your cookies will have unsightly cracks and too low and they may not develop a beautiful “foot”. They will still be delicious. Ovens vary. If 275F does not work for you try 300F or 325F.