For the macaron shells
Adapted from Ottolenghi - The
110g icing sugar
60g almonds, very finely ground
60g egg whites, (about 2 eggs) aged for either 5 days in the fridge, then for 24 hours at room temperature or a little over 24 hours on the countertop
40g castor sugar
12g spiced chai powder*, see note
For the salted caramel
300 ml whipping cream
140g + 30g salted butter
For the macaron shells
- Prepare your baking tray and baking sheets with a stencil of circles. Draw
circles on some baking paper using a (mathematical) compass about 2 cm in
diameter. Then place some white parchment paper on the baking tray and flip the
baking paper back around.
- In a large mixing bowl mix the egg whites with an electric hand beater
(alternatively you can use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment) until it is
thick and frothy. Gradually add the granulated sugar, whisking all the while,
until the mixture turns into a thick glossy meringue. The consistency of the
macaron batter should be similar to hair mousse or shaving foam. Make sure the
meringue is not over-beaten or else it will be too dry.
- In a food processor pulse together icing sugar and almonds until the nuts
are finely ground and powdery. Sift the mixture 2 or 3 times to make sure there
are no lumps.
- Place the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the spiced chai powder. Add the
meringue in three portions, giving it a quick fold using the macronnage
technique described in my
macaron tips section. Fold a few times to break the air. Continue until you
get a smooth and supple mixture, thick in consistency so that when you lift the
spatula it flows back in thick ribbons. Test a small amount on a plate – should
the tops fall back and flatten by themselves then it is ready, if not give it a
few more folds.
- Fill a piping bag with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (2
cm in diameter) on your prepared baking paper. Leave the macarons to rest and
dry for about 30.
- In the meantime preheat the the oven to 170 degrees C (see below). When the macarons are ready bake the shells for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Use a flat offset spatula to gently remove the shells from the baking paper and allow to cool further on a rack.
* Note: If you are unable to find a spiced chai powder mix why not make your own. You'll find a great recipe here.
For the salted caramel
- In a saucepan, melt sugar carefully without stirring and only swirling the
pan occasionally. Allow the sugar to turn a gorgeous dark amber color. Remove
- Add 30g butter, then pour the cream. At this stage the mixture will bubble,
spit and spatter furiously so take care. It will seize up and harden but place
the saucepan back on the heat and cook until the mixture turns fluid
- Cook the mixture until it reaches approx. 110 degrees C on a candy
- Transfer the salted caramel into a bowl and allow to cool. To avoid a skin
developing on the top, cover with plastic wrap.
- With an electric whisk, beat the remaining butter for approx. 10 minutes.
Add the caramel in two additions, beating to incorporate it into the butter.
- Store in air-tight jars if not using straight away.
Assembling the macarons
Using two spoons or a piping bag place/pipe small dollops of the salted caramel filling on one of the shells and gently cover with another shell. Do not press. Continue to do this until you have used up all of the filling and shells.
If you are not going to be using them right away you can store the shells in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
They freeze well too but it is recommended to freeze them unfilled. To fill them take the shells out of the freezer 48 hours prior to serving and without defrosting fill them. This way the flavors will be allowed to blend as they thaw.
The recipe itself came together very easily and with absolutely no hassle. I had
the macaron mixture ready and piped within minutes. My only critique point was
due to the fact that they were baked in the oven at 170 degrees C for 12 minutes
they were a tad dryer in comparison to the previous
macarons I made. Those macarons were baked at a lower, 140 degrees C, for
12-15 minutes resulting in a nice moist inner pastry with a crispy outer shell.
Although I liked the overall texture of these macarons I think they should have
been taken out of the oven maybe at 10 minutes. The recipe is fantastic and
really works for me so I will be using it often, playing around with the oven
temperatures to get the perfect bite.