Vanilla & Salted Caramel Macarons

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This Mother’s Day I wanted to get my Mumma, the fabulous woman who bought me into the world something worthy of her fabulousness! If money was no option she’d be laden in gold, but sadly buying a house does not leave you with much spare income so as always I settled on doing what I do best, baking. With gold very much on my mind it was therefore only natural that this became my theme and Macarons soon became the chosen bake for their jewel-like appearance. Problem solved – she’ll be laden in gold after all.

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Makes: 12 Macarons 

Preparation time: 1 hour 

Baking time: 10-13 minutes 


Vanilla Macarons 

70g flaked almonds

140g icing sugar

2 large egg whites, at room temperature

50g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

 

Salted Caramel filling

75g Caster Sugar

2 tbsp Water

75g Light Muscovado Sugar

50g Unsalted Butter

100ml Double Cream

1/2tsp Flaked Salt


Vanilla Macarons Shells

Place the flaked almonds in a food processor and blitz for about a minute until as fine as possible. Add the confectioner sugar and process until combined.

In a super clean bowl pour one egg white and whisk in the tsp of vanilla bean paste. Beat this mixture into the almond icing sugar to make an almond paste. Set aside and cover with a tea towel.

In another super clean bowl whisk your second egg white until it holds soft peaks. Continue to whisk at a medium speed while adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time.

Beat on a medium speed for 2 minutes then increase to high for a final 2 minutes until the egg whites are holding stiff, glossy peaks.

Add the almond paste to your meringue mixture then using a spatula slowly fold them together from the bottom up. Continue this motion around 35-40 times until the mixture is fully incorporated and flows like molten lava.

Using a piping bag with a 1cm nozzle, pipe rounds of mixture onto 2 heavy baking trays lined with baking parchment. Tap the trays on the work surface to remove any air bubbles, then leave them to dry for 30 minutes. They will be ready to bake when they are no longer sticky or wet when touched.

Preheat the oven to 140-150 degrees/Gas Mark 2 and bake on the middle shelf for 8 minutes. Open the oven to let out any steam and turn the sheets around then bake for a further 8 minutes until the tops are crisp. Leave them to cool fully before removing from the baking sheet.

Salted Caramel Filling

Put the caster sugar and water into a pan and simmer over a low heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Bring to the boil until it turns to an amber colour, then remove from the heat and add the muscovado sugar, butter and cream. Stir it well to dissolve then return to the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it thickens. Take off the heat and add the salt then pour into a bowl and leave until completely cold and thick.

Spread the filling over one macaron shell and sandwich together with another. Brush the top of each macaron with edible liquid gold and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.

These will store in an air tight container for a few days if kept in the fridge.