Sea Salt Caramel Macaroons

Sweet and salty, this has always been one of my favorite food combinations. I absolutely love having my samosas and jalebis for those special Sunday brunch, not to forget the savory sev and sweet boondi at any time of the day.
Watching a movie sans salted and caramel pop-corns combo…..ummmm…..No, nie, can’t do. 🙂

Having made a rich, decadent and delicious salted caramel sauce successfully on my second attempt, I decided to bake macaroons to put them to good use. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated for about two weeks, drizzle some over an ice cream or french toast, use it for a creme caramel, bake chocolate cupcakes with caramel centers. I can’t stop thinking of how I am going to use mine. 🙂

In this recipe, I have opted to use the caramel sauce rather than making a butter-cream with it as this makes the caramel pop out and the star in the caramel macaroon recipe.I’ve used the basic macaroon recipe for the shells, coloring them in the ratio of yellow:ivory:red as 4:2:1. The caramel sauce needs to be tended to constantly as it can get burned in a matter of seconds.

The recipe is fairly straight forward and needless to say the fruit of my labor was well worth it!

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Makes 24-30 depending on the size

Ingredients

For the pâté à macaron :
93 g icing sugar, sifted
93 g ground almonds
1 medium free-range egg whites

For the Italian meringue :
1 medium free-range egg whites
1 drop lemon juice or 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
93 g caster sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Golden yellow, ivory and red Food coloring

For the Caramel filling :
0.5 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/8 liquid cup water
1/2 liquid cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
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Instructions :

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

Pâté à macaron:
In a large bowl, mix the icing sugar, ground almonds and egg whites to form a paste.

Italian meringue :
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar(or lemon juice) in a kitchen mixer on a medium speed.

Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a small pan and cook over a high heat until it has reached 117C/242F or the ‘soft ball’ stage.I do not own a thermometer so I just tell when the bubbles are almost the same size, that’s the stage we are looking to achieve here.

Reduce the speed on the mixer to its lowest setting and pour the sugar syrup from the sides of the bowl onto the firmly whipped egg whites.
Increase the speed to high and continue to whisk for 1 minute.
Now add the food colouring, I have used golden yellow and brown (4:2) and whisk again until the meringue is coloured uniformly.
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Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a 8mm nozzle.

Pipe on 3cm/1in discs on the baking trays, at least 2cm apart.

Bake in the oven for eight minutes.As soon as the macaroons form feet open and shut the oven door to release some steam.
After eight minutes remove from the oven and then leave on a cooling rack until completely cold.

Salted Caramel :
In a heavy saucepan stir together the sugar, syrup, and water until the sugar is completely moistened.
Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling.

Stop stirring completely and allow it to boil undisturbed until it turns a deep amber. Immediately remove it from the heat and slowly and carefully pour the hot cream into the caramel. It will bubble up furiously.

Stir in the butter and salt. The mixture will be streaky but become uniform after cooling slightly and stirring.

Cool completely before use.
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Spoon about one teaspoon of caramel onto the flat side of a cooled macaroon and top with another macaroon to make a sandwich.
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Repeat with the remaining macaroons and store in a single layer in an airtight container in the fridge.

Note: They keep well refrigerated for 2-3 days.

Bon Apetit!

Bon Apetit!

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