SALTED CARAMEL MACARONS RECIPE

Prep time - 20 mins | Cook time - 20 mins | Makes about 10 filled macarons
The sweetest, most elegant of treats to make at home, these do require a careful hand and a little practice but are definitely worth persisting with. This salted caramel is our favourite flavour but once you have mastered the basic technique you can experiment with all kinds of flavour combinations.

Ingredients

80 grams (⅔ cup) almond meal
110 grams (⅔ cup) CSR Soft Icing Mixture
2 large egg whites, room temperature
55 grams (¼ cup) Sugars of the World French Caster Sugar
Red and yellow food colouring
135 grams (½ cup) Dulce de leche caramel, available at select independent supermarkets (or try making your own)
Sea salt

Method

1.    Preheat oven to 160°C (or 140°C fan forced) and place a rack right in the middle of the oven. Line two baking trays with paper.

2.    Place the almond meal and icing mixture in a fine-mesh sieve and push through three times. You want this mixture to be light and completely lump-free.

3.    Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, add the caster sugar a little at a time then keep beating for 2 more minutes until the mixture is thick and glossy.

4.    Very gently fold the almond meal and icing sugar mixture through the egg whites. You want to achieve a lava-like batter, smooth and heavy. It takes about 30 gentle folding strokes with a spatula to achieve this. But don’t over mix as the macaron won’t rise at all then! Towards the end, drop in a couple of drops of red food colouring and one or two of yellow to achieve a subtle caramel orange colour.

5.    Place a piping bag in a large glass jar and tuck the ends around its rim, this makes it really easy to fill. Spoon batter into the bag and secure the top with a tight twist. Snip the bottom of the piping bag away so you have a 3/4 cm hole or thereabouts. 

6.    Dab a tiny bit of the batter remaining in bowl onto the corners of your baking trays to ‘glue’ the paper in place.

7.    With piping tip about 2cm above the sheet and at a 45 degree angle, pipe batter into 4cm rounds, then swirl the tip off to one side so you have a  nice round circle of batter. Repeat, spacing rounds a few centimeters apart. 

8.    Pick up one baking sheet and drop it on the counter from about 5cm height, do this three times to release any air bubbles in the batter. 

9.    Set aside so the batter dries, this will take about 1 hour, you’ll know they are ready to bake when you can gently press one biscuit and your finger comes away clean. This is a really important step as it will help achieve the ‘foot’ at the base of each biscuit that marks a proper macaron.

10.    Bake 1 sheet at a time, turning halfway through, until risen and just set, this will take about 15 minutes. 

11.    Cool the biscuits completely then pipe or spread the caramel on the flat side of half of the biscuits, sprinkle with sea salt and close with the remaining half. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.