Salted Caramel Macarons

 The new year is fast approaching so I've decided to slip in another post before 2015 begins!
Wow, another year gone by, and so fast too! I have done so much this year and had a blast. I've accomplished a lot on my blog as well, that I had never thought I would; like receive close to 70,000 views on this blog, and create a whole bunch of new desserts and try new things. I'd like to give a huge thanks to everyone who reads my blog and makes my recipes, I couldn't have gotten this far without all of you.

Salted Caramel Macarons


100g                  ground almonds
200g                  icing sugar
100g                  egg whites
4 tbsp                 granulated sugar
3-5 drops            orange/brown food coloring

Grind the almonds in a food processor, sift the almonds into a medium bowl and dispose of any large chunks. Measure them out again and sift more if needed. Sift the icing sugar too and dispose of any large lumps. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Then, start adding the sugar, one tablespoon at a time until thick and glossy. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without any falling out, but make sure you don't over-whip them! Dump 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Fold until incorporated, then add the next 2/3. Once finished the 2/3, pour the rest of the dry ingredients in, folding until it forms slow ribbons. When dropped from a spoon, the mixture should take a few seconds to flatten out, but not be too liquidy. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small round tip with the macaron mixture. Pipe them onto a tray lined with parchment paper. Don't pipe too big, 1" is enough. Let the macarons sit out until they form a dry skin: when you touch the tops your finger should not stick. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and bake on the middle rack for 8-10 minutes. You can test by touching the sides, if they wobble too much they are not done. Let the shells cool completely before icing them.

Whipped Salted Caramel

175g                    sugar
60ml                    water
120ml                  heavy whipping cream
175g                     butter
1 tsp                     sea salt

In a medium sized pan, combine the sugar and the water. Heat over low, stirring with a metal spoon until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved turn the heat up to medium high. Allow to come to a boil. In a separate saucepan, whisk the cream over low heat until it starts to boil. Cook the sugar syrup by swirling it (do not use the spoon anymore to stir) until it reaches a light amber colour. Once happy with the colour, take it off the heat and immediatly whisk in the hot cream. be careful because it will bubble a lot, just keep whisking until it calms down. Add half the butter, one cube at a time, whisking until incorporated. Then put the pan in a dish filled with cold water. Continue to add the rest of the butter and whisk until it thickens. Transfer into a medium bowl and put in the fridge until cool.
Once chilled, use a mixer to beat the caramel until it has doubled in volume and has lightened in colour. Stir in the sea salt. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Pipe the caramel onto half of the backs of the macaron shells. Place another shell on top and slightly press together. Repeat with the rest. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

Wishing you all the best in the upcoming year! I hope that next year is even better and brings us all much joy. I have a good feeling about 2015.

Elanne Boake