Bailey's & Salted Caramel Macarons

One of my main challenges when baking is coming up with flavour combinations. There are so many to choose from but we don't always have things on hand, and I'm picky, so I don't enjoy quite a few flavours. That's why I post a lot of chocolate. Okay, yeah I play it safe, but who doesn't like chocolate? It goes with so many things that it doesn't require much brain powder to put together a delicious creation.
Maybe soon I'll delve into the world of tropical fruits and more subtle complex flavours but for now... chocolate it is.

Bailey's & Salted Caramel Macarons

Makes about 25 macarons

Macaron Shells

100g                         ground almonds
200g                         icing sugar
100g                         egg whites
4 tbsp                        castor sugar

Sift the ground almonds into a medium sized bowl. Dispose of any large lumps. Measure them out again, add more if needed, sift again with the icing sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar 1 table spoon at a time and whip until it holds stiff peaks. Dump 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Fold from top to bottom scraping down the sides. Add the second 1/3 and repeat. Add the last 1/3 and fold until it forms ribbons. When dropped from a spoon it should take 15 seconds to flatten out. Don't over mix!
Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe onto a trays lined with parchment paper. Don't pipe too big, 1" is enough. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Let your cookies sit at room temperature until they form a dry "skin", this will help for feet. When you tap them it shouldn't be sticky.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. You can test by touching the sides, if they wobble they are not done. Let the shells cool before removing from the sheet.

Bailey's  Chocolate Cremeux
1 tsp               powdered gelatin
280g               milk chocolate
4 egg yolks
30g                 sugar
1/3 cup           whipping cream
1/3 cup           Bailey's
2/3 cup           milk
2 tbsp             espresso

Chop the milk chocolate quite fine and place in a heatproof bowl. Whisk the egg yolk and sugar together lightly in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the milk, Bailey's and cream and bring to a simmer. Pour a small amount of the hot cream mixture over the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly (this is to temper it). Add the tempered yolk mixture back to the saucepan and heat until 83 degrees. (This mixture will not thicken, make sure to only heat it up to the temperature stated.) Remove from the heat immediately and add the powdered gelatin. Pour through a strainer over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours.
When chilled, you can fill your macaron shells.

Salted Caramel

1 cup                 sugar
1/4 cup              water
1 tbsp                corn syrup
1/2 cup              heavy cream
2 tbsp                butter
1/4 tsp               salt

Place sugar, water and corn syrup in saucepan over high heat. Without stirring, swirling the pan to cook evenly, bring to a boil. Let it turn an amber colour, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cream then the butter and salt stirring to combine. Cool to room temperature then pour into baked tart shell and sprinkle the hazelnuts over top.

Elanne Boake