Caramel & Chocolate Macarons
Adapted from a recipe by Edd Kimber
170g icing sugar
160g ground almonds
120ml egg whites from about 4 medium eggs, separated into 2 equal batches
160g granulated sugar
1 tsp caramel essence
For the filling
120g double cream
110g dark chocolate, finely chopped
25g unsalted butter, room temperature
Place the icing sugar and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 times until fully combined. Sieve this mixture into a large bowl, discarding any particles that stay in the sieve. Add the first batch of egg whites to the almond mixture, mix to form a thick paste and set aside.
Tip the second batch of egg whites into a spotlessly clean, heatproof bowl and have an electric whisk at the ready. Place 50ml water and the granulated sugar into a small saucepan on medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C, using a sugar thermometer, at which time start to beat the egg whites on high speed. Once the syrup is at 118C pour it slowly down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the moving whisk. Continue to whisk on high until the mixture has cooled slightly and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture – the bowl should no longer be hot to the touch, but still warm. Add the flavouring and whisk to combine.
Tip the meringue onto the almond mixture and gently fold together. It is important not to over-mix the batter – it should fall in a thick ribbon from the spatula. The ribbon should also fade back into the batter within about 30 secs – if it doesn’t, fold a few more times. This is very importand or your Macaroons will have peeks on the top!
Heat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3-4. Line three baking sheets with baking parchment. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round nozzle. Hold the bag vertically to the tray, with the nozzle about 1cm from it. Pipe rounds about 2.5cm in diameter onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave to rest for 30 mins, or until the macarons have developed a skin.
Bake the macarons for 14 mins (this needs to be precise, so you could test a macaron first). Immediately slide the parchment onto the work surface and cool for a few minutes before gently peeling the macarons off the paper.
To make the filling, place the cream in a small saucepan and the chocolate in a medium bowl. Bring the cream just to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave to stand for a few mins, then stir to combine. Add the butter and stir until smooth, then leave to set until thickened. Place the chocolate mix into a clean piping bag with a smaller nozzle and pipe around the edge of half the macarons and sandwich with another macaron shell.
Once finished, the macarons will improve with an overnight rest in the fridge.