Salted Caramel French Macarons

French Macarons have to be one of the hardest desserts I have ever tried to make. Me and my sous baker, Lemise have spent the past few weeks trying to uncover the mystery of how to make these delicate little pastries. Let me tell you, the French really put some time and effort in their pastries, they’re not messing around. After 3 trial and errors of trying different recipes and techniques we finally got those babies to rise.

Don’t be discouraged by what we went through, I’ll tell you the do’s and don’t and hopefully it’ll make your macaron experience better than ours!

For our 3rd try at these macarons, we followed this video  from Brittany Mota, very closely. http://youtu.be/lnDp151B4yo If you plan on making these, I would advise to follow this video, but I will show you how we did it and what we changed.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 cup almond meal flour (found at target)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 egg whites (let the eggs sit out to be room temp. I didn’t do this. Don’t be like me)
  • food coloring (we used gel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Sifter
  • parchment paper
  • piping bags

First we combined the almond flour and powdered sugar, then sifted them into another bowl. discard the hard chunks of almonds.

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While I was sifting, Lemise blended 3 egg whites with a hand mixer on high.

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Blend until your arm hurts and until it is shiny and has stiff peaks. It should look like this.

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Then add in your cream of tartar and sugar a little at a time while still mixing. Once mixed, add in your food color of choice and blend. We went with a blue to go with our sea salt theme. Add in your flour and powdered sugar mixture and fold in gently with a spatula. We added the food coloring while folding in the mixture, but the youtube girl did it while still blending. Either way works.

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Fold until combined and mixture drips off your spatula.

Then get a piping bag with a small hole and our mixture into bag. We found it easy to set bag into a tall cup to hold the bag while we poured in the mixture. You can see how in video. Then line baking sheets with parchment paper and pipe small circles.

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Try to keep them as circular as possible. I’m not that good at it. I heard there’s a macaron baking sheet at Michael’s with circles on it. I need that!

Once you have finished your circles, bang the tray on the counter a few times to get the bubbles out. Let the macarons set out about 30 minutes prior to baking. They should form a skin. If you do not get this skin, I’m sorry my friend, but your macarons have failed. This happened to us the first time we made them. Might of been because I thought I could whisk the flour mixture really well instead of sifting. So sifting is really important!!!!! Also, these things are so sensitive, climate and temperatures are a big factor. Not a good idea to make them if its humid or rainy.

While you are waiting for that magical skin to happen, set your oven to 300 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes.The youtube girl told us to bake for 2o minutes and the macarons came out crispy. So maybe it just depends on your oven and trial and error to figure out the best time.

also, bake one sheet at a time. These macarons don’t like to share baking time.

Bake and they might look like this…

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They should rise and have legs. Legs are those creature looking things that are coming out around them. Only some of ours came out perfectly. We might have to lower the heat after the first batch. But once we got the baking down they tasted better than any we have over paid for from the store. Melts in your mouth and slightly chewy.

We made a salted caramel flavor. Used caramel sauce we used for the alfajores. (can of dulce de leche) and added sea salt on top, adhered with a brush of water.

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You can also package them up really cute for your Valentine ❤

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This is the batch we made on our 2nd try that didn’t over cook.

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Just added purple food coloring and buttercream frosting in the middle.

And a very proud picture of our accomplishments..

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Hope you enjoyed reading as much as we enjoyed eating them!

xoxo,

J

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