SALTED CARAMEL APPLE MACARONS

If there is such a thing as "macaron anxiety," well, I get it. Majorly. Macaron making is tough business if you don't follow instructions carefully. The first time that I made them I had crazy beginners luck and they turned out wonderfully. The next few times... Not so much. I was discouraged and even afraid of making them again. Really though, they are not something to be afraid of. You do need to read through the recipe carefully and make sure that all of your bases are covered. I have read that aging the egg whites and leaving them out to form shells helps. I've also read that that's complete bullshit. These days I take all precautions and have had success.

Don't fear the macaron!

These macarons are based on Pierre Hermé's Frivolité, which are, well salted caramel and apple. I've been told that the caramel is the flavour that you get most, so I'd suggest being a little heavy handed on the apple pieces and definitely not skimping out on the freeze-dried apples in the shells. The ones that I used are Mrs Mays, but you can also find them at stores like Costco or Trader Joe's (so I've read). I can only assume that they turned out well, because I left for work one day and came home to two dozen macarons eaten by my family...
Salted Caramel Apple Macaron
Salted Caramel Apple MacaronSalted Caramel Apple Macaron
Salted Caramel Apple Macaron

SALTED CARAMEL APPLE MACARONS

For the apples
1 baking apple (ex. Granny Smith)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP granulated sugar

Heat oven to 300F. Core and peel apple. Combine with fresh squeezed lemon juice and sugar. Place on a baking sheet and bake for roughly an hour until slightly dried.

For the salted caramel
Recipe via David Lebovitz

For the shells (Adapted from Bakers Royale)
135g egg whites, aged at least three days
45g granulated sugar
25g freeze-dried apple
215g powdered sugar
125g almond flour

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Create a template on another piece of parchment by drawing 1.5 inch circles. Set out your piping bag and twist off the bottom so that no batter leaks out when transferring.

Pulse freeze-dried apple in a food processor. Sift into a large bowl. Add powdered sugar and almond flour. Combine, and sift the mixture.

In another bowl, add aged egg whites. Beat on low speed until frothy, about a minute. Gradually add sugar. Increase speed to medium, and continue to beat until the egg whites are foamy, about two minutes. Increase speed to high, and beat until the egg whites stiff-peaks are formed and resemble thick shaving cream. Do not over-beat.

Add the flour mixture to the egg ones in one batch, and gently combine. Continue to fold the mixture until if forms a ribbon-like consistency. It should take no more than fifty strokes (although I lose track after the first twenty). To test, drop batter onto a plate. If the mixture collapses back onto itself within ten seconds, you're good to go. If it beaks, give it a few more folds, continuing to test.

Once the batter is ready, transfer to the piping bag. Place the macaron template beneath the prepared parchment, and pipe. Once you've finished a sheet, remove the template from that sheet and place it beneath the other sheet. Repeat. Give the baking sheets a rough tap on its side, rotate 90 degrees, and tap again. This helps to eliminate any air in the piped cookies. Allow the piped cookies to sit out and develop a crust, thirty minutes to an hour.

Heat oven to 200F. Bake macarons for 20-22 minutes. Remove from oven, and remove from baking sheet to cool. Once cooled (30 minutes or so), remove from parchment. For painting, I simply mixed some gel food coloring with a bit of water and brushed using a clean paintbrush. Allow to dry.

To assemble
Pipe salted caramel onto a macaron shell. Place a few cubes of apple in the center. Top with another macaron shell. I like to keep the macarons in the fridge overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Keeps for three-ish days.

This post first appeared on with wanderlust.

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