If you've read any of my previous posts about macarons you will know that I love to mess with the shells. I guess that it has something to do with a childish instinct to touch the untouchable and make a mess! Something I may not have told you before is that I spend an unreasonable amount of time in very expensive department stores, not trying on make-up, not oogling the beautiful clothes or the expensive jewellery. No, surprise, surprise I spend time drooling over the beautiful and amazing macaron selection!! I have macaron selection menus from Selfridges, Brown Thomas and Cocoa Atelier, I even leave the Selfridge's macaron menu sitting on my make-up table for inspiration.
Frequently, however, inspiration strikes from odd places. When I found this delicious vanilla bean paste at an unbelievably good price I was determined to use it in macarons. However, how does one adequately compliment vanilla? Sure it goes with almost anything but what will bring out it's sweet smooth taste? Salted caramel and burnt sugar, me thinks. Hence a creme caramel inspired macaron.
Creme Brulee Macaron (more instructional photos to follow)
125g Ground Almonds
175g Extra Fine Icing Sugar
75g Caster Sugar + extra for sprinkling
3 Aged Egg Whites
3/8 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Can Condensed milk
1/2 tsp Salt
To make the filling submerge the can of condensed milk in water and boil until almost all the water has boiled off twice. Remove can carefully from the water and then leave to coll completely before opening (This is actually dulce de leche but it works for me, u gotta problem with it?? i joke!)
Now beat your egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean bowl, once light and fluffy slowly add the caster sugar and continue to beat until you have reached stiff peaks. In a seperate bowl, sieve together the ground almonds and icing sugar. Fold the almond and sugar mixture into the meringue and add the teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. Continue folding until the mixture becomes smooth and when dropped onto a plates flattens out. Pour into a piping bag and pipe in little 1/2' diametre circles on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Let the macarons sit and set on the counter for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180'. After the shell has set, sprinkle each macaron with a small amount of caster sugar, try if possible to cover the surface of the shell. Then using a blow-torch and a very gentle hand melt the sugar without burning either the macarons or the parchment paper.
Baked the macarons for precisely 10 minutes and then run water between the cooking sheet and the parhment once cooked to remove the cooked macarons from the paper.
Match up your macarons and then pipe a layer of caramel (dulce de leche) on one half. Sprinkle a tiny, tiny pinch of salt (a few grains) onto the caramel and then sandwich with a second macaron. Finally just enjoy =)
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