Week 131: Macaron à la Fleur de Sel

Salted caramel is my favourite flavour, after chocolate and I have been on the lookout for a good salted caramel macaron recipe for the longest time. I have flipped past Pierre Hermé’s version so many times but never considered trying it because I was not really a fan of the salted caramel macarons from the pâtisserie.

When I recently bought his new macaron book, I took another look at his salted caramel recipe and somehow this time, it struck a code. And boy, aren’t I glad I finally tried it. It is delicious!

Makes 20 to 25 macarons

For the macaron shells

75g ground almonds

75g icing sugar

26g egg whites

Oil-based yellow food coloring

3/4 tsp coffee extract


75g caster sugar

10g mineral water

27g egg whites

1) Grind the icing sugar and ground almonds together in a food processor for approximately 5 minutes, scrapping the mixture halfway through to ensure they are finely ground. Sift the mixture into a large bowl.

2) Add coloring to the first potion of egg whites then pour it over the icing sugar-almond mixture together with the coffee extract but do not stir.

3) Bring the water and sugar to boil at 118C. When the syrup reaches 115C, simultaneously start whisking the second portion of egg whites to soft peak. When the sugar reaches 118C, turn the mixer speed to low and pour the syrup in a thin stream down the side of the mixing bowl, without letting it hit the whisk. Turn the mixer speed back on high and continue to whisk and allow to cool down to body temperature.

4) Scrap the meringue into the almond-sugar mixture and fold the mixture until it is glossy and flows like lava.

5) Spoon the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Pipe rounds of batter about 3.5 cm in diameter, spacing them 2 cm apart on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Rap the trays on the work surface covered with a kitchen cloth.

6) Leave the shells to stand for at least 60 minutes until they form a skin and do not stick to the finger.

7) Preheat oven to 180C, then put the trays into the oven. Bake for 3 minutes, then, without opening, turn down the heat to 120C and bake for another 15 minutes. Shells are ready when they can be easily lifted from the baking parchment.

For the salted-butter caramel

168g heavy cream

150g fine granulated sugar

33g unsalted butter

Pinch of fleur de sel

1) In a saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a light boil and set aside.

2) Make a dry caramel in another saucepan, adding 50g of sugar each time allowing it to melt before adding the next 50g. Cook until the caramel develops a deep amber color.

3) Turn off the heat and add the butter and stir to incorporate using a spatula.

4) Stir in the hot cream in 2 additions.

5) Sprinkle fleur de sel into caramel, taste to get the level of desired saltiness.

6) Place the saucepan back over the heat and cook caramel until 108C.

7) Blend the caramel with a hand blender until smooth.

8) Pour into a bowl and refrigerate to cool.

For the salted-butter caramel cream

75g unsalted butter

175g salted-butter caramel (or all the salted-butter caramel from above)

1) Beat the butter for 10 minutes using a wire whisk.

2) Add the cooled salted-butter caramel and beat until very smooth.

3) Transfer cream into a pastry bag and fill macaron shells accordingly.

I reckon I did not beat the caramel cream enough, hence, the slightly “broken” filling. But I have to say, I love these! I have been looking for that perfect salted caramel macaron recipe and I believe I have found it. I foresee myself making loads of this in the coming future.

There is only one problem – now that I have all my favourite macaron flavours figured out, what new macaron flavours are there for me to experiment on?

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