Learn how to make French Macarons with Salted Caramel and Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling from Nisha of My Kitchen Antics
“There was a mood of magic and frenzy to the room. Crystalline swirls of sugar and flour still lingered in the air like kite tails. And then there was the smell-the smell of hope, the kind of smell that brought people home.”
~ Sarah Addison Allen
I am reminded of the above lines from a book ’The girl who chased the moon’ when I think of today’s guest blogger. I asked her if she could do me a favour and write a guest post for my blog for the second time. She not only agreed to be a guest blogger for the second time, but sent me five amazing recipes to choose from! Again!!! This girl leaves me spoiled for choices and salivating at the most amazing and tempting recipes she whips up in her kitchen. I am talking about my gorgeous friend Nisha who blogs some scrumptious treats at My Kitchen Antics. Her blog is filled with stunning photographs, wonderful recipes and witty anecdotes which makes you want to come back again and again! It didn’t take me too long to choose the French Macarons recipe from the 5 different recipe choices she gave me. If there is someone who can make mean Macarons, then it definitely going to be none other than a macaron diva herself who is also happens to be a consultant at Bobo Macarons! Nisha, thank you for sharing one of my most favourite recipes with us all. You can read more about Nisha by following her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I am back again with a guest post for Sia. And this time, we decided to go with French Macarons. I would totally understand why Sia asked me to go with Macarons because everyone on my FB page kinda know I'm obsessed with these sweet lil things.
I can’t claim I'm an expert at macarons, because there are still instances where something terribly goes wrong and im left wondering if I will ever figure it all out some day. But once you get the hang of it, you will realize it’s one of those things you'd want to experiment with over and over again with different colours, flavours, shapes etc etc.
I have tried to be as clear as possible, but you will get the gist of it, only once you've tried it a couple of times. Don’t let macarons intimidate you.
I had given Sia a couple of filling options and she chose salted caramel and cardamom cream cheese- 2 of her favourites. I wish I could have met Sia and her beautiful family when they were here in England, but I guess that will have to wait till I head to India now.
Here's wishing her and her family all the best, and I look forward to her food adventures in a new place.
Macarons with Salted Caramel filling and Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling
Ingredients for Macaron shells:Method:
Ground almonds/ almond meal- 60 gms
Powdered sugar- 100 gms
Caster sugar- 40 gms
Vanilla paste- 1/2 tsp (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
Egg whites- 60 gms
- Get the baking tray with baking paper ready. You would ideally need two trays for this quantity.
- Sift the almond powder, to make sure there are no lumps, and you would also get a smooth macaron.
- Then, sift the almond powder with the icing sugar to remove any larger chunks or lumps.
- Using a free standing mixer with whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites till frothy.
- Then add the caster sugar bit by bit, while continuously beating, till soft peaks form. It should hold its beak shape when you lift the whisk up. What I've learnt is, its better to over beat the egg white than under beat it. So if you're in doubt, just keep beating till its really stiff. If its a free standing mixer, this job is done in a matter of 5 minutes. Hand mixer might take longer.
- Into the almond-sugar mix add the meringue and fold it in using a spatula, starting from the bottom and continuing to the top, till you get a smooth even mixture. Really really really go easy on the folding. Again, its better to be under folded than the other way round because, you can fix the under folding. Whereas if the batter becomes too loose, then your macarons would end up distorted.
- Before you mix the batter completely, separate it into 2 and into one half add the green colour (or any colour you prefer).
- Continue to fold till the colour is evenly spread. Its better to use gel colour than liquid, because the liquid ones can alter the consistency of the batter.
- To test if the batter is of correct consistency, it should fall back in ribbons when you lift the spatula. And, after about a minute or so, the ribbon shape should have disappeared. Also put a spoonful on a plate and if it spreads out on its own, then you are good to go. If it doesn't, then give a couple more folds and it should be fine.
- Pour the batter into 2 different piping bags fit with a plain round tip, and pipe away, leaving about 2 inches gap between the shells.
- If you only have one piping bag and one tip, finish piping the first colour, rinse out the bag and nozzle immediately, wipe dry and pour in the second colour. Continue piping.
- Leave aside to dry from 20 minutes to half an hour. Again, this completely varies. I've found that if the batter is towards the looser side, then it takes longer to dry and if its thicker, its dry in about 15 minutes. Humidity also speedens the process of drying. But basically lightly touch the piped batter with your little finger, and if it sticks, that means you need to leave it longer. If its slightly hard and dry, then you are good to go. If you don't let it dry enough, your macarons wont come out with good feet.
- Towards the last 10 minutes, pre heat the oven to 140C and once the time is up, place the tray in the middle rack and bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
- If you macarons are undercooked, it becomes crinkled and hollow on top. It becomes too delicate to handle as well. So if you are a first timer, over baking it a bit to be on the safer side is acceptable. But take care not to burn them.
- Once done, cool on a rack completely before doing the filling.
French Macarons with Salted Caramel Filling
Ingredients for Salted Caramel Filling:Method:
Granulated sugar- 1/2 cup
Water- 1 1/2 tbsp
Unsalted butter- 3 tbsp
Double cream- 1/4 cup
Fleur de sel- 3/4 tsp (you can use coarse sea salt as well)
- Heat together the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan. Stir to help the sugar dissolve but stop once it comes to a boil. You can swirl it around a bit if you want.
- When all the sugar has melted and the colour become a deep amber add the butter. It will foam up a bit so stand back.
- Whisk continuously till the butter has melted and then take it off the flame.
- Whisk in the double cream (again it might foam up a bit) and then add the sea salt.
- Continue whisking till the caramel is nice and smooth.
- Let it completely cool and then store in clean containers which can then be stored away in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
- Just before use, warm it up a wee bit to loosen.
Macarons with Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling
Ingredients for Cardamom Cream Cheese Filling:Method:
Cream cheese- 1/4 cup
Icing sugar- 3 tbsp
Vanilla extract- a generous splash (optional)
Cardamom powder- 1/2 to 3/4 tsp (powder the cardamom seeds to make enough)
- Whisk the cream cheese and sugar gently using a wire whisk. Make sure it doesn't become too loose.
- Fold in the vanilla extract and cardamom and continue mixing till they all come together.
- Do a taste test and add more cardamom if required.
Filling the Macarons:
- Pair up the macarons of same size.
- Fill piping bags with the filling and pipe onto the shells.
- Sandwich them and store in an air tight container till ready to serve.
- They taste much much better once they have moistened in the fridge for a day.
- Have all the ingredients ready before hand
- Use left over egg yolks for creme brulee or home made mayo
- Ageing the egg white is preferable, but not compulsory.
- Don't use the pasteurised egg white you get in cartons
- It helps to know your oven in and out, as you'd know of hot spots and the like...which would totally affect the macarons. So try with one tray at first before you decide to put both your trays at the same time.
- Pipe out the second tray only after the 1st one goes into the oven.