Chocolate Macaron with Caramel Buttercream

Chocolate Macaron-fi

Macaron are such cute little cookies, but they sure do pack a big, flavorful punch. The crisp meringue softens over a day or two as it soaks up the moisture and flavor from the filling. Biting into a macaron is like a pillow of sweetness. It truly is delicious, and a must-try if you haven’t eaten one before.

This particular recipe melds together a rich sweetness from the caramel with a slight chocolate flavor – mhmmmmmmm

chocolate macaron2

Many cooks shy away from macaron because they do have a reputation for being a bit tricky. But, this recipe hasn’t failed me yet. Most recipes use a French meringue method where the dry ingredients are folded into a beaten egg white mixture. I’ve tried the French method twice – both with less than desirable results. But, this recipe uses an Italian meringue – the egg whites are beaten with cooked sugar to create a very stable base. That is then folded in with a paste of almond flour, icing sugar, cocoa and egg whites.

chocolate macaron3

Oven Temperature: 285-315˚F

Baking Time: 15 minutes

Makes: ~40 1 inch macaron (these are mini sized xD)

Ingredients:

150 grams almond flour

125 grams icing sugar

25 grams cocoa powder

110 grams egg whites ***divided in half***

35 grams water

150 grams granulated sugar

Directions:

Prepare a baking pan (preferably thick bottomed) with parchment or a silicone mat.

Sift together almond flour, icing sugar and cocoa powder. Mix in half (55 grams) of the egg whites with a spatula. The mix should be pasty and thick.

In a separate (heat resistant) bowl attached to a mixer (or not if you want to go the hand beater or elbow grease methods), pour in the remaining half (55 grams) of egg white.

In a sauce pot, mix the water and granulated sugar together. Use a candy thermometer to heat until the sugar is at 240˚F. Once the mixture is at the right temperature, immediately take it off the heat and begin pouring it slowly into the bowl with the egg white. Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly as you pour the sugar in a thin stream. Once all the sugar is incorporated, continue beating until the bowl is not hot to the touch. This is an Italian meringue.

Next, take a scoop of meringue and add it to the almond paste. Fold it in. Then dump the rest of the meringue into the almond paste and carefully fold it in until the batter falls off your spatula like molten lava. The batter should be thick and not fall completely smoothly in a stream – the batter will fall intermittently.

Then transfer the batter into a piping bag with a round tip at the end. Pipe the macaron batter in 1.25 inch rounds. Let the macaron rest for 30 minutes before baking to develop a skin on top.

Now preheat your oven from somewhere between 285-315˚F. Each oven is different. If you’re not sure what will work, try 300˚F as a happy medium and figure out where to go from there.

After the macaron are done resting, bake for about 15 minutes, or until the shells are firm and do not collapse when lightly tapped. The feet around the macaron should be dry and stable.

When baked, let the macaron cool completely before removing from the parchment or mat. ***tip – I use a thin spatula to remove the macaron so they don’t break

Prepare the filling:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

4 cups icing sugar

2 Tablespoons milk (or as needed to reach desired consistency)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup caramel (you can either use homemade caramel, or melt down some soft caramel candies and cool until at room temperature)

Directions:

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add milk as needed. Mix in the vanilla and caramel.

Sandwich the filling between two cookies. Macaron are best eaten a day or two after filling. Enjoy!

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