French Macarons with Salted Toffee FiIling

Macarons are a really hot commodity these days. The beauty of the French Macaron is its versatility. The macaron itself is a light, airy, almondy cookie filled with with jams, caramels, and buttercreams. It’s a wonderful medium for heavier fillings because they are so light (almost meringue-like) on their own. When I spent the summer in Paris a few years ago, I was introduced to La Durée, an incredible french bakery, and I fell really hard for their caramel macarons. They recently opened a store in New York City (Yay!) and I got to enjoy the macarons again. The line around the block however convinced me it was time to try my hand at making my own. This variation is a lot nuttier than the La Durée caramel macarons but the inside is just as gooey and as a whole they are a delicious treat! Enjoy!

French Macarons (from Martha Stewart, original recipe found here):

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

3/4 cup almond flour

2  large egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of cream of tartar

1/4 cup superfine sugar

    1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
    2. Pulse the confectioner’s sugar and almond flour together in a Food Processor until combined. Then sift or sieve the mixture twice. Use the back of a spoon (and if available, another person, since this part can be a pain) to help you push any any clumps through your sifter.
    3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites and whisk on medium speed until frothy. Then add the cream of tartar and continue whisking on medium speed until you get soft peaks.
    4. Lower the mixer speed to low and add the superfine sugar. Then crank the speed up to high and whisk until you get stiff peaks.
    5. Fold the flour and sugar mixture into the egg whites until smooth and glossy.
    6. Put the batter in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 in. plain round tip. You could probably cut a pea size hole at the tip of the bag but piping the cookies may not be as neat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (no need to grease it!) and make 3/4 in. rounds about 1 in. apart. Drag the piping bag to the side of the cookie rather than straight up so you don’t get a little peak at the top of your cookies.
    7. Tap the bottom of the sheet tray against a hard work surface to let excess air out of the cookies, then let them sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325˚F and bake the Macarons one sheet at a time for 10 minutes (or until Macarons are crisp and firm) rotating the sheet tray at the halfway mark. In between each batch, raise the oven temperature to 375˚F for 5 minutes and then back to 325˚F.



Filling (adapted from this Recipe):

1 cup salted butter (I used French butter for the higher fat/delicious content)

2 cups pack brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

2 tbsp heavy cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Fleur de Sel

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cream and then stir until a candy-thermometer reads 238˚F or soft-ball state. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and Fleur de Sel.
  2. Allow to cool at room temperature and firm up before filling the macarons. You can put it in the refridgerator overnight and then let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour or 2 before filling.


Note: This makes about 4 cups. More than enough to use for the macarons with loads left over to use for other purposes (like toffee a la spoon) Delicious! Store the salted toffee in an air-tight container in the fridge.

US

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