caramel-macarons1March 20 is Macaron Day (or Jour du Macaron) in France.  I love macarons and adore the idea of having a celebratory day in honour of these elusive little treats (and doubly a great idea as it is a charitable cause!). 

I am thinking about my obsession to conquer these sweet delights, and have been tempted to turn Jour du Macaron into my own personal month long festival.  (Though seriously, I need quite more than a month for all the experimenting I need to do…)

I think I have researched all I can on macarons;  I have attended classes, conferred with patisserie professionals, viewed behind the scenes macaron secretsin Paris, delved into blogs and references sites around the world, and poured over instructional texts on the subject.  Time for researching is over.  It is now time for serious doing – and my own little macaron month will be perfect for that.

I have attempted to synthesise all my research – and taking some recent inspiration from my all-day macaron extravaganza class – hope to successfully attempt a range of different macaron techniques and recipes this month.

For a sneak peek, I share with you a unique presentation of a caramel macaron from Savour Chocolate and Patisserie school in Melbourne, where I recently attended a macaron class. I made sure I returned to Brisbane with a sample of this macaron for my Latin American friend, K – she is obsessed with caramel!

Fittingly, this macaron was made using the Spanish method. An impressive airbrushing technique transformed this plain almond shell and caramel filling into un dramático caramel macaron .. muchas gracias

At Savour Chocolate and Patisserie school, we made six different macarons using a range of techniques (French, Spanish, Italian). 

::  Chocolate macarons with mint ganache filling
::  Raspberry macarons with raspberry confiture filling
::  Fidel Castro (chilli) macarons with a tequila ganache filling
::  Citrus macarons with citrus filling
::  Chocolate coriander macarons with coriander milk chocolate ganache
::  Caramel macaron with caramel cream filling

I was heartened by the fact not every batch was perfect.  Even with a highly trained professional involved in coaching and monitoring the whole process, it was easy to end up with a tray (or two!) of macawrongs!

To recreate the caramel macaron at home, you may have to pass on the airbrushing.  Perhaps a slightly less dramatic visual presentation, but hopefully not a reduction in taste.

{ Caramel macaron } adapted from Savour Chocolate and Patisserie school

caramel-macarons2* Ingredients *

500g tant pour tant (equal measure of icing sugar and almond meal)
50g icing sugar
200g caster sugar
200g egg whites
1 vanilla bean

* Directions *

Sift TPT with the icing sugar.  Whisk egg whites and caster sugar in three batches.  Add the scraped vanilla bean.  Continue mixing until stiff peaks stage.  Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the meringue.  Bake at 165C for approximately 10 minutes.  When cool, sandwich two shells together with caramel cream.

{ Caramel cream }

* Ingredients *

300g caster sugar
180g cream
225g butter

* Directions *

Bring sugar to a dark colour.  Add boiling cream and cover when cool.  Add slowly to whipped butter.