Okay I would have to say that Veronica's Test Kitchen and Tartelette are responsible for making me aware of French Macarons. I had never had one before and thought I had better make one so that I know what all the fuss was about. Okay now I know and now I am addicted. All the flavor combinations hit me as I am lying there trying to go to sleep. Is it me or is this a foodie type ailment?
Anyway, while reading Pierre Herme, I was inspired to try chocolate macarons. I also have been wanting to try some salted caramel frosting. Sweet and salty is so delicious, I just knew I would like it.
After much searching and a little playing around, I came up with a delicious frosting or should I say filling for the magnificent macaron. (My two year old was not cooperating so this is the best picture I could muster up under the circumstances.)
Now the ingredients for the chocolate macarons are from Pierre Herme's book but the directions are adapted from Veronica's Test Kitchen.
The recipe for the salted buttercream is from "A Foodie Froggy". I have changed it up quite a bit. To see her original click here.
SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
1 stick of salted butter (8 oz)
1/2 stick of unsalted butter (4 oz), room temp
1 cup sugar
1- 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temp.
2 tablespoons sour cream
Melt salted butter in heavy bottom sauce pan, then add 1 cup of sugar. Keep stirring until sugar has melted. Watch the mixture and stir occassionally. Remove from heat when it turns golden. Pour into a glass or stainless steel bowl. Stir in unsalted butter. Stir in cream cheese. Beat mixture with a mixer. Spoon in sour cream and beat until fully incorporated. Place in the refrigerator. It will set fairly quickly. Voila. Hmmmmmm.
Now the macaron...
(Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé - Little & Brown, United States, 2001)
1 1/3 cup almond powder
2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup (100 grams) egg whites
I have added and subtracted directions from Veronica's. The following is my interpretation, at least for this recipe. If you would liket o see her original which I use for all other type of macarons go to, Veronica's Test Kitchen
Preheat oven to 300 °F (I used 310°F to compensate for opening and closing the oven door).
Process the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor. Sift twice.
Place egg whites in mixer and beat at medium speed. Continue beating until the whites attain medium-peaks and are glossy.
Remove mixer bowl and fold in your dry ingredients slowly to the meringue taking about four additions in all.
Pipe the batter to a diameter of an inch. And let rest for 30 minutes before baking. Bake for about 11 minutes or until done, turning the sheets halfway through.
After about five or six minutes you will see the characteristic little feet. I found that one of my pans of macaroon were a little underbaked. They need to be a lighter brown to know that they are ready. If yu cook them for too long they will crack.