Friday, November 14, 2014

Coffee Salted Caramel Macarons

These Coffee Salted Caramel Macarons are cute, delicious and easy to make. The filling is just butter, salted caramel, espresso powder dissolved in a bit of water and an extra dash of sea salt whipped together.

After her first taste, my daughter Eleanor gave me a big smile and said "Mom, the kids at my school would go crazy for these because they taste just like a Starbuck's caramel frappuccino."

The macaron batter is colored with a bit of fuschia and violet gel paste but the filling is au natural.

The color of the macaron batter before baking.

Here's a side by side comparison of the baked and unbaked macarons. The color of the batter always lightens after baking so you need to color the batter darker than the color you want.
I really like the look and taste of these and I'm anxious to see what others think when I serve them this Saturday at the Leonard Cohen Alternative Liturgy at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

If you'd like a taste, please join us. Here are the details about the Liturgy which is a fundraiser for Trinity's hunger ministries which supports The Wednesday Community Meal and the recipe:

Saturday, November 15, 6:00 p.m., Kempton Hall. Join Trinity for an alternative liturgy set to the songs of popular music’s saint of solitude, prophet of the heart and brother of mercy. From “Hallelujah” to “Tower of Song,” Leonard Cohen stands with Bob Dylan as one of the world’s most fascinating and prophetic songwriters. But this Alt.Liturgy will show that he also stands with David in the Psalms, constantly asking, “Can you hear my song?” A freewill offering will benefit Trinity’s hunger ministries.

Coffee Salted Caramel Macarons
180g ground almonds, sifted
270g powdered sugar, sifted
150g egg whites, aged 2 to 4 days in the fridge and then brought to room temperature
100g granulated sugar
fuschia gel coloring (optional)
violet gel coloring (optional)

Line four heavy baking sheets with good quality parchment paper and set aside. Also, set aside two pastry bags for the piping of the macarons.

Sift together your ground almonds with the powdered sugar and set aside.

Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the granulated sugar gradually in four parts. Add the coloring if desired and mix well.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the beaten egg whites using a large rubber scraper.  Mix well.

Fold the mixture with the rubber scraper by pulling down the sides and flipping the mixture over. Do this until you have a smooth mixture that falls like a “ribbon” off the scraper.

Transfer the mixture into the two piping bags. Use rubber bands to close the piping bags. Clip the tip of the bags, one at a time, and pipe small quarter sized rounds, leaving 1-inch of space between each because they spread as they set.

Leave to set for about 30 minutes or until the top has formed a crust and is not sticky to the touch. 
While they are setting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. A convection oven is preferable. 

Bake one sheet at a time in the center of the oven for about 12 minutes or until the cookie is firm, matte and doesn't wobble when touched.

Leave them on the baking tray until cool then lift them all off the parchment carefully. You may need to use a thin knife to help lift them off.

Sort into pairs and fill with Coffee Salted Caramel Buttercream.

Coffee Salted Caramel Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons espresso powder dissolved in 2 teaspoons of hot water, cooled

Whip the butter until it is smooth and light. Add the caramel sauce, dissolved espresso mixture and salt and whip again until light and creamy. 

Filling the macarons.

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