23 February, 2016

Salted Caramel Macarons with Sugar & Crumbs

Salted Caramel Macarons

For the longest time, I've really wanted to make macarons. They're notoriously hard to make and that's what has made me put it off for so long, I was afraid to try something that I was pretty much guaranteed to fail at.

But when Sugar and Crumbs contacted me to challenge me to make something different with their icing sugars, I decided it was finally time to face my fears and attempt macarons.

In case you haven't heard of them, Sugar and Crumbs are a family run company based in the UK and offer the most amazing ranges of icing sugars and cocoa powders, as well as cake decorating supplies too.

I first became aware of Sugar and Crumbs back in October last year, when I saw them at the Cake & Bake show and first bought some of their icing sugars.

Salted Caramel Macarons

They kindly sent me a pack of Salted Caramel icing sugar and one of their Nifty Nozzles, which you can read about on Thursday!

The great thing about their icing sugars and cocoa powders is that they are gluten free, nut free, dairy free, lactose free and they're even suitable for vegetarian and vegans- basically, their products are only full of goodness.

So I decided to use their icing sugar to create Salted Caramel macarons! The great thing about their icing sugars is that the flavours are really intense- however if you want a less intense flavour, dilute the icing sugar with some regular icing sugar.

Salted Caramel Macarons

For a first attempt, my macarons didn't turn out tooooo badly. They cracked which isn't a good thing and not all of them were the same size, but to be honest, they taste INCREDIBLE and they don't look too bad (or at least, I don't think they do!), so I'm pretty happy with them. Macarons take practise and that is a well-known fact in the baking world, so it's pretty unlikely anyone would get perfect ones on their first attempt.

But if you want to try them yourself, here's the recipe I used below:

You will need:

  • 100g Salted Caramel icing sugar from Sugar & Crumbs*
  • 100g Ground Almonds (you can either do this yourself or you can buy ground almonds from most supermarkets)
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 55g Caster Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees.

2. In a bowl, sieve the icing sugar and the ground almonds and then mix together. It's really important that you sieve the ground almonds because you need them to be super fine.

3. In a separate, VERY clean bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks, as shown above.

4. Slowly add the caster sugar and continue to whisk- the mixture should form a thick, glossy texture. Once all the caster sugar is added, the mixture is ready when you can literally turn the mixing bowl upside down without any falling out (honestly, it's true!)

5. Then gently mix in the icing sugar and ground almonds. This will make the mixture loosen up and become a lot less "stiff", but that's absolutely fine.

6. Pipe the mixture using a piping bag and round nozzle onto either a baking sheet or macaron mat. A macaron mat is better, but a baking sheet will do just fine.

7. Leave to rest for at least 20 minutes. The mixture will go smooth and shiny and needs this time to rest.

8. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes, open the oven door to allow steam to release and then close the oven door and bake for a further 8 minutes.

9. Once out of the oven, leave to cool completely before attempting to remove from the mat or paper.

10. Once cooled, you can either fill with buttercream, ganache or fruit curd. To fill, pipe the filling one on side and then sandwich together, twisting slightly to seal.

11. If you can, leave in the refridgerator for 24 hours- apparently this makes them have a great chewy texture!

Salted Caramel Macarons

My tips:
  • The easiest way to make these is to get your ingredients measured and ready, so you don't have to spend time measuring them out while your mixture is sitting there.
  • If your macarons, like mine, don't go perfectly, don't beat yourself up. Like I said before, it's extremely hard to make macarons and it takes practise! 
If you aren't a fan of Salted Caramel, Sugar & Crumbs have some other amazing flavours- some of my favourites are Strawberry Milkshake, Jaffa Twist and Velvety Vanilla!

Let me know what you think of my macarons and if you try them yourself, be sure to let me know on Twitter @cakeydreamer or by using my Instagram hashtag #cakeydreamerbakes

*Sugar and Crumbs kindly sent me the Salted Caramel icing sugar, however as always, all opinions are my own.

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