There is no other way I like to spend a rainy October afternoon than in my kitchen with a big cup of tea, sticky-fingered and (almost) patiently waiting for a homemade treat to finish baking.
I had no lectures to attend yesterday and so I decided to whip up some lovely little macarons to nibble on. More specifically, these delightful wee rich chocolate macarons with soft caramel filling. Would you believe me if I told you I only ate one? …Didn’t think so.
Macarons are what I like to call a lazy bake, minimum time and effort for maximum enjoyment. I adapted this recipe from a lemon macaron recipe I found in an old Hairy Bikers book that I tried a while ago I love those guys!
These macarons are by no means perfect looking, but I can assure you their taste and texture is absolutely spot on, crisp exteriors with soft and chewy centres. I’m no perfectionist patissiere, this is Maverick Baking after all, I’m just here to share lovely easy recipes, not judge people for the cracks in their macs!
Anyway, enough chat, down to baking. It’s time to banish your fears of making French sweets!
First you’ll need to grease and line 2-3 flat baking trays.
Make sure you have all your ingredients measured out before you begin with this recipe, it makes the whole thing a little easier and there’s less chance your macarons will lose volume!
Place your egg whites and vanilla into a large bowl and whip them with a food mixer or electric whisk until they begin to hold stiff peaks.
Continue to whip while adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time until the egg whites are holding stiff glossy peaks again.
Whisk your cacao/cocoa and the icing sugar together (this helps them incorporate a little more easily) and sift them over the stiff egg white mixture.
Sprinkle the ground almonds over the icing sugar and egg whites and then use a large (preferably metal) spoon to gently fold everything together. Metal spoons have narrower edges, meaning there is less chance that you’ll knock any air out of the whipped egg whites.
Once just mixed, spoon the mixture into a large piping bag and pipe 50 individual 3-4cm circles onto the prepared trays, spaced about 1cm or so apart. (Try not to laugh at the fact they look like little poops!)
If your circles have little points, just wet your finger and gently press the points flat. Allow the raw discs to sit for at least 30 minutes until they form a sort of skin on top – this helps them get that crisp shiny top you see on classic macarons – and in the meantime, preheat your oven.
Bake the macarons one tray at a time for about 10 minutes until firm on top, don’t worry about any little cracks or tiny bumps, we’re all about taste and texture here, appearance isn’t everything!
Allow to cool completely on the trays before lifting them off, they’ll stick otherwise!
Spread the flat bottom of each macaron with your chosen caramel filling and sandwich it with another, keep going until you’ve sandwiched all the little halves together. Try not to be like me, try to refrain from eating the individual halves before you’re finished!
I think you guys will love these, they’re so simple to make and you can whip up a whole batch of 50 macarons for less than you’d pay to buy a box of 4 from some fancy French Patisserie, I know which I’d rather do!
You can incorporate almost any flavour into these little beauties too, the possibilities are endless! So get that stereotypical and (potentially slightly racist) chef’s hat and curly pencil moustache on and get these little French inspired beauties made!
Crisp chocolate and almond meringue shells with soft and chewy caramel centres, easy to make and even easier to eat!
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60g caster sugar
- 200g icing sugar
- 25g raw cacao or cocoa powder
- 115g ground almonds
- Jar of shop-bought caramel sauce or a batch of homemade caramel sauce
- Grease and line 2-3 flat baking trays.
- Place your egg whites and vanilla into a large bowl and whip them with a food mixer or electric whisk until they begin to hold stiff peaks.
- Continue to whip while adding the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time until the whites are holding stiff and glossy peaks again.
- Whisk the cacao/cocoa and the icing sugar together and sift them over the stiff egg white mixture.
- Sprinkle the ground almonds over the icing sugar and egg whites and then use a large (preferably metal) spoon to gently fold everything together.
- Once just mixed, spoon the mixture into a large piping bag and pipe 50 individual 3-4cm circles onto the prepared trays, spaced about 1cm or so apart.
- Allow the raw discs to sit for at least 30 minutes until they form a sort of skin on top - this helps them get that crisp shiny top.
- Preheat your oven to 170 degrees if you have a conventional oven or 150 degrees if you have a fan oven.
- Bake the macarons one tray at a time for 10 minutes until firm on top.
- Allow to cool completely on the trays.
- Spread the flat bottom of each macaron with your caramel filling and sandwich it with another, repeat until complete.
*This recipe can easily be altered to which ever flavour you prefer, just swap out the cocoa for icing sugar if you like vanilla for example!
*Feel free to choose another filling such as Nutella, peanut butter or chocolate ganache!