Delectable Arts

appreciating the tastier things in life


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Salted Caramel French Macarons

I have a confession to make… I hate making my own caramel sauce.

So, I use the store-bought caramel sauce because it’s cheap and convenient. I don’t think it makes sense to make a mess in my kitchen to make something that I can buy easily. I did the math in my head and realized that it costs about the same to buy caramel sauce vs. making it at home.

I’m not sharing a recipe this time as there are plenty of great salted caramel french macaron recipes available on the interwebs. I just want to say that there’s no shame in cheating when it comes to baking. It’s all about the noms and these macarons are mega noms.

Happy noming.

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My new obsession with french macarons

I can’t help, but ♥ french macarons. Just a dab of frosting sandwiched between two meringue cookies; these tasty little treats are so cute, delicious, and simply irresistible.

In my quest to making the perfect macarons, I learned very quickly that they aren’t easy to master.. Like most things in life. 😉

The first time I tried to make macarons, they turned out so badly they almost destroyed all the confidence that I’ve ever had in my baking skills. They were just one big bubbly, gooey mess. It was really sad.. In retrospect, I probably should’ve looked at more macaron recipes first, instead of using the very first recipe that I could find. The problem is that you need very clear instructions, and a lot of recipes don’t give you that.

As I casually browsed for “french macarons” on YouTube one day, I stumbled upon a very helpful video by lovelyladycakes. Her How to make French Macarons video is really easy to follow. I appreciate her enthusiasm and how she genuinely seems like a happy person – who doesn’t like happy people? I’ve been using her recipe as the base recipe for other flavored macarons that I’m currently experimenting with, and I’m finding that the base recipe is working out very successfully.

Here are some things that I’ve learned so far in macaron baking that you might also find helpful:

  • I was really lazy and tried to skip out on sifting the ground almonds and icing sugar. The result is a batch of macarons with bumpy surfaces. If you want the tops of the macarons to be smooth (as they should be), then pour the almonds and sugar into a food processor and process for about a minute, and then sift the mixture. Otherwise, your macarons will look like this:
bumpy surface :(

bumpy surface… fail 😦

  • When whisking the egg whites and fine sugar, you absolutely must whisk until stiff peaks form. Otherwise, your batter will be runny and your macarons won’t rise. I don’t have a fancy standing mixer so I just make do with my cheap handmixer. Whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed for about a minute, then turn the speed up to medium-high to whisk for 2 minutes. The egg whites should look fluffy and smooth by now. Gradually add fine sugar to the egg whites while whisking for another 2 minutes. Stiff peaks should be achieved at this point. However, if you find that the peaks aren’t quite stiff, then whisk for an extra minute on medium-high.
stiff peaks

stiff peaks

  • Piping the macaron batter takes some practice. Be patient! Try to pipe small rounds that are just about 1 inch wide and at least 1/2 inch apart. You don’t want them to stick to each other.
matcha (green tea) macarons

matcha (green tea) macarons

Take your time to perfect the base recipe. Don’t expect to get it right the first time, but definitely don’t give up because once you get it right, you’re going to feel like a million bucks. So, go! Get lots of practice until you’re comfortable enough to start making different flavors.

I’ll be sharing some macaron recipes in upcoming blog posts. Stay tuned!