Cinnamon Macarons with a caramel frosting and apple pie centre
100g egg whites (approx. 3 egg whites) room temperature
140g (1 ½ cups) almond meal
90g (½ cup) granulated sugar
130g (1 cup) powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp white vinegar
Apple Pie Mixture
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
1 green apple
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
500g (2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
500g (4 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar
2–4 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
½ cup salted caramel sauce
Apple Pie Mixture
Peel your apple and core the centre out. Cut it into small cubes and set aside.
Add the brown sugar and butter into a small saucepan on medium heat. Allow it to come to a gentle boil and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Add the apple, cinnamon and salt, and mix until well combined. Set aside to cool.
Add your softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer for this recipe, but if you do use a hand mixer, just make sure your bowl is large. Mix the butter on low speed to begin with, then switch to the highest speed and mix for 5 minutes until the butter is fluffy and turns pale in color.
Stop your mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl using a spatula. Add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and mix again on low speed. LOW SPEED PEOPLE! The last thing you need is to end up in a sugar dust storm! (I’m speaking from experience…)
Once all the sugar has been incorporated, it’s safe to turn your mixer up to high speed. Continue beating on high speed for about 5–6 minutes, or until the butter turns pale in colour and becomes fluffy again. Add the salted caramel sauce and mix until well combined.
Fit the end of a piping bag with an open star tip and fill with frosting. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 300ºF.
Sift powdered sugar and almond meal into a large bowl. Set aside.
Add the vinegar to the bowl you’ll be mixing the eggs in and wipe down using a paper towel until dry.
Add egg whites to a separate bowl and use a whisk attachment if using a stand mixer or the beaters if using an electric hand mixer and whip to soft peaks. Add the salt and cream of tartar.
Continue whisking on high speed while very slowly adding the sugar while the mixer is on high. Once all the sugar is in there, add the vanilla extract and continue whisking until the meringue becomes thick and glossy. All up, you’ll whisk for about 5 minutes.
The next part is the mixing stage. Otherwise known as ‘macaronage’, and is super important. It’s where most people go wrong with macarons. Add about ¼ of the almond mixture into the meringue. Use a spatula to fold in the almond meal. Repeat this until all the almond mixture is in the meringue. Continue folding until your batter with the spatula until you reach the ribbon stage. The ribbon stage is when the batter falls off your spatula in a ribbon, without breaking, and then disappears back into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds. That’s when you know the batter is ready to pipe. I like to fold the batter by going around the bowl with the spatula and then through the middle. Make sure you don’t thin the mixture out too much otherwise it’s only good for the bin! When you think you’re almost at the ribbon stage, test the batter, and if it needs more mixing, give it another fold and test again.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats. Pipe macarons on each sheet, each one about 3cm in diameter.
Gently tap the tray on your work bench and dust with cinnamon.
Allow the macarons to dry for 40 minutes before baking for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before taking off the sheets.
To finish your macarons, pipe a swirl of frosting on top of half of the macarons and fill the centre of the swirl with the apple pie filling. Sandwich with the remaining macarons.