FOOD

Caramel Apple-Shaped Macarons

Red Delicious Macarons with caramel buttercream, an apple pie filling and a chocolate stalk and leaf.

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FOOD

Caramel Apple-Shaped Macarons

Red Delicious Macarons with caramel buttercream, an apple pie filling and a chocolate stalk and leaf.

Ingredients

Macarons

  • 100g egg whites (approx. 3 egg whites) room temperature
  • 150g - 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 105g – 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 155g - 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 4 drops red food gel

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp glucose syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 125 ml - 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 50g - 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes

Buttercream

  • 250g - 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 525g - 2 cups icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp full-cream (whole) milk (at room temperature) (optional, but recommended)

Apple Pie Filling

  • 2 green apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Chocolate stalks

  • 3oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted
  • 3 oz green candy melts, melted

Steps

Macarons

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Line 3 trays with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Sift powdered sugar and almond meal into a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add the vinegar to the bowl you’ll be mixing the eggs in and wipe down using a paper towel until dry.
  4. Add egg whites to your clean 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.
  5. Begin adding the sugar one tablespoon at a time, while the mixer is on medium high speed. Once all the sugar has been added, add the vanilla extract and red food gel and continue whisking until the meringue becomes thick and glossy. All up, you’ll whisk for about 5 minutes.
  6. Grab a spatula full of the meringue and fold it into the almond-sugar mixture until well combined. This allows the mixture to thin out a little before you add the rest of the meringue. Different people mix macaron batter in different ways; some count the amount of times they mix, but I think it’s better to know what consistency to look out for. I like to go around the bowl with my spatula and then through the middle. You want to continue mixing that way until you reach the ‘ribbon stage’. The ribbon stage is when the batter falls off the spatula in a ribbon and disappears into the rest of the batter after about 10 seconds. That’s when you know the batter is ready to pipe. If you over mix the batter, it will thin out too much and you’ll have to start again. As you get closer and closer to a batter thing enough to fall off in that ribbon stage, you want to keep testing the batter. If you find it’s not quite thin enough, then mix only 2 or 3 times and test again. It’s really really important not to overmix your batter!
  7. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats. Pipe macarons on each sheet, each one about 3cm in diameter.
  8. Gently tap the tray on your work bench. Allow the macarons to dry for 40 minutes before baking for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before taking off the sheets.

Caramel Sauce

  1. To make the caramel, place the sugar, glucose syrup and water in a large saucepan set over a medium–low heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 10–12 minutes until it becomes a deep gold colour, but not dark brown. DO NOT STIR at any point, otherwise you risk crystallising your syrup. When the caramel begins to colour, it will darken quickly so keep a close eye on it. Also keep in mind that it will continue cooking once it’s off the heat, so work quickly.
  2. Remove the syrup from the heat once it reaches the correct colour. Slowly add the warmed cream. Use a wooden spoon to slowly mix the cream into the hot syrup. It will bubble and splatter. Be very careful. Next, add the butter and salt and whisk to combine. Allow to cool completely before using.
  3. Any excess sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Buttercream

  1. Before you begin, it’s really important to make sure the butter is soft enough. Some people keep their butter out of the fridge, others chill it. Even if you keep it out, it may not be soft enough. You want your butter to be soft enough so that when you stick your finger in it, it glides in, but not without a little bit of resistance. The best way to get it too that softness is to place your butter on a microwave safe plate, microwave for 10 seconds at a time, testing the softness each time. If it needs longer than 10 seconds, turn the butter over and repeat until it’s ready.
  2. Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use an electric 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.
  3. 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…)
  4. 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 color and becomes fluffy again.
  5. Lastly, to flavor the frosting, add the chilled caramel and mix until well combined. Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton #32 piping tip and fill the bag with frosting. Set aside.

Apple Pie Filling

  1. Add the diced apple, cinnamon, lemon juice and sugar to a medium sized saucepan on medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes until the apple is tender. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.

Chocolate stalks

  1. Add both melted chocolates to separate piping bags. Snip a small bit of the end off and pip 4cm stalks with the semi-sweet chocolate then pipe little leaves using the melted green candy melts.
  2. To assemble, add the macarons, pipe a swirl of frosting on half the macarons, fill with apple pipe filling, then sandwich with the remaining halves. Insert the chocolate stalks to finish.
  3. Notes
  4. Macarons can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days.

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