Adriano Zumbo’s DIY Salted Caramel Macarons

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Because my attempts at making macarons had been less than fruitful, I decided to try doing it the easy way and just buy one of those Macaron-mixes. With Adriano Zumbo’s macarons being quite famously known, I was quite excited to try his Salted Caramel pack and going off the instructions it seemed pretty straight forward without the need for Italian meringue or Swiss meringue fuss.

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Adriano Zumbo – Salted Caramel Macarons (DIY)

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 36 minutes
Serves: 15

Ingredients
Shells
¼ cup (62 ml) water
Baking paper
Baking trays

Filling
1 ½ tbsp. (30 g) soft salted butter
¼ tsp sea salt flakes (optional)

Zumbo Pack
Almond Meal
Egg White Mix
Caramel
Stencil and Piping Bags (x2)

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Method

Shells
1. Preheat oven to 160C (140C fan forced). Trim baking paper to fit baking trays.

2. Using the ring provided, trace inner circles on the back of the baking paper, leaving 2cm gap between each.

3. In a small bowl, whip meringue mix and water with an electric mixer on medium speed, until it begins to thicken, increase to maximum speed for 4 minutes or until very stiff.

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4. Sift almond base over meringue (pushing through any lumps). Combine thoroughly with a spatula.

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5. Using the electric mixer, pulse for a second then check beaters. Batter should slide very slowly off the beaters. Only pulse again if still too thick (Do not over-pulse)

6. Transfer mix to piping bag, cut off the tip and pipe onto baking paper. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. (Makes at least 40 shells)

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7. Bake trays one at a time for 14-18 minutes. Macarons are done when the ‘feet’ have just set. Slide baking paper onto a bench to cool completely. Carefully peel off shells and sort the best 30 shells into matching pairs.

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Filling
1. In a bowl, beat caramel filling and soft butter on low speed using an electric mixer until combined. Beat on high for 2 minutes. If using, stir through salt flakes. Transfer mix to remaining piping bag. Pipe onto one macaron shell and sandwich together.

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Impressions

The macarons come out beautifully with ‘feet’! What a joyous feeling that is and relatively easy to do. I think the key thing with the macarons is just knowing what the stiff mixture looks like (it isn’t as stiff as a normal meringue would be though)

The macaron shells have just enough air, and also slightly chewy. The filling although ridiculously rich with sugar and butter is delicious and smooth. If you want to make macarons the easy way, I think this will suit you just fine. However, if you like to be a bit creative and go beyond the standard flavours, trying to do it the traditional way would be the way to go.

Hotteok/Hoddeok (Pre-mix)

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If you have ever been in a Korean Grocery store, you might have come across a Hotteok pre-mix pack (Beksul is the one I find). Basically Hotteok is a sweet Korean Pancake, I think there are varieties of these pancakes with different fillings. The one that comes in the pack is a brown sugar filling with chopped nuts and cinnamon. I absolutely adore these and have attempted to make it myself. Either way, it’s pretty simple to make, but the Pre-Mix has a much nicer dough, and I’m unsure of what they put into it that gives it that golden colour.

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This is the other Hotteok Pre-Mix I’ve seen. The Beksul one (Not Pictured Pictured!) is in red packaging and tastes much better, and less salty. As the instructions are all in Korean, I had to go search for a translation. Luckily I found My Korean Kitchen.

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Ingredients

1 Pre-Mix Pack (Contains: Flour, Filling and Yeast)

250 ml Water

Oil (Preferably the spray kind)

Plain Flour

Optional: Extra chopped nuts to add to the Filling mixture

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Method (From My Korean Kitchen)

1. Sieve the premix flour, then add the dry yeast (silver packet) and water, knead it with a wooden spatula

2. Cover the bowl with wrap, and ferment it for 2 hours at room temperature (20-25 ?) The volume of the dough needs to increase by 2 times. I’ve sometimes left it for the whole day just to get the maximum “rise”.

2/ If you like, you can chop some more nuts, we use walnuts but really any nuts will suffice, to the filling.

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3. When the dough is ready, get a couple of spoonfuls of plain flour and place it on a plate. Give the mixture a gentle mix and form 10-20 pieces depending on the size you want. Place each piece into the plain flour so it becomes easier to handle.

4. Widen the dough with your hands and flatten. Place a spoonful of filling into the middle of the flat dough. Seal the dough and shape is like below. Repeat it for the rest of the dough.

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5. Pre heat the frying pan for 20 seconds and add some oil.

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6. Put a couple of the pancakes onto the pan and turn them over when the bottom part is cooked. (Cook them on medium to low heat)

Recommendation from the packet : It is best if you consume all the fermented dough (dough without the filling mix) when you make it. However if you can’t finish it all, keep it in the fridge (if you are going to consume it within 24 hours), otherwise keep it in the freezer, and defrost it well before you use it.

Impressions

What I love above this Pre-Mix is how easy it is to make and so tasty to boot. Eating this warm, will the sugary filling slightly liquid and nutty is just…perfect. It’s delicious on a nice cold winters day, and it’s definitely hard to stop eating it.

The dough is slightly soft, but has a nice crisp texture on the outside, with a sweet and nutty texture in the inside, with a hint of cinnamon. I’ve actually tried this with home-made red bean paste as well, and tastes just as good. So simple to make (Apart from the sticky dough), I can’t see a reason not to give it a try!