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.
Adriano Zumbo – Salted Caramel Macarons (DIY)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 36 minutes
¼ cup (62 ml) water
1 ½ tbsp. (30 g) soft salted butter
¼ tsp sea salt flakes (optional)
Egg White Mix
Stencil and Piping Bags (x2)
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.
4. Sift almond base over meringue (pushing through any lumps). Combine thoroughly with a spatula.
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)
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.
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.
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.