Introduction: Caramilk Chocolate Macarons
For those of you that are obsessed with caramilk chocolate that Cadbury has brought out I highly recommend trying these macaron cookies! they have a beautiful caramelised white chocolate flavour and are fancy due to the macaron nature!
if you haven't had caramilk chocolate try it now!!! and then make these macarons!!
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Step 1: Ingredients
For the macaron shells
- 80g old egg whites, room temperature (“old egg whites” refer to when the eggs have been cracked, covered with cling wrap and left in the fridge for between 2-5 days before use. This helps make the meringue perfect!!
- 70g fresh egg whites, room temperature (cracked the same day)
- 200g caster sugar
- 50ml water
- 200g pure icing sugar (make sure it is 100% icing sugar, icing mixture usually has other things added to it to stop it from clumping. Make sure it is pure).
- 200g sifted almond meal (weight after sifting).
- Food colouring orange and brown (I use powdered food colouring for macarons. If you use liquid the consistency of the macaron maybe runny).
For the filling
- 150mL thickened cream
- 400g caramilk chocolate
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
Step 2: Equipment
- An electric stand mixer (whisking attachment)
- 2 Small saucepans (or the same one and clean it between uses)
- Piping bag and 11mm round nozzle tip
- Baking paper
- Candy thermometer
- Handheld bowl scraper (there should fit in your hand nicely kind of like a half-circle. ideal for macarons)
- Long plate scraper/spatula
- Macaron circle sheet (3cm circles) (you can find these anywhere online)
- Baking paper
- Glad wrap
Step 3: Make the Caramilk Filling
In one of your saucepans place your caramilk chocolate, thickened cream and vanilla bean paste over low heat until everything is melted and combined (approximately 5-6 minutes, less time if it is on a higher heat).
Be careful not to burn your chocolate!! keep stirring it whilst it is on the heat.
Place in a separate container and let it cool in the fridge until thick. (i usually make this the night before but allow at least an hour)
Step 4: Make the Sugar Syrup
Place the caster sugar and water in a small saucepan, making sure not to get any sugar on the sides of the pan as these can burn at high temperatures*. Then cook over medium-high heat until it bubbles and your candy thermometer reads 117.5 degrees Celcius (243.5 F)** this can take about 5 minutes depending on the heat you are using.
Once the sugar syrup has reached temperature take it off the heat and allow it to cool (I usually run some cold water around the outside of the pan to stop the cooking process) or cool until there are no more bubbles forming.
*Carefully add your water around the edges of the sugar or use a pastry brush dipped in water to remove these from the side.
**I use a candy thermometer with a clip so that I can leave it on the side of the saucepan without having to hold it (super helpful!!!).
Step 5: Make the Meringue
Once your sugar syrup is cool place your "old" egg whites in a stainless steel mixing bowl* (make sure it is clean) and with your electric mixer whip the egg whites for 30 seconds until they become foamy. then slowly drizzle in the sugar syrup whilst beating on high speed. Continue to whisk for between 10-15 minutes or until the metal bowl is room temperature or coolish to the touch.
Halve the meringue mixture (for the 2 colours) and set aside.
*It is important to use a metal bowl here as the sugar syrup is hot and the heat in the meringue is removed quicker with a metal bowl
Step 6: Make the Coloured Macaron "pastes"
To make our 2 colours for our macaron shells whisk together the icing sugar and almond meal (400g) in a large bowl then divide it into 2 separate bowls (2 x 200g).
To make the first colour (white) take half of the mixture and place it into a large metal bowl and add half of the fresh egg whites (35g) to it and then with the handheld scraper fold it all together until it becomes a smooth paste. Place this aside
To make the second colour take the remaining half mixture in a separate bowl and add some orange (1/2-1 tsp) and brown food (1/4-1/2 tsp) colouring to the egg whites and stir. Then mix with the handheld scraper until you have a second paste similar to the first
Step 7: Add the Meringue to the 'pastes'
Remember to halve the meringue mixture evenly before starting.
For both mixtures, separately take about a third of the meringue and add it to the almond paste to help loosen the paste. if you add all of your meringue in one go you will lose the air in your meringue, they can go lumpy and not happy!! make sure to add small bits at a time!!
Then add the remaining meringue when it has loosened and fold it in until the mixture is beautiful, fluffy and uniform in colour. I do about 50 scoops or folds per bowl to roughly get the right consistency. macarons are very technical cookies (i would recommend looking at the video for the right consistency)
Step 8: Blend the Colours
Once your mixtures are ready we are going to get some glad wrap and lay it across our working space. then in alternating colours place the mixture alongside each other (I usually do 3 lines of different colours next to each other as pictured above) and then roll the glad wrap to make a sausage shape.
Then place your 11mm circle piping tip into your piping bag, cut the edge of your macaron 'sausage' and place it into the piping bag.
Step 9: Pipe the Macarons
Place a sheet of baking paper over your macaron 'stencils' and weigh it down so that it doesn't move. you can do this with tape along the edges but I also usually just put a cup or something in the centre until I have piped enough macarons that it won't move.
Then twist the top of your piping bag to bring your mixture to the piping tip and slowly pip your mixture into the macaron circle shape. You will see a beautiful mixed colour come out!!! (I again would recommend looking at the video of this technique).
Once they are piped, slide the sheets onto a baking tray and to remove any air bubbles tap/pat them on the counter about 2 times, rotate the tray 90 degrees and pat, rotate another 90 degrees and pat until you have done a full 360. Then with a toothpick pierce any obvious bubbles that you can see.
Step 10: Let Them Rest and Bake
Now we are going to let them rest. Allow them to rest for about 20 minutes to develop a skin. you can tell when this is done because the surface of the macaron goes from shiny to dull (as you can see above). You should be able to touch them now and they will not be sticky.
Bake them in a preheated oven at 145 degrees Celcius (295 F) for about 10-11 minutes. Make sure they are cooked enough so that you can carefully lift them off the tray without falling apart or any bits sticking to the tray. your oven may need more or less time depending on how it cooks, also you will want to make sure your oven cooks evenly.
Then allow them to cool before filling them.
Step 11: Fill the Macaron Shells
Now try and find matching soulmates for your macaron shells. try to make sure they are similar size and shape so that your macarons look perfect (any abnormal ones shall be eaten as a sacrifice to the macaron gods.... ie you can eat them XD).
Then place your caramilk filling in a piping bag or you can also spoon or spread the filling on with a knife onto one shell and then sandwich the second shell on top until they are all happy!
Then place them into the fridge for at least a couple hours (ideally 24 hours before serving).
Step 12: Serve and Store
**IMPORTANT BEST EATEN 24 HOURS AFTER MAKING***
You can eat the macarons straight away but they actually taste the best and have the best texture after 24-36 hours of refrigeration. This way the shells soften and the flavour really solidifies.
Take out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes before serving (they soften again and the flavour intensifies as when at a warmer temperature than straight from the fridge the taste intensifies in the mouth (Same with ice cream of any frozen or cold treats)
An airtight container in the fridge. or you can also freeze macarons really well, just try to suck all the air that you can out of the bags. or double bag them to avoid freezer burn.
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