How to make salted caramel macarons. Recipe and excerpt from my book, Teatime in Paris: A Walk Through Easy French Pâtisserie Recipes – with thanks to my publishers, Waverley Books for permission to publish on the website.
Why is it that salt added to caramel is so agonisingly addictive? As a result, this must be one of the most popular flavours of macarons – confirmed by my Top 20 Best Macarons in Paris.
Where Did Salted Caramel Come From?
Salted caramel is surprisingly recent: caramel au beurre salé, or salted butter caramel, was invented in the 1970s by Henri Le Roux in Quiberon, where salted butter is added to most Brittany specialities.
Now, thankfully we can taste the geniune thing in Le Roux’s chocolate shop or caramélier in his shops like Rue de Bourbon le Château or in rue Saint-Dominique, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
Can I Use Salted Butter Instead of Unsalted for Macarons?
The short answer is yes, you can use salted butter in the caramel filling and omit the salt (fleur de sel) in the recipe. However, it’s on condition that it’s good quality French butter, ideally from Brittany or Normandy. A good quality brand that’s easy to find outside of France is President. Look for the label “demi-sel“.
On the other hand, I say on condition you can find good quality French butter. As it’s not always easy to find, I prefer using unsalted butter in the recipe and adding salt. As a result, it’s easier to control the dosage. Don’t forget to taste your filling by adding just a little salt at first and add more as necessary. There’s nothing worse than too much salt and ruining the flavour of the whole batch in one go!
How to Make Salted Caramel Macarons Filling
Salted Caramel Macarons
- 120 g (4½oz) ground almonds/fine almond flour
- 180 g (6oz) icing sugar/confectioner's sugar
- 100 g (3½oz) egg whites organic (2-3 days old, at room temperature)
- 65 g (2½oz) caster/superfine sugar
- pinch caramel powdered colouring (brown/yellow)
Salted Caramel Filling
- 100 g (4oz) cream warmed
- 1 2g sheet gelatine
- 100 g (3.5oz) sugar
- 60 g (2.5oz) unsalted butter
- ½ tsp sea salt (fleur de sel)
- 150 g (5.5oz) mascarpone
To make the salted caramel filling
- Soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes.
- Warm the cream in a separate pan or a few seconds in the microwave.
- Mix the sugar with a tablespoon of water in a small saucepan. Put on medium to high heat, without stirring, until a golden, syrupy caramel forms. Stir only when it starts to change colour and watch that it doesn't colour too much (i.e. it can burn quickly - and there's nothing worse than bitter burnt caramel, so keep your eye on it!). This should take no more than 10 minutes in total. Turn down the heat and add the warmed cream gradually (ensure it’s warm, otherwise you’ll have the boiling caramel spitting at you!)
- Take off the heat and melt in the butter, stirring the caramel with a wooden spoon.
- Add the gelatine (squeezed of excess water) and stir. Leave to cool on the counter for 15 minutes.
- Add the salt and whisk in the mascarpone vigorously (or use an electric whisk) until smooth.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Transfer the caramel cream to a piping bag, pipe on the filling to each macaron couple, topping off with the other macaron shell to assemble.
This post was first published 9 November 2015 but is currently being completely updated, including the full recipe from my book, Teatime in Paris, with thanks to Waverley Books.