How to make salted caramel macarons filling. 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 the most popular macaron flavour – confirmed by the Parisian pâtisseries in 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!
Can I make Caramel Without the Salt?
Of course you can. What’s more, without salt added in the filling, it’s easier to add other flavour to the caramel such as vanilla. Inspired by Pierre Hermé’s flavours, I infused some jasmine tea into the cream while omitting the salt. The result is a beautifully subtle floral touch to the caramel macaron and delicious with – you guessed it – jasmine tea.
How to Make Salted Caramel Macarons Filling
The method for making the salted caramel is much the same in my recipe for the first stage of a French Crème Caramel. I even have the method explained and demonstrated here on video for making caramel. However, if you’re worried about making caramel, no worries. Just follow this easier scientific approach in this recipe for salted caramel sauce, inspired by food scientist, Raphaël Haumont.
Salted Caramel Macarons Filling
- 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 Macaron Shells
- Follow the basic macaron recipe on pages 146-50 in Teatime in Paris and add powdered caramel colouring to the French meringue.
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.
Have you made this recipe?
I’d love to know how it turned out. Please let me know by leaving a rated review below. It means so much to have your support.
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This post was first published 9 November 2015 but is now completely updated with the filling recipe from my book, Teatime in Paris, with thanks to Waverley Books.