Caramelia Macarons

Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day!

If I’m being honest, I’ve never been someone that gets really into Valentine’s Day, but I do love any excuse to bake and this is the time of year to bake everything pink or red!

Macarons seem to be my preferred Valentine treat and this year is no different. A couple of years ago it was chocolate strawberry macarons, and last year it was strawberries and champagne macarons. This year we’re leaving the strawberries and champagne for other enjoyment and just focusing on chocolate.

To be specific, Valrhona’s Caramelia chocolate.

It. Is. The. Best.

Usually when someone says something is the best, it’s a giant lie, more of a hyperbole than anything else. But this really is the best chocolate. It’s French, it’s fancy, and it perfectly blends the tastes of caramel and chocolate.

When I was in culinary school, I took a chocolates and confections class. It is exactly what it sounds like – we spent hours every week making different chocolate and candies. That and my breads class were my two favourite classes during my time in school. While we were in that class, we were introduced to Valrhona chocolate and the rest is history.

Honestly, if it wasn’t so expensive or I could just pick it up at the grocery store, I would buy it all. the. time.

This particular chocolate, the caramel, was the class favourite. We would always sneak some into a little bowl and hide it under a towel, snacking on it when our instructor wasn’t looking. It’s honestly just so good. I have a big bag in my cupboard and it’s taking all of my willpower to stay away and not devour the whole thing.

I brought these macarons to work last week and they were an absolute hit. Everybody liked them, and one or two of the doctors couldn’t get enough. The best part about working in a huge clinic is I always have a large group of people to test my recipes on.

When they respond as well as they did to these macarons, I know I’m doing something right 😉

Caramelia Macarons

Ingredients

    For the shells:
  • 275g (2 3/4 cups + 1 tbsp) almond flour
  • 250g (2 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp) confectioners' sugar
  • 210g (6) egg whites
  • 210g (1 cup + 1 tbsp) sugar
  • Few drops red/pink food colouring gel
  • Sprinkles, optional
    For the filling:
  • 250g Valrhona caramelia feves, or other caramel chocolate
  • 7 fl. oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 15g sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter

Instructions

    For the shells:
  1. Combine almond flour and confectioners' sugar in a food processor and blend thoroughly. Sift to remove any lumps.
  2. In a large, clean, dry mixing bowl, beat your egg whites until foamy and then slowly add sugar, beating on medium speed. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase speed to medium high and beat until a thick glossy meringue forms. Add food colouring and beat briefly to combine (your mixture should form stiff peaks).
  3. With a large, flat rubber spatula, fold 1/3 of almond flour/confectioners' sugar mixture into egg whites until combined. Repeat until all of the almond mixture has been added. Fold to combine until you see no streaks of almond flour in the batter.
  4. Pipe cookies onto parchment or silicone lined baking sheets (if adding sprinkles/decorations, do it now), and allow to sit 10-15 minutes before baking, shells should be tacky to the touch, not wet.
  5. While sitting, preheat oven to 300°F with a rack placed in the lower third of your oven. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 15-17 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely on the baking sheet before removing.
    For the filling:
  1. Put chocolate pieces/chips into a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat cream and sugar over medium heat until hot. Pour cream over chocolate and gently combine.
  3. Incorporate butter until smooth. Cool to room temp. and refrigerate 1 hr. before using.
  4. Once cool, pair up shells and fill with ganache. Sandwich together.
http://www.bryonycooks.com/caramelia-macarons/

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