Sunday 30 October 2011

Caramel Latte Macarons: coffee macs with salted caramel filling

Actually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis - a good hot cup of coffee. ~ Alexander King

I know I've been moaning about exams and studying for a while.  Now, looking back on it though, it really wasn't all doom and gloom.

Studying/working-till-all-hours teaches you all sorts of new skills and life lessons, like: how to take strategic 10 minute power-naps; how to disguise how scummy your hair is by putting it up in an alty top-knot; and most importantly: the art of getting as much caffeine into your system as possible.

Lately, I've been gorging myself on Nestle Caramel Latte sachets.  I know all you coffee snobs out there are gasping in horror.  I like to think of these instant coffee drinks as a caffeinated coffee flavoured treat rather than an actual coffee.  

Caramelly and frothy and with that essential caffeine kick.  What's not to love?

However, there is only so much coffee-drinking one can before the old bladder doth protesteth.  That's when you get to the coffee-eating, that's where the coffee baking comes in: Coffee Macarons with Salted Caramel Filling.

Think caramel latte but a macaron.  Words can't espresso how good these are.

This is my third attempt at macarons and I think my most successful to date.  Sure, a tray or two still came out sans feet and looking like meringue blobs but the flavour combo was a total winner.  And that's not just the caffeine addiction talking.

The coffee gives the macarons a bitter-sweetness that just balances out the salted caramel perfectly.  And that ooey gooey caramel goes oh so well with the chewy goodness of the macaron.  I can't stop raving about them.  Just like how I couldn't stop eating them.  Clearly, self control is an issue for me. 

In this batch I used moccona granules, which gave the macs wee bursts of intense coffee flavour, and of course, meir mmmm.   But next time I think I'll try powdered instant coffee to get a more even scattering of coffee flavour.

And as much trouble as macarons are to make, these really are worth taking time out of your daily grind to try out.

Oh dear, I better stop before I give you all grounds for complaints.

Caramel Latte Macs: Coffee Macarons with Salted Caramel Filling

makes 25 - 30 macaron sandwiches

Coffee Macarons

3 egg whites (~100g)
50 g white sugar
200g icing sugar
110g ground almonds
3 tsp instant coffee powder

1. Age the eggs whites on a sealed container in the fridge for 24 - 48 hours or heat in microwave on medium-low for 10 seconds to mimic the aging process.  Line 3 baking sheets with baking paper.  The heavier weight the baking sheet the better.  In food processor, blend together the icing sugar, instant coffee, and ground almonds.

2. In a separate, immaculately clean bowl, beat the aged egg whites to soft floppy peaks.  Then add sugar gradually,  beating continuously, till it's all shiny and glossy.

3. Macaronage: This part requires the old noggin to work a little coz you need to count the number of strokes you are doing as you are mixing!  Tip half the almond/icing sugar mixture into the egg whites.   Fold in gently for around 10 strokes.  Add the rest of the almond/icing sugar mixture and fold for another 20 strokes (i.e. 30 strokes in total).  Now, this is a real tricky part to judge but the mixture is ready when it looks like molten lava - a slow blobby oozing consistency...this should take no more than around 50 folds in total. (You really do just get the hang of it when you've made these a couple of times.)

4. Spoon the macaron mixture into a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe on to lined your cookie trays into roughly 1 inch circles, around 2 cm apart.  Drop the trays on to the bench a couple of times to get the bubbles to come to the surface and pop them with a toothpick.  Leave the trays of piped cookies to air for 60-90 minutes for the shells to form skins (this is crucial to get the highly sought after feet.)  How long it takes will depend on how humid your place is.

5.  Bake at 150oC for 11-12 minutes. Resist the urge to open the oven door before it's time!  Cool completely on the tray before piping/spooning the caramel filling (recipe below) in the middle and making into sandwiches.  Put the macs into an airtight container in the fridge overnight to "mature" before eating.  If you can wait that long that is!  It is supposed to improve the flavour and allow the macarons to absorb some moisture from the filling to get the perfect chewy texture.

Salted Caramel Filling

1 cup brown sugar
50 g salted butter
1/2 cup cream
1/4 tsp salt

1. Melt brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan stirring constantly over medium heat.

2.  When melted together, add cream and salt and stir to mix.  Let the mixture bubble for about 1 minute (stirring).  Taste and add more salt if required. Take off the heat and let cool.

3.  Pipe or spoon the caramel into the middle of a cookie.  If the caramel sets too soon and is no longer oozy, microwave for 10 seconds to soften.

4. You can use any excess caramel over icecream, over chocolate cake/cupcakes, pancakes.  Or just eat it with a spoon. Trust me it's good.


  1. Salted caramel is possibly the best thing ever in life. Ever.
    Love the sound of these :)

  2. I couldn't think of a more perfect study break snack that these lovely macarons. Great job!

  3. Look at your perfect beautiful macarons. These are stunning and sound so tasty.

  4. Nessie, those little goodies look amazing. Caramel and coffee are made for each other. I am so inspired by your attempts at making macarons. I need to try myself, but have been too intimidated.

  5. Loving the macarons....yum! A must try!

  6. Yum, these sound so delightful! Perfect for cold days in Dunners too, I imagine... totally hear you on the being-madly-busy-teaches-you-crazy-life-lessons/skills thing!

  7. Oooh these sound so good! If I'm ever brave enough to try and make macarons, this is the recipe I'd love to try. Yummm

  8. i came for the puns, i stayed for the macarons! these are great!

  9. What amazing creations! I have to muster up that courage again to try your macaron recipes. I've tried many others, and they were EPIC fails!! Your creations are such an inspiration in the kitchen! Cheers!

  10. sounds like perfection!

    here's a bit of ny macaron love:

  11. Zo @ Two Spoons: I know! Salt to caramel is like fire to Flaming Moes - it just makes it good.

    Lora: Thanks lora! What is it about studying that brings out the procrastination baking monster in me???

    kita: Thanks heaps kita! I am slowly feeding my obsession with macarons...dear lord these things are addicting!

    yummy supper: Aw thanks heaps Erin! You should def try them - if clumsy old me can make em then you'll ace them for sure!

    aftertasteblog: Thanks you! Would love to know what you think if you do make them :)

    mel: Thanks mel! Coffee is like my best friend in dunners! Any hot drink really, just to keep my fingers from freezing over :P

    Linno: Thanks lovey!! Macarons were def not as scary as I thought they would should def try them, I'm totally hooked!

    alana: You completely made my day. Not everyone can appreciate a good pun. For me the more puntastic the better! :)

    natalie: Thanks heaps lovely! I still have a tray or two of epic fails the old counting the strokes trick AND letting them sit for aaaaaages until they have a real solid skin formed seems to be working for the while. I also pray to the macaron fairies everytime - may help? :P

    erica: "Your slacker boyfriend gives you a cupcake; your lover gives you macarons." ~LOVE it!

  12. Nessie, they look gorgeous! I am still perservering with macarons and they seem to get easier... yours look so sweet! And I am loving salted caramel right now.

  13. These looked so delicious I ran right out and got the ingredients to make them! I've made macarons before with great success but these came out terribly! The macarons collapsed as soon as I took them out of the oven. The only thing I can think of us that I had frozen my ground almonds to keep them from the last time I used them, could that have been the culprit? I'd love to try again but want to make sure I know what the problem was first so any input would be greatly appreciated.

    Side note: Although collapsed, the cookies were delicious!!

  14. timeforalittlesomething: Thanks Jem, it's always so lovely to hear from you!!!

    vanessa: Oh no, so sorry to hear yours collapsed!! Hmmm have been having a think about this and perhaps try baking them at a slightly hotter oven temp (could be the cold ground almonds making the mix colder and therefore needing slightly higher temperature?)? I've made these a couple of times and have had probs getting feet (remedied by leaving to form a skin for aaaaages) but haven't had them collapse on me (touch wood!!!). I do use room temp almond powder though. I read online that overmixing could also cause collapse but if you've made them before that's prob not the problem. Please do let me know how you go!! :)

  15. These look AND sound AMAZING!!

  16. sounds amazing... but when i tried to make it... it was EPIC FAIL!
    only the caramel came out to be amazing!!

    1. Oh no sorry to hear that! What went wrong? Did the macs not rise? Or no feet?



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