Macadamia Orange Macarons with Caramel Filling

I had egg whites in the fridge and couldn’t think of anything to make that wasn’t meringue-based.  Ok, not strictly true. I’ve been obsessed with macarons for a while. Yes, I am using the poncy French spelling. That’s because I am particularly obsessed with the French, perfumed, pastel morsels served up by the likes of Pierre Herme and Laduree. Though the first ones I ever made were pistachio, to a Nigella recipe, to ensure that I had something suitable for a coeliac friend who was coming to afternoon tea. That’s the basic recipe that I used to start off this version.

The Macarons:

Ingredients:

  • 75g macadamias
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp orange essence

Oven – 180, Gas Mark 4

  1. Grind the macadamias and icing sugar in a food processor.  Probably more finely that I did, as it led to a barely but visibly bumpy surface to the cooked macarons.
  2. Add the orange essence to the eggs, then whisk the two egg whites til stiff but not dry. Add the caster sugar. Whisk til stiff.
  3. Fold the whites into the macadamia sugar, gently.
  4. Pipe on to a parchment baking sheet.
  5. Allow to sit so they form a skin.
  6. Cook for 10-12 minutes, then cool on the sheets.

I put two trays in the (non-fan, bane of my life) oven and the bottom ones cracked slightly, so will know not to do that again.

Caramel Filling by Girl Cook in Paris:

For the filling, I knew I wanted to do some sort of caramel. I spent some time drooling over researching macarons (like Edward’s amazing ones, with lots of tips too) and went with Diane’s step-by-step, including mise-en-place tutorial. I still feel a little limited because I don’t have a stand mixer, and waited for the boyfriend to come home to help. Supervise. Take me to the A&E with burns.

In fact it’s simple, and safe as long as you follow the instructions.

I did wonder if it was going to work, beating the cooled caramel in with cream cheese and butter.

It did. I piped this glorious splodgy cream onto the paired up macarons and found that I had half a piping bag left over.  So I filled some experimental chocolate tartlet shells (experiment is a nice way of saying I screwed them up) with the remaining mixture, and popped a sliver of chopped Montezuma milk chocolate button on top.

I dropped some of these off yesterday to various people in town – because if we eat all of them, frankly we’ll turn into Teletubbies. Would you like some?

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11 thoughts on “Macadamia Orange Macarons with Caramel Filling

    • Well I had a 50/50 result this time, hah! I need to do that testing thing where I find out what temperature my oven cooks at, on each shelf. (yeah, right…)

  1. Heh. We tried ‘dropping’ the tray to get the air out – they cracked more. But, as I’ve discovered, once they’ve set, the cracks harden as well so that’s OK. They still taste yummy.

  2. Marvellous using macadamias in macarons, I have some in the cupboard so must try that next time. My blog is littered with my macaron failures back in Dec 09/Jan 10 (around 15 failed batches) but I’ve made these mistakes so other people don’t have to…
    My experience of cracking is that it tends to happen with my second tray that has been sitting out slightly longer. I put my first tray by the radiator for 20 mins but leave the second one on the kitchen table so it’s had longer but doesn’t dry out as much. If they dry too much then the skin can’t stretch upwards and they crack. But I’m really no expert!!

    • I will check out your posts – though half of the fun is trying and trying again, eh? Even if they look a bit grungy like mine, they still taste yum, thankfully. But the tip about letting them dry at different temps is great. Especially with a non-fan oven like mine, where all the shelves in the oven really are a different temperature!

  3. Right – when we reschedule cookie day, we’re making these – I need to know how to make macarons AND caramel, two things that scare me rigid!

    • Yes yes, definitely! It will be very easy with your Kenwood too. I’m not at the stage of making the macarons look pretty yet (practice, more practice required!) but they’re easier than you’d think.

  4. Golly, you make macron making sound so simple. I’m almost ready to give it a go now… I had not thought about the coeliac angle either. It’s now filed away for future use. Thanks!

    • Yes, now I’m wondering whether making them with ground rice (I’m sure I saw a recipe with that ingredient combo somewhere) would make them suitable for nut-allergy people too…

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