The first time I made macaroons with J, we didn’t think it would be difficult. But we quickly found out that getting the shells to be shaped in a perfect circular shape was going to be an uphill task – much less achieving a smooth textured macaroon shell. And while our first attempt didn’t look aesthetically pleasing, the saving grace was the texture. It was how we envisioned it to be, that crispy shell with a light-weight fluffy interior when one bit into it. That texture kept us going for a second attempt, not before researching massively on what could have possibly gone wrong before. But despite it all, attempt #2 was even more of a failure – and we had to throw away the entire batch, in shame, pretending like our baking escapade never happened.
Then came along S – it was my first time baking with her, and between her flexible work arrangements and my very flexible timetable, we arranged to meet up on a weekday to challenge these macaroons again.
S brought along a recipe which she had tried before, and presumably this translated to a higher success rate for our macaroons to work. Having the past two failed attempts under my belt, I was no longer as ambitious and told S – let’s aim to have an instagram-worthy macaroon, and we can consider this a success, okay?
The macaroons definitely weren’t perfect by a long shot, you can see how grainy the texture was, but through our own definition – we had succeeded.
Each macaroon baking session gained me some insights, and these were what I learnt from my third attempt – to set my oven at a lower temperature than what the recipe calls for; trusting your instincts and mixing the batter to ensure a smoother texture; greasing the parchment paper for easier removal of shells after baking.
More importantly, these elusive macaroons taught me perseverance – to have courage to try again despite numerous failures, analyse what could have gone wrong in previous attempts, and then try again. Oh of course, and to also appreciate the amount of effort which goes into baking a macaroon, and savour it a bit more instead of gulping it down in three mouthfuls.
Salted Caramel Macaroons
Ingredients (Macaroon Shells):
- 100g egg white
- 60g fine sugar
- 180g icing sugar
- 120g extra fine almond ground
- 5g egg white powder
- Pinch of salt
Directions (Macaroon Shells):
- Mix icing sugar & almond together. Sieve the mixture. Set it aside (Mixture 1).
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white, egg white powder & small pinch of salt until soft peaks. Add fine sugar a little at a time until mixture is semi-firm, looking white & glossy (Mixture 2).
- Gently stir in Mixture 1 into Mixture 2 (note: mixture should be of smooth consistency and should fall off the spatula when held up).
- Scoop into piping bag & pipe (note: draw circular shapes on parchment paper for better consistency of macaroon shells sizes).
- Leave the macaroon shells to dry for 15 min (note: to better remove the air bubbles, try knocking the baking tray against a flat, hard surface a few times).
- Bake the macaroon shells at 150 degree celsius for 20min.
- Remove tray and leave to cool.
Ingredients (Salted Caramel Filling):
- 200g whipping cream
- 300g fine sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Directions (Salted Caramel Filling):
- Pour the sugar into a pot and cook it to a viscous caramel mixture.
- Add in the whipping cream and stir until dissolved.
- Add in sea salt and taste.
- Cool the mixture and leave it in the fridge for 15 min before piping the filling into the cooled-down macaroon shells.