Oh. My. Word.
Ok so, last week I posted my absolute failure story on my ultimate macaron disaster. If you haven’t read that yet, maybe you should. Macarons aren’t easy, and take time and effort to get just right. This I’ve learned the hard way. After the total disaster a couple weeks ago, I decided I needed to get back on the horse and try again.
Last weekend I tackled Chai spiced macaron shells, with salted caramel buttercream frosting as the filling. OH. MY. WORD.
You guys, these things are amazing. I’m talking, sent from heaven, creamy, glorious, with a beautiful kick of Indian spiced chai. AND I DIDN’T KILL THEM! This makes me happy. They came out a little gooey-centered, so I could have left them in the oven a little longer, but ultimately, the salted caramel buttercream covers it up and you can’t tell at all.
I did make them a little big though, so for the future, I might make them a bit more single-bite-sized. These are really sweet and delicious and it’s easy to find yourself devouring one after the other.
Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup caramel sauce (I used Bourbon Caramel Sauce for an extra kick)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt (or any other rock salt from a grinder)
- Place your butter in the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth.
- Reduce the speed down to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar until incorporated.
- Add the caramel and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix on medium speed for five to ten minutes until light and fluffy.
Chai Spiced Macaron Shells
- 1 cup almond meal
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon chai spice
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Using a fine mesh strainer, sift the almond flour, powdered sugar, and chai spice into a medium bowl. Sift the mixture again two more times. You may be left with small almond granules each time you sift, so toss these out after each sifting.
- In a standing mixer using a whisk attachment (or mixing bowl with a hand mixer, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. Slowly add in granulated sugar and cream of tartar, continuing to beat for 1-2 minutes more until stiff peaks form. The egg whites should be foamy and firmly hold their shape.
- Carefully fold in roughly 1/3 of the almond flour mixture into the whipped egg whites. Fold a spatuala into the center of the mixture, scooping down to the bottom of the bowl and then around the sides. You should be making a rough circle with your spatula. Slowly but surely, your two mixtures should come together.
- Once the powdered sugar mixture incorporates completely (no dryness remains), fold in the remaining powdered sugar mixture. Continue to fold the mixture until it resembles molten lava– when you pick the mixture up with your spatula, you should be able to slowly (like, slooowly) form a figure 8 without the ribbon of batter breaking.
- Fit a large pastry bag with a ½ inch tip and scoop your mixture into the bag. Pipe 1¼ inch circles onto 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets (or if you have silicon baking mats then use those), leaving at least 1¼ inches between each macaron. Bang the trays on the counter to release any air bubbles that may have collected in the batter and allow macarons to air out for at least 1 hour, and up to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Bake macarons for 15 minutes, checking and turning the trays at 5 minute intervals. Allow to cool completely on their tray.
- To finish the macarons, pipe about 1 teaspoon of the salted caramel buttercream onto a macaron, then sandwich with a second macaron! Repeat until all macarons are sandwiched.
Hope you all enjoyed this recipe! Also if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with the thought of making your own macarons, I say try it out anyways. What’s the worst that could happen!?