I am so excited to share this flavor of macarons with you; Fleur de Sel Caramel Apple Macarons. Every year in mid September to early October we pick apples and dip them in caramel to hand out to the special people in our lives; this year Sydney and I wanted to create the luscious flavor in a macaron. The fist step was to write down the essence of a caramel apples, the first taste to the last on our palates. That first crisp apple sensation, followed by the sweet gooey caramel, and finally the fleur de sel lingers on your taste buds. Now we had our challenge, to fabricate the exquisite experience, after two attempts we finally accomplished our goal. The dehydrated apple powder seemed to change the structure of the macaron, so we discovered the macaron pieds needed to rest for an extra half our.
Sydney and I had challenged ourselves with a new shell and filling flavor, the experience was exhilarating; it was also an “aha” moment for me. I realized that in the past twenty years our relationship in the culinary arts and life has gradually changed, from Sydney being an observer, to a pupil, a sous chef, and finally to my equal.
Fleur de Sel Caramel Apple Macarons:
Prepare your mise en place.
Place the almonds, powdered sugar, dehydrated apple powder, and food colorants in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
Sift the tant pour tant in two batches (almond flour, dehydrated apple powder, and icing sugar) and set aside.
The Italian meringue
Prepare your mise en place.
In a small pot over low heat, combine water, sugar, and vanilla skins. Swirl the pot over the burner to dissolve the sugar completely. (Do not stir)
Increase the heat and boil to a softball stage (235 to 240 degrees F/ 113 to 116 degrees C). Use a candy thermometer for accuracy. Wash down the inside wall of the pot with a wet pastry brush, if necessary.
Meanwhile, prepare your meringue.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the other half of eggs whites and egg white powder on medium low speed until foamy. Add the apple aroma, increase the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks and add vanilla seeds, and begin to slowly add super fine sugar to the egg whites. Whisk egg whites to medium firm.
With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over the fluffed egg whites. Beat until the egg whites are stiff, shiny, and glossy. Do not over beat your meringue or it will be too dry and break.
Take the bowl with your tant pour tant (almond mixture) and add the reserved half of egg whites.
Add a third of the meringue to the tant pour tant, give it a quick fold to break some of the air, keep folding till the almond mixture is mixed into the meringue, and then fold another third of the meringue into the batter, continue to vigorously fold till there are no white streaks. Now add the last third of meringue to the batter fold till thick, shiny and ribbons fall from the spatula. Fold the batter carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself and resembles shiny cake batter.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto silicone mats lined baking sheets or parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Let the piped batter rest for 12 to 15 minutes, and then rap the sheets on a tabletop to help them set properly.
Let the macarons sit out for about 1 1/2 hours to make sure the shells develop a skin.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/ 149 degrees C.
Right before placing the macarons in the oven reduce the heat to 280 degrees F/ 138 degrees C.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size.
Bake the macarons for 5 minutes, then quickly open the oven door, turn the pan, and close the oven. Bake them for another 5 minutes and open and close the oven again. Continue to bake the macarons until the tops are rounded and firm and a craggy ridge, the foot, has formed around the base, about 5 minutes (check the macarons after a couple of minutes, as the baking time will vary by the oven).
Remove the silicone mat or parchment paper with the macarons still attached to a cooling rack; so they do not become soggy. Once the macarons are freely loosen from the silpat/parchment paper transfer to another cooling rack for a good 2 hours.
Fleur de Sel Caramel Mousse:
- 400 grams/ 2-cups granulated sugar
- 155 grams water/2/3-cup water
- 330 grams/ 1 1/2-cups cream
- Fleur de sel salt
- 1-vanilla bean pod
- 1-teaspooon vanilla
- 8 grams/ 4 sheet geletin
- Cold ice water
- 29 grams/2-Tablespoons unsalted butter cold
- 20 grams/1 1/2-Tablespoons dark rum
- 20 gram 1 1/2-Tablespoons Calvados
- Candy thermometer
- 170 crème frâiche, cold
- 226 heavy cream, cold
- Cold bowl
- Cold whisk
Fleur de Sel Caramel:
In a small glass bowl pour ice water, leaving the ice out, and add the gelatin sheet. Allow the sheets to soften while you prepare the caramel.
Prepare your mise en place.
Pour water and sugar into a 2-quart heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Insert a candy thermometer, and continue to boil until syrup is thick and straw-colored, registering 145 degrees C/ 290 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium; continue to cook until the sugar is deep amber, begins to smoke, and registers 350 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes longer.
A candy thermometer is essential, in fact I use a back up thermometer for complete accuracy.
Thermaworks has a great thermometer.
Remove the sugar syrup from the heat or turn the heat off, if using a gas stove. Pour about one quarter of the hot cream into the sugar syrup; let bubbling subside. Add remaining cream; let bubbling subside again. Pour a little at a time or your stove will be wearing caramel and be VERY careful, the mixture is HOT. Whisk gently until smooth; and cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the mixture reaches 120 degrees C/ 248 degreesF.
Turn the heat off or remove from heat and stir the gelatin into the hot caramel.
Transfer the caramel into a heatproof measuring jug and let the mixture cool for 3 t0 4 minutes; whisk in butter, vanilla, calvados and dark rum. Do not be alarmed if the caramel, with each addition of the vanilla extract, Calvados, and the rum, bubbles rapidly. It is also wonderful for a vanilla, rum, Calvados steamed facial!
Allow the caramel to cool completely in the measuring jug.
Fleur de sel Caramel Mousse:
Place the the bowl to your standing mixer or the bowl for your hand mixer in the freezer with the whisk attachment while the caramel is cooling.
With your VERY cold bowl pour the cold heavy cream and cold crème frâche whisk on medium speed until the whipped crème cream has formed medium peaks. Reduce the speed to medium-low and pour the caramel into the whipped crème cream. Increase the speed back to medium and whip until firm peaks form. Watch this closely; within a second you can go from beautiful caramel mousse to caramel curdle. YUCK!
Place the mousse in a piping bag fitted with an open star tip and pipe the caramel mousse onto a macaron shell,
sprinkle with a small amount of fleur de sel, and place a second macaron shell on top.
So far everyone who has had the opportunity to taste the fleur de sel caramel apple macarons have been in palate heaven, one person was so thrilled with the taste she declared her taste buds were having a party! We have also had numerous requests for Halloween parties!