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A chocolate substitute for Lent…

March 4, 2012

Last time I gave up chocolate for Lent I ended up making huge amounts of cupcakes in non-chocolate flavours.  This time I’m trying something a little different…

I’ll get back to planning next week – it’s been busy, and I hadn’t baked for months 😉

Salted Caramel Macarons 

I’ve found a macaron recipe that really works for me now (so long as I weight everything).

Macaron Shells:

200g icing sugar and 200g ground almonds, blitzed in the magimix and then sieved until it’s super-fine sugar dust.  Made into a paste with 80g of egg white, and some gel colourings to make them caramel coloured.

200g caster sugar and 75 ml water, heated in a pan until it reaches 115 degrees C.

Whisk another 80g of egg white until stiff peaks and pour in the sugar syrup, whisking the whole time.  Whisk for a further 10 mins – do not be tempted to stop early.

Pipe out onto trays, beat into submission on the worktop, and burst any bubbles that appear.  Leave to dry for c. 30 mins (it was damp today, so more like an hour).

Bake at 150 degrees C for 14 mins. Shock on a wet worktop, and move onto a cooling rack to dry.

Caramel Filling:

200g caster sugar and 75 ml of water, bring to boil without stirring until the sugar turns all caramel coloured

Slowly pour in 120 ml of double cream, using a spatula to stop it exploding/burning/sticking

Put back on the heat until it reaches 110 degrees C, then take off and beat in 200g of salted butter.

Beat until the butter doesn’t separate out and it is smooth.

Put in the fridge and leave to harden for a few hours, then pipe into the shells.

Leave to cool in the fridge.

This was my first attempt at salted caramel.  The first set of guinea pigs seem to think they are edible…

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