May 21, 2011

butterscotch macarons

In the limbo between post-afternoon sun and pre-evening long weekend festivities, I find myself back in the kitchen trying out new macaron flavours. I had previously made salted caramel macarons and I loved the contrast between the sea salt and saccharine flavours; this time I traded in the refined sugar for good ol' fashioned brown.

A. Macaron shells
recipe yields 1-2 dozen macarons
110g ground almond 
200g powdered sugar
90g egg whites
25g brown sugar

The full recipe for french macarons can be found here. Combine ground almond and powdered sugar; set aside. Using a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. Add brown sugar (this can be temperamental! For more predictable results, substitute with 25g white sugar) and continue to mix until sturdy peaks form and mixture resembles shaving cream. Add dry ingredients to meringue mixture and fold until all ingredients are incorportated. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and begin piping 1 inch circles of batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven at 300F and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until just before shells begin to brown.

B. Butterscotch

2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 whipping cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat; add brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Stir infrequently until mixture resembles magma, then add cream. Turn the heat to high and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Take mixture off stove top and let cool before adding salt and vanilla. 

C. Swiss meringue buttercream
recipe yields 2 cups
2/3 cup egg whites
1 cup white sugar
2 cups butter (4 sticks)

Heat egg whites in a double boiler stirring frequently so that egg whites do not become cooked. Slowly add sugar and mix thoroughly for about 5 minutes or until mixture reaches 55F. Transfer mixture to mixing bowl and whip on high until stiff peaks form. Switch mixer attachment to paddle and slowly incorporate butter. Turn the speed up until mixture becomes uniform. Add butterscotch and continue to mix until incorporated and mixture is creamy. 

Now you can add the buttercream to the macaron shells, and voila! Delicious.

Give it a try! Any leftover butterscotch can be used as topping for ice cream or other desserts.