Monday, 30 April 2018

Peanut Salted Caramel Sunflower Macarons

My friend who is a fan of my macarons wanted something savoury and floral themed. She suggested peanut salted caramel as the flavour and I went with it :). Presenting my version of sunflower macarons!



I replaced some almond with peanut to make the macaron shells. The result is something that's really fragrant. I used cocoa powder for the middle part of the flower and a little more salt than usual. The resulting shells were yummy on their own!  I used a modified reduced sugar recipe.

Recipe for peanut macaron shells
Ingredients (makes about 28 sunflowers):
Mass
40g roasted ground peanut
120g superfine almond meal
145g icing sugar
13g rice flour
2g cornflour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
64g egg whites
4g cocoa powder
A pinch of charcoal powder (optional)
Yellow and green gel food colouring

Italian meringue
160g caster sugar
64g egg whites
60g water
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Steps:
1. Prepare baking tray with flower template underneath. Set oven rack to lowest position.

2. Prepare the mass. Sift together almond, peanut, icing sugar, rice flour, cornflour and salt. Add egg whites and mix until well combined.

3. Portion out 245g of the mass for yellow, 96g for brown and 38g for green. Add sifted cocoa powder and charcoal to the brown portion and mix well. Add gel food colouring for the respective colours and mix well.

4. Prepare the meringue. Put sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to boil without stirring until 115-118℃. Monitor the temperature with candy thermometer. In the meantime, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar with an electric mixer at medium low speed until soft peaks form. Reduce mixer speed if necessary if syrup temperature is not reached yet. Once syrup is ready, increase mixer speed to medium high. Carefully pour the syrup into the egg whites in a steady stream, avoiding the beaters. Continue beating for another 10 min or until meringue is cooled to body temperature or room tempwrature.

5. Portion out the meringue for various colours. I used a lower ratio of meringue : mass for this design to make the batter thicker. I calculated the weight of meringue as weight of mass x 0.45. If you are making plain round shaped macarons, just use up all the meringue that you prepared. Fold the meringue into the mass in two additions until consistency is like slow-moving lava. You may refer to this post for video tutorial of the basics.

6. Transfer batter into piping bag fitted with appropriate sized piping tips. Pipe away! You may refer to this post for tips on how to pipe complexed shapes. You may also refer to my Creative Baking: Macarons book for a more systematic presentation of the basics.

Piped sunflowers

7. Dry the shells until dry to touch in air-con room or under a fan. Bake in preheated oven at 140℃ for 10-12min. Reduce temperature to 120℃ and bake for another 10-12 min or until the feet do not appear wet.

Freshly baked shells! I included a few ladybugs too.

I painted on some orange highlights in the petals but that's optional.

Recipe for peanut caramel ganache
Ingredients:
80g peanut butter chips
25g salted caramel chips
40g whipping cream
1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt

Note can replace with peanut butter in the place of chips. Use 30g cream instead. Here's a picture of the chips I bought from a supermarket.



Steps:
1. Place all ingredients in small saucepan and melt over low heat while stirring constantly with spatula.


2. Transfer into a bowl and chill in freezer for a couple of minutes. Whip the mixture with spatula until it becomes creamy. Repeat freezing and beating as necessary.


You may refer to this post for the recipe for salted caramel.

Transfer both fillings into piping bags. Pipe onto the shells.


Refrigerate for at least 24h before serving. Let the macarons sit at room temperature for 10 min before eating.

With love,
Phay Shing



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