Even after over 5 years in Seattle, I still suck at drinking unsweetened coffee.
It’s not just black coffee I have trouble downing, but cappuccinos and lattes as well if they don’t have any kind of sugar or syrup. I mean, it’s not as bad as with black coffee, if someone hands me a good latte, I will absolutely drink it. I just still prefer some sort of sweetener.
The thing that has changed over time, is my pickiness with flavoured coffees. Flavour used to be the only way I would down coffee, hazelnut coffee being my original gateway drug.
I now think hazelnut coffee is kind of gross.
And I love hazelnuts.
I don’t understand it, I just know I hate it.
There are two flavour syrups that I do actually like, most of the time. Vanilla and caramel*.
I do mean “most of the time”. I’ve had some bad vanilla syrups.
And the “salted caramel latte” has been making the rounds at popular coffee franchises.
I do not like it either.
So when I had a great salted caramel recipe that I thought would be fabulous in the middle of a macaron, I went straight to chocolate macaron shells.
But I had this nagging feeling that coffee macaron shells would also work well.
How could that be? I love salted caramel and I still hated the salted caramel latte. Clearly I should avoid the combo, right?
But it still nagged at me.
So I asked Trevor. Chocolate or coffee?
He said coffee.
That was enough flags to convince me to give it a try.
And so, I made salted caramel coffee macarons.
They are glorious.
The flavour combination is nothing short of delicious. Each flavour stands on its own without overpowering the other, and it’s the beautiful combination of sweet, rich and… intriguing.
I guess I’ll have to give that salted caramel latte another chance…
Or maybe I’ll just stick with macarons.
Salted Caramel Coffee Macarons
Salted caramel from The Elements of Dessert
Coffee macaron shells from Tartelette
(These are the original amounts, but half should be plenty for the macarons. But leftover caramel is never an issue in my house!)
- 200 grams glucose syrup (that’s a fancy way of saying light corn syrup)
- 400 grams sugar
- 250 grams heavy cream
- 135 grams unsalted butter
- 15 grams fleur de sel
Coffee Macaron Shells
- 90 grams egg whites (about 3)
- 30 grams granulated sugar
- 200 grams powdered sugar
- 110 grams almonds
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
Coffee Paint (Optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons instant coffee (I used more espresso powder)
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- Caramel: Combine the syrup, sugar and enough water (about 1/4 of the amount of sugar) in a saucepot to obtain a mixture with the consistency of wet sand.
- Cook over high heat until it turns a medium amber colour.
- Meanwhile, combine the heavy cream, butter and salt in another sauce pot and bring to a simmer.
- When the sugar reaches the desired colour, slowly whisk in the hot cream mixture.
- Let cool at room temperature until desired consistency or save in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months or more.
- Shells: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry.
- Place the powdered sugar, almonds and espresso powder in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
- Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe small rounds (1.5 inches in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets.
- Preheat the oven to 280F. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells (they should be dry to the touch on the surface. BE GENTLE if you touch to check) a bit and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool.
- Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer.
- Coffee Paint (optional): Dissolve instant coffee in tablespoon of hot water and gently brush the paint over the baked macaron shells. Let dry completely.
- Assembly: Reheat caramel if necessarily in the microwave in 30 second intervals, until caramel reaches a viscous consistency. If you overheat and caramel becomes too liquidy, just let sit at room temperature to cool down and it will thicken. Pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of caramel in the center of one shell and top with another one.
Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days (They will keep for longer, but the caramel is quick to begin disintegrating the shells, so the texture will deteriorate).