French Macaroons with Salted Nut Caramel
Dessert Recipes | Makes 12-15 | Prep Time 30 Minutes | Cooking Time 10 Minutes
125 g (4 oz) ground almonds
250 g (9 oz) icing sugar
3 egg whites
8 g sachet dried egg white powder
25g (1 oz) caster sugar
Desiccated coconut, for sprinkling (optional)
5 tbsp Bonne Maman Caramel Spread
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
25 g (1 oz) shelled pistachio nuts, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 190°c (fan oven 170°c), gas mark 5. Line 2-3 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
Place the ground almonds and icing sugar together in the bowl of a food processor or blender and whizz together for about 5 seconds.
Put the egg whites and dried egg white powder into a large, clean bowl and whisk together until they form stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in the caster sugar until the mixture is very thick and shiny.
With a large metal spoon, quickly fold the almond and icing sugar into the meringue until evenly blended.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1 cm (½ inch) nozzle. Pipe rounds about 3.5 cm (1 ½ inch) in diameter onto the lined baking sheets, leaving the same amount of space between each one. You should get at least 30 rounds. Sprinkle with a little desiccated coconut if wished. Set them aside for 15 minutes to allow the macaroons to form a crust on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 5 minutes or until the base has set. Then, using a palette knife, gently ease the macaroons off the paper and flip them over to bake the underside. Bake for a further 5 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Beat together the caramel spread and peanut butter. Sandwich the macaroons with the caramel mixture, spreading it right to the edge of the rounds. Finally, roll the filled macaroons in chopped pistachio nuts. Eat within 2 hours.
- If you don’t like peanut butter, beat enough caramel spread into 75 g (3 oz) mascarpone cheese to form a smooth, spreadable consistency. Sandwich the macaroons and roll them in toasted desiccated coconut.
- Instead of piping the mixture, it is possible to drop even spoonfuls into rough rounds on the baking sheets. They wont have the dainty look of piped ones but will taste just as good and have a charm of their own!
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