Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Earl Grey Salted Caramel Macarons

These are my new favorite macarons to make. The Earl Grey tea makes them wonderfully fragrant, and the salted caramel adds not only a great balance of salty and sweet, but also gives the macarons a little chewier texture than usual.

And when I say Earl Grey, I mean Earl Grey. There are little bits of tea leaf running through the shells, and the heavy cream used to make the caramel is infused with the tea itself.

See the specks of tea leaves. Smell the intoxicating bergamot scent. And finally, taste the floral, chewy macaron. If you really wanted to go crazy, have them with a warm cup of Earl Grey tea.

Even after months of not making any macarons, they were relatively cooperative and didn't really give me any trouble. I thought I would be a little rusty, but I think making macarons has become second nature to me. I experimented with the filling this time and did a combination of two different caramel fillings. In the center, I made a caramel that I softened with a little butter. Around the caramel center, I made a salted caramel cream cheese frosting to temper the sweetness of the caramel. Filling the delicate shells with only caramel would have been overwhelming.

Earl Grey Salted Caramel Macarons
makes 24 macarons

for the macarons shells:
110g blanched almond slivers
200g powdered sugar
90g aged egg whites
30g fine granulated sugar
2 tea bags Earl Grey tea ( I used Tazo)

As always, make sure to age the egg whites for at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours. Weigh out the ingredients accurately. Combine 110g blanched almond slivers with 200g of powdered sugar with the tea leaves from 2 tea bags of Earl Grey tea. in a food processor. Process until very fine and sift into a bowl. Process any larger pieces left over.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 90g of egg whites on high until frothy. Add in 30g of granulated sugar gradually, taking care to incorporate sugar well after each addition. Beat until relatively stiff peaks form. You should be able to invert the bowl and the meringue should stay in place.

Add half of the almond and powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites and gently fold to incorporate. Add the rest of the mixture and fold until the consistency of lava. Fold carefully. You would rather under-mix than over-mix the batter.

Pipe 1 inch rounds onto silpat lined baking sheets, giving them ample space because they will spread a little. Let them rest for 30 minutes or until the tops aren't sticky to the touch.

Heat a convection oven to 260 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets. I prefer to let them cool and "dry" out a little bit overnight before filling them the next day.

for the caramel:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Earl Grey tea bag
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp coarse fleur de sel
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp butter

Heat 1/4 cup of heavy cream with 1 Earl Grey tea bag. Let the tea infused until the heavy cream is a warm tan color.

Combine 1/2 cup of granulated sugar with 2 tbsp of water in a deep saucepan. Cook until a golden brown amber color. Watch the mixture carefully because it can burn in the blink of an eye.

Carefully add in the heavy cream mixture and turn off the heat. Be careful because the mixture will seize and bubble up when the cream is added. Don't panic. Just keep stirring and it will calm down. Add in 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp coarse fleur de sel. Make sure it is a quality sea salt. It makes all the difference.

Make two batches, one for the center of the filling, and one for the cream cheese filling.

for the salted caramel cream cheese filling:
1 batch of caramel sauce
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
50g powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 4 oz unsalted butter with 4 oz cream cheese. Beat until light and fluffy. Add in sugar and incorporate well. Add in 1 batch of caramel sauce, cooled almost to room temperature, and beat to incorporate.

To fill the macarons, place a small amount of caramel in the center of a shell and encircle that caramel with the cream cheese mixture before topping it with a matching macaron shell. Place in refrigerator and let them "mature" overnight. Macarons will retain their optimal texture for about 3 days.

P.S. I also made that celadon-glazed ceramic piece in the background! :)


  1. Looks awesome. Really. I especially like the little bits of tea leaves!

  2. Your macarons looks exquisite =]

    I'm not crazy about Earl Grey, but I do enjoy it. I would love it if someone made these for me :<

  3. These look and sound amazing! I just made (and posted about) chocolate macarons. Now that I've mastered the basic, I'm ready to experiment!

  4. Oh man, these look so good! I came here via tastespotting. I've been wanting to make macarons again and this might be the recipe I'd try!

  5. that looks delicious! you can never go wrong with salted caramel!

  6. Thanks for giving the sample, these were absolutely brilliant! If you have any leftover I can help you finish them.

  7. thank you sooo much for these! This is EXACTLY what ive been meaning to do this christmas.

  8. Oh man your macaroons look amazing! Over the past year I've attempted some dishes from challenging cookbooks (Alinea, The French Laundry, etc) but outside of brownies, I've never ever baked anything in my life before! :\

    This post was so inspirational-- so much so that I'm going to attempt these this Friday. Hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew haha. A few questions though:

    1. Does it matter what heat I heat the heavy cream and sugar w water at? Medium alright?

    2. Unfortunately, I don't have a stand mixer. Will I still be able to make these with decent results?

    And if you've got any tips outside of the ones listed above (keep in mind, newbie baker here!) do shoot me an email (contact info on my blog).

  9. Thanks for all the compliments guys :)

    @effingdericious: it doesn't really matter what temperature the sugar is heated at...medium is fine. Just make sure you keep an eye on it.

  10. I love Earl Grey tea and I love Salted Caramel anything. Match made in heaven!

  11. These macarons are FANTASTIC! Best ever...oh my gosh can't eat just one. Thanks for the post and recipe!

  12. These look amazing, I think I am going to make them for my husbands bday - he loves macarons!

  13. This is amazing, this recipe is exactly what I was looking for. You are like a goddess to me now!! Three huge cheers to you!! Thank you thank you!!

  14. I made a batch, and they were awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Hi There, I made this couple days ago and it was Fabulous! This combination so far is THE BEST I've ever taste. Permission to post this recipe on my blog. Thanks again for sharing the recipe :)

  16. Gorgeous! I tried these and added lavender to the Earl Grey, and zested a lemon into the macaron batter. Mucho classy.

  17. These are ridiculously good! Probably one of the best cookies I have ever had. So unique, beautiful and fragrant. I am officially obsessed w macaron!