Best Homemade Balsamic Caramel Strawberry Macarons Recipe
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Try this homemade caramel sauce recipe with balsamic vinegar. In this recipe, we’ve used Secolari Finest Traditional 18 Years Aged Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. This Balsamic Caramel recipe is super easy. With 5 simple ingredients: brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, heavy cream, butter, and salt. In 6 simple steps you can make this quick and easy balsamic caramel sauce!
3tablespoons maple syrupyou can use granulated sugar or other sweetener instead
1tablespoon lemon juice
1tablespoon cold water
Before you start, get all of your ingredients ready. Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat.
I use a baking mat with the macaron template already in it. You can make your own or print it from the internet, and just place it under silicon mat, or parchment paper. I recommend using a silicon mat if you want more uniform bottoms.
Measure out all of your ingredients.
Sift powdered sugar and almond flour together. Set aside.
Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and sugar completely melted. It will take a couple minutes. You can test by touching the mixture between your fingers, and if you feel any sugar granules just keep whisking mixture over the water bath.
Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.
With the whisk attachment, start whisking mixture on low for about 30 seconds, then gradually start increasing speed to medium. Whisk on medium for one minute, until mixture is white and starting to become fluffy. Raise speed to high for 2-3 more minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
You don’t want to overbeat the mixture at this point, because you don’t want to add too much air to it. Just whisk until stiff peaks have formed. You will notice the bird’s beak shape the peak will form and that will tell you the meringue can stop being whipped.
Pour powdered sugar and almond flour into stiff whites.
Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula. Add the food coloring at this point, if using.
It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this, and you might have to have a couple failed batches before you get this right.
First, pick up some batter with my spatula and try to draw a figure 8 with the batter that is dripping off the spatula. If you can form several 8 figures without the batter breaking up, that’s one indication that it might be ready.
Then, grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto my parchment paper or silicon mat.
If the batter stays stiff and doesn’t spread out a bit, start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.
Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy on the parchment paper, transfer the mixture to the piping bag.
You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
Let your trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
Bake one tray at a time.
Bake for 4 minutes, rotate tray.
Bake for 4 more minutes, check if it needs to be rotated again. You will know if it needs to be rotated again depending on how the macarons are baking. Take a look at them, if one side seems taller than the other, maybe you have to rotate the tray again.
Bake for around 4 minutes or so. Really keep an eye out, not to overbake. bake for a total of 18-20 minutes.
When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet.
Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.
Place brown sugar and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil.
Let mixture simmer over medium heat for about 3 minutes, until thickened and reduced.
Add heavy cream.
Be aware that the mixture will probably splash once you do this.
Bring it back to a boil, and simmer again over medium heat for another 2-4 minutes, until thick.
Add butter and salt. Mix to combine, until butter is melted.
Remove and transfer to a bowl. Let it cool down completely before adding to the Swiss meringue buttercream.
Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Remove butter from the fridge about 30 minutes before you start to make this. We are looking for the perfect butter temperature and consistency. It shouldn’t be hard cold, and it shouldn’t be so soft that is almost melting.
Put whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl.
Place bowl on top of a small pot with simmering water.
Whisk whites and sugar until they temp 140. Basically you are looking to melt the sugar granules, and also make it so the egg white is in a safe temperature to be consumed.
Once you achieve that temperature, transfer the syrup to your mixer bowl.
Whip with the whisk attachment until fluffy and doubled in size. Meringue should have stiff peaks. It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to obtain stiff peaks.
Test every so often, so you don’t over whip it.
Start adding the butter that should be slightly softened.
Cut butter into very thin pats. Starts doing one by one with mixer running on medium-high.
Wait for one butter pat to be incorporated before adding the next one.
This whole process could take about 15 minutes. Add vanilla extract.
Once butter is all incorporated add 1/4 cup of the Balsamic Caramel Sauce to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. The caramel sauce should be at room temperature.
You might have leftover buttercream from the macarons. Simply store leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer, for up to 2 months. Remember to package it really well in sealed air tight containers, or zip loc bags, before freezing.
To use it again, simply let it thaw until it comes to room temperature and beat it briefly to make it creamy again before using.
Mix strawberries, maple syrup (or sweeteneand lemon juice in a small pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Use the spoon to break up the blueberries as you stir.
Mix cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl.
Once strawberries have boiled and reduced a bit, add cornstarch and water to the pan.
Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened.
Let jam cool. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge.
You may process the jam in a small food processor to make it smooth if you want to, which will help with filling the macarons, since you will only need a tiny bit for each macaron, and you don’t want to have huge chunks of strawberries in there.
Pipe a ring of Balsamic Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream around the edges of the bottom shells.
Spoon some strawberry jam in the middle.
Top with another shell.
Drizzle some caramel on top.
Top with salt if desired.
Store macarons in the fridge for up to 5 days.
If you choose to freeze them, do so in an air tight container for 1-2 months.