Pierre Herme’s Salted Caramel Macarons

I have since made another version of these and they were much better

Paris is one of my absolute favourite places in the world and im planning another trip very soon, either later this or early next year. One of my favourite things about the city is its wonderful food culture and my absolute favorite place to indulge is Pierre Herme (not exactly an original choice but you cant dispute excellence). The things he sells look amazing, enticing and delicious and they taste just as good as they look. Herme is well known as one of, if not the, best places to get Macarons, those lovely little indulgent almond cookies filled with ganaches, creams and caramels. The shop that I have visited is in St Germain des Pres an adorable neighborhood near the Luxembourg Gardens, the perfect place to enjoy your purchases and spend some time wandering drinking in the atmosphere (a bit romaticised I know, so sue me I like the picture perfect ideal) .

Saint Sulpice - My Most Recent Visit

Saint Sulpice – My Most Recent Visit

I have tried to recreate these sweet treats quite a few times with varying degrees of success. My best attempt was using a Pierre Herme recipe that was posted on Foodbeam so when I came across another of Herme’s recipes, this time for Salted Caramel, I jumped right in and tried again. These were by far the best I have ever made, if you had been in my kitchen when these came out of the oven you would have seen me do a little dance, I was so happy that I’d finally managed to make a batch I was happy with. This joy didnt last though, my concentration lapsed whilst making the caramel filling and I added double the amount of butter to the syrup and then managed to split the mixture. I rescued it by cooling in the fridge and working in some extra cream whipped to soft to firm peaks, so the filling tasted fine but not as strong as it should and it didnt stay firm too long after taking it out of the fridge. The recipe is from Herme’s book “Macaron” (a French language book) which I tried to buy, but I was a little late and it had sold out by the time I tried. I have heard it is being reprinted in October and trust me, i’ll be right there with my order as soon as its available.

Macaron Recipe

300g Icing Sugar

300g Ground Almonds

110g Liquified Egg Whites (separated and left on the counter for at least 48hrs)

15g Coffee Extract

15g “Egg Yolk” Food Colouring

300g Sugar

75g Water

110g Liquified Egg Whites

Salted Caramel Cream

200g Sugar

330g Whipping Cream (this is my translation the original recipe calls for Creme Fraiche Liquide)

30g  Salted Butter + 140g Softened Salted Butter

Make the Macarons

1. Sift the Ground Almonds and Icing sugar together (supermarket bought ground almonds are not fine enough so I always grind the mixture, called tant pour tant, further in a food processor and then sift this)

2. Mix the first portion of egg whites with the food colouring and coffe extract, add this to the almond/sugar mixture but dont mix.

3. Put the water and sugar in a saucepan and heat until it reaches 118C. Take off the heat and let cool till 115C. At the same time add the second batch of egg whites to the mixer and beat to soft peaks. Keep the mixer running and when the syrup cools to 115C slowly pour it down the side of the mixer and keep mixing until the meringue cools to 50C.

4. Fold in the egg whites in 3 additions and mix gently until it flows like magma (this wording is not from the book but is commonly listed as advice but has always been confusing to me as I dont really know what magma flows like) This time I used the description that the mixture should fall from your spatula in smooth ribbon and should disappear into the batter in about 10 seconds).

5. Add the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe into rounds about 3.5cm in diameter on a parchment/silpat lined baking sheet. Let the pipped shells sit out for 30 minutes to enable them to develop a skin before baking.

6. Preheat the oven to 180C before baking for 12 minutes opening the oven door quickly twice.  (not too sure why this is but I did it anyway). Once taken out of the oven slide the parchment/silpat onto a wire rack to cool.

Make the Caramel

1. Add about 50g of sugar to a saucepan, let this melt then add another 50g sugar and let this melt. Continue three times until all 200g of sugar has been incorporated and melted (can anyone tell me why its done in this way I have never heard of making caramel this way).

2. Let the syrup caramelise until it has turned a very dark amber. Remove from the heat and add the 30g butter. Add the cream which will spatter and bubble and may seize up and harden but will melt in the next stage.

3. Put the pan back on the heat and cook until it reaches 108C on a candy thermometer. Pour into a dish and cover with plastic wrap to avoid it developing a skin. Let this cool, I left it about 10 minutes which was not enough as it melted the butter in the next stage so let it cool until it wouldn’t melt butter.

4. Beat the remaining butter for 8 to 10 minutes and then incorporate the caramel in 2 additions. Add this to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and pipe into half of the shells and then sandwich another shell on top. Store the Macarons in the refrigerator for 24hrs and then remove 2hrs before serving.


Next time I would alter the level of colouring a bit, it seemed a little off to me but this is a little thing

I found a great walk-through that takes you fully through the process and im sure it helped me a fair bit.


28 responses to “Pierre Herme’s Salted Caramel Macarons

  1. These look just…perfect. I’ve always been a bit nervous to try making proper macarons…I figure like haircuts and half-marathons they’re best done by other people 🙂 But this is inspiring stuff, might have to give them a go. Love the sound of the salted butter in the caramel…

    Lucky you getting to Paris! Went once a few years back, loved it.

  2. You are a talented man. I am far too scared to try this out. Might hurt my fragile ego.


  3. Your macarons look absolutely perfect! And that is not easy to do! I’m going to try my hand at them this month.
    P.S. Love the look of your blog…but where have I seen it before? (Check out mine and you’ll see what I mean:)

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  7. thanks for posting this recipe! i gave it a try this weekend and they turned out great (and i took your advice to not over color them)… a little time consuming but the best macarons i’ve made yet… or at least according to my friends!

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  9. Hey there, read your entry. I have a question: Since I have the problem of not being able to get REALLY finely grounded almonds where I live, and I don’t have a powerful food processor at home, there´s the issue that when I sift the almond-sugar mix, there’s a rest that´s too “gritty (big)” to pass the sifter. Can I use that rest too for the macarons OR to I need to put it aside? Cause then I have the problem that the measurements are off…ex. 110g aged egg whites and 270g sugar-almond mix. And can you recommend a sifter? Tight mesh or a large mesh? I hope its all understandable, since English is not my first language.

    • My food processor isn’t powerful either but if you mix the icing sugar and almonds together and pulse in the machine for a short while your mixture will be finer. I use a medium strainer and normally just have a very small amount of the almond mixture left over and I discard this (it probably weighs less than 1g)

  10. Here is your answer:

    You open the door to let the steam/humidity in the oven escape. It help harden the shell.

    For the sugar: you can add the 200g at one time if you have a large enough pan. But if you use a smaller one, you are better to do it in addition when doing dry caramel. More even melting and the caramel at the bottom won’t burn before your sugar at the top melt.

    For the sifter, Hermé recommend to sifter 3 times, and I would add that you have to force the almond meal in the sifter, it will make it finer and the shell will be perfect.

  11. Hi,
    I am looking forward to making these Macarons, but can you please tell me what ‘Egg Yolk’ food colouring is? And can it be substituted with anything else?
    Thank you

    • Egg Yolk food colouring is just a shade of orange that looks like egg yolks. If you cant get it you can play around with colours that you do have

  12. How many macaron shells shall we get from this amout of ingredient from the recipe? or how many macarons in total? (after we couple them as a mini-hamburger)

    Thanks a lot!

  13. I just baked Macaron for the first time tonight, the result came quite close to what I expect. My major problem was that the shells haven’t come out properly, mostly have broken top without proper leg…. only four shells out of hundreds that have perfect shape and leg!

    Anyone can help tell me what cause the broken-top shell? the temperature, the mixture, or the tray was too high or too low in the oven? I set the oven for both top and bottom heat, am I doing it right?

    As well, for some shells… they have empty space underneath, rather than having perfectly filled shell.

    To remove the shell out from paper, I let some water running underneath the paper… is it the right way to do? or we can just wait for shells to cool down and remove them without using water?

    Thanks so much for the recipe and more advices 🙂 I will do the second batch soon.

    • without seeing your mixture or knowing the oven temperature you used I would guess you mixture was overbeaten, you need to be careful when folding in the meringue mixing until it forms a thick ribbon, not too liquid

  14. Hey there,

    Lovely post you’ve got 🙂

    Totally inspired me to give this a shot too. As such, I tried making the salted caramel filling yesterday by following your instructions to the tee. Although the salted caramel taste was awesome, the filling was really runny and was much darker than what is shown in your photos. Could you advise me on how to thicken the filling? I live in a hot, humid climate so I guess that’s why the filling turns out runny for me.


    • Anks I’m really glad it inspired you to have a go. A couple of things could have gone wrong, it’s too dark you probably cooked the sugar too dark in the first stage, it should be darker than the pics in this post I seem to remember I forot to reduce the butter when I made a smaller batch it really should like this http://www.flickr.com/photos/woodwood/4107400356/in/set-72157605095865555 which is batch I made after these. If the caramel is too soft it’s probably either the nutter got too warm or the caramel wasn’t cool enough when you near it into the butter.

      Try firming it up in the fridge and if that doesn’t work I would just use it as it is, most of the caramelacaron I tried in Paris had a thinner caramel, as long as it’s thick enough to spread you’ll be fine

      • Oh yes, i deliberately cooked the sugar till it just starts to smoke so that the caramel flavour would be stronger. and it was really good! now that you’ve shown me another picture of how it really should looks like, mine is just a tad darker, no cause of worries. thanks 🙂

        as for the consistency problem, i left the caramel to cool overnight before incorporating into the butter so it couldn’t be that the caramel hasn’t cooled down. as for the butter being too warm, it could be true due to the 30 degrees hot weather i am in now.

        it’s definitely much better after being chilled but i don’t think the macarons can stand being transported around at room temperature without being messy when the filling becomes runny again.

        nonetheless, thanks a lot for the wonderful recipe and prompt reply!

  15. Heeeey, u were asking why add the sugar batch by batch?
    Culinary student here.

    We don’t practice this instead we dont move the pot so much or stir it, but all the chef boiling sugar is to prevent crystallization occur. Which is troublesome. So, the method is to prevent crystallization. =)

    Thx i learned something and really thx for the recipe

  16. I have a question ;
    How many gram does ”the first portion of egg whites” weight?

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  18. Thanks so much for the detailed recipe! The question I have is do you weigh the egg whites before you age them or after you age them? Ie. weigh out 110 grams of fresh egg whites and age them and use….OR…. age the egg whites and then weight out 110 grams of the aged egg whites. Thanks!!!

  19. Hello 🙂 thanx for the recipe.
    But ive 1 Q about the first part of the egg
    Should i mix it with the almond / suger without beating it first??

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