Chocolate and Salted Caramel Macaroons

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Macaroons

I’ve made macaroons for years but until now I’ve never been able to make them perfectly. They were my go-to bake to use up leftover egg whites and yet they’d always end up burnt, undercooked, lumpy, flat, crackly or dull. But I kept on going, kept on trying different recipes and have finally found one that has worked for me! The ratios of ingredients for the macaroon shells (as well as the design for these ones) came from The Cozy Plum so please do check out their social media and website as they create really amazing content!

So… how do you make the perfect macaroon? This is a question I have been asking myself for years and so here’s everything I did to make them turn out like this. I’m sure some steps are more crucial than others (these are a collation from all the different recipes I’ve tried and all researching I’ve done) but from my experience macaroons are very temperamental and so doing every one of these is worth it to make sure they turn out beautiful!

How to Make the Perfect Macaroons

  1. When learning how to make macaroons stick to  plain, simple shells before you start experimenting with things like colourings and flavourings. You can decorate these plain shells with exciting fillings and toppings once they’re out of the oven, but until you’ve mastered the basic macaroon shell don’t try anything that’s going to complicate the process!
  2.  Grind your icing sugar and ground almonds. I always used to ignore this step because I would just sieve my almonds and icing sugar and think that would be enough – they’re already ground after all. But no. Do this. Get a food processor and give them a good whiz before sieving them. This will help you get the super smooth shiny top to the macaroon; without it the shells will look mottled and lumpy.
    • In addition to this, when sieving the almonds and icing sugar don’t force anything through the sieve with a spoon etc, just tap the sieve on the side to get the finer bits through. Then discard any lumps left in the sieve. If you try to work these through you’ll see coarser chunks falling onto the finely ground bits. These are the bits you don’t want in the mixture.
  3.  Use super clean bowls and beaters. When making macaroons and meringues I always clean my bowls and electric whisk beaters with soap and warm water, and then dry them with a clean tea towel before beginning. If there’s any grease on any of these then when you whisk your egg whites you won’t get a stiff peak.
  4. Folding till you hit the ‘V’. I always thought macaroons were like meringues and were therefore meant to be handled as little as possible. This is true to some extent but when it comes to the folding you want the mixture to be just runny enough that once piped the macaroons will smooth themselves over. This will let you get a smooth, shiny top to the macaroon. So when folding the dry ingredients into the meringue keep folding until the mixture falls off the spatula in a V shape and so that the mixture landing back in the bowl holds its shape for about 5 seconds before disappearing.
  5.  Pipe with guides. Draw some circles onto your baking paper before you pipe, this will help you make all your macaroons the same size so they fit together nicely when filled.
  6.  Pipe, Bang and Pop. This was another tip from The Cozy Plum – once pipped bang the trays on the worktop to burst any of the air bubbles in the macaroons and then go round with a tooth pick and gently pop any of the bubble that have risen to the surface. This will stop them from popping in the oven, which would give your macaroons a rough look.
  7. Rest! – there’s a big debate over whether you need to rest your macaroons or not before baking, in my opinion it doesn’t hurt to do it. By leaving the macaroons at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before baking you get a skin form over the macaroons which then helps to get that smooth shiny top with the bobbly foot round the edge – which is a must-have on any true macaroon!
  8.  Bake to your oven, not to the recipe. Ovens vary massively and where some ovens will cook these to perfection, the same time and temperature in another oven could burn them to a crisp. Therefore it’s really important the first time you make these to keep a close eye on them and take them out when they look ready. This is another reason for making plain macaroon shells the first time you make them as it’s much easier to see when the macaroons are browning/burning and should therefore be taken out of the oven. As soon as they start getting a little colour they should be taken out as they’re close to going over.
  9. Cool, cool, cool – make sure the macaroons are completely cool before you try to handle them or else the centre might stick to the baking paper and you’ll end up with hollow macaroons!

I hope these tips help! If you have any troubles don’t hesitate to drop me a message or email and I’ll do my best to help. Likewise, if you have any top tips that I’ve missed here that work for you  I’d love to hear them so please send them through!


Makes 10 macaroons

Time: 1-2 hours


For the macaroon shells

  • 50g ground almonds
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 37g egg whites (about 1  medium eggs worth, but work to the weight rather than the number of eggs if you can)
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 35g caster sugar

For the chocolate ganache

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 100ml double cream

For the decoration

  • About 4 tbsp of salted caramel (I used Carnations caramel with a pinch of sea salt mixed in)
  • 50g dark chocolate


  1.  Pre-heat the oven to 160C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Take a round cookie cutter about 4cm in diameter and draw circles onto the baking paper with a pencil, about 2cm apart, using the cutter as a stencil. Turn the baking paper over so the pencil marks are on the underside of the paper.
  2. Put the ground almonds and icing sugar into a food processor and whiz for about a minute until the mixture is ground super fine.
  3. Sieve this mixture into a bowl, throwing away any coarse bits left in the sieve (don’t push these through).
  4. Take a very clean metal (or glass bowl) and add the egg whites. (I always clean my bowl and beaters right before I make macaroons or meringues so I know they’re completely grease-free. Any grease on the utensils will prevent you getting volume in the egg whites). Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to whisk until soft peaks form.
  5. Add the caster sugar to the egg whites 1tsp at a time, whisking constantly, until stiff peaks form (3-4 minutes should do it). If you want coloured meringues add the food colouring once you reach these stiff peaks and whisk for a little longer to mix it through.
  6. Fold half the ground dry ingredients into the meringue, using a spatula in big confident motions. The add the rest of the dry ingredients and keep folding until the mixture is smooth and leaves ribbons when the mixture is dripped of a spatula (the ribbons should last for about 5 seconds).
  7. Pour the macaroon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small, round nozzle (about 1/2cm in diameter).
  8. Pipe the macaroons onto the baking paper, using the circles you drew earlier as a guide to make sure they’re all the same size.
  9. Pick up one of the baking trays and bang it on the work top a couple of times to pop any air bubbles in the macaroons. Then go around with a tooth pick and pop any of the bubbles that have risen to the surface. Leave the macaroons to rest for about 20 minutes to allow a skin to form over them.
  10. Bake the macaroons for 8-12 minutes until they’re smooth, shiny and a foot has formed around the base. Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool completely on the trays.
  11. Meanwhile make the ganache for the filling. Finely chop the chocolate and put it into a heatproof bowl. Put the cream into a small saucepan and heat until just below boiling.
  12. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted and the ganache is smooth.
  13. Pour the mixture into a pipping bag with a star shaped nozzle and leave in the fridge until it’s just firm enough to pipe smoothly. (Don’t leave it in the fridge for too long or else it’ll set too hard. If this happens try warming the bag with your hands or by placing it in some warm water (being careful not to allow the water into the pipping bag)).
  14. Take the salted caramel and put this into a piping bag and leave in the fridge until needed.
  15. Put the chocolate for the topping into a metal or glass bowl and place over a pan of gently simmering water. Allow to melt gently and then pour it into a pipping bag with a very small, round nozzle.
  16. Wait until the chocolate is cool enough to pipe in smooth lines (too warm and it’ll drizzle out in a wiggly line, too cold and it’ll have set too much to pipe) – you can check this by pipping a little bit over a sheet of baking paper to check how it’s doing. When it’s ready drizzle it over the macaroon shells in random lines. Leave to set completely.
  17. When the chocolate has set, turn half the shells over. Pipe a ring of ganache over these shells and then pipe a blob of the caramel into the centre. Place a macaroon shell ontop of each filled macaroon shell and enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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