Because I had a day off and wanted a project. Chai Masala Macarons, with garam masala spices in the cookies and salted caramel as the filling. You get a punch of black pepper to offset the sweetness and the other spices round it up.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
85g butter, in small cubes
1/2 tea spoon fleur de sel
140g egg whites
90g sugar, two times
160g almond powder
160g icing sugar
gel food coloring
1. In a large, thick bottom pot, combine the sugar and water. Try to avoid the sugar getting on the sides.
2. Turn the heat on medium and let the sugar bubble away. Gently swirl the pan if needed, but leave it mostly alone. It will bubble up and thicken.
3. Then it will go from light yellow to amber to copper. The second it reaches copper, remove from the heat.
4. Drop in the butter and whisk it in. The sugar will foam and bubble up. Add the cream and whisk it in. Stir in the fleur de sel. Transfer to a heat proof vessel and set aside to cool.
5. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
6. For the spices, you want to grind them finely.
7. But remove the cardamom pods.
8. In a food processor, combine the almond powder, icing sugar, and spices.
9. Pulse until blended. Set aside.
10. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, pour the egg whites.
11. On low speed, beat until foamy. Add the first 90g of sugar. Increase the speed and beat for a further 2 minutes.
12. When it gets shiny and more opaque, add the remaining sugar. Increase the speed again and beat for an other minute or two.
13. Add the food coloring of your choice (I used yellow).
14. Beat until stiff peaks form. Remove from mixer.
15. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl.
16. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the eggs.
17. Keep folding, from the outside in and going underneath the mixture until it becomes more supple, and ribbons slowly, slowly meld back into the mass.
18. Transfer to a piping bag. If you have someone to help you have them hold the bag. if not, a mason jar will do.
19. Pipe cookies of about equal sizes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bang tray on the counter top a few times to let air bubbles out. Set aside so the outer shell dries (about 15-30 minutes)
20. Heat the oven to 290F. Bake the shells 15 minutes.
21. Allow to cool fully on a cooling rack. Then smear one cookie with caramel and sandwich with another. Transfer, uncovered, to the fridge for 24h. Cookies will keep, covered, for about a week.