Crème brûlée macaron sounds like a dream for Crème brûlée and macarons lovers! This macaron recipe delivers on all the key Crème brûlée attributes without compromise: lovely bite sized macaron shells are sandwiched together with creamy custard filling while a crunchy caramelized sugar is added on top as decoration. This Crème brûlée macaron is smooth, silky yet crunchy and chewy, full Crème brûlée experience in a lovely bite sized macaron format.
Please don´t get intimidated by my long tutorial, consider it as an in depth theory part that will help you learn the technique and succeed. In practice, making macarons is extremely quick, the whole process literally takes not more time than making cupcakes or cookies!
What is Crème brûlée?
Crème brûlée also known as burnt cream and similar to crema catalana, is a super popular dessert across the globe that consists of a rich custard base cream topped with a layer of hardened caramelized sugar. It is popular on the restaurants´ dessert menu all around the world and normally served chilled in individual Ramekin. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla but can have other flavorings too eg. coffee, cinnamon, elderflower, lemon etc.
Please make sure you check out my Ultimate Crème brûlée recipe in here, it´s so good, you will thank me later!
Are macarons hard to make?
In summary, yes they are not the easiest to make!
Are they impossible to make at home? Absolutely not! Make sure you read my Ultimate macaron tutorial in here!
Macaron making requires precision, patience and I would also say passion that will keep you going to practise and test the macaron recipe until you succeed. We love to claim that a recipe is foolproof but if I want to be totally honest with you, there is no such thing as foolproof macaron recipe or a recipe that works for all. Exactly the same recipe can turn out widely different just by changing something as little as few more folds than necessary on the macaron batter – it will turn out too runny and that batch of macaron might end up like pancake. Therefore my macaron tutorial 100% focusing on the technique rather than just sharing a short recipe that would not be too helpful.
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read this recipe and my macaron tutorial carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking. I know it is long, but there is a tip in every sentence, I promise
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Eg. reducing sugar or using ingredients not on the right temperature etc. will all have an impact on your Crème brûlée macarons
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is not provided in this recipe as it is definitely not appropriate for making these Crème brûlée macarons
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking macarons and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe in particularly macarons are very very sensitive! Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid macaron disasters than can be preventable
Important TIPS regarding the INGREDIENTS of this Crème brûlée macaron recipe
For the macaron shells
Almond: Look for almond flour or almond meal or fine ground almond, worth to buy good quality ground almond so called blanched almond without skin. Blanched almond basically means that the brown skin has been removed. For this Crème brûlée macaron recipe and in general for any French macaron recipe, you always want to use blanched almond flour. Technically you can also make fine ground almond yourself in a food processor however you have to be extra careful to process the almond until it is fine BUT making sure that you do not over process it until a point that the almond starts releasing oil. While processing any nut after a while it starts to get sticky then oily then eventually you end up with an oily cream eg. almond paste that is super for making ganache or ice cream but not for making macaron. You definitely want to avoid any unnecessary oily almond while making this macaron recipe so if it is available in your country, the best if you buy ready made fine ground almond. I have also heard that sometimes almond powder is sold in a sort of fat free version, I am not sure what it is used for but make sure you buy normal almond flour so not the strange fat free version, fat content must be 50%+
Can I replace almond flour with other nut flour in this macaron recipe? Yes, you can! In fact hazelnut, pistachio as well as walnut flour can make wonderful macarons! My Gold macaron recipe is made with 50% hazelnut 50% almond flour
Can I use regular flour for making macarons? Short answer is no!
Sugar: For the best result I recommend to use 3 types of sugar at 3 different stages of this French macaron recipe
- For the marzipan like almond paste base you will need icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar mixed with almond flour. Icing sugar is effectively granulated sugar grounded into powder that typically also contains corn starch. If in your country icing sugar is not available, you can either use regular powder sugar or make your own icing sugar by mixing powder sugar with corn starch. Normally icing sugar contains 2% starch so you can mix 98g powder sugar with 2g starch to get 100g icing sugar
- For supporting the egg white while beating up I recommend to use fine sugar, that is normal granulated sugar pulse blended into smaller bits (but not going that far that it would turn into powder sugar). Fine sugar is a common type to make meringue however if you are experienced in making meringue you might be ok using normal granulated sugar
- For the sugar syrup normal granulated sugar is totally fine
If you want to learn about the different kinds of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here.
Egg white: Making this Crème brûlée macaron recipe like any other meringue based recipe requires egg white! Make sure you use room temperature egg whites that are absolutely free from any sort of fat (e.g. egg yolk). If you get some egg yolk into the egg white, start again. Believe me, you can’t make a successful meringue and macaron with that batch unfortunately.
What Are Aged Egg Whites? Aged egg whites are separated at least a day ahead of time to help relax the proteins inside the whites. It helps creating a strong meringue with stiff peaks. There is a huge debate about whether to use aged egg white to make macarons and if so how many days should we age the egg white, it also depends on the recipe ingredients ratios. You will be pleased to know that this Crème brûlée macaron recipe works without aged egg whites.
For the custard filling
- Milk: Use high fat content milk, the highest you can get to make the custard filling for this Crème brûlée macaron! It makes all the difference in the world when it comes to deepness of the taste
- Sugar: Simple, white granulated sugar is perfectly fine. I prefer this custard filling not overly sweet as the macaron shells have more than enough sugar
- Egg: Some recipes call for whole egg however I strongly advise to use egg yolk only for the best texture and flavour. The macaron shells anyway will need egg white or perhaps you can also try my pavlova recipe if you want to use up your egg whites? Other, maybe not so obvious note is that the color of your cream will be driven by the color of the egg yolk. If you prefer bright yellow color, try to purchase the best quality, free range-eggs when making pastry cream. Few times I made this recipe using eggs from my parent’s farm, OMG the colour was just out of this world! Needless to say use fresh egg yolk
- Flour: Flour is one of the thickening agent in this pastry cream recipe, use AP flour. No, it won’t taste like flour! If you want to be a Pro when it comes to deciding what type of flour to use in your baking, please read my article in here
- Starch: Corn starch is the other thickening agent in the recipe, theoretically you could use flour only OR only starch only however I prefer 50%-50%.
- Vanilla: Vanilla is THE heart of making pastry cream! Avoid using artificial vanilla. There are several great brands for fine, pure vanilla, I use Nielsen massey which I love and really recommend. I use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract for my pastry cream for the deepest, most delicious vanilla cream
- Butter: Use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content butter in all my recipes. Room temperature is key here. If too cold, it won’t incorporate properly. If too hot/liquid, it will make the pastry cream runny
8 Baking tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this Crème brûlée macaron recipe
Make sure you carefully read my Ultimate macaron tutorial in here before jumping into making Crème brûlée macaron. In that tutorial I share much more tips about how to succeed with macarons in general! Making macarons is not impossible but you will definitely need some tips regarding the ingredients & technique, the tools you need in order to succeed, I even put together a Macaron Troubleshooting Guide for typical beginner mistakes!
1. How to make macarons – Italian meringue technique
This Crème brûlée macaron recipe is based on the Italian meringue method. Once you start making macarons you will realize that although the whole process looks like 20+ steps here, in reality it is literally less than 15 minutes, honestly super quick, just like making cookies or cupcakes.
Long story short, I can safely say that making this macaron recipe takes really not much time, certainly no time compared to making cakes etc. The technique part is where you need a good foundation so it is worth to spend a bit of time learning sort of the “theory part” before you make your first batch in practice.
Regarding the quantity of this macaron recipe: it makes about two trays of macaron shells depending on the size and how closely you pipe them next to each other that means about 22 Crème brûlée macarons once the shells are sandwiched together . In theory you can half the recipe but it is not easy to whip up half size meringue also difficult to measure the temp of the sugar syrup if it is too small amount. In summary, I do not recommend to half the recipe if you are a beginner.
- First and foremost before starting this macaron recipe you have to measure all your ingredients with a Digital scale. This is non negotiable, you absolutely can not make macarons using cups. It might work for cookies (not really as the risk is super high to use a little bit more or less of every ingredient), but definitely not for macarons
- Make sure you arrange every tool you will need at hand, there is nothing more stressful than not finding the piping bag when you need. You will need the following items: Rubber spatula, Stand mixer with whisk attachment to beat egg white, Infrared thermometer gun or any other cheaper thermometer to measure the sugar syrup, Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. Wilton 2A Round nozzle tip, 2 Silicone baking mat or 2 trays with parchment paper, Digital oven thermometer to check your REAL oven temperature. Prepare also the food colouring next to the mixer, if using
- Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any potential residue
- Pulse blend almond flour with icing sugar for 5-10 seconds (not longer as the almond can get sticky / oily ), then sift them together and measure with a Digital scale
- Make sure egg white is on room temp, you will need 2 x 55g. No need to age the egg white
- Move one of the 55g egg white into the mixing bowl of your Stand mixer
- Prepare and measure the superfine sugar and have it close by the Stand mixer
- Start making the sugar syrup by boiling granulated sugar with water in a small enough saucepan. Please note that you will need a very small saucepan for the syrup otherwise it is very difficult to correctly measure its temp
- Start whisking egg white on low/medium, once foamy start adding the superfine sugar slowly, a small amount at at time
- Boil sugar & water together for a few minutes until reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F. On my stove this takes about 3 minutes but I have a very powerful induction stove, it can take up to 5-6 minutes on a normal stove. You absolutely have to measure the correct temperature either with a Infrared thermometer gun or any cheap sugar thermometer can work. One tricky part is how to measure the syrup temp in a shallow saucepan so make sure you use a small saucepan that actually can give some height to the syrup, that is easier to measure. If you use a large saucepan, the syrup “will get lost” in the saucepan makes it impossible to measure the correct temp. Please note that even a small temp difference can make a huge difference eg. longer or shorter resting time of the macarons before baking. People often fail making macarons because of incorrect syrup temp so this is one critical step
- By the time syrup reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F, the egg white & fine sugar mixture should be already reaching a consistency of somewhere between foamy and soft peak. If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches the desired temp, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving but do not whip it up to stiff peaks
- Once syrup is on the right temp (118C-120C / 244-248F) , remove from heat, wait 5 -10 seconds for the bubbles to calm (be careful!!)
- Increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined. Pour it slowly but constantly. This is one of the tricky parts in the process. What you want to make sure is that you pour the syrup without touching the whisker as that would result in making a whole lot of mess within the mixing bowl including sugar syrup crystallizing into hard sugar shards. Make sure you pour the syrup on the side of your bowl and it will be fine. Please note that a small amount of sugar syrup might stay in your saucepan but it should be fine, do not worry about it
- Increase the mixer speed to medium/high and continue beating the egg white until it develops shiny, sticky, sort of stiff peaks and as you touch the bowl it is more or less cooled. In my experience, you do not need extra hard meringue as some other recipes state. I only beat the meringue for 3-4 minutes, by that time it is already stable and fluffy but check the consistency rather than the time
- While beating up the meringue mix the other 55g egg white with a with the almond and icing sugar mixture. Use a flexible Rubber spatula. First it might look crumbly but it should come together in a minute or two into a thick almond paste. This step can be done ahead if you wish however you have to cover it with a plastic warp as it can get dry in a few minutes
- In the meantime keep an eye on the meringue and check its consistency every now and then. When the meringue is 90% ready (judging that will comes with practise) add food colouring in. As mentioned above I recommend to use powder colouring that has no impact on the meringue texture. Second best option is high quality concentrated gel food colouring. Do not use liquid food colouring as it will ruin the meringue
- Once you have your stable meringue ready as well as the marzipan paste, let´s move onto the macaronage stage of this macaron recipe
- Gently fold in meringue into the marzipan mixture in thirds, making sure that each third is fully incorporated before adding the next
- In terms of the folding process it is quite a particular one: I like to think that the first third is about loosening up the marzipan, the second third already working on the macaronage process and somewhat pressing the air out and the last third is fine tuning the consistency to the stage you need – that is not too runny, not too stiff, the ribbon stage
- After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. How to check when the macaron batter is ready? When you lift the spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows to write the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready
- It is extremely important that you do not over mix your macaron mixture. Too much folding would result in too runny macaron batter that makes it impossible to pipe or even if you can pipe, it would spread too much.
- On the other hand not enough folding would result in too thick macaron batter that again makes piping difficult, leaves unappealing nipples on the macaron shells. It can also result in unpleasant texture and unappealing look of the final baked product
So overall there are 3 crucial steps you need to get right during making macarons: 1. sugar syrup on the correct temp (118C-120C / 244-248F) 2. strong meringue and 3. appropriate macaronage = folding technique that will make the batter into a so called ribbon consistency.
Again, it might a sound difficult and a long process but don´t get intimidated, in practice this whole process I explain in 22 steps done in less than 15 minutes!
2. How to pipe macarons?
Once you have your macaron batter ready in the right consistency (ribbon stage) , let´s move onto piping.
You will need a Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. Wilton 2A Round nozzle tip or alternatively you can cut the end of the piping bag but make sure you cut it straight otherwise the macarons might turn out to be egg shaped. Piping equal sized, round macarons takes a lot of practise, don´t be hard on yourself!
Using a template with circles can be useful, but even with that almost 100% you won´t make equal sized round macarons the first time and it is fine! Ideally, the size of the macaron diatemer should be around 3-4 cm (1,5inch) but don´t stress about that the first time. However, make sure you pipe more or less equal sized macarons so you can sandwich them together later when they are baked.
You will also need 2 Silicone baking mat or 2 trays with parchment paper. Again, lot of debate which is one is better (or a third option that many people recommend: teflon sheet). My macarons turned out almost identical on parchment vs Silicone baking mat so don´t worry about it too much. If your macarons do not turn out well it is most likely due inappropriate technique or baking temperature and not because of the baking sheet. My personal preference is Silicone baking mat over parchment because it is more sturdy, less floppy and with parchment there is always the risk of getting slight wrinkles on the paper that is not the best when you want flat macarons.
OK, now onto piping these Crème brûlée macarons
- First of all you should move the macaron batter into the piping bag carefully, making sure to minimalize any air bubbles. Fill the piping bag maximum half then try to remove any air bubbles before piping – by pressing onto the piping bag with your hands
- Hold the piping bag fully vertical and pipe with even pressure. Leave some space in between the macarons making sure they don´t touch each other, also the air can circulate in between them while baking
- As you pipe, the macarons should spread a little but not too much – if the macaron butter is in the right consistency. In case the macarons are spreading too much or the batter is too runny, try making another batch and fold it less
- If you are experiencing tiny nipples on top of the macarons after piping, you can get rid of them by tapping the tray onto the kitchen counter a few times (once you piped a whole tray). If that does not help, it means you need a few more folds on the macaron batter next time
- Whether there are nipples or not, tap the tray onto the kitchen counter about 5-6x to release air bubbles. Pop any air bubbles that might’ve come to the surface using a toothpick. Make sure that you do not destroy the macarons while doing the tapping process or they might end up lopsided
- Now onto waiting. You need to rest the macarons until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. There are some other macaron recipes out there with different ratios and sugar syrup temp that require longer or no resting time at all. This particular Crème brûlée macaron recipe requires a resting time of 25-40 minutes depending on temperature and humidy. Test by gently touching the macarons. I found sometimes they feel “dry” already after 10 minutes but when I baked them they still cracked so make sure they are super dry as you touch and there is a real thick skin on the surface. Not resting your macaron long enough is the most common reason for cracks on the surface while baking so I would say it is probably a good idea to wait at least 25 minutes. On the other hand, do not rest them for too long (hours) neither as that can cause a whole lot of other issues. Please note that for the best results you should make macarons on a low humidity day when your kitchen is around 20C / 68F. Making macarons in extreme hot and humid conditions like in a tropical country on a hot day might require different resting time or even slightly different ratios in the recipe.
3. How to bake these Crème brûlée macarons?
Once you nail making meringue, the macaronage process and the piping technique now moving onto baking!
First and foremost, make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer. Most oven under or oven heat and with macarons, that can make or break the outcome!
Bad news is that there is no such thing as one oven temp that fits all! Good news is that once you make your first 1-2 batches of this macaron recipe, you will see whether you need to increase or decrease the oven temp. I do not recommend using fan, unless it is a professional oven that you have. In home ovens the air can circulates all over the place that can cause a lot of issues on the meringue.
So how to bake macarons?
- Bake only after appropriate resting time, there should be a proper skin formed on the surface of the macaron
- It is a good idea to properly pre-heat your oven while resting your macarons so for min 25 minutes
- I recommend to bake the macarons 155C / 311F but I pre-heat my oven +20C / 68F more as when I open the oven door, the temp drops
- I suggest to bake only one tray at once then after 15 minutes bake the other tray. Now that means that the second tray is resting 15 minutes longer… that should be fine however if you have more than 2 trays of macaron I suggest to place the macaron batter into a piping bag and pipe it later otherwise they might dry out too much
- I bake the macarons in the bottom third of my oven so they definitely do not get browned on the top, you know your oven the best, experiment
- I bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes but you have to test it in your own oven. They should not get browned in this temp but there should be a feet development already at around 5 minutes
- Once macarons are done, remove them from the oven and cool them on a cooling rack but leaving them on the parchment or silicone mat for 30 minutes. Please remember, they will stick to the mat while they are hot, they are not supposed to come off until they cool!
Should I bake macarons on parchment paper or silicone or teflon sheet?
It is down to personal preference, either way your macarons should turn out well with this recipe
How do I know that the macarons are done in the oven?
When you touch the top of the macaron, it should not move around on its feet. If it does, then they are not yet done baking. However, do not test whether they easily come off the baking sheet because they are not supposed to! They will only come off the baking sheet (whether it is parchment or silicone) when they are cooled!
Do I need to rotate the baking sheet while baking macarons?
I suggest do not open the oven door unless your oven bakes very uneven. How do you know that your oven bakes uneven? Well, you will see it on the macarons! If some part would be browning or it would be an uneven feet development on the macaron shells, it might be a good idea to quickly rotate the baking sheet.
What happens if 155C / 311F baking temp is too low in my oven?
You might see no feet development or that they need significantly more time in the oven to be done. Increase the oven temp by 5C next time
What happens if 155C / 311F baking temp is too high in my oven?
Too high baking temp can cause the macarons to sort of explore or bake in a “mushroom” shape or even crack on the top (a lot of other things can cause cracks too). Or perhaps they will be browning…Decrease the oven temp by 5C next time. If macarons are baking fine but too much browning, lower the position of the tray. If still browning, try to place a tray or parchment paper on the top part of your oven to somewhat “block” the heat that is browning your macarons.
4. How to make custard filling?
This Crème brûlée macaron is filled with custard cream (pastry cream) for the maximum Crème brûlée experience however that is not a kind of cream that is common for macarons due to its higher water content vs ganache for example. The taste of the cream fully reminds of Crème brûlée however the aging process will be different as usual, please see notes below at “how to store macarons”.
So how to make the custard cream filling for this Crème brûlée macaron recipe?
- In a large enough bowl with the help of a Hand whisk, mix together sugar, egg yolk, corn starch, flour, and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated and have a smooth paste
- Heat milk and sugar in a saucepan on medium heat then remove it as soon as it starts simmering. Make sure it is simmering but not crazy boiling
- Pour simmering milk over the egg yolk mixture slowly while whisking vigorously with a Hand whisk. This stage is effectively tempering the egg yolks and the mixture should already start to thicken slightly
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens. Concretely it is approximately 1 min after the first boil. It might get lumpy first, don’t worry just keep whisking and the cream will get smooth and glossy. It’s worth to keep a good quality (so that the milk won’t burn in it) small/medium sized saucepan for making pastry cream
- If in doubt, strain the pastry cream for a lump free, creamy end result
- Once cream slightly cools (after 5-10 minutes) add in room temperature butter and mix with a Rubber spatula until completely incorporated. It is worth to add the butter in 3 stages and mix well after each addition
- Pastry cream needs to completely cool before using it to fill your Crème brûlée macarons. Place the cream into a shallow bowl and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming on top. Store in fridge
- Once cooled, you may need to whisk the pastry cream again to get a smooth texture. Make sure you do not over mix it as it can get runny. Give it a few whisk only until smooth.
Please note that the color of this custard cream is highly dependent on the quality of the egg whether it is free range or not. The better the egg, the brighter yellow the egg yolk is making desserts beautifully bright yellow as opposed to pale.
5. How to fill macarons?
Finally, you nailed this macaron recipe, your pastry cream is set, it is time to fill your Crème brûlée macarons!
Once you have the macarons shells baked and cooled, you are safe to remove them from the baking sheet. In case they ended up slightly different in their sizes (that happens, don´t worry), make sure you pair the similar sizes next to each other.
Filling macarons takes again some practise. The general rule is to pipe the filling onto one side of the macaron shell then press two shells together evenly so the filling will come out to the side but not more. How much filling do you need per macaron? It is impossible to give an exact amount here, you will see after filling one or two macarons whether you need more or less.
6. How to decorate these Crème brûlée macarons
Decoration can really take macarons to the next level and the sky is the limit! Crème brûlée macarons call for caramelized sugar, of course!
Once macarons are filled, very very gently brush one side of the macaron shells with water then sprinkle with sugar. Water is needed for the sugar to stick to the macaron shell but use a very small amount and make sure you do not make the macaron shells soggy, definitely do not dip them into water, only gently brush them. Sprinkle the wet side of the macarons with a small amount of sugar then caramelize the top in a few seconds with a Blow torch. Test the process with the first one or two then make the rest accordingly.
Please note that working gently here is very important 1. use only a small amount of water with a brush 2. use small amount of sugar 3. caramelize it with Blow torch for a short time only
Please note that this is just one idea of decoration, you can totally skip it or feel free use your creativity and decorate the macarons according to your liking.
7. What tools do I need to make this Crème brûlée macaron recipe?
This Crème brûlée macaron recipe is relatively a low key activity in terms of equipment, you really don´t need a lot of fancy tools apart from Blow torch – instead it is more about precision and practice.
You will need the following items:
Digital scale – For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients. This is absolutely a MUST
Rubber spatula – Every home baker needs a few good quality rubber spatulas, not just for this Pistachio macaron recipe but for every desserts where the recipe states “folding”. While making the almond paste make sure you use a flexible rubber spatula, with the help of that the paste will come together in a few seconds. Then while folding meringue into the marzipan paste, at the macaronage stage, rubber spatula will be again extremely important
Stand mixer – Macaron making is a multitasking process and a stand mixer will make your life easier while beating the meringue. I did make macarons few years ago with an electric hand mixer but it is about 1000 times easier and less risky with a stand mixer. I have a KitchenAid Classic and that works perfectly fine
Infrared thermometer gun or any other thermometer – Once you progress in your baking journey at some point you will need some thermometer to measure sugar syrup or any other ingredients that need to be on a certain temperature. You can buy it as cheap as a few euros / dollars or you can purchase a more advanced infrared versions that is a must to use for chocolate tempering. I love mine and can warmly recommend it: Infrared thermometer gun
Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. Wilton 2A Round nozzle tip – Nozzle tip is not mandatory in case you can cut your piping bag perfectly straight and pipe the macarons directly without nozzle, however piping bag is absolutely necessary to make macarons. I must state that no matter what piping bag you chose to purchase, practicing your piping technique is also a must. If you have never used piping bag before, perhaps it is a good idea to make any kind of cheap butter cream and practice first
2 Silicone baking mat or 2 trays with parchment paper – You anyway will need silicone baking mat for a lot of other desserts so I can warmly recommend to invest into 2-3 pieces. If it is not accessible for you, use parchment paper, it should still work for this macaron recipe! Oh, very important that your tray is flat!
Digital oven thermometer to check your REAL oven temperature – I would say this is non negotiable. So many of you message me with various baking problems and at least half of these issues can be contributed to inappropriate baking temp. In case of macarons, baking temp is one of the most important factors and being aware of your real oven temp is as important as measuring your ingredients properly
Regarding the Blow torch, it is really not an expensive piece of baking equipment and you can use it to caramelize Crème brûlée all the time or meringue on lemon meringue pie, to caramelize marshmallow and I even use it for cooking to caramelize cheese. It is really one of those fun baking equipment you might not need all the time but when the need comes, it is so handy!
8. How to store these Crème brûlée macarons?
Macarons are stored in fridge in an air-tight container and their shelf life is rather a delicate matter.
Normally, after filling the macarons, they need about 12h in the fridge for the shells to soften. Now this Crème brûlée macaron recipe is majorly different from other macaron recipes due to the custard filling. Since we are using pastry cream that has a much higher water content than for example ganache the macaron shells will soften much quicker in literally less than an hour so I suggest to fill the macarons shortly before serving. Please note that after about 12 hours the macarons will become mushy. (They become mushy in a few days with normal ganache filling).
I also don´t recommend to freeze these Crème brûlée macarons as custard cream does not freeze well.
I prefer the tasty of pastry cream to exactly meet the taste profile of Crème brûlée however if you need to make the macarons ahead of time, I suggest to use a different filling eg. a white chocolate based ganache with added vanilla: 300g white chocolate, 180g heavy cream and a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract. I have a recipe in here explaining the process of making ganache. Ganache is also a delicious filling option so feel free to try it!
Some more macaron recipe ideas to try
Earl Grey macaron with Lemon curd filling – This Earl Grey macaron with lemon curd filling is the most aromatic bite sized desserts ever, perfect for tea lovers! The macaron shells are loaded with fragrant Early Grey loose tea and sandwiched together with creamy, buttery, tangy lemon curd that perfectly balances the tea inspired shells. This Early Grey macaron will certainly be the star of your next afternoon tea!
Festive Gold macaron – This Gold macaron can be the perfect bite size treat for any special occasions or celebrations like birthdays, weddings, Christmas or New Year´s etc. Beyond its gorgeous look this Gold macaron also tastes amazing; it is filled with caramelized white chocolate that has the perfect deep caramel note without being overly sweet and hazelnut paste with the most delicious natural nutty flavor.
Pistachio macaron – You just can´t go wrong with pistachio flavor, it is widely popular! This Pistachio macaron is filled with my pistachio ganache that has the perfect color, deep nutty pistachio flavor without being overly sweet. The macarons are decorated with a super easy white chocolate & pistachio pattern, they can´t really get any more delicious and pretty!
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- Small enough saucepan to measure sugar syrup correctly
- 150 g Almond flour finely grounded
- 150 g Icing sugar
- 55 g Egg whites room temp
- 120 g Granulated sugar
- 50 g Water
- 55 g Egg white room temp
- 30 g Superfine sugar
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
Make custard cream filling
- In a large enough bowl with the help of a Hand whisk, mix together half of the sugar with sugar egg yolk until slightly fluffy
- Mix in corn starch, flour, and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated and have a smooth paste. If too thick, mix in a very small amount of milk
- Heat milk with the rest of the sugar until simmering, pour the warm milk over the egg yolk mixture slowly while whisking vigorously with a Hand whisk
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat for a few minutes until it thickens. Concretely it is approximately 1 min after the first boil. It might get lumpy first, don't worry just keep whisking and the cream will get smooth and glossy.
- If in doubt, strain the pastry cream for a lump free, creamy end result then add in soft butter in 3 steps mixing after each addition
- Place the cream into a shallow bowl and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap to avoid skin forming on top. Store in fridge, let it properly set few hours before filling the macaron shells
- Measure all your ingredients with a Digital scale and prepare all the tools you need at hand
- Properly clean your mixing bowl and whisk attachment by wiping them down with vinegar
- Pulse blend icing sugar with almond flour for 5-10 seconds then shift them together. The mixture should be very fine powder like
- Move one of the 55g room temp egg white into your Stand mixer
- Start making the sugar syrup by boiling granulated sugar with water in a saucepan
- Star whisking the egg white on low / medium speed then gradually add the superfine sugar onto it
- Boil the sugar syrup until it reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F. Use a Infrared thermometer gun or any other thermometer to measure the correct temp
- By the time syrup reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F, the egg white & fine sugar mixture should be already reaching a consistency of somewhere between foamy and soft peak
- Once syrup on the right temp remove from heat. Keep the Stand mixer speed on medium and begin slowly pouring the syrup down on the side of the mixing bowl making sure that the syrup flows on the side only and does not get onto the whisk
- Increase Stand mixer speed to medium / high and continue whisking the meringue until it forms early stiff peaks meaning it is strong enough to hold its shape but not over whipped
- In the meantime mix the remaining 55g egg white into the almond flour & icing sugar mixture until it forms a paste, use a flexible Rubber spatula.
- When meringue is almost done mix in green food colouring (powder or gel) and continue beating for a few more seconds
- Once meringue as well as almond paste ready, gently fold in meringue into the marzipan with the help of a Rubber spatula. Fold meringue in thirds, making sure that each third is fully incorporated before adding the next
- The first third is about loosening up the marzipan, the second third already working on the macaronage process and somewhat pressing the air out and the last third is fine tuning the consistency to the stage you need that is ribbon stage
- After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. When you lift the Rubber spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows to write the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready
- Tap the baking tray onto the kitchen counter a few times to release any air bubbles then pop air bubbles out using a toothpick
- Rest the macarons on room temp for about 25-40 minutes depending on your kitchen temperature and humidy. Test by gently touching the macarons, it should feel dry on the touch and proper skin should form on the surface of them
- Pre-heat oven while macarons are drying. I recommend to bake the macarons 155C / 311F but I pre-heat my oven +20C / 68F more as when I open the oven door, the temp drops. Make sure you use a Digital oven thermometer to check your real oven temp
- Bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes, adjust if necessary to your oven
- Once macarons are done, remove them from the oven and cool them on a cooling rack but leaving them on the parchment or Silicone baking mat for 30 minutes. They are not supposed to come off the baking mat until they are properly cooled
- Once macaron shells cooled, remove them from the baking sheet. In case they ended up slightly different in their sizes, make sure you pair the similar sizes next to each other
Filling & Decorating
- Pipe custard filling onto one side of the macaron shells then press two shells together evenly so the filling will come out to the side
- Very very gently brush one side of the macaron shells with water. Sprinkle the wet side of the macarons with a small amount of sugar then caramelize the top in a few seconds with a Blow torch
- Consume macarons within a few hours, store in fridge. These macarons do not require a long resting time like some others made with ganache, in fact they will get too soft after a few hours due to the custard filling