With Chinese New Year baking completed and no baking schedule for Valentine’s Day, I finally had some time to make caramel fleur de sel, something that I’ve been wanting to try for the longest time.
I used Chef Pang’s recipe, found on Chubby Hubby’s blog, but found the resulting caramel way too salty on its own. It might have something to do with the accuracy of my digital weighing scale (I rounded up the amount of fleur de sel from 3.75g to 4g), but the next time I make this, I’m definitely cutting the sea salt down to 3g or maybe even 2g.
I really couldn’t bear to throw all that caramel away and turned it into a buttercream filling for macarons instead. I also used vanilla flavoured macaron shells made with hazelnuts instead of almonds.
I have to say that I loved the resulting flavour; slightly savoury with a deep caramel flavour that still shone through the buttercream. I included them in a box of macarons I’d made for a dinner party at WL’s and they quickly became the most sought-after macarons, beating even the ever popular dark chocolate and opÃ©ra flavours!
These are definitely going onto the menu!
Caramel Fleur de Sel Recipe (adapted from Chef Pang’s version)
Sufficient quantity water
1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod
200g whipping cream, warmed
3g fleur de sel
140g unsalted butter, well-chilled and cut into cubes
1. Place the sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Add just enough water to dampen the sugar.
2. Cook the sugar to 160 degrees C without stirring. The sugar syrup should take on an amber hue.
3. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste or the scrappings from the vanilla pod.
4. Add in the warm cream a little at a time - be very careful here as the caramel will foam up and sputter. I recommend wearing an oven mitt.
5. Add the fleur de sel and stir to make sure that all the caramel has dissolved.
6. Allow the mixture to cool to around 40 degrees C.
7. Add the cubes of butter and blend in the butter using an immersion blender until you have a smooth glossy paste.
8. Line the surface of the caramel with cling wrap to prevent a layer of skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator until needed.