This was our first attempt at making smoked salmon savoury macarons, but we are quite pleased with how they turned out and think they’ll make the perfect canapé for the Christmas party we’re catering for.
One of the main concerns was getting the sugar balance right. Meringue is typically associated with sweet desserts, so we didn’t want to make the casing of the macarons as sweet as normal meringue, but if we adjusted the amount of sugar surely that would affect the consistency of the whisked egg and the meringue? Amazingly it didn’t. The taste was delicious; the lemon, dill and smoked salmon flavours all complimented each other, as expected, but so did the faint sweetness of the icing sugar. The texture was light but crunchy and soft in the middle – the only thing we need to work on is the smoothness of the pâté in the middle and make sure our presentation is spot on.
We opted for a pâté over fresh smoked salmon and cream cheese as we felt that the light and crunchy texture of the meringue would smoothly blend into the pâté and enhance the delicacy of the canapé. Sometimes with smoked salmon we find that if you attempt to eat it in two bites you are left with a plain cracker/blini/whatever is the base of the canapé at the end, or you’re subtly trying to bite the smoked salmon in half whilst nodding to someone mid-conversation. We thought we’d save everyone from any awkward canapé encounter and make something mess/risk/embarrassment free..!
For the macarons:
- 75g Caster Sugar
- 30g Water
- 30g Egg Whites
(You deal with these two groups of ingredients separately so don’t be tempted to weigh out 60g of egg whites at once etc)
- 75g Almond Powder
- 75g Icing Sugar
- 30g Egg Whites
For the smoked salmon pâté:
- 250g Cream Cheese
- 25g Smoked Salmon (or adjust according to taste and desired strength)
- The Juice of Half a Lemon
- 1 ½ Tsps of Dried Dill, or fresh if you prefer (adjust according to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Method (preheat the oven to 140 degrees C):
Sift the almond powder and icing sugar into one bowl and then add in the first lot of egg whites. Pull the mixture together with a plastic spatula or a pastry scrap and then set this bowl aside whilst you make the meringue mixture.
Put the sugar and water into a saucepan on a medium-low heat until it starts to boil. Once it does and it reaches 100degreesC, start to whisk your second lot of egg whites. Once the syrup has reached 110degreesC, pour it into the egg whites and continue whisking until white peaks emerge and the mixture feels significantly cooler; it should also look pure white and glossy.
Now mix in the almond powder mixture that you set aside and mix thoroughly.
Now you need to spoon this mixture into a piping bag (if you don’t have a piping bag then a plastic bag which you then make a small hole in works just as well too but may not make as perfect circles), and then pipe small circles onto a baking tray. We think that a plastic baking sheet works the best (see below) as the mixture is much less likely to stick.
Once all mixture has been piped onto the baking sheet, lift it up and drop onto the counter to ensure that as much air has been removed from the macaron mixture as possible. Sprinkle on some cracked black pepper on each disc so that it will bake into the casing of each macaroon. Leave these to rest for an hour or so, and meanwhile make your filling.
Blend your smoked salmon, cream cheese, dill, lemon and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning to taste.
After an hour, put the macarons into the oven to bake for around 10 minutes but keep checking every couple of minutes after 5 as they can turn to burnt discs as soon as you have turned your back!
Once they look done, take out the oven and leave to cool for a little bit, before spooning the mixture in-between to macarons discs. Voila, enjoy!