Frivolité Macarons (Salted butter caramel and apple)

by Thom & Aimee

Pierre Hermé was probably the first celebrity I’ve ever met and something I never forget. Having him shyly thank you for enjoying his famed desserts was just surreal. Then, macarons were not as popular as they are now. One could say my virgin taste of a macaron was from the Master’s hands (No, not John Simm’s). Since then, there was no looking back.

There are plenty of macarons offered within the island today but good ones are scarce. Having tasted many of the tiny sweets from across the world (thanks to a well-travelled brother), we were able to appreciate how difficult it is to have consistent and almost perfect macarons in one box.

The Salted Cream Caramel and Apples macarons are Pierre Hermé’s recipe. Ours may not be as divine as his, but to make others smile when they bite into it was satisfying enough.

The apple takes a seat back and becomes the supporting cast. Caramel is a magical thing – ordinary sugar that transforms into a rich velvety amber syrup when heated. Add salt and you get the best of sweet and savoury.

The moment when you bite into this macaron and find a burst of tartness from a piece of apple is pure joy. We still have plenty of leftovers but there won’t be anymore soon.

Frivolité Macaron (Salted butter caramel and apple)
From Pierre Hermé

Makes about 36 macarons, 72 shells

For the Semi-dried Apples
3 apples (Russet, Cox’s Orange or Granny Smith)
15g lemon juice
10g caster sugar

For the Macaron Shells
150g ground almonds
150g icing sugar
55g liquefied egg whites
7.5g egg yellow food colouring
7.5g Trablit coffee extract


150g caster sugar
38g mineral water
55g liquefied egg whites

For the Salted Butter Caramel Cream
150g caster sugar
168g liquid crème fraiche
33g slightly softened, lightly salted good butter


145g softened good butter


First prepare the semi-dried apples. Peel, core, and cut apples into 8mm cubes. Sprinkle lemon juice on apples immediately to prevent them from yellowing. Stir the sugar in.

Preheat oven to 90C and spread the apples evenly on a baking tray. Place the baking tray into the oven and bake-dry them for about an hour, depending on variety of apples used. The apple cubes should look slightly dry. Allow them to rest to room temperature.

To make the macaron shells, repeat the steps in our Pear and Elderflower recipe. The extra step for this Salted Butter Caramel and Apple macaron, is to stir the egg yellow colouring and Trablit extract into the first portion of egg whites.

To make the salted-butter caramel cream, bring the crème fraiche to the boil. Do not take your eyes off the crème fraiche as it will turn into an overflowing mess when it reaches boiling point.

Pour 50g sugar into a large saucepan and allow sugar to melt before adding another 50g. Repeat this step one more time. Allow to caramelize until it turns dark amber.

Take the pan off the heat immediately and add the 33g lightly salted butter. Stand back as the mixture will bubble and spit. Stir with a spatula and pour the crème fraiche a little at a time while stirring continually. Return the pan to a low heat. Heat the caramel until it reaches 108C. Then pour it into a wide dish and press cling film over the surface. Place dish into refrigerator until cold.

In an electric mixer, whisk butter for 8 minutes to make it light and frothy. Whisk the cooled caramel cream in. Spoon the salted butter caramel cream immediately into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.

Pipe the cream onto half the shells then gently press several semi-dried apple cubes into the centre, before topping them with the remaining shells. Store the macarons in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.