I’ve heard that French macarons are quite difficult to make. I agree, since I didn’t get it quite right on my first try. Sharing with you this French macarons recipe.
It’s been years since my first try, and I remember that it wasn’t very successful. I’m not sure whether it was the humid weather, or perhaps over or underfolding the macaronage. Whatever it was, the first try had no “feet”. And it’s not a macaron unless you’ve got the “feet”.
A lot of recipes online say that you need to continue to fold until you’ve achieved the consistency of “lava”. I wished there was a better way to describe the consistency of proper macaronage.
I finally mustered the courage and patience to try making macarons again. It took a lot of preparation, starting off by looking for recipes and tips online. There were a lot of recommendations on using Italian Meringue instead of the French method because it’s more stable. I ended up using Martha Stewart’s Basic Macaron Recipe which uses the French method because her recipe had a smaller yield, just in case.
I was extra careful in measuring my ingredients, following every step carefully. I folded and folded until I reached the right consistency. I knew my oven tends to be warmer so I had to lower the temperature to 325F than the prescribed 350F. I let the macarons sit for 30 minutes before they go for baking. And once I placed them in the oven, I watched anxiously waiting for the elusive “feet” to form. And they did! Although, I still had to wait until it’s all fully baked. They came out pretty good! Since it was a success, I made another batch.
Some say that it is unnecessary to let them sit before baking. Next time, I won’t and see what happens. For now, I made macarons!!! Yay!
French Macaron Recipe, adapted from Martha Stewart
- 2/3 cups ground almonds (originally blanched almonds, I bought ground almonds to skip a step, but I made sure to sift the almonds through a fine mesh sieve first, then measure)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- Desired food colouring, I used gel food colour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
First of all, I made myself a macaron guide, I saw somewhere you can buy this. But really, you can make it on your own. It’s just tracing about 1″ circles, on a paper. I’m sure there’s somewhere online you can just print it out.
Pre-heat oven to 350F (again, if you know your oven tends to be warmer like mine does, adjust accordingly), with rack placed on the lower third.
- Mix the ground almonds and confectioners’ sugar and sift again, for good measure.
- Next is to work on the meringue: start whisking the egg whites and granulated sugar with your stand mixer, you can do this by hand too or electric beaters too. Start at medium speed increasing the speed every couple of minutes until you reach high speed (settings may vary depending on what kind of mixer you have, I have a KitchenAid so high is speed of 8). If adding food colour, do it at this stage. The goal is to make the egg whites to stiff, glossy peaks.
- Once you’ve achieved egg white consistency, add the sifted ground almonds and confectioners sugar all at the same time and fold with a spatula. Keep folding until a ‘lava’ consistency (I still wish there is a better way to describe the consistency) has been achieved, the original recipe indicates folding it for 35-40 times.
- Transfer the batter to a piping bag with a plain round tip.I have Wilton 2A, so this is what I used, the original recipe indicated Ateco #804. As for the piping bag, I normally use a smaller one like the 12-inch piping bags to 14″ for better control because I have small hands.
- Use a heavy bottom baking sheet with parchment paper, slide in your macaron guide under the parchment paper (if using a guide).
- Start piping the batter on the parchment paper. To pipe, do not rest the piping tip directly on the pan while piping, you want about 1/2″ space between. Give a quick swirling motion to finish.
- If peaks form and do not flatten out, try gently dabbing the peak or tap the back of the pan to help flatten out at the same time releasing air bubbles. Tapping the back of the pan is gentler than tapping on the counter, I was so careful not to ruin the form of my macarons. This needs to be done before the skin forms.
- Bake one tray at a time. Making sure to rotate halfway through baking process. The macarons were done about 25 minutes. To test doneness, the macaron should come off easily from the pan.
- Let it cool and pipe with filling. You can make chocolate ganache, buttercream filling, dulce de leche or jam.
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