How To: Tips For Making Macarons

This is the post you need to read before making macarons for the first time. The recipe itself is HERE.

-First and foremost, when it comes to method Italian meringue is the way to go. I tried the French meringue but it’s just not as stable. If you’re using the Italian meringue instead you’re already more than halfway there. If you haven’t got one already you will need a sugar thermometer. Yes, I know, I too held off on trying this method for a long time simply because it involved a thermometer, but it is not difficult. I promise. Don’t be scared, it’s gonna be okay.

Sugar syrup for Italian meringue.

Sugar syrup for Italian meringue.

-As much as I would rather add the colouring to the mix after it’s all been folded together, it does affect the consistency and therefore the final result. You need to add the colouring and/or flavouring to the almond meal/sugar/egg white mix before folding in the meringue.

-When folding the meringue through the dry mixture add a third to start with and give it a good mix to loosen it. Then add the rest in two more, slightly more gentle, goes.

-Have the oven at the right temperature for at least ten minutes before putting the macarons in. Use a fan forced option if you have it,  and if you don’t have a fan increase the temperature by ten to twenty degrees celsius. Having the right oven temperature and the initial blast from the fan will encourage the macarons to develop their “feet”.

See? Perfect little feet!

See? Perfect little feet!

-When it comes to piping, practice makes perfect. I {try to} use a template as a guide but sometimes end up missing the template after the first few circles and freehand the rest. Keep the piping bag vertical so that you get nice little circles, and don’t pipe them bigger than 3 cm in diameter as they will spread. {Plus smaller macarons are cuter than jumbo sized anyway}. Make sure to leave enough space between them too, about 3 cm or so. There’s a handy template you can print out HERE.

-After piping the shells onto the tray give the tray a good whack on the bench, then leave them to rest for about forty minutes. They need to form a skin, which will help you get the lovely little feet so crucial to a good macaron. And while they rest you can use a wet fingertip to smooth out any bumps or tidy the edges. {Carefully}. This is also when you can sprinkle things on top for the final finish.

Smooth the tops with a slightly wet fingertip.

-I use the one basic recipe for the shells and then add colouring to tint them, while the individual flavour is contained in the filling. I tend to stick to what I know and keep it simple, but the possibilities are endless. You could also sprinkle something decorative on top after piping: coloured sprinkles, gold dust, ground pistachio, etc.

-If you want to flavour the macaron shells you can add a flavour extract to the almond meal mixture. Raspberry, lemon, and sour cherry extracts work really well and add a little colour too.

-When it comes to filling them I like to pair up the empty macarons first so they are all perfectly matched. Then smear whatever filling you are using onto one, then press them together gently. I also like to put the finished macarons into the fridge for about half an hour, they firm up just a bit and get a perfect chewiness.

-Finally, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time when you first attempt macarons. They are not as difficult as they might appear, but they cannot be rushed. I find that the resting time is important, as is the time to make the sugar syrup. Go slow and steady, follow the instructions, and you will be rewarded with delicious macarons. And hey, if they don’t look perfect then at least they will still taste good!

 

  1. […] sure to read my post on tips for making macarons before you begin, and have your baking trays with macaron templates and baking paper on top ready […]

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  2. […] This is the page you will need if you’re after fillings. For my basic macaron recipe click HERE, and for general tips and hints click HERE. […]

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  3. Just attempted a thermomix recipe for macarons for my blog. First time I’ve ever made macarons. I forgot to rest them!!! They weren’t too bad for a first attempt… I only had a couple that cracked and they did start to form feet. Could have been prettier…I added cocoa powder after I had already “sifted” in the thermomix so batter was a little grainy. Will give it another go some time…If I ever get them close enough to share them on my blog, will be sure to include a link to this post 🙂

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    1. That’s excellent. I bet a lot of people would love to see a thermomix recipe for macarons.

      Resting definitely helps, and the oven needs to heat for at least ten minutes before they go in. But as long as they taste good who cares how they look, that’s always my motto!

      Practice definitely makes perfect with these btw.

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  4. […] sure to read my post on tips for making macarons before you begin, and have your baking trays with macaron templates and baking paper on top ready […]

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