You’ll love this step by step guide to making foolproof macarons almost as much as you’ll enjoy eating these delicate French sweets!
This post is sponsored by Café Appliances. As always, all opinions are mine.
How to make French Macarons
Now, I don’t know about you, but I LOVE eating macarons. However; I haven’t always loved making them. Macarons are notoriously finicky. Beat your egg whites too little or too much and you’re left with flat macarons. Fold in your powdered sugar and almond meal a few too many times and the tops crack. Even a rainy day (something completely out of your control) can ruin them. All these factors give these delicious, delicate pastries a bad rap.
The base of macarons is made from whipped egg whites, which you then fold a mixture of powdered sugar and almond meal into. This batter tends to be unstable and unpredictable, which can be pretty disheartening to even professionally trained bakers.
But don’t worry guys. I have a solution for perfect macarons.
What makes this classic macaron recipe foolproof?
Years ago, I had the honor of making macarons with the amazing pastry chef Alon Shabo. He taught me a new technique for making macarons and I haven’t looked back since. Instead of making a French meringue (uncooked egg whites) you make a Swiss meringue (warmed egg whites). The result? A much more stable base for otherwise finicky macarons.
This base is also more forgiving when it comes to the folding stage. Instead of painstakingly counting the number of times you fold the almond meal into the egg whites, you mix everything in a stand mixer. Of course you still have to watch the batter, but it comes together in a flash and is incredibly reliable.
Ingredients for Macarons
This is the easy part! You’ll only need a few ingredients to make these scrumptious French confections. You’ll probably have most of these on hand aside from almond flour.
Super Fine Almond Flour: Repeat after me, almond flour is NOT almond meal. Make sure you use almond flour, which is much finer and made from blanched almonds (no skin) as compared to almond meal which is usually less fine and contains almond skin. You want almond flour (we love Bob’s Red Mill!) for smooth, bump free macarons!
Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar will both sweeten and thicken your macaron batter. You’ll also use powdered sugar in your desired filling.
Granulated Sugar: You’ll need granulated sugar to help aerate and whip up your egg whites into stiff peaks.
Egg Whites: Some people swear by “aged egg whites”, but we don’t mind our egg whites youthful. I jest, but we don’t find that it makes a difference with the swiss meringue technique! Just make sure you measure out the egg whites by weight and that absolutely no egg yolks make their way into the separated whites.
Food coloring (optional): If you want to color your macarons you’ll need just a few drops of food coloring.
What tools do you need to make macarons
From the stand mixer to the piping bag to the oven you bake them in, your tools really matter when it comes to macarons.
And obviously you’ll need a reliable oven to bake these sweet french cookies in. We absolutely love baking in our Café Appliances Range because it’s so darn reliable and easy to use. Macarons bake at a low temperature, so it’s super important that your oven temperature is accurate and consistent. We love our Café™ 30″ Double-Oven Range because it preheats in a flash, has consistent heat throughout so you don’t get any burnt corners and under baked centers, and has a bright oven light so you don’t need to open the door to peak at any cookies and risk them falling.
How to make macarons:
Now that you’re all geared up for homemade macarons, let’s break it down step by step.
Step One: Measure out your ingredients.
Macarons don’t have to be hard, but you do have to be pretty precise in your preparation. We like to measure out all our ingredients using our kitchen scale before getting started to prevent messing up any measurements once you get started.
Step Two: Sift together the powdered sugar and almond meal three times to get out any clumps that would cause air bubbles or lumpy macarons.
*You can also pulse your powdered sugar and almond meal in a food processor, but as long as you sift it very well, there’s no need to break out another appliance.
Step Three: Whisk egg whites and roughly 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar continuously until sugar melts completely and egg whites become white and frothy
One of my most favorite features of our Cafe Appliances Range is the 15K power boil burner which heats up quickly and evenly so you can make a double boiler in moments. We make our macarons with a swiss meringue, which means you’ll cook the egg whites a little before using them in your macaron batter. This will create a super stable macaron base that is much more forgiving.
Step Four: Transfer the egg whites to a stand mixer and slowly add the remaining granulated sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture is glossy. If using food coloring add here as well!
You’ll know it’s done when the mixture is not longer grainy when you rub it between your fingers.
Step Five: Add the sifted powdered sugar and almond flour to the egg whites. Turn the mixer to medium speed and whisk for 5 seconds.
Step Six: Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the bowl and gently fold the batter from the outside of the bowl and gently twisting it into the center in a circle-like manner.
Do this until the batter is a lava like consistency and you can make a figure 8 with the batter without it breaking.
Step Seven: Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fit with a ½ inch tip. Pipe the macarons out a few inches apart onto two cookies sheets lined with parchment paper.
Step Eight: Bake the macarons at 300°F for 13 to 15 minutes (depending on the size).
Step Nine: Allow the macarons to cool completely before transferring to a cooling rack.Step Ten: While the macarons cool, make the filling. Combine all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and beat until fluffy and creamy.
Step Eleven: Once the macarons are completely cool, sandwich together with the filling.
Step Twelve: Devour!
Et voila! French macarons without the trip to Paris 🙂 We hope you enjoy this easy macaron recipe just as much as we do!
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
Heat a small pot of water over medium-low heat until it steams. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites and roughly 3 tablespoons of the granulated sugar. Place bowl over steaming pot, creating a double boiler.
Whisk egg whites and sugar continuously until sugar melts completely and egg whites become white and frothy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and place the bowl back onto the stand mixer.
Fit stand mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on high speed while slowly adding in the remaining granulated sugar. Add the food coloring (if using). Continue to whisk for another 3-4 minutes, until stiff meringue peaks form. Congratulations, you just made a Swiss meringue!
Next, sift together the almond flour, powdered sugar, and salt twice, then gently shake the mixture into the meringue bowl.
Place the bowl back onto a stand mixer, still fitted with a whisk attachment. Turn the mixer to medium speed and whisk for 5 seconds (just enough to combine the almond flour mixture with the egg whites).
Stop the mixer and use a large spatula to hand-mix the batter for the remainder of your mixing. You’ll want to gently fold the mixture with your spatula, scooping up the batter from the outside of the bowl and gently twisting it into the center in a circle-like manner. You’ll know to stop mixing when you can make a figure-eight out of the dripping batter without the batter breaking. If you cannot yet make a figure-eight, repeat the process if necessary, and try the figure-eight again. The best way to describe the perfect consistency is like slow moving lava. It should give, but only slightly, like in slow-motion.
Once your batter is the correct consistency, scoop it into a large pastry bag fitted with a 1 inch tip. Pipe silver dollar-sized circles onto prepared baking sheets, keeping about 1.5 inches between each meringue. Bang baking sheet on counter two times to remove any air bubbles. Sprinkle tops with a little sea salt as a garnish.
Let the macarons air dry for 15 to 30 minutes or until dry to the touch. Just pop them into the prepared oven for 13 minutes, turning around halfway through, then allow to cool completely before removing from baking sheets.
While the macarons are cooling, make the filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until fluffy and fully combined, about 2 minutes.
Scoop mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch tip and set aside until ready to assemble the macarons.
Once the macarons are completely cool to the touch, pipe the filling onto a macaron and sandwich with another macaron. Repeat with all macarons.
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