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How to make macarons: what’s working for me right now

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you will know that macarons are one of my obsessions. Some of you may remember a couple of my early attempts (here, here, and here), then the epiphany of the class at Lenôtre in Paris. Following that class, I had a number of successes and I found the recipe to be very similar to Helene’s (of Tartelette blog) and I used a combination of the Lenôtre techniques with Helene’s recipe most of last year, with varying success.

Being a Taurean (stubborn) and A-type (a planner) what bugged me about macarons was how unpredictable they were.  On many occasions I have wanted to make them for dinner parties or gifts but given the fact that I never knew if it was going to be a “feet” kinda day, I always chose something else.

Until recently.  In a serendipitous moment, I happened across The Brave Tart, a blog by Stella, the Resident Pastry Girl at Table 310, via her gorgeous picture and recipe for florentines.  Searching about on her site, I discovered she also makes beautiful macarons. Every day. In bulk.  She must have some kind of magic macaron secrets up her sleeve, I thought, right? So I was thrilled when she published her Macaron Mythbusters post.  And her recipe.  Which, by the way, I totally love. I love the way it’s written – it sounds like you’re in the kitchen there with her!

Encouraged by Stella, I tried my hand at these just before the end of my spring break.  Was still feeling rather wobbly with vertigo at this point but was determined to have a go at them, having promised them to a colleague in return for him taking a lunch duty for me last term. Yes, that’s the way I roll: ” Will you do my lunch duty? I will bake macarons for you!”

I followed Stella’s instructions to a T – even down to the timing of the beating of the whites.  Even though it went against my better judgement.  I’ve always been so careful to only beat the whites until they form the “bec d’oiseau” on the end of the beaters (stiff egg whites will make a beak shape on the end of the whisk attachment of the Kitchen Aid). However, it appears that isn’t enough.  You’re going to have to beat the whites for 9-10 minutes. Yep. You read that right.  It feels so wrong.  But it works.

The next part that is tricky is the macaronage – the folding in of the dry ingredients to the egg whites. I have the technique down pretty well but if your egg whites are not beaten enough (as it seems mine were not), you will deflate them too much by doing the 35-40 folds required for proper macaronage and the mixture will be too runny to pipe.  If you have really firm whites, you will need those 35-40 strokes to deflate them enough to achieve the proper consistency – Stella says:

“Essentially, the macaron batter needs enough thickness that it will mound up on itself, but enough fluidity that after 20 seconds, it will melt back down. I’ve heard people describe this consistency as lava-like, or molten, and that’s pretty apt.”

And voilà: The “lunch duty” macaronsChocolate with marshmallow filling.

Enjoyed by all on the first day back at work after the break.

The following weekend, I knew I had to make them again because I couldn’t quite believe that I might have a method that would work consistently.  Again, no problems at all.

Orange shells with lemon curd filling.

I was on a roll!  And then I went and did it – promised to bake macarons for Toronto Bakes for Japan.  Was I insane?  Then I announced it on my blog. No turning back.  I was counting on Stella and her method to see me through an epic day of baking.  And she came through again.

During this marathon of macarons, I discovered that my macarons do not like being baked on a jelly roll pan. Which is generally not a problem, since I am not generally baking over 100 at a time. Ahem. More like 20 at a a time max…  Those ones cracked and never got their feet. But all the rest of them were lovely with dainty little feet.

Choc mint macs:

And then, because I am a total glutton for punishment, I decided to bake just one more batch last weekend. Using liquid egg whites. As an experiment. Totally expecting it to fail.  I keep liquid egg whites in my fridge most of the time because it’s handy making omelettes fluffier or simply and it is certainly convenient – no more “oh my god, I simply must make custard with all those egg yolks from the macaron egg whites” moments.  But I was not expecting it to work.  Even at 6 minutes into the whipping of the whites, it didn’t look right. But after 10 minutes, I thought that one more minute at full blast might whip them into shape, so to speak. And it did.  These ones also came out perfectly.

Plain pink shells with chocolate ganache.

Plain pink shells with lemon cream cheese filling:

So let me walk you through the process, as I see it.

Yes, you do have to sift your dry ingredients. Twice.

And time yourself…

Don’t be prissy – dump your sugar into your egg whites right away. None of this adding slowly…  The egg whites, by the way, do not have to be aged. I separated the eggs and just left them at room temperature for a couple of hours only.  The liquid egg whites I used in the last attempt were not at room temperature at all.

Beat whites and sugar for 3 minutes at speed 4 – don’t worry if it doesn’t look like much…

Beat for 3 more minutes at speed 6.  It looks like what I typically think is ready for the dry ingredients – but no….

After 3 more minutes at speed 8, it’s *nearly* ready…  Check it out below after 9 minutes – looks wrong, huh?

At this point you can add your colour and flavour and bump up the speed to maximum (10) for one more minute “to show them who’s boss” as Stella says!

Not your idea of a delicate batter, huh?

And there you go – dump in all your dry ingredients at once…

Then pipe them out…

As I learned at Lenôtre, I pipe them from the side, with the piping bag not leaving the tray, ending with a little “comma” shape on top.  I do not let them “dry”as I see many people do and neither does Stella. Virtual high five, girl! I bake them on two trays at 320F for 12 minutes, turning the trays from back to front at the 6 minute mark.

Seems to work, see…

And hey, I made over 100 of these with a pretty decent success rate – excluding the jelly roll pan incidents, of course!

I think I *might* be safe in saying I have finally found “my” method. Thanks Stella!

For Stella’s complete recipe click here.

EDITED TO ADD: I’ve been battling hollow shells, even with this method and recipe, recently. Read this post to see what I did to combat the hollow macaron shells.

For VIDEO TUTORIALS for the three key stages of macaron making, check out this post.

And since there are many chocolate appearances in this post, I am submitting this post to this month’s Mactweets “Decadently Chocolate”.

Congratulations to Lael of Educated Palate who won my POP Bakery cake pops cookbook giveaway! I will be in touch soon!

** Don’t forget to check out next month’s “Forever Nigella” event – I’m hosting a street party in honour of the Royal Wedding and would love for you to join me. All the details here.

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273 Responses to How to make macarons: what’s working for me right now

  1. ribbonclown April 19, 2011 at 06:18 #

    I love making macarons too but my skirt were not as gorgeous as yours..he he I’ll try your method tonight and report back! :D

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 26, 2011 at 20:42 #

      Please do…

    • Sophie March 8, 2013 at 04:14 #

      I am inspired by this blog! I tried to make macarons once and it was a terrible disaster which looked like your 2nd attempt. They look so pretty and professional and I’m really impressed how you kept trying and eventually got there!

    • Julie April 1, 2014 at 22:28 #

      The best ones I had were in the heart of Paris and I haven’t tasted them better since. They have to be eaten THE DAY THEY’RE MADE! Otherwise, they’re stale and gummy. I’m almost frightened to try making them myself for fear that mine will be horrid, but I’ll give it a go just the same. :-) Thanks for posting the recipe!

      • Mardi Michels April 2, 2014 at 21:26 #

        Actually macarons are always best the day after they are made – even those from the best pâtisseries in Paris are not made fresh each day – many of them are frozen…

  2. Sanjeeta kk April 19, 2011 at 06:37 #

    Wow! Macrons at its Best. Love the simple and hassle free recipe and perfect presentation on your post. I had flat footed Macs the first time I tried which was probably the last also. Your post brightens me up and energizes to give another try :) Awesome Macs.

  3. Tunde April 19, 2011 at 06:38 #

    This is awesome ! I’m going to have to try this new way soon. No more “praying to the macaron gods” .

  4. Liz April 19, 2011 at 06:56 #

    Amazing, Mardi!!! You are a macaron goddess!!!!

  5. Janine April 19, 2011 at 07:03 #

    WOW Mardi – lovely lovely feet and shells there! Your post and tips have gotten me all fired up to try making macarons again :) (after I finish my exams of course) ;p

    Just to clarify though, it’s speed 4 for 3 minutes, dump in sugar, then speed 6 for 6 (or 9 minutes?) and finally speed 10 for 1 minute? Thanks much!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 19, 2011 at 11:30 #

      I reworded the post a little. 3 minutes at 4, 3 minutes at 6, 3 minutes at 8 and 1 minute at 10.

  6. Jamie April 19, 2011 at 07:10 #

    Mardi, you’ve done it! Gorgeous, every single macaron! I will definitely be trying your method! Perfect! Hip hip hooray I feel like a proud mama!

  7. Jill Colonna April 19, 2011 at 07:17 #

    Fantastic post! Had no idea you were obsessed with macarons like this and all you’re producing, they are just beautiful. Love the look of the chocolate and marshmallow, too. Your Royal Wedding street party sounds like lots of fun!

  8. Ken│hungry rabbit April 19, 2011 at 07:24 #

    Brava Mardi, thanks for demystifying this french confection. Oh what beauties you have created. Look forward to many more.

  9. Sally - My Custard Pie April 19, 2011 at 07:34 #

    Mardi – do you ever sleep? If I ever get round to making macarons then this is where I will start. At present just happy to gaze at your perfect ones.

  10. Adora's Box April 19, 2011 at 07:54 #

    Fantastic! You are amazing. They are so beautiful and so perfect. Making macarons is still one feat I have to conquer so I’ve saved this post. One day, if I gather enough patience, I shall try again.

  11. Belinda @zomppa April 19, 2011 at 08:09 #

    I love how you make these – you are a seasoned pro – seems like a healthy obsession to me! =)

  12. Tonya - What's On My Plate April 19, 2011 at 09:44 #

    YAY! Great post. All of those macarons turned out SO well.

  13. Marisa April 19, 2011 at 09:45 #

    Such a great post – thanks for this! Have always been scared of trying macarons, but now that you’ve pointed me to a foolproof method I think I might just give them a go!

  14. Adriana April 19, 2011 at 09:46 #

    (Eyes wide open) I can do this! I’ve only tried making macarons once but your process walk-through makes me want to tackle it again. Now I only need to figure out what flavor to make. Thank you so much for this great post!

  15. mademoiselle délicieuse April 19, 2011 at 09:52 #

    Interesting…and thanks for all the tips! Must admit that it goes against pretty much everything I’ve read about making macarons. Definitely don’t think I’ve whipped my eggwhites to to be quite so “peaky” before. More things for me to try now =)

  16. knitstamatic April 19, 2011 at 10:06 #

    Oh your macarons look gorgeous! Great instructions/photos I think this is a must do!

  17. Kelly April 19, 2011 at 10:10 #

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting this! I’ve been admiring your macarons for SOO long and have been wanting to know how to make them myself! Can’t wait to try them! :)

  18. Kristen April 19, 2011 at 11:06 #

    So beautiful and such GREAT tips!

  19. K A B L O O E Y April 19, 2011 at 11:47 #

    So there is a “they lived happily ever after” ending to The Story of Mardi and the Attempt to Make the Perfect Macaron? Really? I’m very glad for you. Does this mean that you didn’t even have to go to France for the class? (Well, you did for the story, so that’s good enough for me.) Wow!

  20. Lana April 19, 2011 at 11:53 #

    I ca n just sit here and stare at your macarons, entranced like a child by all the different colors and fillings. Amazing! They look perfect. Now I know where to turn, if I ever decide to tackle them:)
    You see, being stubborn and type A pays off in the end:) Great job!

  21. The Poet Herself April 19, 2011 at 12:30 #

    Yay! It was such a breakthrough when I discovered Stella’s post on macaron making. An eye-opener! I’m glad you had success with the cartoned egg whites–will have to try that next.

  22. Mike April 19, 2011 at 12:44 #

    I have to say, your post has given me the courage to try macarons. I don’t know why, but macarons are the one thing I’ve never gotten around to. I hate working with egg whites and it just seemed like so much work for something that gives people so much trouble. But I’ve wanted to try them, because they are so delicious and endlessly customizable. As soon as classes are over for the semester this will be my first Sunday baking project.

  23. Belleau Kitchen April 19, 2011 at 13:54 #

    i’m so scared to even try, I’ve had two failures but I think if I give myself a whole weekend and just suck it up, I may be able to break the spell!

  24. Mr. Neil April 19, 2011 at 14:14 #

    A little boring to end this saga though now, isn’t it, everyone? ;-)

    I AM looking forward to Easter Macs!

  25. Mr. Neil April 19, 2011 at 14:15 #

    …oh, and let’s not forget the special, limited-edition ROYAL WEDDING MACS that re coming out the end of next week! :-)

  26. Victoria (District Chocoholic) April 19, 2011 at 14:54 #

    My word, you went to town, didn’t you? These photos and steps are so educational, this may change my life…

  27. Lora April 19, 2011 at 15:56 #

    Wow a macaronapolooza! Every single one is gorgeous. I haven’t tried Stella’s method yet but now I’m IN!

  28. Daydreamer Desserts April 19, 2011 at 16:47 #

    Woo Hoo!! Get a load of all these Mac successes! Yes, I think it’s pretty safe to say you’ve got this whole Macaron baking thing down. Congrats Mardi! XOXO -Josie

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 19, 2011 at 18:25 #

      Coming from the Queen of the Macaron, I would say that this is a high compliment indeed! Thanks :)

  29. Winnie April 19, 2011 at 17:42 #

    Fantastic Mardi! Your macs are so beautiful. And thanks for introducing me to Stella’s blog…it’s awesome.

  30. Ethan April 19, 2011 at 18:49 #

    is it corny of me to say I’m proud of you? Since I’ve known you through Twitter and your blog, the macarons have been your friend and nemesis and it looks like you’ve conquered it! But somehow I know you’ll find other ways to satisfy your Taurean+Type A personality. Now, to teach us laypeople how to make them. I smell another reason to visit Toronto soon:)

    • Mr. Neil April 20, 2011 at 08:43 #

      Brisket Macaron, anyone? ;-)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 26, 2011 at 20:36 #

      Ethan thank you so much. It must be boring following me on Twitter when I am on a quest!

  31. Felice - All That's Left Are The Crumbs April 19, 2011 at 19:09 #

    I just love your beautiful colors. I still have not gotten around to making macarons. I really do need to set some time aside to do this soon.

  32. PolaM April 19, 2011 at 20:13 #

    I am always surprised to see how many different methods are there to make the same thing… I was told you needed to use egg whites straight out of the fridge as they should be as cold as possible.

  33. Lora @cakeduchess April 19, 2011 at 20:21 #

    I have some Taurus family members so I understand your determination. These are just gorgeous Mardi! I don’t know which one I like better. It’s impossible to decide…I want one of each, s’il te plait;)

  34. DessertForTwo April 19, 2011 at 20:42 #

    I’m so happy to have found this! I’ve been wanting to make macarons, but I’ve been too scared! Thanks for this!

  35. Stephanie April 19, 2011 at 22:18 #

    Some great tips you both share – especially on the beating of the whites. Will definately try this with my next batch. Thanks!

  36. penny aka jeroxie April 19, 2011 at 22:22 #

    I must try it at home then! But then I could have private lessons right?

  37. Alice April 20, 2011 at 00:09 #

    Awesome! I am tempted to make them… how about the filing? :)

  38. Zo @ Two Spoons April 20, 2011 at 01:08 #

    I love that post too, it actually tells you exactly what went wrong so you know for next time. Beautiful macarons!

  39. Boulder Locavore April 20, 2011 at 05:14 #

    Hi Mardi! I am going to save this post! Awhile ago I researched making macarons, loving their look, but was quickly intimidated as they are so seemingly fincky! I seem to see them everywhere these days and had no idea there were so many little tips to know before endeavoring to try to make them! Thanks for ‘breaking the code’!

  40. ladymacaron20ten April 20, 2011 at 06:29 #

    Your macarons are STUNNING and I have to say that great minds think alike (chocolate & marshmallow). I love the colour of your pink ones – really pretty. I make the Italian method because I had too many failures with French meringue but you make it look easy :)

  41. bridget {bake at 350} April 20, 2011 at 09:24 #

    I’ve never tried them….too scared….but now that YOU’VE put in all of the hard work for me, I just might get brave!

  42. Elizabeth April 20, 2011 at 09:41 #

    Wow Mardi, virtual high fives!

    Seeing as I’ve only made macarons once and it was a complete and utter failure….I might actually go ahead and try this method out! It seems fail proof!

    Thank you Stella!

  43. Maria April 20, 2011 at 09:47 #

    I love the bright colors! They look perfect!

  44. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel April 20, 2011 at 09:49 #

    SO pretty – awesome job. I want to try these sometime but I think I need a childfree house to do so for both quiet and patience on my part ha. LOVE the pink ones! :)

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 26, 2011 at 20:33 #

      I think a childfree house is definitely necessary! Even my cat gets amongst the action when I am baking!

  45. Claire April 20, 2011 at 10:03 #

    Your macarons look great, what kind of food coloring did you use for the pink ones? I tried to make pink ones with fuschia gel but they did NOT look like yours.

  46. Sarah April 20, 2011 at 11:39 #

    Wow! I’m so excited to try this method! I’ve been using a book I bought in Paris called macarons: succès assuré (“assured success”). Let me assure you, it was NOT successful on my last 3 attempts! I’m looking forward to trying yours!

  47. pamela April 20, 2011 at 14:43 #

    I always assumed they were a pain to make…

    Now i definitely know that i was right LOL

    But.. I just might try YOUR way!

    Thanks!

  48. fauxmartha April 20, 2011 at 14:45 #

    Thank you, thank you for this tutorial. I have been obsessed with macarons lately—trying to perfect them as well. I am going to let all these good tips sink into my brain and give them another go!

  49. Susan April 20, 2011 at 14:47 #

    Love your macarons and love that you love them as much as I do. :) We should join forces http://www.GreenEyedSusan.com

  50. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) April 20, 2011 at 15:26 #

    I’m bookmarking this post. I’m going to learn from your experience and hopefully be as successful as you with macarons. I’ve yet to try making them but I will one day. I thought I was in love with your fuchsia ones until I scrolled down to the green ones. In my book, that’s the perfect shade of green and in macaron form, it’s even more appealing. :-)

  51. Kate@Diethood April 20, 2011 at 15:55 #

    Wow! Mardi, these are all so gorgeous! Thank you for the tips…I have also been slaving over these for quite a while… I haven’t posted any because, while they taste great, they don’t look great! :)

  52. zenchef April 20, 2011 at 22:18 #

    You really nailed the macarons on the head!
    They look simply perfect. Nice work.

  53. ironchefman April 20, 2011 at 23:01 #

    Wow, I just tried macarons yesterday for the first time!
    http://ironchefman.blogspot.com/2011/04/macarons-first-attempt.html
    I read BraveTart’s “Macaron Myths” to get me started, and definitely learned a lot. The idea of piping from the side to avoid the piping trail – genius! I’ll definitely try it next time.

  54. Lisa @ Tarte du Jour April 21, 2011 at 09:25 #

    Your macarons are magical…. I thought perhaps I was reading Jill at Mad about Macarons:) They look so beautiful, professional and perfect!

  55. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction April 21, 2011 at 14:31 #

    Ooh… So many pretty macs! I am feeling somewhat guilty that I have never tried to make macarons again after my first disaster. Perhaps I can give them a try with your tips.

  56. Magic of Spice April 21, 2011 at 21:39 #

    They all look perfect!

  57. Shelly Borrell (Nibbles of Tidbits) April 21, 2011 at 23:00 #

    You’re awesome Mardi! I haven’t attempted Macarons yet, but when I do, I’ll be starting with you. Beautiful photos too. Much thanks for your endurance on the subject.

  58. Anna Johnston April 22, 2011 at 01:51 #

    Excellent how to post Mardi. Thank you, I think I’m almost ready to give these guys a go.

  59. RLV @ bittensweetblog.com April 23, 2011 at 00:27 #

    Amazing! Thank you so much for the tips and the photos!

  60. Paula April 23, 2011 at 18:45 #

    From here on in you shall be known as Mardi the Macaron Maven! Congratulations they are all just beautiful!

  61. Kaitlin April 24, 2011 at 12:18 #

    Great post!! I am so eager to try Stella’s method. I’m so excited for you that it’s been working so well!

  62. Jason Phelps April 25, 2011 at 21:01 #

    This week has such special meaning for me. My birthday is at the end of it and I picked this week in 2010 to ramp up my blog. Mardi’s blog here was one of the first ones I found when I went looking for what others had done. Who knows what I put in for a search term. I kept looking, reading more and more food blogs. After a few weeks I noticed postings about Macarons and thought I was totally from another planet; I had no idea what they were. I am sure I must have left some weird comments here and other places asking what people were talking about.

    I finally had them in France in Feburary of this year for the first time and then I realized what was worth all the talk. I haven’t made them yet, but I am also not in a hurry. They remind me of something I enjoyed finding and exploring, and you always have to have that thing that is right around the corner, just out of reach…

    Thanks Mardi!

    Jason

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 26, 2011 at 20:29 #

      Jason, thanks so much for commenting – I am touched that you are still reading my blog :) I am so glad you finally tasted macarons and figured out what all the fuss is about. I hope that you will revisit this post when you choose to make them yourself

  63. RollerScrapper April 27, 2011 at 21:22 #

    Pretty and vibrant! I tried to beat my eggwhites for 10 minutes of my last batch but I just couldn’t! I think I got scared after 6 or 7 minutes which is longer than I normally whip them. They still turn out but I have to dry them and not cook them at too high of a heat…although I *may* have been able to put them at a lower heat without drying…guess i have to bake another test batch again… :-P

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 6, 2011 at 17:14 #

      Well perhaps you should try beating the whites longer so you don’t have to go the hassle of drying them?

  64. Michelle April 28, 2011 at 07:06 #

    Hi! I just tried to make these, and I am not sure what happened, but they cracked while they were baking, and they have no feet..I followed the directions, I am not sure what the heck is going on..Any suggestions would be great!! Thanks

  65. Emily April 30, 2011 at 16:58 #

    holy macaroons batman! those look perfect. and delicious. and…wow.

  66. Deeba May 1, 2011 at 10:02 #

    WOOT WOOT WOOT Mardi girl, I’m in love with the perfect feet and smooth shells, batch after batch. Looks like you’ve been blessed by the mac fairy and I am doing a happy jig! Love the wway you wrote the post and love the timings. Dare I try? Maybe…but need a KA first! Sigh…thank you for joining us at MacTweets. Thrilled to see your mac success! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

  67. Eliza Evans May 3, 2011 at 23:18 #

    Everything looks fab! Do you have a picture of how you pipe from the side? I’m having trouble picturing it.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 4, 2011 at 05:54 #

      Hi Eliza, I am actually going to work on a post with perhaps some video elements to show some of the technique better but you can see the piping here.

  68. LoloB May 4, 2011 at 02:49 #

    my meringue deflated when I added color and orange essence. what do I do now?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 4, 2011 at 05:53 #

      How much did you add? I find that powdered colour is always better and I go VERY easy on the flavoured essence/ oils. In fact, until I am 100% sure of the recipe, I don’t flavour the shells, just the filling…

      • LoloB May 4, 2011 at 16:25 #

        Mardi, thanks for the insight and I went out today to buy color paste (assuming that’s better than liquid, yes?).
        Can you re-inflate egg whites (do you need a miracle)?

        So, to prove to myself that I’m not completely lame and you don’t have to be French to conquer macarons, I tried again, this time with no color.
        3 trays later… tray one cracked & was a footless blob, tray two looked perfect complete with cute little feet but once cooled I realized were sticky and almost hollow, and tray 3 once again cracked. Same oven, same trays (160C/320F – 12 minutes plus a switch in between).
        Help! I had to make cupcakes just to make myself feel better.

        • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 6, 2011 at 17:11 #

          I always use powdered colour. I don’t know how to reinflate egg whites, you are trying to deflate them when you mix in the dry ingredients to the wet so not sure what you mean. Did you use two trays one on top of each other? Sounds like they were not cooked enough.

        • Greg June 18, 2011 at 00:53 #

          Yeah same deal with mine. Used about a capful of orange essence (oil based) and a few squirts of orange gel. They turned out fine when piped onto the tray but after baking, they were all cracked and had no feet.
          Everything else in the recipe was the exact same process I used last time (as used here and on Brave Tart) and they turned out fine. The last time I used red powder colour and no essence so I’m thinking it has to be one of either the gel colour or essence that made all of mine crack.

          • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 18, 2011 at 07:51 #

            Yes I find that when you use oils for flavour that it does mess with the consistency and I never have much success. I tend to flavour the filling more than the shell. I have been recently experimenting with other nuts for the shells which flavours them differently with varied success – will be blogging about that soon!

          • Greg June 18, 2011 at 07:54 #

            Well at least that puts my mind to rest! I am currently using AmeriColor gels for the food colour, have you tried gels before?
            I wanted to rule out the possibility that the cracked shells were because of the gel colouring.

            Whenever I have used powder they turn out fine, but I find gels are generally cheaper, and you have to use less so they are much better to use, providing they are not contributing to the cracked shells.

  69. HI Cookery May 4, 2011 at 13:20 #

    What an awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing your “secrets” to what works for you in your mac kitchen. After several food flops, I have to keep guessing with my macarons, too. You are brave–you experimented with liquid egg whites–and succeeded with some gorgeous vibrant macarons! Ha–you went on a macaron-making marathon. Everything, including your choc macs for Mactweets, turned out just perfectly.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 6, 2011 at 17:12 #

      Thanks so much! I *do* seem to have been on a roll but hopefully it was not just flash in the pan?

  70. Denise @ Creative Kitchen May 16, 2011 at 22:32 #

    Oh so glad that this was sent to me via Stumble Upon! I’m LIKING it now so I can have it bookmarked..and well, because I like it!! :)

    I LOVE macarons, but had not heard of them until last year when I saw them on food blog after food blog. Finally tried them from Whole Foods a few months ago. WOW!!! How could I have missed these when I was in Paris years ago? They are definitely worth the fuss. But since I hate paying $1.20 each for them, I knew I would eventually try to master them. Haven’t yet….

    But so glad I ran into your post first. Which flavor shell (or no flavor) do you recommend for a first timer. Which filling? I LOVE lemon flavored so what would you recommend. Plain macs with lemon filling? Would it be lemon curd?

    Thanks SO much!!

  71. Katrina May 16, 2011 at 23:31 #

    I have never made macarons, but love them and they are on my bucket list. What a great tutorial. Thanks! I hear they are so intimidating.

  72. Kathy - Panini Happy May 19, 2011 at 10:44 #

    This is terrific! I still haven’t ventured to make macarons but, wow, these look so perfect. Can’t pass up a fail-safe method like this!

  73. Jenny June 8, 2011 at 20:09 #

    These are so beautiful and perfect. I am also on a quest to achieve the perfect macs and to date no luck yet. Thank you for this post. I was ver surprised with the time taken beating the eggwhites.

  74. Jillian Cupcake June 13, 2011 at 14:28 #

    Fantastic! I found brave tart too and I’m planning on making these this week for a surprise birthday gift. If they work I’ll blog about them and definitely link back to both of you!

  75. Jenny at Baking Devils July 12, 2011 at 08:07 #

    These look wonderful. What a beautiful blog, thanks for sharing. I will give these a go soon.

  76. parisbreakfast July 15, 2011 at 10:41 #

    WOW WOW WOW!
    and Ho to have a stand mixer – beating by hand for 10 minutes
    Yikes still if that’s what it takes.
    Thanks for yr tips!!
    must look for yr exact recipe – proportions!!
    xCarolg

  77. parisbreakfast July 15, 2011 at 11:54 #

    I tried to cut & paste her recipe but it’s impossible :(
    quelle dommage
    Carolg

  78. Lisa July 17, 2011 at 23:17 #

    I made my first Rose Petal Macarons today.
    Thanks for the great instructions. The only thing I need to wo0rk on is consistent shape.

    Lisa

  79. Stephanie July 25, 2011 at 23:23 #

    Mardi,
    Your macarons are perfect! I’ve been attempting macarons for a few weeks ever since I got a kitchen aid stand mixer and I can’t seem to get it right. I’ve tried several recipes online and nothing has worked. I came across your page along with Stella’s and I love it the most since I am very impatient and can’t wait for the eggs to age and the shells to form. I tried Stella’s recipe twice and mine cracked in the oven about 5 mins into baking. I tried yours and as soon as I opened the oven to turn them they caved in. Mine do not have feet and deflate and are hollow. I can’t seem to figure it out and want to just give up! Could it be my gas oven? Or the humidity in southern California? I thought i might have undermined so I tried mixing more and still the same results. Also my chocolate ganache doesn’t look like yours at all. It’s runny even after a week in the fridge. And 5 mins after I pipe in onto the macaron it starts melting. Please help!

  80. Sumaiyyah July 26, 2011 at 12:23 #

    Is it possible to whip the egg whites using a handmixer? I have a stand-mixer but it’s not a very good one, I usually whip egg whites with my handmixer but not sure if it’ll work for macs…

  81. David @ Frenchie and the Yankee August 10, 2011 at 17:59 #

    Amazing! I love it. It’s the one thing I am afraid to try. You changed my mind. Woo hoo!!!

  82. Alice August 13, 2011 at 11:54 #

    Did you pour cold water under the parchment paper as you were shown in your cooking class? Is it necessary or does it just help to remove the macs from the parchment?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 13, 2011 at 12:30 #

      Yes I do. It stops the macs cooking and helps lift them off the parchment paper more easily.

  83. Justine September 29, 2011 at 04:59 #

    Such an inspiration Mardi! The colors are GORGEOUS and the fillings to match sound delicious! Thanks for posting this- it encouraged me to take the class at La Cuisine Paris to understand the process and now I think I’ll be able to try your version/Stellas version in the kitchen too =) I’ll let you know when that time comes!

  84. Seb October 6, 2011 at 01:58 #

    No resting to form a skin? I did a claas at Lenotre last month and we let them crouter for 45 min or so…

    I did a test without and the shell got lumpy, but I have to check my notes and pictures. I did about 10 batches during the lat week and only a couple came out good…

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 6, 2011 at 05:40 #

      I did a class at Lenôtre as well (link in the post above) but we did not let them rest to form a skin at all… I never have let mine rest, unless it was because I didn’t have room in the oven and the one time during classes this past summer that we did let them rest (Italian meringue method, so different), the macarons did not form very high feet and they were dull on top, not shiny…

  85. Seb October 6, 2011 at 09:57 #

    Interesting that the only time you let them rest was with the Italian method as with this method you are actually supposed to not let them rest according to a lot of IM recipes…

    I did notice the amount of egg white in your recipe is quite high. Maybe together with the fact you beat the merigue untill stiff and dry this gives stability.

    Anyway, tonight I will run another experiment, perhaps I will try your recipe, altough I want to limit recipe hopping.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 6, 2011 at 10:03 #

      Well the only reason we let them rest was because we didn’t have enough oven space. In my experimenting, I have found that beating the egg whites for longer than you think is right and the macaronnage are the two keys to macarons with keet and smooth tops. Good luck and please report back.

  86. Seb October 7, 2011 at 01:14 #

    Tried your recipe.

    The meringe came out way stiffer than is recommended in other recipes. I am pretty sure I underfolded as the batter did not spread out at all and the piping peaks remained. After baking, shells were uneven, too rounded and hollow, some where cracked… Pretty much the biggest disaster so far (10 batches and counting)!

    Not blaming your recipe, I am just too whimpy and prevent overfolding. After baking, the feet did not collapse as I have seen with other recipes, so it may be the high egg white content that provides stability. They also came off easy from the parchment and actually taste good, nice and chewy. I think I will try again tomorrow, and use half the recipe and foldma bit further.

    How many batches did it take yu to get consistent? I went through this when learning to make chocolates, which I now have down. Macarons seem to be more difficult.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 7, 2011 at 06:47 #

      Hi there.

      How many batches? Well it took me well over a year of making macarons once, twice, sometimes 3x month to get to the point where I understand them. If you do not fold the batter enough, they will crack and they will not work properly. Did you fold the batter 25 times and stop, take a look at it and then go stroke by stroke after that until the batter was falling off the spatula in ribbons? If not, you probably underfolded it, resulting in your less than perfect macarons (sounds like they tasted good though!). As I said before, the key is beating the egg whites then deflating them gently. With macarons it’s all about practice. Just a tip, when I am practising, I only ever use one egg white’s worth of ingredients otherwise it’s a waste if they don’t turn out. Less batter makes it easier to understand and feel how it is supposed to be when it’s ready. Keep on practising!

  87. Seb October 7, 2011 at 10:05 #

    Yes,

    I folded about 50 times in total, and the batter was flowing, but only slightly. Piping bumps remained, so my conclusion is it was undermixed. When you say deflate, you actually push the batter against the wall to push air bubbles out? I have seen this in some videos.

    I think I will switch to single egg quantities, as you said. The three sheets yesterday came out the same and are now just filling up the freezer.

    Will continue in the weekend!

  88. Seb October 9, 2011 at 01:12 #

    O.k.,

    So, I think I have it down now. I did 4 batches following your recipe divided by 3 (1 sheet per batch). The meringe Was always super stiff and dry and the end result seemed to be just dependent on tje viscosity of the final batter. I also tried putting them in the oven right away, and it works. Also fresh eggs or aged eggs (1 week!) did not make a difference.

    This is probably the best way of learning it as you can do many batches on a single day and get the immediate feedback on how the batter consistency influences the piping and the final result.

    I think the baking can still be optimized. I went up to 320F and 12-15 min, depending on the top wobble test. But perhaps the initial temp can even a bit higher to kick up the feet and then down for the second half. They also did this at Lenotre. I have to chwck notes.

    Anyway, I think I am stuck with this recipe and can confirm the myths from Bravetart.

    I saw a recipe which uses a bit of baking powder. Sounds like cheating, but maybe worth an experiment…

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 9, 2011 at 08:25 #

      Yay you Seb!

      A couple of comments. In this post, I call for 12 minutes at 320˚F, even though Stella calls for something different. That’s what works for me and my oven. All ovens will be different you just need to experiment.. Not sure what the “top wobble test” is though… Also during my class at Lenôtre, they did not use different temperatures baking temps – I believe it was around 320˚F also. Interesting how we seem to have had VERY different experiences baking macarons at Lenôtre – and I know others have too – I would have thought their recipes and methods would be fairly standard.

      In any case, I believe you have cracked the code for macarons. Find a recipe and make it work for you, in your oven, with your trays, in your climate. And practice, practice, practice. There’s a reason I spent many Euros going to 4 other macaron making classes this summer in Paris!!!

  89. Seb October 9, 2011 at 10:26 #

    The wobble test is where you test the readiness in the oven by touching the macaron top and try move it around. If. It it shifts easy, it needs a couple more minutes.

    Looking at the Lenotre recipe, it asks for 160C for 5 minutes, then 140C for 12-14 min. (320F, 285F resp.) I also looked back at the pictures and movies I recorded during class and now I see the instructor was definitely not pussyfooting the batter, as I initially did.

    I think that all the instructors (Stephan Durand in my case) have their own methods that work for them. Stephan said he is making macarons for 10 years…

    Anyway, it is 8:30 here, Sunday morning, so its time for a first batch so see that yesterday’s 4 successes in a row was not a fluke!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 9, 2011 at 10:48 #

      Interesting… Never heard of the wobble test! I never touch ‘em once they are in the oven!

      Yes, there is definitely no pussy-footing around with the batter as you say, a lot of people treat it too delicately and it is then underbeaten.

      I am interested that the Lenôtre instructors have different methods – just goes to show you that same oven, same everything and different method/ oven temp etc… and they still work out. Just goes to prove that there is no “one” right way. Just the right way FOR YOU.

  90. Seb October 10, 2011 at 10:18 #

    Well, I think I found another variable, the use of a silicone mat. I used that in earlier batches and then changed to parchment. When using a mat yesterday, the feet got very tiny, something I observed earlier. I think because my baking sheet is very thick, together with the isolating mat, the temperture is just too low to long at the bottom.

    Also I noticed that without any rest, some shells cracked. I now let them rest for 30 min and put them in the middle of the oven (not lower thirds as mentioned somewhere else) and on parchment. That gave me a perfect result. Also fresh eggs seem better than the pre-separated egg whites I bought last week.

    Anyway, I think I am not there yet, but almost…

  91. Andrew November 28, 2011 at 21:18 #

    Thank you for the detailed pictures for this recipe! When you only use one egg white to practice this recipe, do the same mixing times still apply (beat for 3 minutes at speed 4, for 3 minutes at speed 6, for 3 minutes at speed 8, and 1 minute at speed 10)? Or is this too much for one egg white? Also, what sort of strainer do you use to sift your almond flour and your powdered sugar? I have a fine-mesh strainer, and it always takes about 30 minutes to sift both once.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 28, 2011 at 21:20 #

      Everything is the same when you only use one egg white. Also, that sounds like way too fine a strainer for this mix – it does not need to be THAT fine. Takes me a few minutes to sift that amount of sugar and almonds….

      • Andrew December 25, 2011 at 21:27 #

        I just tried your pumpkin pie macarons recipe (omitting the pumpkin spice) since your recipe differs from Stella’s a bit. They turned out almost perfect. I was very surprised that you did not have to age the egg whites or dry out the shells. However, they were a bit too brown on the top, and the feet were very wide (they looked like a ring around the shell). Although they’re not perfect, I’m still ecstatic since this is the first time that this recipe worked this well for me. I was convinced that you had to age the egg whites for a few days and that you had to dry the shells since it seems that so many people preach it as “macaron dogma” from the “macaron gods.” How refreshing and enlightening it is to know that none of that has to be done to bake a good batch of macarons! (:

        Anyway, the feet were rising beautifully in the oven at the 6-minute mark in my conventional oven at 320 F, but after I rotated the pans, the feet seem to have started going haywire. Do you think there may be no need to rotate the pans at 6 minutes? I think I’ll try the recipe again. However, the plus side is that now that I’ve tried making macarons around 10 times so far, I’ve gotten a decent sense of macaronage. Anyway, this is probably more information than you need to know. I just wanted to express my gratitude for posting the recipe. Thanks! (:

        • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 1, 2012 at 14:55 #

          First of all, congrats on successful macarons! You’re on the way to perfection! Sounds like the oven runs a little hot if they were burned on top – did you use two trays to bake them on? Also, wide feet suggests slightly overmixed batter but that’s something you will get a handle on the more you make them.

          I always rotate the pans because my oven has hot spots – perhaps yours does not? It’s definitely a matter of trial and error – keep at it and I am sure you will figure out what’s right for you and your oven!

  92. Gibble December 7, 2011 at 00:55 #

    Hi there – great post and photos! Am going to attempt macarons this weekend. Can you share your recipe for the cream cheese filling?

    Thanks!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 7, 2011 at 05:48 #

      Hi there,

      It’s a pretty basic recipe:

      250g cream cheese, at room temperature
      125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
      ½ – ¾ cup icing sugar, sifted

      You can add in other flavourings like lemon zest or extracts (also colour) if you like too.

  93. Alexis December 12, 2011 at 18:50 #

    I DID IT!!! Thanks to you and Stella, my second shot turned out perfect! I was squealing as the little feet started to form in the oven.

    Thank you!!

  94. Dana December 18, 2011 at 18:21 #

    Do you have the recipes for the mint chocolate ganache and any other of the insides you used? They look so good!
    Thanks!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 19, 2011 at 06:43 #

      It’s just 3/4 lb semi-sweet chocolate that you pour 3/4 cup of heated heavy (35%) cream onto… Then stir to combine until smooth and refrigerate until it’s a Nutella-consistency. So simple. So good!

  95. Peggy January 1, 2012 at 14:51 #

    These look divine and for years I made macarons but alas have given it up since my I no longer have a Kitchen Aid mixer (I burn the motors up… lets just leave it at bread baker…) I currently own a Bosche mixer which I love but have not attempted macarons, simply merengue mushrooms. I only have 3 speeds, low-medium-high… Do you by any chance have any recommendations? Thanks!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 1, 2012 at 14:59 #

      I would definitely perhaps add a minute or so to the beating times I mention (so 4 minutes at low, 4 at medium and 4 on high and perhaps one more minute when you add the colour). It’s a matter of trial and error really but the important thing is that you have a big old ball of egg white meringue at the end that you will them deflate as you add the dry ingredients. Good luck!

  96. Bonnie January 2, 2012 at 23:26 #

    I also recently had success with Stella’s recipe, and now I can’t stop making them! Yours look lovely. Such a feeling of accomplishment, isn’t it?

  97. Bonnie January 2, 2012 at 23:28 #

    Oh – and I tried the method of piping from the side, but I ended up with a lot of oval macarons! Is there a trick?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 3, 2012 at 00:05 #

      The only thing I can tell you is to pipe INto the macaron. Leave the tip on the parchment and push the mixture into the mound to form a round.

  98. Diana January 23, 2012 at 18:38 #

    Hi Mardi

    I’ve been switching between Bravetart’s and Tartelette’s recipe also and I’ve noticed that Tartelette gives me more consistent results (no cracking, all with feet) but Bravetart’s gives me prettier results (feet not too high, nicer domes but some cookies with cracks or no feet). Have you noticed that as well? Also, where do you get your powdered food colouring from? I’ve tried William Sonoma and Michael’s but can only find gel at best.

    Thanks for all the great pics!

    Diana

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 23, 2012 at 22:14 #

      Hi Diana, I have not found that Tartelette’s recipe is more consistent though I have not tried it for a while. I will have to try it again – it’s pretty close to the one I used from Lenôtre as well and I haven’t done those in over a year. I only find cracking on macarons that are in the hotspots of my oven or in a “too hot” oven.

      I buy my colour powder from Golda’s Kitchen (www.goldaskitchen.com) and the Le Dolci online store will be carrying a select few colours from now on too (www.ledolci.com)

  99. Kaylee J. January 24, 2012 at 11:06 #

    Love your post and can’t wait to try the recipe this weekend! One question though, does it matter which rack of the oven the trays should be placed on? The bottom third, middle, or the top third? Also, do you bake more than one tray at a time? Thanks!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite January 24, 2012 at 11:10 #

      I generally only ever bake one tray at a time and bake in the middle of the oven. Hope that helps!

  100. HeoKhi January 24, 2012 at 21:45 #

    I’m so happy you had success with Brave Tart’s recipe. I am trying it tonight! I have been practicing with Tartlette’s recipe but I have the same problem everytime… hollow shells! They look perfect, cute feet & all but sadly the shells are empty inside. Boo-boo! I tested it at different oven temps & baking time but always the same. HOLLOW SHELLS! So I have been stalking, studying, absorbing Brave Tart’s recipe. Now I am doing the same to your blog post :) I will be back with pictures to update you on my results. Could you please share the recipe for the chocolate macaron with marshmallow filling? THANK YOU!

  101. Maria February 7, 2012 at 11:02 #

    Hi Mardi,

    The macarons look amazing! I’d love to try your recipe. I’m a newbie in macaron making and my first attempts look exactly like your first attempts :D I was wondering if using a hand mixer instead of standing one was the culprit. What’s your opinion on mixers? Thank you so much for your help.

  102. Ran February 11, 2012 at 06:15 #

    Oh snap, thank you! Before I found your blog, like you said, it felt wrong to have to beat the eggwhites for so long. I only beat the eggs for 6 minutes, and it still didn’t go into stiff peak. My friend and I felt totally discouraged by this point.

    We gave up and the macarons turned pretty flat (but had feet). :P

    It’s a relief to read that it took you about 11 minutes for the whites to become stiff. We’re going to try to make them again later this week following your awesome post. And hail to fluffy bunnies and rainbows that we don’t have to be so “delicate” when making these. Haha!

  103. maryati February 14, 2012 at 06:59 #

    i live in Geneva..been to macarons class once…its a lot a work! hehe! after reading ur blog..its really put a smile on my face and thinking that maybe i can try to make macarons one more time without pulling my hair off!thanks so much for the recipies.

  104. remi February 23, 2012 at 21:59 #

    Hi Mardi!! Thanks so much for your informative post! You’ve put a lot of work into your website! :D

    So I’ve done over 33 batches so far with FEW successes (as in filled-in macs) but as I’ve even tried to duplicate my successful trials, they just cannot be replicated! : (

    So I do 1/2 batches (1/2 what recipe calls for), end up with stiff meringue, folded carefully, but I STILL have hollow macs! I’ve varied TRUE temps (+/- 10 degrees, oven fluctuates…) from 300 – 325 and I almost always have to bake for 18+ mins. I’ve also varied the batter viscosity, level of placement in the oven, baking temp and time… I figured it was my macaronage, bake temp and time that is the issue but running out of variables to work with. Any thoughts?! THANKS!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 1, 2012 at 08:57 #

      If it makes you feel any better – every batch I make turns out differently – even on the same tray I will have ones that are perfect and ones that crack – mostly because of the oven temperature. I think if you overbeat them and over cook them they tend to be more hollow. Why don’t you try beating the egg whites a little less and beating the macaronnage a little less and see if that works for you?

  105. Trang February 24, 2012 at 20:20 #

    Hi there — I have been trying this method and I have had very varying results. There are some that come out with a perfect dome, others that are cracked. There are also some with feet and others without. I know you had said earlier that it may be an oven problem? Is using a gas oven a bad idea? I also live at a high altitude. Do you know if that may be a cause for the macarons not coming out correctly too? Thank you!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 1, 2012 at 08:55 #

      I definitely know that altitude affects them but since I don’t deal with it, I can’t help you out. Also, without seeing pictures, I am not really able to tell you where you went wrong. Cracked sounds like your oven is too hot?

  106. Kat March 25, 2012 at 22:47 #

    Hi,

    Based your recipe i have tried to beat egg whites 7-8 mins but my macaroons had less feet, flat top, the shell didnt rise. I used hand mixer, is it because of the mixer?
    The other batch i beated egg whites in 4 mins and had high feet. I cooked for 15 mins 180 C, 2 mins 120 C.
    Your macaroons look very thick and nice. How to make thick mixture ?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 25, 2012 at 22:59 #

      Well this recipe calls for beating in a stand mixer (substantially more powerful than a hand mixer) for 10 minutes so I imagine you would need to beat for more not less time than this recipe calls for with a less powerful mixer. Making macarons is all about practice, practice, practice and what works works YOU. I am not sure how beating egg whites for only 4 minutes would be enough to make successful macarons (I know that 4 minutes is not nearly enough when I make them) but if you had high feet, then clearly it works for you. My mixture is thick because I beat a lot of air into the egg whites then when adding in the dry ingredients, I beat the mixture until it achieves that nice thick consistency. Usually about 40-50 strokes. Hope this helps.

      • Kat March 25, 2012 at 23:48 #

        Thanks for fast reply i thought now almost midnigt in canada.
        I beated small white eggs ( i devide into 4 batch to avoid dissapointment of failure). maybe since only 38 gram white eggs 4 mins enough to for them to grow their feet.
        I will try again definetely. Thanks for your tips.

        • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 26, 2012 at 06:51 #

          I regularly make a “one egg white – 36g” batch to make about 10-15 macarons. Even though you have divided the ingredients in quarters, you still need to beat the egg whites longer than 4 minutes. 7-10 minutes would be optimal.

          • Kat March 26, 2012 at 22:49 #

            Allright will beat 7-10 minutes. Thank You!

  107. Charine March 26, 2012 at 00:00 #

    Hi Mardi,
    Do you know why my mixture become runny if i folded the meringue with almond and sugar ? I only folded 10 times. When i piped the mixture become too thin, but i waited for 2nd batch since my oven can only bake 1 tray, the 2nd mixture become thick, is it because i sitted before i piped the 2nd batch? so actually better sitting the batter in the piping bag before piping it into the parchment paper?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite March 26, 2012 at 06:53 #

      I don’t know – how long did you beat the egg whites for? If you beat them for less than 7-10 minutes I can imagine the mixture was runny. The idea is you beat a lot of air INTO the whites then beat it out as you fold in the dry ingredients. I never let the mix sit in the piping bag but I can imagine it might thicken up a little after a while.

  108. Deeps April 2, 2012 at 13:32 #

    Hi Mardi,
    You macarons look perfect!!! I am still a novice in the macaron world..but with 4 tries I have come to the point where my macarons look right but with hollow tops which crack sometimes..I was trying the method suggested by another blog and tonite I am going to try your method to first go stiff with the meringue then take the air out of it while mixing..I love the fact that I dont need to sit them after piping! Lets hope I get desired results tonite! Will post back!

  109. Alison April 3, 2012 at 10:32 #

    Thank you SO much for this post! I discovered Bravetart’s blog yesterday and ran right home to make a batch of macarons! For the first time, I made beautiful macarons with FEET! I was pondering if the pasteurised “container” egg whites would work for this, cause it sure would be easier! SO glad to hear you had success using them! I am about to have a macaron marathon making dozens of the little pastel beauties just in time for easter! LOVE IT!

  110. Michelle April 11, 2012 at 16:54 #

    OMG — perfection! Wish I had this early. I am coming to you for my second attempt.

  111. Lynn April 27, 2012 at 17:44 #

    My third attempt at macarons just came out of the oven. First time turned out OK but not great (can’t remember recipe source). Yesterday I made them using Brave Tart’s recipe/method. Egg whites did look over whipped but I pushed forward. In the end, mine didn’t rise and create the little skirt around the bottom edge. Not sure what I did wrong. Third attempt today was with another recipe where I didn’t whip the whites so much. They turned out so so. Based on your post, going back to Stella’s method and will keep trying!!! Goal = make macaroons as beautiful as yours ;-)

  112. Carrie June 9, 2012 at 19:55 #

    first failed attempt yesterday – but after reading this I might try again today with your instructions. Wish me luck!

  113. Mads June 21, 2012 at 22:35 #

    Hi! Your macs look perfect! I just wonder how one can keep so many macarons in a fridge. Honestly, I think that finding place in my fridge for storing the macarons is a real challenge! Unless you make a jam filling, most fillings contain cream & butter. How do you find the place to store your macarons? Kind regards, Mads from Denmark

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite June 23, 2012 at 07:24 #

      Mads, I only ever make about 10 (so 20 shells) at a time. Very rarely do I make a lot of them and when I do, I keep then in our very cool basement.

  114. Peju July 5, 2012 at 12:14 #

    Dear Mardie

    1st things 1st. I think you are absolute macaron genius! I’m aspiring to make macarons as gorgeous as yours.

    I discovered your macaron recipe out of frustration, I had tried so many times and failed, the biggest challenge was no having feet at all. After going through people’s comments, I have realized certain things I was doing wrong.

    1. I use liquid food colour.
    2. I don’t double my baking trays
    3. I wasn’t beating the whites enough.

    I have however wasted do much batter and macarons. I have just learned that its possible to use 1 egg white to save wastage. So when 1 egg white is used, do u use a quarter of all the other ingridents too? I particularly find them wayyyyy to sweet. Is there a way to compromise on the sugar and have great results? I don’t know how true it is, but I read somewhere that you can some salt to reduce the sweetness?, any credit to this?

    I’d love to try out this recipe again tonight? I hope it works out fine .

    Px

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) November 11, 2012 at 08:09 #

      Those are three key things that you have identified there. And of course if you use a quarter of the egg white quantity you need to 1/4 the rest of the ingredients. They ARE sweet. I make them small so they are not overwhelming.

  115. Sally-Jane July 10, 2012 at 04:36 #

    I want to make a macaron tower for my wedding but can’t afford to buy them all so was thinking of making them but a bit daunted by how often people say they go wrong. Thanks for this. I am going to try and see how I manage. AT least I have chickens to lay the eggs

  116. GISLAINE July 21, 2012 at 13:19 #

    Hello ….

    Congratulations, I’m so excited, I’ll try, I’ve done 30 times and I can not, but do not give up, today I found your blog by chance, and will come again, I know I can already see myself jumping up and down when it happens, hahaha.

    Thank you, then tell what happened (excuse the English, written by placing the text in translation, because I do not write very well yet, hahaha

    Gislaine

  117. Mimi August 1, 2012 at 16:10 #

    Hi, I love your blog and yesterday I tried your macarons recipe and it was awful the tops cracked and I didn’t get feet. i’ve been trying a lot of recipes and macarons just hate me hahaha

    please help me!

    P.S. sorry for the bad english

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 7, 2012 at 08:42 #

      It’s hard to help when I don’t have any more details. If the tops cracked I am guessing that the oven was too hot or that you overmixed your batter.

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) November 11, 2012 at 08:07 #

      It’s all about practice. Sounds like your oven was either too hot or that your batter was overmixed? Hard to tell with so few details.

  118. Christine August 2, 2012 at 06:39 #

    I tried making macarons once and it was a total flop. I never tried making them again ever since… Your post here has just tempted me to give it a try again, and I think I will!!

  119. Linda August 3, 2012 at 04:21 #

    I tryed to make THE macorons, but they didn’t develop feet and cracked on top. I did the 30 min. Drying although I could have skipped it you said. I put flauvoring in THE eggwhite after beating them stif, a tsp vanilla and a tsp strawberry, witch was an oil, so maybe that was à problem. Annoteer thing I have troubel with is opening the ovendoor. THE temperature drops that way and it is hard to keep it on an consistent temp. Mine looked horrible, notering like youres !! HELP

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite August 7, 2012 at 08:41 #

      I normally do not flavour the shells, especially with oil flavourings. The flavour usually comes from the fillings.

  120. inessa September 12, 2012 at 11:53 #

    Awesome!

  121. heather September 22, 2012 at 19:21 #

    thanks for the recipe! looks great and i just made mine today. i hope they come out alright!

    after baking:

    they are absolutely perfect!!!!!!!!! they have feet and a shiney crown and everything.
    these will be my go to recipe for french macarons.

  122. Lauren October 4, 2012 at 14:01 #

    which.reciepe did you use?

  123. Amy Ager October 5, 2012 at 10:50 #

    Thank you so much for this information. Could you post a picture of the batter falling off the spatula in ribbons? I am very visual and a picture would be very helpful. Thanks. Amy

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) October 6, 2012 at 09:15 #

      I don’t have a picture of that stage, unfortunately (seems like I have every other stage though). Basically it should fall smoothly off the spatula and re-incorporate back into the rest of the batter in under 20 seconds. Does that help?

  124. Ervenok November 2, 2012 at 17:05 #

    Just stumbled across your blog and this recipe which I want to try as soon as I can. Stella’s recipe was the first one I tried, and it produced perfect-looking macarons, but they were hollow inside. I tried several other recipes in the meantime, but none has worked consistently for me, so yours seems to address the only problem I had with a recipe that worked perfectly otherwise, so I’ll give it another chance :) My only question is about the mixer. Unfortunately, I don’t own a stand mixer, only a handheld. Do the times differ for beating with it?
    On the other note, I’ll try and look you up next time I’m in Toronto (which is usually every year in August – all of my and my husband’s families live there, we are the only odd ones out living in Germany)!

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) November 3, 2012 at 10:06 #

      Hi there, One of my projects is to work on a video showing what the egg whites look like at each stage so that if you are not using a KA, you can figure it out for whatever beater you are using.

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) November 11, 2012 at 08:06 #

      Yes the times vary for a hand help mixer as they are substantially less powerful than stand mixers. You’ll need to add a couple of minutes for sure (at least) to compensate for that lack of power.

  125. Kris November 5, 2012 at 17:24 #

    Thanks so much for the photos- found you through Bravetart, just got my first batch with this recipe in the oven, but tops have cracked, cementing my thought that I’ve overmixed the recipe. After I put first tray in the oven I found your revised recipe suggesting to rest the batch on the tray first, so am doing this for the next two trays – the overmixing might still be unsalvagable, but I’ll try. Either way, this recipe is much nicer than my previous one.
    Thanks again!

  126. LadyDi December 1, 2012 at 01:23 #

    I love your instructions and persistence and photos! Thank you! I am obsessed with these little delights and am still in a stage of very unpredictable results, my very best macarons were the first batch I attempted!

    Would you please detail what sort of pans you recommend, as I need to buy something else.
    I only use jelly roll pans for baking cookies, so that is what i have tried for the macarons. You mentioned having some sort of poor results using jelly roll pans.

    Thanks for any recommendation you can give.

  127. Alice December 7, 2012 at 01:34 #

    Where can I find the ingredient lists to all of this!?! =)

  128. First-Timer December 26, 2012 at 13:40 #

    Thanks for this awesome post. Later I will be trying macarons for MY first time. I have come across Stella’s recipe as well (that’s what I’m gonna use). As a first-timer, I was confused by what I was actually supposed to do. Thanks to your pics, I’m feeling a LOT more confident.

  129. esther landau February 7, 2013 at 16:20 #

    I followed exact recipe it looks nice but the feet is to flat and it surrounds the macarones instead of standing on it mines looks a little bit like a hat.please help me find my mistake
    thank you esther

    • Mardi Michels February 7, 2013 at 16:57 #

      Very difficult to tell you what went wrong without a picture. Please take a photo and email it to me (see “Contact me” page) and I can try to help more.

  130. Susan March 7, 2013 at 15:26 #

    Hey, Mardi. Thanks for all your tips. I’ve been having much success with your recipe. But I noticed; my chocolate shells last a lot longer than my plain shells. I’ve made and filled both kinds, and stored in the refrigerator. The macaron shells made with cocoa powder stay nice and shiny and chewy for a few days, where the plain almond shells — made without any cocoa coloring — seem to begin to “dissolve” after the same amount of time. Is it the little bit of fat in the cocoa powder that accounts for that? Just curious. Thanks!

  131. Lucy March 25, 2013 at 11:51 #

    What brand of food coloring do you use to get such bright vibrant shells?

  132. Kacie April 2, 2013 at 08:49 #

    Hi Mardi, I tried the recipe and the macarons looked perfect… but when I ate it, it was a little chewy and hard. I know my oven temperature is running high, so I baked it at 290C for 18 mins, on the 2nd rack from the top. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Mardi Michels April 2, 2013 at 08:51 #

      The macarons are supposed to be chewy on the inside. Did you wait 24 hours before filling them and then 24 hours before eating them? I find if they are a little overbaked that can help with texture issues.

      • Kacie April 2, 2013 at 08:57 #

        Ohhh, no I only waited 30 mins (couldn’t help myself!)… but I’ll taste them tonight to see if they’re any better.. Your blog is amazing! I don’t think I would have been able to do this without your pictured recipe… thank you :)

  133. Anni April 25, 2013 at 15:02 #

    Hi! I had to tell you that I made macarons for the first time today and used Stella’s recipe+ your instructions and they turned out surprisingly well for a first time effort :) They look lovely, slightly odd sizes and shapes (my piping skills added with using tiny trays and piping them too close to the edge of the tray) but all in all I’m really pleased with how they turned out. I wanted to thank you for putting up the step by step photos, they gave me confidence and really really helped. Most of my shells however ended up hollow (at least the ones I tried just to see what they were like and I assume the rest will be the same), so tomorrow I’m going to let them rest and see if that helps. They also browned a bit on the top, I’m guessing that is just because my oven was too hot? I made plain ones so they should have just been a nice off-white colour I think. The macarons are for a party I’m having on Saturday so even if the batch today ended up hollow, at least I know they will look pretty on a plate! I’d love any tips, but really I just wanted to say thank you for putting this tutorial up and helping me take the plunge in to macaron making!

  134. Sam June 9, 2013 at 09:27 #

    Absolutely amazing step by step guide that left with me with some of the best macaroons ever thank you so much as they will be much enjoyed by my family!

  135. Annie August 9, 2013 at 15:35 #

    Hi! I would absolutely LOVE to make these!!!!! But is there any way to use cup measurements??? Please help!!!

    • Mardi Michels August 10, 2013 at 10:30 #

      I always weigh my ingredients when baking macarons – it’s quite a precise science!

  136. Jenifer August 16, 2013 at 15:34 #

    Must you use powdered food colouring? Or could I use gel or just plain old liquid food colouring?

    • Mardi Michels August 16, 2013 at 15:37 #

      The regular liquid doesn’t give a vibrant enough colour unless you add a LOT and then you’re messing with your ingredient ratios. You can use gel but make sure it’s not oil based.

  137. Maria August 29, 2013 at 06:15 #

    After months with french method and many many fealure, your recipe it works!!
    Thank you so much!

  138. Martha September 3, 2013 at 05:33 #

    Hi I love your blog and I appreciate how hard working you have to be as I have my own blog ( http:/marthasblog212@blogspot.co.uk ) however when I made my macaroon using this recipe they all turned out badly burnt, and i followed all the rules exactly .Is this because you may be using American degrees. I think there might be a difference between American and British degrees. But thanks anyway. Xx

  139. Gracie September 23, 2013 at 18:49 #

    Hello, I l also use this method of cooking the macarons but they are hit and miss for me. I have always let them sit for hour or so till shell hardens so exicted to try your way. What dye do you use to get your colour so deep and gorgeous?
    Thank you in advance x

  140. James October 11, 2013 at 02:25 #

    Hi Mardi,

    Just want to say how much I appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into your articles on Macarons. I live in France – so you’d think it’d be easy for me to find loads of ressources on the little devils, but yours and Stella’s posts are by far my favourite ressources (the French queen of macarons is Mercotte, by the way, her blog is truly superb if you don’t know it: http://www.mercotte.fr/ ). Anyway, the question I wanted to ask you is about time (yes, another timing question!). You say in your article to whip the eggs for 3 mins speed 4; 3 mins speed 6; 3 mins speed 8; 1 min speen 10 – as indeed I’d read on Stella’s blog (I came here following a link she put up). However, in your videos and in your recipe for Basic macaron you’ve reduced the times from 3/3/3/1 to 2/2/2/1. Why is this?

    • Mardi Michels October 11, 2013 at 11:52 #

      I found the overbeating might be a cause of hollow macarons. It seems to help.

  141. James November 10, 2013 at 03:48 #

    I’ve made a few batches using your 2/2/2/1 method and it works for me every time! Now I have another question. I sometimes have to leave the batter for some time – I’ll have one batch in the oven, another waiting patiently – and still loads of batter. Is it OK to leave the batter in the piping bag for a while (an hour or so)? Last time I tried this my macs came out cracked – not sure if it’s because I left them too long or maybe it was something else. Trouble is I don’t want to buy yet more trays to be able to pipe them all out at once – my wife is already complaining that I’ve bought three! Besides, not sure it’s a good idea to leave macs to air for over an hour anyway. Any suggestions? Thanks:

  142. Nadine November 26, 2013 at 13:01 #

    If I can be successful in organic chemistry lab, AND not set anything on fire, do ya’ll think I can make macarons? I’m hoping to give it a go tonight.

    • Mardi Michels November 26, 2013 at 16:01 #

      I’d imagine that if you follow the recipe and are prepared to make a few batches before they are perfect (there’s a lot of technique to prefect!), you’ll be fine!

  143. Dafni December 6, 2013 at 20:52 #

    Thank you so much for sharing such a detailed technique!
    My macarons turned out awesome!

    (I initially tried with liquid egg whites and I couldn’t get them to fluff at all!)

    Thanks again and BRAVO on a beautiful site!

  144. bella February 8, 2014 at 15:20 #

    what do you do to make sure the chocolate ganache does not melt between the macaron ? When I buy them from a bakery, there solid and sturdy. When I make it, if I leave the macaron on the counter for ten mins, the ganache starts melting.

    • Mardi Michels February 8, 2014 at 16:27 #

      Not sure what ganache recipe you are using – do you have a link or can you tell me what’s in it (and the quantities)? When I make ganache, I have to put it in the fridge until it’s ready to be piped (like, nutella consistency or a little thicker). I store them in the fridge.

  145. anne corks March 25, 2014 at 05:58 #

    I followed a link to you from Pinterest & have read your blog with interest having recently decided to attempt Macarons. I have had a couple of attempts which needed improvement but now I’m inspired to try again for a friends birthday party. As I’m in the UK I need to search for powder food colouring (can anyone help) locally. Thanks you are an inspiration.

    • Mardi Michels March 25, 2014 at 06:53 #

      Hi Anne, The place I buy my powdered colours from is Golda’s Kitchen. and they ship anywhere in the world! (even to me, I don’t drive and I can’t get to their store on public transit)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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