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Making macarons – some video tutorials

Making macarons. It’s all about practice, sure sure you have heard me say that before. But before you get to practicing, there’s definitely something to be said for taking a class. You can own 15 books on making macarons (not that I would know anything about that, ahem) but unless you know what the mixture should look or feel like, it can be very frustrating.

Many of you are sadly not able to come to Toronto to take a macaron-making class with me, and even if you follow my nearly fail-proof French meringue macarons recipe, you might not be able to master macarons, so I decided to try to do something about that. For me there are three key stages to getting your macarons right: 1. Whipping the egg whites. 2. The “macaronnage” (folding the dry ingredients into the French meringue) and 3. Piping the macarons. So since I can’t show you all in person, I made three short videos to help understand what those stages should *look* like.

I already posted the first video last week on my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer giveaway. I’ve found my Kitchen Aid to be indispensable over the past few years as I have worked to perfect macarons. I’m all about knowing at what speed and for how long I am beating my egg whites and the ability to change that by a speed or a few seconds/ minutes is key. Having the hands-free mixer makes that easy. No, Kitchen Aid are not paying me to say that either.

Here’s how to whip egg whites to the right stage when making French meringue macarons:

The next key to making great French meringue macarons is the stage where you mix in the dry ingredients into the whipped egg whites/ sugar.  It’s a key step because if you under mix, you’ll get meringues and if you over mix, you’ll get sweet crackers.  Hopefully this will help explain the “scoop and press” idea where you need to deflate the mix you’ve just whipped up into a stiff meringue.

The last key step is really all about practice but it does tend to freak people out – the piping stage. I find this incredibly soothing and could pipe trays and trays of macarons every day.  Many find it difficult but if your batter is right (see above), your macs will be easy to pipe.  I pipe mine from the side, as I was taught at Lenôtre and I have good success with that. Hopefully this video is of some help in showing you how.

Et voilà. Hopefully these help you unravel a few of the mysteries surrounding macaron-making and might even persuade you to give it a go at home!

Check out my entire macaron recipe using French meringue.

And last but not least, congratulations to Michelle who won my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer giveaway.  She commented “My Kitchen Aid Mixer colour quiz result is “Crystal Blue!” Love it!” so Michelle, I will be in touch with you soon and we’ll see about that Crystal Blue Stand Mixer getting to you asap!

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61 Responses to Making macarons – some video tutorials

  1. Parsley Sage December 16, 2012 at 09:54 #

    Very cool! I’ve got my mad about macarons book but I’m still too chicken to try :) The tutorial will definitely help

  2. Rhonda December 16, 2012 at 10:05 #

    Would you believe that this past summer was the first time I ever had a macaron? Unfortunately my ranching town here doesn’t subscribe to such fancy cookies. I think with your tutorials I should try making them myself, who knows maybe I’ll start something new up here.

  3. Mr. Neil December 16, 2012 at 12:44 #

    One of these days Mr. Neil might make a duck proscuitto or foie gras maracon, just to freak everyone out… 😉

  4. Geoff December 16, 2012 at 15:57 #

    Apropos Mr Neil’s descriptors of oxymoronic dishes – it reminds me of a fish milkshake.
    To return to the topic of macarons – I believe Mardi has well and truly demonstrated a compulsive/obsessive disorder. But, they do look gorgeous.

  5. Colette @ JFF! December 18, 2012 at 12:11 #

    I
    bloody
    LOVE
    macarons!

  6. jolee December 20, 2012 at 09:29 #

    hi mardi,

    thanks for your videos, i have finally seen the glorious la pied on my macarons. however, some of them cracked. why is that happening? they are not hollow and have feet but it seems the top is alittle brittle!

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) December 20, 2012 at 10:40 #

      Sounds like maybe your oven is a little hot in that part? Most ovens have hot spots – feet and no hollows is a pretty great start! Also, maybe you didn’t rap the trays hard enough – could be an air bubble?

  7. Joyce December 26, 2012 at 13:03 #

    I actually have the same problem with my macs, hollow and cracked. Next batch was already not hollow, but still cracked on top. Any tips on cracked tops as well?

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) January 4, 2013 at 21:00 #

      Sounds like you might have under beaten the dry ingredients into the wet OR your oven runs a little hot OR you didn’t rap the trays hard enough.

  8. Caro December 28, 2012 at 00:06 #

    Hello,

    I have a convection oven, so I’ve been setting the temp lower by 25F from the conventional oven temp. Can I bake more than 1 tray at a time? If yes, should the time and/or temp be adjusted from the single tray baking?

    Thanks!

    • Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) January 4, 2013 at 20:59 #

      Depends a lot on the oven, you have to experiment and figure it out. Some convection are fine with more than one tray but some are not. Temp should stay the same.

  9. Lora January 4, 2013 at 10:57 #

    I’ve had this bookmarked for what seems like forever to read and what. A WONDERFUL toturial for macs. Bravo and Happy New Year!

  10. Lora January 4, 2013 at 10:59 #

    I mean “read and watch” and “tutorial”. Jeesh!

  11. Rebecca January 16, 2013 at 17:07 #

    Hi Mardi,

    Your videos are really helpful! I’ve been referencing your recipes and these videos while making macarons lately but I’ve been plagued by hollow shells!!! Normally my macarons have nice feet and shiny shells, but are hollow. My definition of hollow is that there’s a gap between the shell and the insides of the cookie, where the insides have collapsed. I’ve tried raising and lowering oven temperatures (between 275 and 310 F), but I’m starting to think I may be overmixing my batter. The batter normally reincorporates in around 10 seconds. I also rap the baking sheet 4-5 times and allow the shells to dry for at least 30 mins (usually not more than an hour or so). I might try undermixing the batter next time but it’s so frustrating! Do you have any tips or advice on how to get rid of these hollows?

    • Mardi Michels January 16, 2013 at 20:11 #

      I do find hollows are worse in the winter (when you are starting in a cold kitchen) but it does sound like your batter is overmixed. 10 seconds for the batter to reincorporate is pretty fast… How long are you baking them for? I find longer at a lower temp helps with hollows.

      • Rebecca January 16, 2013 at 20:29 #

        Thanks for such a quick response. I tried baking them today at both 270 and 280 F, it probably took them over 20 minutes to cook through. Any sooner than that the bottoms of my macs stuck to my silpat. I’ll try mixing the batter a little less next time and see how it goes.

        Also, I’m signed up for your baking class on February 9th. Looking forward to meeting you!

        • Rebecca January 16, 2013 at 20:32 #

          Also, I love how I don’t have to worry about when to add the sugar to my egg whites when whipping the meringue. Kudos to you and Brave Tart!

        • Mardi Michels January 16, 2013 at 20:33 #

          Try 300 for about 18 minutes. Hollows can also be because the insides are not cooked properly and they collapse. Or, just wait a couple of weeks for the class :) There really is no substitute for taking a hands-on class! Looking forward to meeting you!

  12. Angelica January 16, 2013 at 20:00 #

    I made macarons for the second time and i have been getting the same constant results! I dont know why my macarons turn out cracked and always hollow with no feet? Why is that? I tried experementing…. changing temperature, aging egg whites but its still the same!

    What do you reckon went wrong?

    Thank you so much for your post i love it!!!

    • Mardi Michels January 16, 2013 at 20:08 #

      It sounds to me like your batter might be overmixed and/ or your oven is too hot…

  13. Rani February 13, 2013 at 01:47 #

    Hey Mardi! Thank you so much for these video tutorials…they were a great help!! I suffer from OMD (Obsessive Macaron Disorder) ever since I had these yummylicious treats in Paris many years ago. Since then I’ve wanted to try them but was terrified after my first attempt turned out awful crunchy meringues!!! Well, a couple of friends and I decided to put our heads together and follow your tutorial (with a bottle of champagne)…and were successful in our second attempt (first one had cracks on the top and we realized that was because we didn’t mix the almond/sugar into the eggs well enough and piped the macaron before the mixture flowed like ‘lava’ (or maybe the second batch was better as we became more light-headed and were having more fun?!). Whatever the reason, thank you for helping us eliminate the fear of making macarons as we honestly thought it was rocket-science in the kitchen!!! Now to try with colors and flavors!! Cheers…

    • Mardi Michels February 14, 2013 at 06:15 #

      Champagne is the perfect match when making macarons! Seriously, so glad I could help you out! And you know, practice makes perfect!

      • Rani February 16, 2013 at 08:53 #

        Absolutely Mardi…now to practice and perfect these babies! Just a question though…do you prefer to use powder colors or paste colors? Does either affect the texture of the macarons like dry them out? For savory macarons, do you still use the sweet shells? Thanks once again!!!

        • Mardi Michels March 7, 2013 at 06:14 #

          I use powdered colour always. And I have never made savoury macarons but believe that the shells are still sweet – it’s the filling that is savoury.

  14. Ela March 7, 2013 at 00:16 #

    I was reading your instructions on the other page and compared the beating time of merigue and they don’t match and also the temperature and baking time. So which one should we follow, the first one or the video? Thank you. You’re blog is great!

    • Mardi Michels March 7, 2013 at 06:15 #

      If by “the other page” you mean the recipe, the egg white beating times are the exact same. Also, there is no baking time mentioned in this post so I am not quite sure what you are referring to?

  15. claudine April 5, 2013 at 02:54 #

    have just made my 5th batch of macarons, worst yet! the last 3 batches have had no feet. I have just watched your videos so will attempt more maybe tomorrow of I can summon up the macarenergy! typically the first batch I made were the best!

  16. FEO April 24, 2013 at 17:39 #

    Can’t wait to try making some!!!!!!! Thanks for the video very helpful! By the way where did you get your tips for you piping bag?

    • Mardi Michels April 25, 2013 at 16:51 #

      I buy them at a place called Golda’s Kitchen in Toronto but you can get them at any baking supply shop.

  17. Ann June 17, 2013 at 20:45 #

    Hi Mardi!

    I am so thankful that I found your blog!! Your tutorials have been so helpful!!

  18. Amanda @ ovenandapron.com June 30, 2013 at 14:18 #

    Wonderful videos! I’m a bit of a mac fiend myself, and recently made some that came out hollow (it was the recipe from Tartelette, and they looked beautiful aside from hollows) and your post on hollow macarons will be helpful when I make my next batch. I suspect I’m not mixing the macronage enough either, after watching your videos. I’m always worried to overmix but I think I’ve been undermixing as a result! Next time I hope I can produce pretty, non-hollow macs :) Thanks for the tips!

  19. Ellie September 18, 2013 at 17:10 #

    Honestly I cannot thank you enough for posting these videos! I had the opposite experience with macarons as you seemed to. My first batch was close to perfect (Shells were a bit hollow) and my last two batches were total flops and I still am unsure of what went wrong! However my new food processor is arriving tomorrow and I will definitely use these videos to help me!! Thanks!!!

  20. ben November 20, 2013 at 10:52 #

    is this good for 48 pieces or 24 double.

  21. Lyndsay // Coco Cake Land January 9, 2015 at 01:53 #

    mardi!! i’m devastatingly late to the macaron ball but no less obsessed! i love your blog and all of your helpful posts and these videos, too. totally going to try the “side-piping” method! i love how vigorously the macaron ingredients are beaten/whacked … and they turn out to be such pretty, delicate seeming things! thank you for all of your great posts! can’t wait to get (egg) crackin’ again tomorrow!

  22. Sophia February 28, 2015 at 17:05 #

    I have made several batches and although they taste fine they are hollow. I have followed your instructions to the second while mixing my egg whites and counted my strokes. I think I have over 100 shells chilling in the freezer that are hollow. Help! I am over working the chickens in Arizona with all my wasted eggs. Can you think of anything else? I moved my cooking from a convection oven to a gas oven for this last batch. Still hollow. They had more skirts than feet but some in the batch had feet so the batch was not consistent. Any thoughts would be very welcome.

    • Mardi Michels March 2, 2015 at 06:08 #

      I feel like overworking the batter definitely makes them more hollow. Recently I have been mixing it a few less strokes and having success with no hollows. As with anything, it’s all about practice! I have also switched to parchment exclusively instead of Silpat which helps.

    • Mardi Michels March 8, 2015 at 16:07 #

      I definitely think overworking the batter makes them hollow. Stop counting the strokes and go by “feel”.

      • Sophia March 8, 2015 at 17:27 #

        Thank you. I thought I had success with a batch. They were the perfect balance of chewy with a slight crunch on the outside and not hollow. A few days later I pulled one from the refrigerator and it was hard all the way through. I have not had this happen yet. Have you seen this? Thanks again for your time.

        • Mardi Michels March 8, 2015 at 17:44 #

          Were they filled and refrigerated. Hard when you first take them out of the fridge (especially if it’s filled with ganache). You need to let them warm to room temp. If they are not filled, you should keep them at room temp.

          • Sophia March 8, 2015 at 18:12 #

            Hi Mardi,

            Yes they were filled with ganache as well as not filled but both in the fridge. I will pull one out now and let it warm up to check it. Thanks!

  23. Erika April 16, 2015 at 20:49 #

    Hi Mardi!
    I need your help! I’ve made macarons like more than 10 times and I never get perfect macarons! I’m so mad! First I was getting hollow macarons but pretty on the outside! Then I came to your site and followed all your instructions and now they don’t have the feet and are cracked, I let them dry as you said! (They are not hollow anymore! Now they have an air pocket at the bottom!) I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! :( help me please! (Sorry for the bad English!)

    • Mardi Michels April 20, 2015 at 21:14 #

      Hi Erika,
      It took me many more than 10 times to get them where they are today! Please email me (mardi @ eatlivetravelwrite.com) with a photo of what you mean by “air pocket at bottom”. Cheers!

  24. Francis April 27, 2015 at 17:31 #

    Hi! Thanks for the recommendations…I can not really make blue blue blue macarons, the color always is like Tiffany blue…almost turquoise…you have any secret?

    • Mardi Michels April 27, 2015 at 20:13 #

      I buy my very blue colour from Golda’s Kitchen – it’s this brand.

      • Francis April 27, 2015 at 20:45 #

        Thank you so much! I will try! Xoxo

  25. leila July 17, 2015 at 14:01 #

    Thanks for your tutorial!
    I wanted to ask though – you mentioned on another page of this site that you do *not* let the macarons dry after piping and before baking. But in the last video above you said to let them rest for 30 minutes. Could you clear that up?
    Thanks!

    • Mardi Michels July 17, 2015 at 17:21 #

      Hi Leila, the macaron recipe was at one stage a work in progress, hence the different information (you will notice the earlier post is the one saying not to rest the batter and the updated recipes is linked on the bottom of that post). Now, if I have time I rest my macarons – it helps with forming the feet – although I do teach classes where I simply do not have time and they turn out fine!

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