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!