You will find some wonderful posts on macarons over at my friend Stella’s blog, The Brave Tart – Macaron Mythbusters and The 10 Commandments for making macarons. My recipe and method are adapted from Stella’s.
2. Digital scale. Yes, you need one. My recipe uses weight, not volume. Because a cup of almond flour is a different amount depending on who is measuring it. And because “1 egg white” is different depending on which country you are in. Buy a digital scale. You won’t look back.
8. I buy a wonderful array of freeze-dried fruits as well as fabulous ground almonds (also known as almond flour) from Nuts.com with pretty reasonable (and speedy!) shipping (note they ship to Canada on Tuesdays and I regularly will receive shipments by the end of a week).
Below, you will find the recipe I use in class – I have tried to break it down as much as I can but please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions. If you make these and have trouble, please snap a quick pic and send it to me – I can most likely tell from what they look like what you have done wrong. Please let me know if you tried them at home – I’d love to see what they look like!
A basic, virtually no-fail macaron recipe
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time14 minutes
Additional Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour4 minutes
4oz (115g) ground almonds (store bought and sifted before you weigh or home ground in a spice grinder and sifted before you weigh)
8oz (230g) icing sugar
5oz (144g) egg whites (separated, covered in plastic wrap and left at room temperature for a few hours)
2.5oz (72g) granulated sugar
(food colouring powder – about 2 teaspoons for this amount of macarons)
Make sure egg whites are at room temperature.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Prepare a 14” piping bag with a plain tip (I use Ateco 803), twist the bag at the tip end and place inside a glass to facilitate filling the bag.
Combine almond flour and powdered sugar (and freeze dried fruit powder or cocoa powder) in a food processor, pulsing about 10 times for a few seconds, until all ingredients thoroughly incorporated.
Sift dry ingredients twice using a fine sieve and pressing the mixture through with your hands and set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat the egg whites and sugar at a low speed (KitchenAid 4) for 2 minutes, medium speed (KitchenAid 6) for 2 minutes and a high speed (KitchenAid 8) for 2 minutes. The egg whites will be a large mass at this point; don’t worry!
Add the colouring powder and mix for one minute at the highest speed (KitchenAid 10).
Add the dry ingredients to the egg whites. You can do this all at once – don’t be shy!
9. Fold the mixture, at the same time pressing it against the sides of the bowl to deflate the mixture. Fold this mixture about 40 times (counting single strokes), stopping every couple of strokes after 25 to check the consistency. It should be lava-like, flowing in ribbons off the spatula.
Transfer the mixture to the piping bag, sealing the open end with a twist and holding firmly with the hand that will not be actively piping.
Pipe four tiny dots of mixture under the corners of the parchment paper to make sure it stays put.
Pipe your macarons, holding the piping tip at an angle to the baking sheet, about 3cm in diameter (they will spread during cooking), and quickly removing the tip when you have finished piping, making a shape like a comma. Rap the tray four times on each side hard on a countertop to remove any remaining air bubbles.
REST the tray of macaron shells for 30 minutes before baking. At this point you should pre-heat the oven to 300˚F.
Place the tray of macarons on an empty baking tray and bake for 14-18 minutes at 300˚F, turning the tray from back to front halfway through.
Remove from oven and let the tray sit for a few minutes.
Remove the parchment from the tray and place on a cooling rack and allow the macarons to cool completely. Remove from parchment paper.
Pair up like shells to facilitate the filling process.
Once completely cool, fill with ganache or filling of your choice.
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