Posted in Everyday, Recipes

Making Macarons – Tips and Tricks

As promised, here is my macaron tutorial, with 10 tips on making macarons a little easier. I’ll be guiding you through some of the tips and tricks to getting your macarons made right. Macarons are finicky, but once you figure out the techniques, they get a lot easier, and with some practice, you’ll be able to make beautiful macarons!

I’m certainly no expert on the matter, and I’m still learning myself, but even with the finesse involved in these delicate goodies, they’re a lot of fun to make, even if you make a few mistakes here and there. As long as they taste good, right! And these guys, oh they tasted oh so very good!

I made four different kinds of maracons: chocolate, Baileys, raspberry, and caramel.

Here’s what you need (base cookie):

  • 100g egg whites
  • 205g icing sugar
  • 125g almond powder
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • (to make chocolate, include 10g cocoa powder)
  • Pinch of salt

Here’s what you do:

  • In a food processor, mix together icing sugar, almond powder, (and cocoa powder). Then pour those into a sifter and sift into a medium-sized bowl
    • Tip 1: Make sure to sift ingredients fully; it will not bake properly if they are not blended completely together
  • In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, mix egg whites and salt until foamy (meringue); when the whisk starts to leave behind marks (before it’s gone foamy), add in sugar, and food colouring if you wish to colour the cookie; continue whisking until semi-stiff peaks are formed
    • Tip 2: Prepare your egg whites at least two days in advance (can be up to two weeks in advance); leave them in the fridge, then take them out at least 2 hours before you start so they’re at room temperature
    • Tip 3: Never add liquid to your egg mixture, as this will destroy the meringue; if you’re adding colour, use gel or powdered food colouring
20160504_162117
Picture of what it will look like when meringue is ready (no colour added to this batch): stiff peaks on beater, rather than dripping off
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients to the meringue
  • Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the meringue until thoroughly mixed; do not overmix
    • Tip 4: Be very careful with this step and take your time; when folding, never push down; scrape the spatula along the bowl, lifting up the mixture, then simply turn your spatula face down and let the mixture drop; continue until thoroughly mixed
    • Tip 5: There are two ways to tell if you’ve mixed the right amount: 1- run the spatula through the mixture; if the line the spatula leaves behind disappears within ten seconds, your mixture is ready, otherwise keep going; 2- hold the spatula up and let the mixture fall back in the bowl; if it comes down in a steady flow, it’s ready, if it comes down in chunks, you need to mix more
20160504_151400
This shows the mixture (a coloured batch this time) running smoothly down from the spatula, indicating it’s ready
  • Once mixture is ready, put it into a piping bag; on a tray that’s covered in parchment paper, pipe circles, about 1.5 inches in diameter
    • Tip 6: If you’re unsure about how big to make them or how far apart from one another they need to be so they don’t combine together, use a macaron template, like the one found here, and slide it under the parchment paper to use as a placement guide (don’t forget to remove it before putting the tray in the oven)
  • Let your piped-out macarons rest for 30 minutes (at least) before putting in the oven; this is crucial

These are my four batches of macarons, piped out and resting; the two on the left were the ones I added food colouring to, and as you can see, they were a little too liquidy, so they spread out a bit too much (although, ironically, they seemed to bake better – see, I’m still learning too)

  • Bake for 14-16 minutes at 325°F; this will depend on your oven; it may take a couple of tries to figure out how long your oven needs to properly bake the macarons
    • Tip 7: Place the rack you’re going to use in the center of your oven, to ensure that the biscuits will bake evenly on both top and bottom
  • Once the biscuits have cooled, figure out the pairs (try to find the ones closest in matching in shape and size to make pairs) and lay them next to each other, one face up and one face down
  • Fill a piping bag with the filling you want as the center of your macaron and pipe onto the biscuits that are facing up
    • Tip 8: The flavour of the macaron comes from the filling (not the biscuit), so you can make the filling whatever you want; I used chocolate ganache, Baileys-infused buttercream (recipe to come soon), Dulce de Leche caramel sauce, and raspberry jam
    • Tip 9: Fill only the center of the biscuit, leaving a circle around the outer edge untouched, so that the filling doesn’t squish out the sides when you sandwich the two biscuits together
20160409_161446
Laid out and chocolate ganache filling piped in, waiting to be put together
  • Place the two ends together, like an adorable mini hamburger
    • Tip 10: Push gently and handle only by the edges, as the center is delicate and can break if you push on it
  • Put the finished macarons in a sealed container and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours to allow the macarons to set
  • Enjoy the decadence!

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Recipe used and inspired from here.

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