First of all, it’s not a spelling error. Macaroons are the English cookies covered in shredded coconut and very often also with chocolate. Macarons are the French cookies that are super pretty and are made of meringue and ground almonds.
Now that I’ve made that clear, we can move on with life. Sorry for the drama… Anyway, the recipes I post up are solely for my entertainment and also as a backup for all my research into recipes and bookmarks, in case one day I lose them all, at least I know they’re still all on my blog! I say backup for all my research because prior to baking anything new, I would always always do some research on what I plan to make so I’m more likely to succeed. For macarons, I think I have done about a week’s worth of research altogether, including the times before my first attempt (failure, boo!!), my second attempt (failed again!), my third attempt (success!), my fourth attempt (success again!), my fifth attempt (success again) and my sixth attempt on this coming Monday (yay for long weekends!). So I think it’s safe to say that I do know a tiny bit about macarons.
Basic Macaron Recipe (Italian Meringue Method)
Recipe adapted from Montgomery Fest. This recipe yields plenty of macarons for my greedy sister and friends to scarf down so you can easily half this recipe if you want to.
- 300 grams almond meal/ground almonds
- 300 grams icing sugar
- 100 grams egg whites + 100 grams egg whites
- 300 grams caster sugar
- 100 grams water
- gel colouring (optional)
- Line as many baking trays that you have with baking paper (NOT greaseproof). I have 6 and always end up reusing the other trays once they’re out of the ovens so 8-10 baking trays are ideal but not necessary.
- Sift icing sugar and almond flour together into a big mixing bowl. Do not force big pieces of ground almonds through the sieve unless bumpy macaron shells are what you’re after…
- Clean your mixer bowl and whisk attachment by rubbing it with half a lemon or vinegar. Rub clean with a paper towel to get rid of any residual fats. You can use a stainless steel bowl and a hand mixer, but don’t use an aluminium or plastic bowl. Aluminium will turn your egg whites grey and a plastic bowl will make your egg whites slide down the sides and pool at the bottom of the bowl. Add 100 grams of egg whites into the bowl and get ready to start beating.
- Add your sugar and water into a heavy-bottomed pot and cook the sugar till it reaches Soft Ball stage. Just before it reaches soft ball stage, turn your mixer on to full speed to whip the egg whites till medium peaks form. Add cream of tartar if you have any, it will form a more stable foam. If you have a candy thermometer, your sugar syrup be ready when the thermometer reaches 118 C or 244 F. Otherwise, take a spoon and drop some of the syrup into a glass of cold water. It should form a soft ball.
- Take the pan off the heat and pour the hot syrup slowly into the mixing bowl while the mixer is still going. Whip till stiff glossy peaks form.
- Add the remaining 100 grams of egg whites into the almond mixture and mix to form a paste.
- Mix the meringue mixture in gradually in 3 stages, folding and “scratching” the surface of the mixture. Fold till the mixture falls from the spoon like flowing lava, not too stiff yet not too “flowy”. It should disappear into the batter within 15-20 seconds.
- Transfer into a large piping bag and pipe circles. I don’t have a specific measurement but there are plenty of macaron templates on google! Take your pick, the world is your oyster.
- Bang the baking trays on your counter top, rotating your pans after banging each side 3-4 times. This is to get rid of trapped air bubbled and encourages a smooth top and pretty feet.
- Let the macarons sit in a cool dry place for 30-50 minutes to dry and form skins. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 165 C.
- When macarons are dry to touch, place into oven one sheet at a time and immediately turn the temperature down to 150 C.
- Bake for 16 minutes. Do not open the oven doors while the shells are baking.
- Let cool for 15 minutes before attempting to remove them from the baking paper. Fill with any filling you want and let them sit in the fridge for a minimum of 3-4 hours.