Basic French Macarons
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
Makes 25-30 assembled 1.5 inch macarons.
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 to 3 drops gel food coloring
1/2 teaspoon desired extract flavoring (optional, may want a trial run without any flavoring if this is your first attempt)
Fillings of your choice
2. Prepare the egg whites by aging them – put them in a clean bowl and on the counter top for 24 hours. Do not put the lid on tightly. Just place the lid on but still allow some air to get to the eggs. A cheat (to save time) is to microwave the room temperature eggs on medium for 10 seconds.
3. In a food processor, grind confectioners’ sugar and almond flour to mix it up and make it a fine texture. Next sieve through a fine sieve (make sure you use a fine sieve). You may have 2-3 tablespoons of coarse almond flour that doesn’t pass through the sieve. It is okay to toss this.
4. Have the granulated sugar close to your working area. Put the egg whites in a stainless steel bowl. Start beating them at low/medium speed with your hand mixer or stand mixer. Once it gets a bit frothy, add the cream of tartar then start beating on high. Once it starts to get bubbly start adding the granulated sugar slowly.Continue beating and add the remaining sugar over the next minute or two and beat till you have meringue with stiff peaks.
5. Using a spatula, fold in the food coloring. Do not whisk anything from this stage on. Handle the meringue with care.
6. Next fold in the almond flour and confectioners sugar mixture. Fold it in 4 to 5 additions. Fold in your flavor extract. Be careful not to over handle this mixture. Carefully continue combining by folding, always sliding the spatula to the bottom of the bowl and back up to make sure no pockets of dry ingredients remain.
8. Pipe the macaroon mixture on the baking sheets. Hit tray on the counter for a few times to let out bubbles. Then let them rest for at least 20-40 mins, could be longer if humidity is high.
9. Test if the macarons are ready to bake – lightly touching the macaroon mixture, a light coating should have developed and it should not stick to your finger.
10. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
11. Bake for about 14 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake only one tray of macaroon at a time. The macaroons are ready when they lift off the parchment paper easily.
11. Let them cool on the sheet for 5-10 minutes then transfer the parchment paper and macaroons to a cooling rack.
12. Add your filling and assemble after they have cooled to room temperature. It is best to pipe your filling with 1/4 inch round tip, making whirls to fill the under-surface of a macaron and sandwiching with another one of comparable size.
On step #4 - you don't want to under beat but you also don't want to over beat them! On step #6 - I know I am done folding if when I raise my spatula the ribbons, that form from the trickles, flatten in about 8 -10 seconds.
Macarons can be challenging to make and there are so many versions of instructions out there. My recipe is a product of a lot of reading and troubleshooting which finally led me to this method that works great! Please share your stories and pictures if it worked for you. Thanks