While macarons are beautiful and rather impressive, they're definitely not the easiest things to make - but when they do work, it's an incredible feeling!
This is my tried and true recipe, with all my tips for macaron success (after a lot of trial and error!) I hope that this helps with your macaron endeavours.
Do note that macarons' behaviour can differ depending on the climate that you live in, so what works for me may not necessarily work for you. I encourage you to keep experimenting!
Recipe adapted from: David Lebovitz
180g icing sugar
75g almond meal
3 egg whites from large eggs
97g white sugar
1. Using a food processor, process the icing sugar and almond meal until combined and smooth. This step helps to break down the almond meal into smaller particles, which will result in a smoother macaron batter.
You can also use hazelnut meal, which provides a lovely flavour, however I find that my macarons don't usually work how I want them to when I use hazelnuts.
2. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form soft peaks. (Top tip - I often use spare egg yolks to whip up some lemon curd!)
3. Add the white sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating in between additions. Continue to beat until firm peaks form.
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in two batches. (If you are using food colouring to colour your macarons, now is the time to add it!) Ensure that all ingredients are combined, but do not overmix.
You don't need to be too gentle - the 'macaronnage' technique calls for the mixture to be smeared across the site of the bowl a bit with the spatula to decrease aeration. The macaron batter should be smooth with no streaks of egg whites.
5. Line baking trays with baking paper. I usually use a silicon mat and top it with baking paper to ensure that no oils from the silicon come in contact with the macarons.
6. Pipe the batter into small circles with a small round piping tip. I usually make my macarons around 4-5cm in diameter. Make sure to leave some space between macarons as they can spread. Rap the baking tray on your table a few times to flatten the macarons and remove any large air bubbles.
7. Preheat your oven to 185C (365F). While the oven's heating up, set the macarons aside to set a little - a skin will form on the top which will help your macaron to form a 'foot' when baked.
8. Bake the macarons for 10-15 minutes. I bake my macarons on the fan setting for around 5 minutes (the foot should form during this time), then turn the fan setting off and lower the temperature to 150C (300F).
If your oven element is on the bottom of the oven, don't put your macarons on the bottom rack as it will be too hot for them and they may crack. You can also put an empty baking tray on the bottom rack to help block the heat a bit.
9. Let the macarons rest on the tray until cool. They can be sticky if you try to pull them off the baking paper while hot.
10. Sandwich your macarons with your desired filling - I usually use buttercream or dark chocolate ganache. You can also make a dam of ganache or buttercream and put jam, caramel or another softer filling in the middle.
|A dam of dark chocolate ganache surrounds salted caramel in these macarons!|