If you’re thinking about making macarons, then you are in the right place, because these are my top tips for making great macarons every time. If you follow these tips, you won’t go wrong. The first time you make macarons will of course be a little stressful, but the reward of successfully making these delicate, sweet meringue shells is a great feeling!! And you will get hooked! (don’t say i didn’t warn you!!)
Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour at least 3 times because you want to get rid of any bigger lumps so that your macaron shells are as smooth as possible.
Use your eggs at room temperature. Egg whites seem to whip up better when they are not cold. You can separate your eggs when they’re cold and then leave them out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Before adding the egg whites to your mixing bowl, wipe the bowl and mixing attachments with some vinegar to make sure it is clean. This is because egg whites shouldn’t come into contact with anything oily otherwise they might not whip up like they should.
If you’re using the french meringue method to make your macarons, add either a teaspoon of vinegar, lemon juice or cream of tartar to make your meringue more stable.
When adding in sugar to meringue, add it slowly and mix well between each addition, this is because you don’t want to deflate all the air you are whipping in to the egg whites.
If you use the Italian Meringue method to make your macaron shells, then you need a thermometer. Invest in one and you will use it for a long time, but if you don’t have a thermometer it’s pretty difficult to get the sugar syrup right without one.
Invest in a digital scale! You can use this for all of your baking, not only macarons and today most recipes are in gram measurements, because it is more accurate as cup measurements can really vary from person to person.
If you want to add coloring to the meringue, it is best to use gel or powder food coloring and the best time to add it is once your meringue is at medium peaks. This is because liquid food coloring can change the consistency of the batter.
For both french and italian meringue method macarons, your meringue should be whipped to stiff peaks to give you the most stable meringue possible.
When mixing your meringue with the dry ingredients, you don’t have to be too careful. You want to actually press the batter onto the side of the bowl. This is called ”macaronage” and is the process of actually deflating the meringue slightly while mixing together. This is what will give you full macaron shells and not make them hollow. You can watch how I do this in my 2 macaron video tutorials below.
Italian Meringue Method
French Meringue Method
Be careful to not under mix or over mix your macaron batter. This takes practice and patience, but once you know what you are looking for, it gets easier every time you make macarons. You want the batter to be thick enough to not run all over the place, but thin enough to pipe into a circle and so that it settles into a neat little disc with no peaks or bumps on top.
And don’t forget to tap your trays once you have piped all your macarons. This releases any air bubbles and you can use a skewer or tooth pick to pop them.
The last tip is to let your macaron shells sit out at room temperature to form a dry skin before baking. Some people don’t do this, but I prefer it. This can take anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour. If it seems as if they are not drying, you can open your oven and put the fan on (without any temperature) so that the air from the oven helps them to for the skin on top. , They are ready for baking when you can run your finger along the tops and is completely dry and mat.
I really hope that you find these tips useful, because they make the process of baking macarons a whole lot easier! Macarons are always intimidating for beginners and yes they might not be amazing the first time (or they just might be – beginners luck!!), but I encourage anyone wanting to try them to just go for it! You have everything you need to give them a go – this list, my recipes and video tutorials to walk you through the process!
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram when you make your macarons – https://www.instagram.com/bakewithgen/?hl=en