Top Tips for making Macarons

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

CHOCOLATE MACARONS WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE FILLING

If you’re a chocolate addict (as am I…), then you are definitely going to want to make these! They are NO joke…chocolate in the shell, chocolate in the filling and chocolate on top! Why not?? It’s not like you’re going to eat ALL of them or bake them every week…!! Just trust me, they’re too good not to try! They’re great for all occasions too as they’ll be a hit with anyone & everyone!!

PREPARATION TIME: 1 HOURRESTING TIME: 3-24 HOURSBAKING TIME: 25 MINUTESMAKES 40 MACARONS

INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE MACARONS SHELLS:
    • 200g Powdered Sugar
    • 110g Almond Flour/Ground Almonds
    • 95g / 3 Egg Whites
    • 30g Sugar
    • 2 teaspoons Cocoa Powder
  • FOR THE GANACHE FILLING:
    • 90ml Fresh Cream
    • 120g Milk Chocolate

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE MACARONS

Prepare your baking trays by lining them with baking paper or a silicone mat and prepare your piping bag, fitted with a small round tip.

Sift the powdered sugar and almond flour together and sift it one more time to get rid of any big pieces of almonds or almond skins that are left behind. Add the cocoa powder and mix together with a whisk. Set aside and get started on the french meringue.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the egg whites and start whisking them on medium speed. Once they reach ‘soft peak’ stage, gradually add the sugar a little at a time while continuing to whisk. The meringue will start to become glossy and thicker. Your meringue is ready once it reaches stiff peaks.

Add half of the meringue mixture into the dry ingredients and mix them until all combined. Add the remaining meringue and fold together, while also pressing the batter against the sides of the bowl. If you want to see how I achieve this mixing method, then watch my French Macaron tutorial here.

Pour the macaron batter into the piping bag and pipe your macaron shells evenly onto your baking trays. Tap them onto a flat surface to release any air bubbles and pop them with a toothpick or skewer.

Set your macarons aside to dry. This takes about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on where you live and what the weather is on the day you are baking these.

You can preheat your oven to 160Β°C/320Β°F.

Once you can slide your finger over the shells and they are dry and no better sticks to your finger, they are ready to be baked. Bake your macarons for 12-15 minutes. The time will vary depending on your oven, but for me the sweet spot was 14 minutes. You will know if they are done, when they release easily from the paper or mat.

Immediately remove the shells from the baking tray to stop them from cooking further and allow them to cool completely before adding the filling. The shells will be hard at this stage and this is normal as there is no moisture in the shells at this point. That is why they need a filling and are best eaten after a day so that they can have time to absorb the moisture from the filling and soften the inside of the shell, while leaving a crispy outer shell. MMMMMM……… I promise you that it’s worth leaving them for at least a few hours before eating them.

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

There are two ways to make a ganache and one is by heating up the cream in the microwave and pouring it over the chocolate after it has been finely chopped up and mix until all the chocolate pieces have melted. The other option is over a pot on the stove with a little water. You can add the chocolate and cream to a bowl that will fit on top/inside of your pot, but make sure not to let it touch the water, as it can burn the chocolate. Mix, mix, mix until the cream & chocolate have combined.

Place your ganache in the fridge to chill and stir every now and then to check on the consistency. Once it has cooled completely, but is not too thick, pour the ganache into a piping bag and you can pipe it onto your macaron shells.

The best time to make the ganache would be while your macaron shells are drying, before baking them. This way, they should all be ready at the same time!!