Introduction: Classic French Macarons
In this instructable I will show you how to make French Macarons or a lot of times we call them Macaroons, although the Macaroon is really a different cookie all together that usually is made with coconut. This recipe for French Macaroons is easy to make once you get the hang of it. But don't be alarmed if it doesn't turn out perfectly the very first time, they take a little bit of practice, but if you follow the recipe and steps and tips you will be making Macarons or Macaroons in no time! If I can do it, you can do it. Let's get started!
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Follow the steps below or watch the video tutorial or do both!
Step 1: Ingredients/Tools
- 1 cup powdered sugar (icing, confectioners) (125g)
- 3/4 cup of fine almond flour (almond meal) (75g)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature) or 2 Aged Large Egg Whites (appox. 80g for just the egg whites)
- Food Gel or Paste (optional) 3 or 4 drops approximately
- 1/4 cup of fine granulated sugar (50g)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (3 ml)
Filling (Butter Cream):
- 1 cup powdered sugar (icing, confectioner's) (125g)
- 1/4 cup of softened butter (55g)
- 1 to 2 tsp. of milk (5 to 10 ml)
- 1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract (3 ml)
Step 2: Sift, Sift, and Whisk
First lets sift our Almond Flour and our Powdered sugar using a sifter. Use a large bowl to catch it all in. After which using a whisk, combine them together thoroughly. Make sure to leave out any left over large pieces of almond flour/meal. Just snack on them, they taste great. We want our flour mixture to be as fine as possible.
Step 3: Separate the Egg Whites
Now let's separate our room temperature eggs so we just have our egg whites remaining. To do this crack it open, and shuffle the yoke back and forth between shells, allowing the egg white to drip into a large bowl. Another method is to age the egg whites. To do this, separate the egg white, then place in a covered container and leave in the fridge for 24 hours, then set it out at room temperature for a few hours before using. Aged egg whites tend to be easier to whip, but I haven't had many issues with just using room temp eggs. Your choice. :)
Step 4: Soft Peaks
Now using some sort of a mixer on medium speed beat the eggs until you get soft peaks. Usually for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 5: Add Sugar
Now let's add our granulated sugar half at a time. So add half of it, turn the mixer on for 10 to 15 seconds, then add the other half. Then mix for about another minute. We should have what looks like a heavy whipping cream at this point.
Step 6: Color, Mix, Stiff Peaks
Now lets add in out vanilla extract, then our food gel. It is important to use a food gel or paste and not a normal food coloring dye. It helps with the whipping process to get the right consistency of the egg whites. Now turn the mixer on high until you get stiff peaks. About 2 more minutes. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down, and when you turn it back over your peaks should stay the same. that is how you know it is ready to go.
Step 7: Macaronage Phase
Now we have our macaronage phase, which is the process of folding in our dry ingredients with our Meringue. Add half of the dry ingredients, then using a rubber spatula, go around the sides of the bowl and then underneath, and then fold over, and repeat this about 20 times, before adding in the rest of the dry ingredients. The magical number of folds seems to be between 50 and 60. Be careful to not over mix. I actually do count my folds. You want a left over consistency to be like a really thick cake batter, some people say like molten lava, but I have never seen lava in person, so I don't really know how that looks, haha. The batter should be thick but fall off your spatula, watch the video to see how it looks.
Step 8: Fill It Up
Now we need to fill up a piping bag or a large plastic bag that we will use as a piping bag, and then use a round tip on the end.
Step 9: Pipe Out the Rounds
Now we take a couple of papers with round circles on them as our template or guide, and place on a baking sheet. Next cover that with parchment paper or you could use a special silicone macaron mat. Then start in the middle and pipe out some batter to almost fill the hole. Ideally you would hold your piping bag at 90 degrees, I am a little off with that in the pictures, but they still turned out great.
Step 10: Tap, Tap, Taparoo
Now we need to firmly tap the sheet on the counter or table several times, I tap it like three times, then turn a quarter turn, tap, etc. This gets all the extra air bubbles out of the batter, helping to create a better looking macaron shell. Now let the unbaked shells rest on the counter or table for 20 to 30 minutes.
Step 11: Skin, Remove, Bake
Now about 25 minutes into the resting period, let's preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. (148C). Then check the tops of the Macarons. When you touch it there should be a nice skin over the top. It won't be sticky at all. They are ready to go. Now bake them for 15 to 18 minutes. I would start with 15 minutes first. Everyone's oven is a bit different. You may need to use an oven thermometer and check to make sure you are getting the right temp to which your oven is set at. We don't want any brown color on the shells. They should wind up being almost the same color after baking as they were before baking.
Step 12: Feet, Cool, Remove, Cool
When they come out of the oven they will look like this. See the nice little "feet". They turned out nicely! Now let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes. Then pick them up and notice the nice smooth bottoms, then place on a cookie rack to further cool the rest of the way. If when you pick them up there is a bit of sticky batter left on the sheet, they were not baked long enough. try a few more minutes. Honestly the first few times you make these, I would bake in smaller batches until you get the right time for your oven, that way you don't over or under bake all of your cookies. :) But generally 15 to 18 minutes is perfect. In my oven 15 works, 18 is too long.
Step 13: Buttercream It Up
Now we need to make our buttercream frosting, add all of the ingredients into a small bowl and mix it all together really well with a hand mixer or stand mixer, or you could use a wire whisk.
Step 14: Pipe It On
Now we take that buttercream frosting and place in a piping bag or little zip lock bag and snip off the corner with some scissors. Then take one shell and turn it over, next add a nice dollop of frosting to it, then place another shell on top, pushing down lightly. They are done!!! Now you can eat them right away, but they taste better if you place them in an airtight container and let them rest in hour refrigerator for about 24 hours. They should last about 7 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Then set them out about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!
Step 15: Video Tutorial
Now check out those steps in action by watching the video tutorial!