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Baking

How to Make Perfect Macarons

September 10, 2015

When baking I find that some recipes just come out perfect every single time, other times there are total disasters. I work with a lot of vintage recipes and these always take a little trial and error to perfect. One baking challenge I recently tried my hand at was macarons. These are notoriously difficult to get right and I certainly had a few attempts that went completely wrong before I started to get them right.

How to Make Pink Macarons

While trying to perfect macarons I looked at lots of different recipes online and read lots of different advise some of which worked and some didn’t. I thought I’d share The recipe I used and the techniques I used to get them baked perfectly.

Macarons Vintage Frills

My Macaron Tips:

  • My first advise would be to measure everything by weight, including the egg whites. A lot of recipes tell you to use the whites of three eggs, but since they vary in size I’ve found weighing them out works perfectly.
  • Sieve your ingredients at least twice. Smooth macarons require perfectly smooth ingredients.
  • Add cream of tartar to your egg whites. This helps to stabilise the mixture and I’ve found it makes my macarons come out much more successfully.
  • Don’t over mix. When combining the ingredients I find that 30-35 turns is just enough.
  • Trace out your circle first, perfect macarons need to be exactly the same size and shape, marking out your circles on the reverse of your baking parchment really helps.
  • Use a very concentrated gel colouring. By doing this you are using such a minimal amount that it won’t affect the consistency of the mixture. I use Wilton’s gel colouring.
  • Tap that tray. Make sure you tap your baking tray nice and hard to get rid of any bubble sin the mixture or your macarons will crack.
  • Let them rest. Once piped and tapped I found that the macarons should sit for around 45 minutes before putting them into the oven. This ensures that they’ve formed a good shell on tops and will create a good-sized foot while baking.

Perfect Macarons

Ingredients:

For the macarons:

  • 100g Egg Whites (around 3 eggs)
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 110g Ground Almonds
  • Gel Food Colouring

For the filling:

  • Butter (I use Stork with Butter)
  • Icing Sugar
  • Gel Food Colouring

(As I’ve mentioned before I don’t use exact measurements for buttercream icing, I just add a little of the ingredients until I’m happy with the consistency)

Macarons

How to Make:

  • Trace your circles onto the back of a piece of baking paper and place on a baking tray.
  • Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds onto a piece of baking paper. Put to one side.
  • Put your egg white and cream of tartar into a bowl and begin to whist. I use my electric mixer to do this.
  • When the egg white looks foamy add the caster sugar and whisk for a few minutes until the mixture form stiff glossy peaks. I add my gel food colouring in the last minutes of whisking as I find it combines best at this stage.
  • Sieve the almond and icing sugar mixture in to the bowl and gently fold with a spatula about 30-35 times until fully incorporated. Don’t over mix!
  • Transfer the mixture into a piping bag.
  • Carefully pipe the mixture onto the baking paper using the traced circles as a guide.
  • Once they are all piped, tap the baking tray onto the worktop several times, rotating as you go.
  • Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C (285f)
  • Leave the macarons to sit for around 45 minutes until the tops have formed a shell.
  • Then place them into the oven for 10-20 until dry. They shouldn’t be at all sticky underneath and should come away from the paper easily.
  • Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Mix icing sugar, butter and gel colouring until they form a smooth thick consistency.
  • Fill a piping bag with the icing and pipe onto each half macaron before placing the other half on top. I find give the two halves a quick turn helps them to hold together better and evenly distribute the icing.
  • Put them into the fridge to set.

Pink Macarons

It is a very complicated recipe but I’m so happy with the results. I’ve made them in a couple of different colours and soon i’m hoping to attempt different flavours so I’ll let you know how I get on.

Macaron Recipe

If you have any Macaron tips please let me know in the  comments.

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  • Reply
    Jessica Cangiano
    September 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Hat doffingly awesome work, dear Catherine! Your macarons look gorgeous and your wonderful advice is cookbook worthy!!!

    ♥ Jessica

    • Reply
      vintagefrills
      September 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Thank you! I’d love to write a cookbook some day, so your comment makes me very happy 🙂

  • Reply
    Catherine
    September 23, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I’ve been baking my own macaron for years. It’s the “A La Cuisine” recipe that I got from David Liebovitz’ blog. Anyway, Lekue has a “macaron” kit. I spotted it on the clearance rack at Sur La Table. The silicone sheet that comes with the kit has the “circles” already marked. It’s fantastic. Although I have to say, I like piping the batter through my own pastry bag rather than the little squeezy thingy that somes with the Lekue kit.
    I never, ever bake them on a humid day but now that the cooler weather is here, I will be doing so soon. I’ve played around with different fillings and my favorite is my pistachio. Once you get the hang of it, the home baked macaron are so much better. Nice post. I enjoyed it!

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