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