How to Make Macarons Perfect Each Time
Macarons are a totally delicious French confection. They are a meringue-based treat and are made with egg whites, sugar, almond meal, icing sugar, and food coloring. They come in an array of wonderful colors (from pretty pastels to bursts of bright color) and are the perfect confection to serve at parties and events. Macarons have been around since the 1500s and originated in Italy. They were brought to France by a French queen in 1533 and gained momentum in the 1700s when two Nuns, who were later dubbed the ‘macaron sisters’ sold macaron inspired cookies in order to pay their rent. They have thus stood the test of time and their delicious flavor and delightful appearance have been enjoyed for centuries.
While they are of a similar family to the ‘macaroon’, they are not to be confused. The macaroon is a coconut-based treat and thus differs slightly. So, let’s have a look at some of our top tips for making macarons and the key ingredients that you will need to embark upon this venture.
A Basic Macaron Recipe For 30 Tasty Treats
Ingredients for Macarons
- 210 grams of sugar (powdered sugar is best)
- 95 grams of ground almond flour (1 x cup)
- 3 egg whites
- 50 grams of granulated sugar
- 2 drops of your gel food coloring of choice
- Half a teaspoon of vanilla essence or extract
- A teaspoon of salt (divided into 2 halves)
- 1 x piping bag with a 1 cm nozzle
Ingredients for the Butter Cream
- 230 grams of unsalted butter (1 cup)
- 360 grams powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons of double-thick cream
Preparing Your Macarons
- First thing is first, pre-heat the oven to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a food processor or a mixing bowl combine the almond flour, powdered sugar, and half of your teaspoon of salt. The mix should be really fine and you should sift it through a sieve to ensure that all lumps and bumps are out of the flour before you begin making your macarons.
- In a different bowl, mix your 3 egg whites, half a teaspoon of salt with a hand mixer. The egg whites should begin to rise into soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar into the mix and once it has fully mixed, stiffer peaks should form. As a rule of thumb, turn your bowl upside down when this happens. You will know they are ready when the mixture doesn’t slide out the bowl. Then add your vanilla extract and your food coloring and beat until they are fully mixed in.
- Gently stir your almond and sugar mix into the mixing bowl with the egg whites. It will become softer, but this is completely normal!
- Once you have created your mix, you will need to fill your piping bag with your mixture. A 1 cm nozzle is best for the task, and like all culinary skills, the more your practice, the better you will get. You will want to use your pipe to create small blobs on a baking sheet. As the mixture settles it will expand a little, so don’t be afraid with a less is more approach. Let them settle for about 20 minutes. When you check on them again, they might boast that famous shiny macaron look. This is normal.
- Once you have left them for 20 minutes, pop them in your already heated oven for 7 minutes. After the 7 minutes is up, open the oven door to get rid of any moist air, and then bake for another 7 minutes. When your macarons are properly cooked, they will feel firm and they will begin to rise.
- Allow them to cool for a further 20 minutes and only remove them when they have properly cooled down.
For the Delicious Buttercream Macaron Filling Mix
- Mix the butter in a big bowl until it is super fluffy and light (this should take about a minute)
- Sift in your powdered sugar (with a sieve) and beat until fully mixed
- Add in the cream slowly (a tablespoon or so at a time) and mix all together
Putting the Macarons and the Mixture Together
Once you’ve baked your macarons and created your delicious buttery filling, it’s time to let the magic happen and add the two components together.
- Add a blob of the tasty buttercream mix to the middle of one of your macaron shells and then simply cover it with another macron. It should basically look like a macaron sandwich.
- Once you’ve done this with all your macaron shells, you will want to pop them in an airtight Tupperware and allow them to settle for about 24 hours. Once this is completed you can enjoy your macarons and impress all of your friends!
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They are truly a delicious treat and will add an air of sophistication and fun to any dinner party or event. Since they have been loved and enjoyed since the 1500’s, they have truly stood the test of time and are bound to delight anyone who tries them. You can play around with different colors to suit any occasion. Red or green macarons make a fantastic pick for the Christmas season, and black or orange ones make for a spooky Halloween treat. Once you’ve experimented with these delicious gems a few times, you are sure to be a macaron making pro!