UPDATED with a new FAQ at the end of the post, compiled from the questions in the comments sections here and on my other macaron posts.
Macarons are a quintessentially French pastry – beautiful, delicate, and a bit finicky – but with a few tips and the right technique, they are completely achievable for the home baker.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to macaron shells, which are made from a batter of ground almonds and powdered (confectioner’s) sugar folded into meringue. The first is to use a French meringue (a basic meringue where sugar is gradually beaten into egg whites) and the second is to use an Italian meringue (where a hot sugar syrup is drizzled into whipping egg whites). I am a fan of the Italian meringue method.
I tried and tried making macarons using the French meringue method, experimenting with different recipes, aged versus fresh egg whites, parchment versus silicone… failed. About 10 times. But being a stubborn old chook, I couldn’t admit defeat so I enrolled in a macaron class. To my surprise, the French pastry chef teaching the class presented us with a recipe using the Italian meringue method. Well, long story short, it worked and that’s the way I’ve made them ever since. I would like to clear up the misconception floating around the interwebbies that macarons made with the Italian meringue method aren’t “real French macarons” (yes, I have been told this on social media). In fact, neither method is more “French” than the other, they are just variations on a theme. Just like Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, I use this method because I find that it gives more consistent and reliable results.
The recipe is in weights, not volume, because macarons rely on specific ratios of almonds to powdered sugar to meringue, and volume measurements are much less accurate.
You don’t need to age the egg whites. I have successfully made macarons with whites straight from the shells. The only stipulation is that they should be at room temperature. Egg whites and meringues can be temperamental – if there is even a trace of oil, fat, or egg yolk in the bowl or on the beater, it can prevent the egg whites from whipping to a stiff peaks. For this reason, when separating your eggs, be very careful not to get any yolks in with the whites. One trick to ensure meringue success is to wipe the already-clean bowl and beater or whisk with a vinegar-moistened paper towel: this eliminates any grease, and the little bit of acid helps the egg whites turn into a meringue more readily.
Regarding almonds – you can use ground almonds with or without the skins on, but unless I’m making dark shells (e.g. cocoa), I prefer using clear ground almonds (no skins) for the look. If you can’t buy ground almonds locally, you can grind them yourself. Just don’t use an almond flour which is very fine and powdery – ground almonds are gritty when rubbed between your fingers. You will grind them further with the powdered sugar. Almonds can be substituted for other nuts or seeds, however their oil content can change the way the batter behaves, so it’s probably best to use almonds on your first try, and then play around once you’re confident in your macaron skills.
Some thoughts on food colouring – Whether you use it or not is entirely up to you, but if you do use it, what you use will determine how much you use and your own preference will determine when you add it. When adding food colouring or flavouring to macaron shells using the Italian meringue, I prefer to add it at the almond paste stage. This is mostly because I find it easier to see the difference in colour when I’m folding in the meringue. You can add it to the meringue, though, as you prefer. You should only use gel or powder – avoid liquid food colouring, as it can add too much moisture to the mix. Remember, though, that after you add colouring to one part, you will dilute the colour when combining the two parts. Also, if I’m making light coloured or pastel shade shells and I want to add vanilla, I prefer to use a small amount of clear concentrated extract, or substitute 10g of the powdered sugar for vanilla sugar. That way the dark extract doesn’t tint the batter at all. Flavourings such as vanilla bean seeds can also be added at these same stages.
On powdered sugar….. This seems to be a bone of contention, judging by some of the comments I get, so I’d like to clear something up. Some brands of powdered sugar contain corn starch or other anti-caking agents, which will absorb more moisture than pure powdered sugar. One of my lovely followers, Alex, actually did some research on the topic of powdered sugar and discovered that the amount of cornstarch added in different brands can vary from 3% to a whopping 10%. The addition of this moisture-absorbing anti-caking agent will definitely have an impact on the thickness of the almond – powdered sugar – egg white mixture. If you can’t easily get your hands on pure powdered sugar, or at least one on the low end of the added cornstarch scale, then you can make your own by whizzing granulated sugar in a food processor until it’s powdered.
Baking the macaron shells – I prefer lining the baking sheets with parchment paper, but many people prefer or have better results using a silicon mat. Try both and see what works best for you. And speaking of baking sheets, some bakers use a double or triple stack of baking sheets to help insulate the macaron shells as they bake. This might be a useful technique if your oven runs hot or heats unevenly. I splashed out on a couple of triple layer De Buyer sheets for baking success and they really were a good investment – they bake cookies and macarons, puff pastry, galettes and tarts and breads wonderfully. Some bakers prefer to bake with the oven fan on, but my oven has a hot spot in one corner when I use that so I avoid it for macarons. I’ve given the convection temperatures in the directions, though. As all ovens vary, hold moisture differently and can be quite a long way from what it says on the dial in regard to temperature, it’s important to experiment until you get comfortable baking macarons with your particular oven.
According to a “perfect macaron” article that I read somewhere, the ideal ratio of shell to filling is 2:1. That is, the filling should be about the same thickness as one shell. That’s pretty much the ratio I go with, and the easiest way to achieve that is to go by how much is in the piping bag. Fill the bag twice for piping the shells, so fill it once for piping the filling.
Note: This recipe is for almond shells using egg whites, but the same process applies if you’re using other nuts etc, or using aquafaba (chickpea canning liquid) for vegan shells. Pop “macarons” into the search box and you’ll find a wealth of recipes 🙂
My very own video of how to make macaron shells using the Italian meringue method…
Makes: 30 x 4cm / 1 1/2” filled macarons
Preparation: 20 minutes to prepare batter, at least 20 minutes to rest, 18-20 minutes to bake, at least 30 minutes to cool
Stand mixer or electric hand mixer and bowl
Piping bag with large round tip (#10 – #12) or plain coupler
2 large baking sheets
Parchment paper or silicon mats
Piping templates (optional)
Small heavy-based saucepan
Candy / instant read thermometer
(original recipe in grams)
140g / 4.9 oz ground almonds
140g / 4.9 oz powdered sugar
100g / 3.5 oz egg white (from approx. 3 eggs), room temperature, divided 50/50
100g / 3.5 oz granulated (white) sugar
40g / 1.4 oz (weight) water
Replace up to 20g / .7 oz of the powdered sugar with unsweetened cocoa powder or powdered freeze dried fruit
The seeds of 1 vanilla bean
A few drops of non-oil-based essence
A few drops of gel food colouring or a pinch of powder food colouring
Prepare 2 parchment (not wax paper) lined baking sheets. They need to be big enough to hold 30 x 4cm / 1 1/2” diameter shells each. (I have my piping guide under the baking paper here.)
Mix the ground almonds and powdered sugar (and cocoa powder, if using) together in a bowl, then grind in a food processor until you have an extra fine texture. You may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
Sift into a large bowl (I use a mesh strainer and push the mixture through with a spatula), putting any bigger pieces of almond back into the food processor to re-grind.
Add 50g / 1.75oz egg whites and mix thoroughly into the almond mixture. At this point, you can add food colouring or flavouring such as vanilla seeds, citrus zest, essense, if desired. (I added 1/2 tsp vanilla paste and 1/2 tsp red powder food colouring to this batch.) Set aside.
In another bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, scrupulously clean and free of any oil or egg yolk, beat the other 50g / 1.75oz egg whites to stiff peaks. the meringue should fill the whisk.
Meanwhile, put the granulated sugar and water into a small heavy-based saucepan and heat on medium-low to 118°C / 244°F, without stirring.
While whisking constantly on low speed (to avoid splashing hot syrup), slowly add the cooked sugar mixture to the beaten egg whites, pouring it down the inside edge of the bowl. You’ll get a bit of it hardening on the side of the bowl, but that’s okay – just leave it there.
Sorry, no photo here – I was alone in the kitchen, the sugar syrup is hot and I didn’t want to risk burning myself or dropping my camera!
Whisk at high speed until the mixture is cool, about 3 minutes. About 1 minute before the end, you can add food colouring, if not done at the almond paste stage. The mixture should increase in volume and become firm and shiny, and it should be thick and marshmallowy and you have a beak when you lift the whisk.
Scrape the meringue onto the almond mixture and incorporate with a rubber or silicone spatula. You do actually want to get a lot of the air out of the mixture – you do this by folding and squashing the mixture against the side of the bowl, rotating the bowl a quarter turn with each fold. Be sure to firmly scrape the bottom of the bowl with the spatula, so you don’t leave a layer of almond paste there.
Mix until you have a homogenous batter that runs from the spatula in a thick ribbon. The sequence of 10 images below was taken over a period of 5 seconds.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 7 – 9mm / #10 – #12 plain round tip (this is best done in two batches, so you don’t overfill the bag). Pipe 60 equally sized rounds, about 4cm / 1 1/2” in diameter, in staggered rows onto the prepared sheets. Hold the piping bag upright with the tip just above the sheet and pipe without pulling upwards or swirling in circles, so the batter comes out in a round blob around the tip, and give a little sideways flick at the end to break the stream.
Tap the baking sheet firmly on the bench several times to release air bubbles and obtain a smooth surface. If you have any tips sticking up, press them gently down with a damp fingertip.
Leave the tray to rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes until a slight skin forms. If you gently touch one, it should be only just tacky.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150°C / 300°F / Gas Mark 2. If you prefer to use convection (oven fan), preheat to 140°C / 285°F / Gas Mark 1.
Bake the macarons in the centre of the oven for 18 minutes (20 minutes if using cocoa or dried fruit powder in the shells), one sheet at a time, turning the sheet half-way.
To test if they are done, give the top of a shell a gentle nudge – it shouldn’t move away from the foot. if it does move, pop the sheet back into the oven for another minute or two, then test again.
Remove from oven and remove the parchment from the tray with the shells still on it and place on a cooling racks for at least 30 minutes, until completely cool, then remove macaron shells carefully from the parchment.
If not filling straight away, store in an airtight container at room temperature, separating layers with parchment. Otherwise, fill and store in an airtight container in the fridge to mature for at least 24 hours before eating.
Q: Can I reduce the sugar?
A: The sweetness usually comes from the filling – the shells are sweet, but not overly so, and success with the shells relies on the ratios, so I wouldn’t mess with that – but you could certainly use a less sweet filling. A tart curd or unsweetened jam can help with that balance.
Q: Can I use brown sugar?
A: I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think it would work, because brown sugar has a much higher moisture content.
Q: Can I use almond flour?
A: It shouldn’t be as fine as wheat flour – even though you grind it with the powdered sugar, it is still slightly gritty, not powdery. If the consistency is more like cornmeal than wheat flour, you’re good to go.
Q: Can I use other nuts or seeds?
A: You certainly can! I’ve had success with sesame seeds, hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts and coconut. Just be extra attentive to the batter, because different nuts and seeds will behave differently depending on moisture or oil content. Check them after the standard baking time, too – oilier nuts or seeds will usually require a little extra time in the oven.
Q: If I don’t have a food processor, can I use a blender?
A: As long as it grinds it fine enough, I don’t see why not. It should be fine enough to pass through a fine sieve.
Q: Why is my almond – powdered sugar – egg white mixture really thick?
A: It could be the consistency of the egg whites – they get more watery with age, so try ageing them in a bowl at room temperature for a few days. If you weigh out the whole 100g, then age them, try spooning out the wateriest 50g for the almond mixture and keeping any thicker, gloopier part for the meringue.
Otherwise, is your powdered sugar pure sugar, or is it icing mixture? Icing mixture often advertises itself as powdered sugar but can contain corn starch or other thickening agents, which will absorb more moisture than pure powdered sugar. One of my lovely followers, Alex, actually did some research on the topic of powdered sugar and discovered that the amount of cornstarch added in different brands can vary from 3% (so for this recipe, 4.2 g of starch or about 1/2 tsp) to a whopping 10% (14g or 5 1/4 tsp for this recipe). The higher end of the scale would definitely have an impact on the thickness of the almond – powdered sugar – egg white mixture.
If all else fails, try adding a spoonful of the meringue and working it in as a thinning agent before adding the rest.
Q: What type of food colouring do you recommend?
A: Every type and brand yields a different result. I get pretty intense results with Wilton gel colours, and in my experience powder colours are not nearly as strong so are best used for more subtle shades.
When adding the colour, you should go for a shade roughly twice as intense as you want for the final result, because you will dilute the colour when you mix the meringue into the almond mixture – I add the colour to the almond mixture and my rule of thumb is to add enough to get it to the colour I want, then add about as much again.
Bear in mind that if you add a lot of food colouring to get an intense shade, you will be making the batter wetter (if using gel) or stickier (if using powder) so you should increase the baking time by a minute or two.
Q: I don’t have a thermometer. What kind should I use? How can I check the syrup without one?
A: I use a digital candy thermometer, party because I find it easier to read and it beeps when it’s at the right temperature and partly because it’s quite a small quantity of syrup and I don’t want to lose lots of it by having it stuck all over a bulky traditional thermometer.
To make the syrup without a thermometer – 118°C (245°F) is what candy makers call Firm Ball stage. To test it without a thermometer: use a teaspoon to drop a little bit into to a glass of cold water and it should create a firm chewy ball. I suggest practicing a bit first, to get used to the different stages – there’s an explanation of the different stages with videos here: https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html
Q: Can I use a hand-held electric mixer when making the meringue?
A: Absolutely! It will take a bit longer to beat to stiff peaks, because hand mixers are usually slower, but it will be fine. Just be extra careful adding the hot syrup – an extra set of hands is a great help here.
Q: What consistency should the batter be?
A: Something like cake batter – it should run off the spatula, but thickly and slowly.
Q: Any tips for piping?
A: You could try using parchment (baking paper) on your baking sheet or silicon mat with a piping guide under it (I have one for download: https://pizzarossa.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/mac-template-left1.pdf and https://pizzarossa.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/mac-template-right1.pdf). Bear in mind that they’ll lose height and will spread a little when you bang the sheet on the bench to clear the bubbles.
Q: Why are my macarons lopsided?
A: I sometimes get that for the second batch in dry weather because they sat longer (so have a dryer skin) and the oven can be a bit too hot after the first batch is done. You could try reducing the time that they sit (it depends so much on climate – the skin should be slightly tacky), be sure not to preheat the oven for too long, and make sure it cools off a little between batches.
Q: Why do my shells crack? Why are my macarons hollow?
A: There are a few things that can cause cracking, so I’m afraid it’s going to be a case of trial and error.
1. If the batter is undermixed so there are large air bubbles, they won’t rise evenly, leading to cracks.
2. If the batter is overmixed it will mean thin, flat shells with cracks because there’s not enough mass inside to hold it.
3. They could be puffing up too quickly in the oven and don’t have enough structural integrity – a cooler oven might help. I recommend an oven thermometer to check, because most home ovens are out by at least several degrees. There are cheap ones around, but if you don’t want the expense maybe you could borrow one, or share the cost with a baker friend.
4. Not drying the shells sufficiently before they go into the oven – the top should be slightly tacky and dull.
5. Another thing I’ve found is the baking surface – as I’ve said, I had terrible results with silicon macaron mats, lots of cracking, but good multilayer metal baking sheets gave me great results – I guess it’s got to do with thermodynamics and heat transfer… but you could try using a couple of baking sheets stacked together.
Q: Where are my feet?
A: Macarons made using Italian meringue do have smaller feet than those made with French meringue, certainly less “ruffly”, and they do shrink on cooling.
If they are deflating completely it could be the baking temperature. If they cook too fast they won’t have the strength to stay up, so maybe try reducing the temperature by a few degrees and increasing the baking time by a couple of minutes.
Conversely, if the oven temperature is too low, the shells will spread instead of puffing up.
A common cause of no feet is due to humidity – you might need to dry them with the rangehood fan on.
Q: How can I test that they are baked sufficiently?
A: The best way to test them it to give the shell a little nudge above the foot – if the top moves away from the foot, they’re not done. There’s not really any other way to tell, because it’s the interior and underside that you’re testing, so you can’t just pick one up.
Q: My macs are stuck to the baking paper! Tips?
A: If I am baking in humid weather or if I use cocoa or freeze dried fruit powder in the shells this can and does happen (those ingredients are amazingly sticky). Don’t be tempted to overbake them, because nothing is worse than a burnt macaron. If the shells are cooked through (they don’t budge more than a millimetre on the foot when nudged gently) but they won’t come off the parchment easily, slide the parchment back onto the baking sheets and pop them back into the cooled oven, which is turned OFF, and run the fan for a few minutes. The circulating air will help dry out the bases a bit – just check them occasionally.
Q: Can I make macarons in a humid climate?
A: Sure! You’ll probably need to increase the drying time of the shells before baking. Use a dehumidifier if you have one, otherwise dry the shells on the stovetop with the rangehood running.
A pinch of cream of tartar in the meringue can help, too.
After baking, you’ll need to get them off the mat/parchment as soon as they’re cool, and get them straight into an airtight container and into the fridge until you fill them, then straight back into the fridge after filling.
And try to bake in the least humid part of the day.
A: Yup! https://pizzarossa.me/2015/05/17/vegan-macarons/
Q: Can I freeze the shells?
A: I’ve never tried freezing them, but I have read on plenty of sites that it’s possible. You can store the shells in an airtight container in the fridge (unfilled) for up to a week.
Good challenge! I am now a fan of the Italian Meringue method.
Thanks Rebecca! Glad to hear it! 🙂
These look so beautiful and amazing. Can I reduce the sugar?
The sweetness usually comes from the filling – the shells are sweet, but not overly so, and success with the shells relies on the ratios, so I wouldn’t mess with that – but you could certainly use a less sweet filling.
I have made this recipe 5 times and it also came out stiff, but I added another egg white to my batter until it resembled paste. They came out beautiful! ! I just love this recipe jode
That kind of scares me, because the ratios would be off! Did you weight the egg white? But if it works for you, who am I to say no?! LOL!
Beautiful pics (even the pic that’s “missing” when you were pouring the sugar syrup put a smile on my face 🙂 ) and terrific instructions! Do you have favorite color/flavor combinations that you use when pairing the shells and filling?
Thankyou so much! 😀 ooooh, such a hard question! I think my favourite would have to be vanilla and caramel, but anything with chocolate is wonderful, too!
Thank you so much for this challenge, Rachael! I had a blast making my macarons. Yours are so beautiful. Your website is lovely too. 🙂
Thanks so much Liz 😀
It was so fun to co-host with you Rachael, and I’m really proud of the challenge we put together. High five!
*high fives* 😀
Thanks for hosting the challenge Rachael! Next time I have to try the italien method 😉
It was an absolute pleasure, Misa! 🙂
one of the best challenges till date! thank you 🙂
Thank you so much, Prerrna xxxxx
Amazing job!! I remember doing these as a challenge a few years ago and I just completely failed. I’ve fallen off the daring bakers wagon, but I so need to jump back on! I’ve missed it! Lovely job on the macaron tutorial! I really need to try these again!
Thanks so much Jenni! 🙂 I think I’m still a little bit macaron-obsessive! LOL!
I have tried this twice, but the initial step of mixing the almond flour, powdered sugar, and egg whites leaves me baffled. I weighed everything out to the T, 140g each of the first two, and 50 g egg whites, mixed with a spatula, and it is barely coming together. It is very thick and dry, and nothing like the pictures you show. Any ideas why?
Hmmm… that’s a tricky one! Not something I’ve ever encountered… do you grind the almonds and sugar together first? It takes a bit of mixing to get it to come together sometimes, and the mixture can vary quite a bit in consistency depending on the egg whites, so it could be that yours are particularly thick. They get more watery with age, so maybe you could try aging them in a bowl at room temperature for a few days. If you weigh out the whole 100g, then age them, try spooning out the wateriest 50g for the almond mixture and keeping any thicker, gloopier part for the meringue.
Cindy, something has just occurred to me – is your powdered sugar pure sugar, or is it icing mixture? Icing mixture often advertises itself as powdered sugar but can contain corn starch or other thickening agents, which will absorb more moisture than pure powdered sugar. Just a thought!
Thank you! Have you successfully halfed the recipe ?
Hi Shelley, if you go by weight, it can definitely be halved 🙂
Ur recipe are superb more over i like your measurments of ingrdnts you provide thankx
Thanks Treza 🙂
should the batter be thin or pancake like ?
I’d say like a thick pancake batter – it should run off the spatula, but thickly and slowly.
Great recipe. I live at a high altitude, so required a lower temperature for the boiling sugar. 2 degrees less for every 1000 feet of altitude. Worked well.
That’s great to hear, Bill!
I’m having the same trouble as Cindy. The almond paste is more like a dough. I’ve followed this to the letter, and even climate controlled my house! Looks like I’ll have to toss this batch and return to french meringue method 😦
It’s so strange! It does vary a lot depending on the whites, and it can be quite thick if I replace, say, 20g of the sugar with cocoa, but nothing as thick as you are describing.
I’ve had exactly the same problem. The paste is very thick like marzipan and won’t stir into the meringue. I will try it with aged egg whites next time – Both times I tried it the eggs were very fresh. (Or would it be easier to add extra egg white, or a splash of water?)
It can be quite thick and pasty, but certainly not like marzipan! Aged, room temperature egg whites and just using the wateriest part should make it better; also ensuring that your powdered sugar isn’t icing mixture (which contains cornstarch or other thickening agents). I would not recommend adding anything else, though – try adding a spoonful of the meringue and working it in as a thinning agent before adding the rest.
Hello! Great informative post.
Once I’ve baked them for 20 minutes at 300-310F they are completely hollow and sticky/pooled at the bottom. I think the temperature is my issue.
Do you think I need to raise or lower the temperature?
I have wasted a lot of ingredients and am hesitant to have another go at this point.
It sounds to me like the interior hasn’t had a chance to set, so I’d guess the temperature is too low, but honestly I would recommend an oven thermometer. They are a kind of ridiculous thing to have to buy, because your oven should know what temperature it is, but it can tell you if your oven runs hot or cold, if it’s all the time or just in certain temperature ranges… and they are usually pretty cheap in the supermarket kitchenware aisle.
Thank you for the quick reply 🙂
I do use an oven thermometer as my oven uses a knob with numbers on it which is horribly unreliable.
I’ll test higher temperatures on my next batch. Thanks again!
Thank you for such a great recipe, i finally achieve non hollow macarons! However they were lopsided, any tips for this?
I’m so happy to hear they worked for you and you don’t have hollow shells! As for lopsidedness, I sometimes get that for the second batch in dry weather because they sat longer (so have a dryer skin) and the oven can be a bit too hot after the first batch is done. You could try reducing the time that they sit (it depends so much on climate – the skin should be slightly tacky), be sure not to preheat the oven for too long, and make sure it cools off a little between batches.
Thank you for the recipe! i tried the recipe out after many failed attempt with the French method and by golly I was able to make macaroons with feet and it was perfect to eat. it was still a little bit hollow for me but i tried to work with what I could! Love it! Successful Macarons finally!
I’m so happy that this method works for you! 🙂
Hiii! This article is really good and instructional! Thank you! By the way, can you recommend a small batch recipe to me, using the italian method? I want to use this but I wanna try my luck out on the first try in lesser quantity since almond powder here is sooooo expensive. Cheers!
Also, any tips if I wanna make them using a hand mixer as I don’t have a stand mixer? Thanks!! 🙂
You could certainly halve the recipe, as everything is by weight. You can grind your own almonds, if that’s cheaper – just be careful to get them really fine. You can also do the meringue with a hand mixer – I have used one when I made them at someone else’s home – it just takes longer to get the meringue to stiff peaks. 🙂
Wow, wonderful instructions. I started making macarons 1 and a half years ago but I often have trouble making them. I’ve always used the French Meringue method, but after reading lots of blogs and posts and after finding out that both Pierre Herme and Laduree use the Italian meringue method, I decided to look for a recipe using it, and I came accross your blog. The problem is I always get hollow macarons (except when I make chocolate ones), which makes me frustrated, especially after being in Paris last year and trying Pierre Herme’s macarons, which were so moisty and smooth, and looked exactly like yours. I hope it will work this time. Thanks again 😀
Thanks so much Regi – I hope they are a success for you! 🙂
Hi, I’ve tried this twice now – in my first batch one tray (baked in a fan oven) was perfect, smooth slightly shiny top, nice foot etc) but the second tray booked in a conventional oven had a lot of “crackers” which had peaked in the middle. I put that down to the oven….however, my next batch, all trays had lots of peaked, cracked macarons. Is that because I haven’t worked out sufficient air or because I’ve overworked the mixture? thanks
It sounds like you haven’t worked the batter enough – peaks when you pipe the shells means the batter is too thick, and if there are large air bubbles they won’t rise evenly, leading to cracks. It’s really frustrating (and expensive) because it’s such a trial and error process, but you’ll hit the sweet spot and get to know it. Best of luck!
Hi – thank you for such a quick response – I think I had over-beaten the Italian meringue. I made another batch last night, and achieved the perfect ribbon effect in the batter. I piped them and left them to stand for about 30 mins and when I returned they had held their shape. In the oven, lovely smooth tops and great feet – I was so excited that I slightly over-baked them. However, they are filled and the family are enjoying them. Thank you So much for this article.
I’m so pleased to hear about your success Kirsten! Wishing you many happy, delicious macaron moments in the future 🙂
I just recently started using the Italian method for macarons. Do you know why I get really tall and ruffled feet, not too pretty in my opinion? Also the top of the macaron shells collapsed after I removed the tray from the oven, any ideas what I did wrong? I didn’t remove the tray while baking so not sure what happened there.
Hi Lynn, sorry about the delay. Tall feet is a thing I’ve never encountered with Italian meringue macarons but the collapsing shells were the bane of my life when I started out. It could be that the batter is undermixed so you’re getting big air bubbles, or they could be puffing up too quickly in the oven and don’t have enough structural integrity- a cooler oven might help. Are you using a silicon mat or metal tray? You could also try using double stacked metal trays for slower release of heat underneath.
Hi I have made the french version before and have never managed to get feet! I try and try and always feetless! I am going to try this version and keep my fingers crossed My question is can I freeze the shells? I wanted to get them done and out of the way because I have to make about 200 of them for a wedding and I am also doing the cake. Trying to save sometime.
I’ve never tried freezing them, but I have read on plenty of sites that it’s possible. You can also store the shells in an airtight container in the fridge (unfilled) for up to a week.
Thank you! I have heard that too but I need to be sure, I do not want to have to make them again.
I made these and they turned out so perfect! my only note is that the first mixture (the one with the almonds and sugar) was gloppy and not at all what the pictures showed. however, when I mixed in the second mixture, it definitely helped and i got delicious little strawberry lemonade macrons. Thank you so much. this is a five star recipe!
Thanks Rachel – glad to hear the recipe worked so well for you! The consistency of the almond mixture is really variable, depending on the egg whites – if you use the thicker part of fresh whites it will be quite thick, but the watery part of older whites will be very thin. It all works out in the end, though 🙂
Can the coloring be added at the end? I have to make 6 different colors for a rainbow party, but only 3 of each so I definitely don’t want to make 6 batches for only 20 macarons!
It’s certainly worth a try – I’d recommend using gel coloring because it mixes in more quickly and evenly than powder – divide the batter as soon as the meringue has been incorporated but before it gets to piping stage, otherwise it will be overmixed after you stir in the color. The other option would be to make white shells and use colored luster dust or paint them with powder colors dissolved in vodka (vodka evaporates quickly without making the shells too wet), but the effect wouldn’t be as bold.
Thank you very much for the response! I have another question – can I pipe directly from a piping bag (i.e. without the tip)? I don’t have the right size tip, plus I would like to pipe the different colors directly after each other without having to wash the tip every time. I assume it will have an effect on the batter if it stands for too long before being piped?
It would depend on the size of the opening of the piping bag – it might be better to use plastic bags and cut the corner off, to get a smaller opening. I’d recommend mixing and bagging each colour straight away, then snip the corner off the bag when you are ready to pipe each one, because the batter will dry out if it sits in the bowl. Try to handle it as little as possible, though, to avoid it becoming overworked and runny.
Hi , this is a gret and amazing article, and i’m sure that i learned so much from it , but there is one problem that in my country its hard to find thememetor , can you help me , because the serup needs to be on 118 c and i dont know how to know if its ready on not!!!
Thank you so much
118°C (245°F) is what candy makers call Firm Ball stage. To test it without a thermometer: use a teaspoon to drop a little bit into to a glass of cold water and it should create a firm chewy ball. I suggest practicing a bit first, to get used to the different stages – there’s an explanation of the different stages with videos here: https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html
Thank you for the quick response, i will try this soon , thank you so much ❤️
I tried making macarons using the French method last year and they failed in every possible way.
I gave this recipe a shot. The first time I made them, I halved the recipe, not wanting to waste ingredients if they didn’t turn out. Well, I oveemixed the batter and they turned out flat. At least they had tiny feet though! I DO NOT recommend halving the recipe because you get less stable peaks in your meringue and it’s therefore very easy to overmix.
Yesterday, I decided to delve in headfirst and try again with the original quantities. They turned out PERFECT. Just like your photos. It took some adjusting of the oven between batches, but I was delighted by the end product. THANK YOU!
Nancy, thank you so much for your comment! I am so glad they worked for you, and the tip about (not) halving the recipe is great! 🙂
I made more macarons today, and ran into some trouble with the cocoa variation.
I split one batch into two parts and replaced 5g of powdered sugar with 5g Dutch processed cocoa powder. The macarons came out with smooth tops and feet, but did not form smooth bottoms. The bottoms were sunken in a little and really moist. Do you have any idea why that happened?
The other half of the same batch without cocoa powder turned out perfectly.
I usually bake cocoa ones for a couple of minutes longer because the cocoa can make the batter sticky – it depends on the cocoa, so I recommend checking them. Each variation can have its own peculiarities, I’m afraid.
Hi there, I use the French method when making macarons and I had a question about baking and pans. I found that if I pipe them and bake one pan at a time, there’s a difference in the macaron shells due to resting time. How can I fix this?
Personally, I don’t find it has too much effect, but that’s probably due to my baking environment (humidity etc). If it makes a big difference, there are a couple of things you could try. Most obvious would be baking both trays at the same time, swapping them once or twice, and adjusting the baking time as necessary. Alternatively, you could pipe the second batch when the first goes into the oven – fill the bag and clip it near the piping tip end and twist the top tightly shut so it doesn’t dry out. Just avoid handling it too much, otherwise it will end up overmixed.
I made a batch yesterday and wanted to make two colors, so I made two half batches of the almond paste (in other words 70 g almond flour, 70 g icing sugar and 25 g egg whites for each) to which I added the color. I then made a full batch of the meringue and weighed it so that I could divide it exactly between in two before I folded it into each of the almond pastes. I first folded one color, transferred it to a piping bag and twisted the top to keep it closed, then I folded the second color and also transferred it to a piping bag. Then I cut off the tip of the first bag and piped them, and while they were resting I piped the second color. The first ones went into the oven and when I turned them halfway I got REALLY excited because they looked perfect! They had beautiful feet and perfect tops. But when I took them out of the oven when the time was done it looked like they fell flat. The feet became thin and bulged out at the sides. I thought it was because I turned them halfway so I decided not to do that with the second pan, but they came out even worse. Very thin feet and the tops looked wrinkled (but not cracked). What could cause this? (Can I add a photo somewhere to show how looked?)
Charlie, I would guess that either the batter was overmixed or the macarons were underbaked – it sounds like they didn’t have enough structural integrity to hold their height. I don’t think WordPress allows photos in comments, but you could put them on photobucket or flickr or somewhere and add a url, maybe?
Can’t wait to try the recipe! What thermometer do you recommend using for the syrup?
I use a digital candy thermometer, party because I find it easier to read and it beeps when it’s at the right temperature and partly because it’s quite a small quantity of syrup and I don’t want to lose lots of it by having it stuck all over a bulky traditional thermometer.
Hope you enjoy your macarons!
Hi,thank you for you great post!
I bake Macarons with Italian meringue, but some times my Macarons have not feet and generally have oval shape ( while my batter is not over mix! ). I whoud appreciate if you could help me.
It could be the temperature of the oven. It sounds like it could be a bit low, so the shells spread instead of puffing up. An oven thermometer is the best solution, but if you don’t want to buy one and are willing to play around, I’d try adjusting the temperature up by 5° for half a batch and see if that helps, or turning on the fan if your oven has one.
Thank you very much, for your replaying.
Hi! I’ve been baking macarons for a month now using the Italian method. Recently, all my macarons have got feet and no cracks but it has always been a problem of mine that I see really tall and perfect feet in the oven at around 5minutes but then as they bake and before taking them out of the oven, the feet get smaller than what I previously saw! This has been my dilemma for many batches already!:( I tried experimenting on different temperatures (140C to 170C). Got 2 random batches with the feet not collapsing but for some odd reason, I cannot replicate those results. I don’t really know why they sink/collapse/get smaller feet in the middle of baking. Help!
Hi Bea, the difference in size of the feet between French and Italian meringue methods relates to the texture of the whole shell. The Italian meringue produces macarons with a moister interior and they have smaller feet than their French meringue counterparts – something to do with egg white stability and the size of the air pockets in the batter. The feet on mine drop as they bake, but unless they’re actually footless because I messed up the mixing stage, I don’t worry about it. In fact, I prefer the look of the straighter feet on an Italian meringue macaron than the big ruffly things on a French meringue one!
So that means that what I am experiencing is normal?:)
Yep! Don’t worry – I’m sure your macs are beautiful 🙂
can i use brown sugar and blend it instead of white powdered sugar?
Sorry for the delay in replying – I’ve been away on vacation. I don’t think it would work, because brown sugar has a much higher moisture content.
Thank you so much for sharing your macaroon experience and expertise! This was my third try at macaroons and this recepie was the first to work! I live in a really humid climate so I had the dehumidifier running half the day to get the kitchen really dry which meant they actually set for the first time! So pleased to have found a good recepie!
Thanks so much for your message, Anna! It sounds like a complicated process for you in that climate, but well worth the effort! 🙂
when i first start whipping the egg whites can i add a pinch of cream of tartar to stabilise them (this is how I usually make italian meringue).
I don’t see why not, but I don’t find it necessary (and I do use it for other meringues).
Thank you for your answer. I live in a very hot climate (australia) so maybe it has something to do with the humidity/heat.
Ah, ok! I can definitely see how it would be a help there with stabilising the meringue against the humidity. I’ll add that to my list of possible fixes 🙂
I’ve made over 20 batches using the french method (I’m getting so frustrated!). I get perfect looking shells, but every batch is hollow. They collapse to hollows soon after removing them from the oven, they are perfect right when I remove them. I’ve been keeping a diary, I’m convinced it’s an oven issue and have invested in a thermometer. If it’s an oven related issue would the Italian method do anything at all for me? Recently, I’ve been baking mine at 320F for 13 minutes on parchment paper (I’ve tried double panning and silicone mats) I age my egg whites and they are room temperature when used. Does the lower temp and longer cook time help with hollows, in your opinion?
The temperature and baking time do make a big difference in my experience (it took me many failures before I figured out how my oven behaves), but the amount of difference depends on many other factors too (consistency of the batter, size of the air bubbles in the batter, baking surface…). That said, the Italian meringue method is widely accepted to be more stable overall, which is why the big macaron houses use it. If I were you, I’d give it a go – it couldn’t hurt to start from a new perspective.
I’m about to put my first batch of macarons in the oven. Fingers crossed!
I probably should’ve read these comments first (rookie move), because my almond/sugar/egg/color paste was definitely a lot thicker. Difficult to stir, even. My powdered sugar ALSO contains corn starch, so that’s a little worrying. I so hope they turn out okay.
Fingers crossed and looking forward to hearing how they turned out!
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Hello, thank you so much for a simple (well as simple as macarons can be), well explained recipe and accompanying video, it really makes it easy to follow and understand the complexities of these temperamental biscuits! I have made two batches using your recipe. The first turned out pretty perfect, nice feet, smooth tops, delicious texture on the inside (I seriously can’t stop eating the shells!). The second one was a little under done. I have four questions:
1) What are the tell tale signs to look for that they are cooked? I pulled my second batch out of the oven when I thought they were done but once they had cooled, they separated with the tops coming off and the underdone bottoms stuck to the mat.
2) Any tips for piping? I’m using a silicone macaron mat and am finding it hard to work out how much to pipe as they tend to spread at different rates.
3) And lastly, any advice on colouring? I’ve added the colour to the almond/sugar/egg white stage but once the meringue is added the colour dilutes significantly (obviously). I thought I was being generous with the gel colour but not generous enough. Any tips here would be greatly appreciated.
4) And lastly, I will be most likely making some of these in the height of the Australian summer. Having read that macarons do not like humidity, are there any ‘tricks of the trade’ to counteract any negative effects on my macarons?
Again, thank you so much for you recipe and video, it’s making learning from home much achievable.
Thanks so much for your message and great questions!
1) The best way to test them it to give the shell a little nudge above the foot – if the top moves away from the foot, they’re not done. There’s not really any other way to tell, because it’s the interior and underside that you’re testing, so you can’t just pick one up. That said, I find the second tray to be the most problematic because the oven temperature fluctuates (at least it does with my oven) so it can be running too hot or too cool. I generally leave it for a few minutes between trays to settle.
2) Practice! 😉 You could try using parchment (baking paper) on your silicon mat with a piping guide under it (I have one for download in my chocolate hazelnut macaron post), just until you get the hang of it. Bear in mind that if you pipe them about three centimetres across, they’ll lose about 1/3 of their height and spread to about three and a half to four centimetres across. If they’re spreading more than that, your batter may be too thin.
3) My preference is for pastels, rather than really strong colours, and the rule of thumb I use is to add enough to get it to the colour I want, then add about as much again, bearing in mind you’re adding so much white. Sometimes it’s frighteningly bright, depending on the colour!
4) If it’s humid, you’ll very likely need to increase the sitting time before baking – a gentle touch on the unbaked shell should be slightly tacky (the top should be dull, too). After baking, you’ll need to get them off the mat as soon as they’re cool, and get them straight into an airtight container and into the fridge until you fill them, then straight back into the fridge after filling.
Hope this helps! Let me know how you go 🙂
Is it okay to use hand mixer when making the meringue?
Absolutely! It will probably take a bit longer to beat to stiff peaks, because hand mixers are usually slower, but it will be fine.
Hello, came across your blog while researching macarons. If I wanted to make Cap’n Crunch macarons, would I use 140grams ground Cap’n Crunch cereal or use a portion of ground almonds and Cap’n Crunch? Thank you in advance.
I made cookie macarons once and used half almond and half cookie crumbs, and they worked pretty well – you need go very light on the mixing because the cereal will absorb a lot of the liquid from the egg whites. You could up the cereal flavour by crushing some up and adding it to a buttercream filling. 🙂
Thank you so much for responding and your help. I think I will give it a try soon!
If I don’t have a food processor, can i just use a blender?
Can I also decrease the sugar in the recipe by at least half? If so, would I do it in the sugar syrup mix or in the almond flour and egg white mix?
I honestly have never tried reducing the sugar and am not sure what effect it would have.
As long as it grinds it fine enough, I don’t see why not. It should be fine enough to pass through a fine sieve.
can you make italian macarons with french or swiss meringue? because i don’t have a candy thermometer and i dont want to fail macarons…
These are still French macarons, they just use Italian meringue. You can definitely make them with French meringue – many people do – but I don’t know about Swiss meringue. It’s something I would like to try myself! If you click the link to my friend Korena’s blog (http://korenainthekitchen.com/2015/10/27/daring-bakers-french-meringue-macarons/), you’ll find the French meringue version.
I am an aspiring pastry chef, currently in culinary school, and I’ve attempted to make macarons five times. Every time has been a failure! However, I decided to try the Italian meringue method since I started making Italian meringue buttercream. AND it worked!!!! Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s the proudest moment in my pastry chef career!
Britney, that makes me so happy! Macarons are such a finicky beast, and I truly understand the satisfaction that comes when they finally work! 😀
While doing research on how to make perfect macarons, I stumbled across this recipe. Your instructions are so clear and detailed, I didn’t need any more research! These made perfect macarons the first time around! No little nippies, perfect feet, smooth on top. Thank you so much!
The second time I made these, I used a Swiss meringue (still used your recipe, just eliminated the water and heated the eggs and sugar over a double boiler), and they turned out just as spectacular. I think I’ll stick with your recipe, but continue to use the Swiss application. It’s much faster and delivers the same results.
Thanks so much for the feedback, Michelle! I’m delighted to hear it worked so well for you! And I am especially excited to hear that it worked using Swiss meringue – it has been on my to-do list for ages to give it a try!
Thank you very much.
You’re very welcome 🙂
I have been having a lot of difficulty with French Macaron recipes so I tried your Italian Meringue recipe. I’m not sure what went wrong (I meticulously followed the directions, and the tops were dry when I put them in the oven) but all of the macarons came out cracked! They all had feet (though somewhat small) but the tops had these huuge cracks.
There are a few things that can cause cracking, so I’m afraid it’s going to be a case of trial and error.
Number one is not drying the shells before they go into the oven, but you did that so it’s obviously not the issue.
It can also be caused by under or over mixing the batter – undermixed will mean lumpy and uneven shells with cracks because of large air bubbles; overmixing will mean thin, flat shells with cracks because there’s not enough structural integrity.
Another problem can be too hot an oven, leading to too fast rising – I recommend an oven thermometer to check, because most home ovens are out by at least several degrees. There are cheap ones around, but if you don’t want the expense maybe you could borrow one, or share the cost with a baker friend.
Another thing I’ve found is the baking surface – as I’ve said, I had terrible results with silicon macaron mats, lots of cracking, but good multilayer metal baking sheets gave me great results – I guess it’s got to do with thermodynamics and heat transfer… but you could try using a couple of baking sheets stacked together.
Let me know how you go!
Not that it matters if everyone’s macarons turn out fine, but I use Pierre Herme’s recipe for mine and the only major difference I see between his and your’s is that he uses the same amount of sugar for the sugar syrup as his “tant pour tant” ratio for almond flour and icing sugar. So to compare your’s and his, he would use 140g of sugar for his syrup for the Italian meringue (same as either almond flour or icing sugar which is always equal). Just thought I’d add that in case some people can’t quite achieve enough meringue volume or meringue that isn’t really study. The increase in sugar might help?? Otherwise, your recipe is really similar to “the Master’s”!! And BTW, your macarons do look amazing…beautiful feet. I also ditched the French Meringue method because the macarons always wnded up either hollow or the tops were too delicate to touch, but the Italian meringue method has never failed me 🙂 Plus, who wouldn’t have want to lick the Italian meringue bowl clean?? Yummmm, just like melted marshmallows!!
Oh, one question though…have you noticed that it’s really hard to get a deeper colour on Italian meringue macarons than French meringue ones? Do you have any tips to get around this and get the actual colour you wanted? Tysm!!
That’s really interesting about the different amount of sugar – I had assumed the syrup was tant pour tant because it’s 140g all together (100g sugar plus 40g water).
Colouring is the bane of my life! LOL! Every type and brand yields a different result! I get pretty good results with Wilton gel colours, and in my experience powder colours are not nearly as strong so are best used for more subtle shades. I honestly don’t like to imagine how much they must put in commercial ones to get those super intense colours, though!
I just want to tell you thank you for this post! I had tried multiple times to make macarons and have failed, it was really discouraging. I found your post on Pinterest and I followed your instruction step by step and finally made perfect macarons! I am making some as we speak! Thank you again so much for giving me such a great experience!
Chloe, I am delighted to hear that you succeeded! Welcome to a life full of macarons! 😀
I tried using your Italian meringue method, but my macaroons had no feets at all. They looked fine before baking and I let the rest till they formed a skin . I even tried increasing the temperature a little the second time but nothing worked. I have tried baking macaroons many times but no luck so far.
A common cause of no feet is due to humidity – you might need to dry them with the rangehood fan on. Another cause can be undermixing the batter.
By far this is the best recipe I’ve come across and I’ve tried like 5. Macarons come out smooth and not hollow. The only problem I’m having is that I get very little feet. Midway through the cooking process I get so excited because I see nice size feet then a few minutes later they deflate 😢. I’ve tried changing the temperature, silicon mats, teflon mats, different trays, overmixing, undermixing to no avail. I’ve aged the eggs, used them straight from the fridge, etc, etc. Any possible cause?
Hi Raquel, macarons made using Italian meringue do have smaller feet than those made with French meringue, certainly less “ruffly”, but if they are deflating completely and you have tweaked everything else it could be the baking temperature. If they cook too fast they won’t have the strength to stay up, so maybe try reducing the temperature by a few degrees and increasing the baking time by a couple of minutes. As every oven is different, it does mean tweaking the baking numbers to suit – one of the dubious joys of macarons! 😉
Thank you very much for all your informations.
Always did the French method but I cannot make it right twice in a raw:(( ….doing exactely the same thing .. Frustrating..
I cannot wait to try the Italian with your recipe..
I have a question..
Is the “non oil base essence” the same as
“Extract” or not at all?
Also, regarding your “optional” list, do I have to add only one thing from the list?..(vanilla beans OR essence OR essence etc..) or can I add everything listed?
Yes, extract and essence are just different names for the same thing. You can add more than one thing, but you need to be careful not to change the consistency of the batter too much. If you are using liquid extract/essence, you should use powder colouring. Let me know how your macarons turn out 🙂
I will and thank you so much for your kind answer.Glad to know about the coloring powder because I would have used a gel 🙂
question, for the ground almonds I assuming I can use almond flour instread.
It shouldn’t be as fine as wheat flour – even though you grind it with the powdered sugar, it is still slightly gritty, not powdery. If the consistency is more like cornmeal than wheat flour, you’re good to go.
Thank you, the almond flour I have is extra fine so it will not work
Maybe this is a simple question, but im curious. Why the sugar syrup for the italian merringue should be 118 degrees?
Different recipes give slightly different temperatures (varying between 116° and 118°) but it needs to be somewhere around soft/firm ball stage. It provides stability to the meringue, and in my opinion the shells have a better interior than French meringue.
Using the Italian meringue covers a multitude of sins. This is the first macaron recipe that didn’t give me hollow shells or flat feet. That alone was enough reason to permanently switch from French meringue, which has failed me every time over half a dozen recipes. But if you figure out the sugar syrup once, it’s actually easier than other meringue types.
That said, if you’re going to make them more than once, and if the batter never *quite* reaches the consistency shown in the video, even after several minutes of stirring, it’s worth your while to experiment and see what measure (by weight) of meringue it takes to make it look right.
The main problem with thick batter is that when you tap the cookie sheet before letting it set, the bubbles will rise to the surface but not pop, forcing you to have to lance them halfway through the setting time (when they finally become visible). I ended up with more than my share of macarons with unsightly bumps before I figured out that they were air pockets that expanded in the heat of the oven.
Even when I added a trickle of plain water (I was out of egg white) to thin the batter, the macarons made with this recipe had crisp, shiny, full shells, lifted off of the pan on nice even feet. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Thanks for your fantastic comment, Sarah! Yep, so many variables are at play that no two batches will be identical – moisture level of the almonds, wateriness of the egg whites, ambient humidity… even differences between brands of ingredients. Practice will give you the feel for what works best in your own kitchen. x
Like many people, I failed (13 times) with the French meringue method. They were always hollow. Your recipe was the first Italian meringue method I tried and it was a success! However, I was at about 500 elevation when I made them. Now I’m at 6200 feet elevation. Will your recipe work as well? Are there any changes I should make for the elevation? Many thanks!
Wow – I’m truly impressed with your dedication – I know the feeling of being determined to get them right!
I’ve never baked at high altitude, so I’m unsure of the effects on macarons – my initial thoughts were that you can’t tweak the ingredients too much because then ratio would be off, but the meringue may take longer to beat up, the sugar will probably boil more quickly, and baking time or temperature may need adjusting. I did a quick google search for “high altitude baking macarons” and there are a bunch of articles and blog posts about it, mostly about the French meringue method, but one does mention Italian meringue and that might be a good place to start your experimenting: https://www.lespetitsmacarons.com/high-altitude-baking-tips/
Quote: 2) Italian Meringue Macaron Method: a) decrease the granulated sugar to 125 grams from 150 grams; b) add 5 grams powdered egg whites to the dry ingredients; c) separate the aged egg whites into 2 halves and make one half into a paste with the dry ingredients; d) make a soft-medium peak meringue with the remaining half of the egg whites and the soft-ball syrup; and e) bake on one sheetpan at 325F for 13 minutes!!!
I’d love to hear how you go and add it to the FAQ 🙂
I have also been trying Italian Macaron and I seem to fail during the boiling of the sugar part. I do boil it at around 118 degrees but when I pour it, it quickly crystalizes and some of the sugar get stuck st the bottom of the bowl or sometimes the sugar caramelizes. Does the type of pan use to boil the sugar matter?
Make sure you’re pouring it into the meringue, but you will usually get a little bit that hardens on the side of the bowl. I use a small, quite thin non-stick pan, and I don’t think that makes much difference. Maybe you’re bringing it to the boil too fast, so it hasn’t 100% melted and reached temperature. I have it on quite low and it takes probably 15 – 20 minutes to reach temperature. And don’t disturb it while it’s doing its thing.
I actually failed on 2 tries when making the meringue. It seems that the egg is always over beaten and does not show the same white look that is on your video (before pouring the syrup). My egg whites are still foamy when over beaten. I can’t get the white look. What I did is I waited for the syrup to boil and when it is close to boiling, I start whipping the egg whites until soft stage or foamy stage then pour the syrup. It seems to work but some macarons came out cracked. Still tastes great even cracked. 🙂
By the way, will it still taste the same even if I just do half of the recipe?
It sounds like you could be beating them too fast, so the air bubbles are big causing it to be foamy. It takes about 5 minutes to being it up to speed slowly – a minute on minimum, then up to medium-low for a minute and so on. That will be why they crack when they bake, too – the big air bubbles expand and it causes cracking.
I’ve never made a half batch, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t work.
hello:-) I have made macarons according you recipe and they turned out very well! The only thing i observed is that they do not have bottom (don’t know how to describe), so they do have feet, they look very nice but looks like “the body” is pullen up, so can’t sandwich them properly as filling does not have “bottom” to stick, it just goes into the dome…any idea why is that so? Thank so much for your reply
Hmmm… is the bottom coming away or collapsing when you take them off the sheet? If that’s the case, I’d recommend an extra minute or two of baking time, and make sure they are cold when you peel them off the sheet. If they are just domed with no bottom at all, I’d suggest lowering the baking temperature a little (140°C) and increasing the baking time by a couple of minutes because it could be that the air in them in expanding too quickly. Hollow shells are the worst because it could be so many things!
Hey thanks for your reply. Yes, they come off sheet very easily and without any spots, it is just that bottom is not existing. Will try one more time and let you know the result 🙂 Btw do you have any tip where to buy nice macaron boxes (I’m living in Germany) as would like to send them to a friend of mine?
Good department stores usually have nice, heavy cardboard gift boxes which work really well. 🙂
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Terrific instructions clear and well presented . I have had some success with the French meringue method but loved how well these came out. I did go mad and sieve my egg whites and wiped all my bowls with lemon juice too.
Like a couple of others my almond/sugar paste was very stiff and I added a couple of teaspoons of extra egg white (holding my breath in case I messed up the ratios) – it worked though.
A couple of questions. You mention in an earlier post that when adding cocoa powder you cook them a little longer as it makes the batter sticky. Is this the same for Matcha Tea Power as using the French meringue method the batter seemed to get stickier and thinner and they were flatter with smaller feet and some cracked. I did grind the almonds and sugar in my thermomix so wonder if perhaps they were too fine as well. Would it also apply to other powders added like espresso coffee, freeze dried fruit.
Do you ever add flavour extract or other flavouring to your macarons? It seems a lot of people say the flavour is better in the filling so I thought I would ask.
I made some swiss buttercream for fillings for the first time and note someone above used the Swiss meringue method with your recipe. I thought I might try this too I assume it is the same 50g egg white and same sugar amount? If I am cutting out the water would that then allow the addition of extract or non gel food colouring without fear?
Anyway thanks for introducing me to a new macaron journey I am excited at branching out.
Thanks for posting, Jayn. I haven’t made macs with matcha in the shells (I used it in the filling instead) but I would increase the baking time with any additive like that (especially freeze dried fruit powder – that stuff is like glue!). I have only ever added vanilla seeds and cocoa to my shells, because it’s much easier to control the flavouring in the filling. For a Swiss meringue for the shells, I’d keep the eggwhite and sugar amounts the same, but I would still steer clear of liquid (as opposed to gel or powder) food colouring – it just takes so much to get a deep colour. For extracts, just use a light touch. 🙂
Many thanks for your swift reply. I will have a go. My next experiment will be freezing a filled macaron as I hear they can be stored that way as well. Have a lovely Christmas.
You too! 🙂
I have tried doing macarons in the french meringue and Italian one, which is basically your recipe.
I have failed in all french meringue method and did a great job with your recipe, however i guess i still get messed up with folding the whole batter. few patches were amazing and others were like a cookie shaped, or so runny.
I heard counting the folds usually help up to 36-40 folds, and some say 50-60 folds, im sure it depends on the quantity, so for your recipe did you try counting the folds until perfect batter?
I would be doing two patches today and hope they get amazing
Hi Sayed, I would say around 40 folds – make sure you scrape the bottom of the bowl with the spatula, otherwise you can get bits of almond paste that aren’t mixed in well. Have fun with your baking today! 🙂
the article is so informative and details!! thanks for your effort 🙂
Thanks Cass 🙂
Hi again – can you please advise, how to make white Macarons? Have tried it without putting any of the color but as they bake they turned out creamy-pale brown? Is there any white color maybe?
I have used white powder food colouring with good results – it’s available at stores that sell cake-making supplies.
This is the best and only recipe that I have tried that the macarons come out perfectly, on the first try. Thanks so much !!! Very well explained.
Thanks Paris 🙂
I still have trouble with macarons sometimes but I get the best results BY FAR with your recipe! Thank you so much!
Thanks so much for your comment 🙂 I still have batches that don’t work so well, so you’re not alone!
My macarons are lopsided, the also cracked in the middle..
I did use a gas oven could that be one or the reasons why? Or am I under mixing the batter?
I’d check your oven temperature – they are rarely very accurate and it sounds like it’s too hot. If you don’t have an oven thermometer, try lowering the temperature on the dial by 5 degrees.
ive never even tried macarons before but i love meringue items… cookie (not almond), poplova, pie topping, etc. ivebeen seeing macarons all over the tv lately. i love to bake so i thought id try your recipe.
you mentioned that you were told they arent macarons if made with the italian method. i find that funny and very snooty since macarons were originally italian (sometime in the 15-16th century a french king married an italian woman who brought her italian baker with her bc she loved macarons so much… or something to that effect).granted, the french macaron (the modern version created in the late 18th/early 20th century) isnt the same as the original italian version but it is an adaptation from the recipe that started in italy.
i have made meringue with the traditional french method before when making pie topping and poplova without any problem. i get the impression that means ill do ok with these. macarons seem much more finicky. looking forward to making these for my family. ill let you know how it goes.
Thanks for your comment, Vicki – looking forward to hearing how you go! 🙂
i meant to say… i guess that DOESNT mean ill do ok with these.
i’ve tried so many different macaron recipes both french and italian… bought 3 online tutorials and took a hands on class. NONE of them worked for me. i followed your directions and they came out PERFECT!! thank you soo much!!!!
I’m so happy to hear they worked for you Olive 😀
I’ve been making Pierre Hermes macarons , the Italian method.
The ingredients are:
135 g ground almonds
135g icing sugar
100 g egg whites
35 g water
I found them a little too sweet. Would you say your recepie turns out less sweet. I’m not good at analyzing ratios in macarons recepies.
Hi Lizy, I think mine are a little less sweet than both Hermes and Ladurée, but it can also be to do with the fillings.
Thanks!! That’s great! I will definitely try to make them this weekend
I have never made macarons before and it came out perfectly at my first try using your recipe!! Will definitely stick with this recipe for a long time, thank you so much for sharing!! ❤
I’m so pleased you had success first time! 😀
I followed the recipe using cocoa and my macarons csme oit very thin and never grew. I live in fiji so I think its the humidity because I waited for more than 30 minutes and no skin developed. I was tempted to cool them in the fridge but I didn’t.
That would very likely be the humidity – do you have an extractor fan over the stove? If so, you could try drying them under that. Otherwise, a normal electric fan might help.
Hi – I tried another Italian recipe last night. I thought they were going to turn out very nice (way better than my attempts at the French method), but when I went to remove them from the mat, the bottoms were gooey and they were stuck to the mat. Other that that, they looked great! The recipe I tried only said to bake them for 14 minutes at 300 degrees F. Do you think the problem was probably under baking, or do you know what else would cause this? I’m going to try your recipe tonight. Thanks!
Hi Jessica, they were definitely underbaked. They should slide right off when they have cooled. You can often get a little bit of sticking if you’ve put cocoa or dried fruit powder in the meringue because they make the mixture stickier, so they need an extra couple of minutes, but the bottoms should be dry and smooth. Hope this helps and best of luck!
I think you’re a little off on the amount of moisture needed in this recipe. Many other recipes have just a touch more egg white, and it will make the almond flour mixture too thick if you follow what you have here. I measured everything with a scale, and it was still off.
Thanks for the input, Tess. This was the ratio taught to me by a professional pastry chef and after dozens of batches I’ve never had an issue with it being too thick to work with, so I can only assume it comes down to individual factors. For example, if your powdered sugar contains cornstarch it will thicken the mixture significantly. Also, while it hasn’t made enough of a difference to cause a problem for me, I have noticed variation in the thickness of the almond mixture depending on the age or wateriness of the egg whites, or whether the thick goopy part goes into the mixer for the meringue or into the almond flour. I’d say it’s a case of whatever works for you 🙂
Hi there!!! Your macarons are very nice. I would like to try your recipe, The recipe I see every where same amount flour, sugar,and powder sugar. But in your recipe it says 100 g sugar and I’m so happy to do with less sugar.
The ratios work really well in my experience – wishing you success! 🙂
Hi, I am curious about the powdered sugar you recommend without cornstarch. Most of the recipes that I see, and the one that works for me, use ratios that work with standard confectioner’s sugar that includes cornstarch. In the US, the various names powdered sugar, confectioner’s sugar, or icing sugar are by definition 10x fine sugar and cornstarch. The starch is an important ingredient to create the confections it is used for (e.g. mixing in a little water and getting a nice white icing glaze, which won’t work with plain sugar.) And I think it is an important ingredient in the macarons, especially for the French meringue method, helping thicken the mix and forming the skin.
So, since it is hard to find, and an uncommon usage of the name, can you share the brand you use, and where you source it?
Here is Switzerland, it’s just straight powdered sugar. It still forms a skin on the shells, and we can using use it for icing although it doesn’t dry as hard, but I think the cornstarch is what contributes to excess thickness of the almond mixture for some people. You could try just processing white sugar to a powder form?
Ah. This is interesting. I called the company of the brand I use. They add 3% cornstarch. That is about 1/8 tsp per 1/4 cup serving (based on nutrition info on package and corn starch package). I have read some people say it can contain 7 or 10%, so I can see those larger amounts causing issues.
For your 140g, 3% is 4.2 g of starch, or about 1/2 tsp. I am going to risk it and see what happens. If it seems too thick, I could add a little vanilla maybe. And won’t use aged egg whites to maintain maximum moisture.
That really is interesting! Especially the variation between brands – no wonder some people have so much trouble with it while others don’t! Great to know, thanks so much for reporting back! I’ll update the FAQ tomorrow 🙂
I’m wondering if you can double this recipe? I’ve used your recipe several times with great success, I recommend your recipe to everyone who asks because yours is the best! But I’d love to double it but am worried about failing and then wasting all those ingredients. So I wondered if you have tried it.
Hi Hannah, Thanks for the kind words 🙂 I’ve never tried doubling it but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work – after all, they use way bigger quantities in professional kitchens and as long as the ratios stay the same I don’t see there would be a problem. The only issue might be the piping time (the batter will be sitting in the bowl a lot longer) and the resting time if you only bake one sheet at a time – perhaps you could try baking two sheets at a time using the fan (you’d have to check the temperature difference required, though. I think 150°C would be 130°C fan forced).
Thank you so much for your reply and helpful tips!
It’s David again. I forgot to mention that I did try converting my Italian method macaron recipe to make a small batch, which yields 12 – 13 macarons. Unfortunately, the tests results failed because of the small amount of egg whites. That’s the reason why I had to switch over to the Swiss method, which worked like a charm.
the measurments are completely wrong for adding 50g egg white to almind mixture.. it is too much almond flour and sugar and too less egg white
The measurements are correct for the ingredients stated – I suspect your powdered sugar has corn starch added to it, which will change the consistency considerably. Here is Switzerland, we are lucky enough to have easy access to pure powdered sugar – maybe you can find it where you are.
I’ve now updated the text with a paragraph on the topic (in addition to the existing FAQ paragraph about it) and the ingredients list to clarify that you should use pure powdered sugar. I hope this helps avoid this problem in future.
Have you tried making macarons with the Swiss method? I’m on team Italian all the way with macarons, but I’ve been working on a recipe for small batches using only 65 to 70 grams of egg whites. The results have been great, but I have noticed that the Swiss method takes longer to bake than the Italian and also requires more colouring gel to get the same results. Is there a reason for this?
Hi David, I have used the Swiss method once but I found them quite sticky compared with Italian – they needed a *lot* of drying time in the oven after baking to get them off the parchment. I don’t know why the colouring wouldn’t work as well, maybe to do with the nature of the sugar? The syrup changes the quality of the sugar so that might have an effect on the overall batter. That’s just a guess, though!
Thank you for getting back to me with my questions. I’m thinking that the Swiss macaron’s longer baking time might have something to do with the colour dulling a bit more than the Italian ones. In any case, I’ll continue testing different baking temps/times and colouring gels with the Swiss method. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
The bake time is a distinct possibility. I did get a bit of browning using the same temp and bake time as my usual recipe (I did the drying afterwards, as they were baked but stuck) and that’s what made me think it might be the treatment of the sugar, but it’s only just occurred to me that it could actually be the browning that dulls the colour.
I hope this finds you well.
I’ve been making my macarons with the Italian method for years and have made thousands.
But recently I have encountered a problem.
I made the mixture as normal but when I went to pipe it onto the tray there were strands of ( I’m not sure what ) at first I though it was rubber or plastic.
Now I’ve come to the conclusion i think it’s egg??? But I’m not sure.
The texture was rubbery
Have you come across this before?
I made it again and the exact same thing happened.
Very strange as I’ve used the same recipe for years.
Hi Jake, I imagine it’s egg white, possibly from underbeating so there were still strands of the thick goopy part of the egg white in the it that hadn’t been incorporated and they may have “cooked” from pouring the syrup too quickly. How much do you beat the whites? Some people just do to soft peaks, but I prefer stiff peaks, personally.
Thank you for getting back to me,
That all makes sense, just strange that Its never happened to me before…
when I make it often.
I usually whisk them to stiff peek / until the mixture is cool to touch
I defiantly think it could have been from pouring the syrup to quickly!
And like you say it could have cooked bits of it.
Thank you for helping me figure it out, I’ve look online for hours and can’t see the reason anywhere!
Thankyou ever so much for your awesome recipe and video instructions!!
I had had 4 attempts with the french method and had no success…every time they turned out hollow:(
I decided to give your recipe a go and read all the tips and comments from others before starting!!
Glad I did…I bought an oven thermometer and was shocked to find my oven cooks about 15 degrees cooler than the set temperature!!
I followed the recipe exactly and my macarons have turned out absolute perfection!!!
I can hardly believe it!
I had to use 4 trays to fit them all on, and after cooking the first 2 trays i decided to put the last 2 in together…not the best idea. They still turned out but are just slightly overcooked underneath. Still have a lovely nutty flavour!
I have just 1 question. I have made these 1 week in advance for a special school function. You recommend to store in an airtight container in the fridge. Will they go dry?
I have in mind to fill them the day before they’re needed to soften. Just wanted to check as there’s lots of conflicting advice about how to store them correctly.
I’m so happy to hear you had success with the recipe! 🙂
If you’re making them a week in advance, the unfilled shells should be good in an airtight container in the fridge but I’d recommend freezing them just to be sure. You have two options – either freeze the shells and thaw before filling the day before serving; or fill and freeze then thaw the day before serving. They don’t take long to thaw, just transfer the container to the fridge without opening it, because you don’t want condensation in there. Personally, I fill then freeze straight away so the whole job is done – they do their maturing after they’re thawed.
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Too bad…didnt work for me. 😦 .
I dont know why though. May be the proportion affected. This recipe didnt work for me. I am so sad bcs i am looking for one that can create feet and not hollow. I have other recipe that can create feet but still hollow.
I divided dough into 2 anyway. One is the kne i thought the peocess macaronage was over and the other one, i added macaronage process. I am baking the second one now. But seems no feet. It is been 10 minutes passed. I am failed again 😭😭😭
Don’t give up, Din! It could be so many things – ingredients, weather, altitude, oven, baking sheets….. the challenge is to find the combination that works for you in your kitchen! I still try other so-called fool-proof recipes from time to time and sometimes they work but other times they fail me, and I know it’s not my fault but it’s just “something” that doesn’t work with my oven or whatever. It’s a case of trying and trying until you get it, then have fun with it. But they’ll still taste great, even if they’re not perfect 🙂
Hello, I think your recipe is really good so Im gonna try it, but before I try I wanted to ask about adding sugar syrup to beaten egg whites. I heard that many people add the syrup when the egg whites are just foamy and then beat them on medium speed until it gets to room temperature. So why do you add your syrup when your egg whites are well beaten and stiff, and you beat it on max(I thought the egg whites will get too much air by beating them on max speed).
It was the method I was taught and it works well for me – I think you would have to work hard to break Italian meringue, so the few minutes it takes is fine 🙂
wow, the response was so quick, thank you
Hello, iv’e tried making Macarons for almost a year now, mostly the French variation. Out of the several dozen, maybe 50 times, they have only turned out right a handful. The result is always the same, hollow shells. I’ve tried aged egg whites, adding dried egg whites, a bunch of different recipes. Even though iv’e failed, I love making them, because I want to add them to my repertoire. Gonna try your method and see how it goes. Lastly, do you use a particular almond flour? Thank you!
I have to say, I truly admire your determination! 😀 I use ground almonds that are about the consistency of cornmeal, then re-grind them with the powdered sugar (try to find 100% sugar – corn starch or other anti-clumping agents will make it difficult to stir the egg white into the almond/powdered sugar mixture). I prefer the ones that are blanched first, so there are no bits of skin in there – the texture comes out smoother.
Thank you for your response. I think since the hollow shells are my only issue, it could be either, not whipping my egg whites long enough, or over folding during the macronage stage. Going to keep trying though, its the only thing that has given me issues, Funny, I can do a 5 tier wedding cake with no issues, but these cookies…ughhh..lol. Thanks again!
The hollows may be caused by whipping the egg white at a speed too high causing more air bubbles and a less stable meringue. Another reason might be caused during the macaronage stage. Deflating some of the air in the batter using the right folding technique can be tricky. Folding the batter in a letter ‘J’ movement works best for me for zero hollows. I hope this helps.
Excellent site, really helpful. I have one issue though which I can’t find an answer to. First I tried the French method and it worked well on three batches. Then I tried the Italian method and that worked even better on the two batches I made. I then realised I was doing it wrong, I was whisking 100% of the egg white (like the French method). So I then tried it the correct way, 50% straight into the almond/sugar and 50% whisked to which the sugar syrup is addd. I have tried 3 batches and they were all complete failures. It is obvious the moment I had the raw egg white (trying to make a paste first and another time leaving until the whisked eggs were added, that the whole batter was too runny and would never thicken up enough. At first I thought I had measured wrong, but after two further attempts when I have doubled and triple checked weights, egg stiffness, temps, the lot and I have the same problem. I have even tried using pre-mixed tant pour tant but exactly the same problem. It is such a fundamental part of the process it must work but in all 3 attempts I got the same problem. Any light as to where I can look for a solution would be appreciated. Many thanks.
I am seriously impressed by your persistence, but I have to say this is the first time anyone has complained about the almond – powdered sugar – egg white paste being too runny! 😀 Most people complain that it’s too stiff! 😀
Okay, questions first. Are you sure you’re only adding 50g egg white for the paste? And using 140g almond and 140g powdered sugar? If the answer to those is “yes” then it could be a couple of things.
Are you using “real” egg whites, or carton egg whites? I’m asking because carton ones can be more “watery”. Are you ageing your egg whites? Normally, I suggest that people use the thinner part for the paste and the gloopier part for the meringue, but you might need to switch that around, if your thinner part is too watery. Or just use the whites from fresh eggs, which tend to be thicker. I’m not sure if your eggs are pasteurised, which I believe can make a difference to the consistency of the whites as well.
The last thing I can think of is the ground almonds – they could be too moist or too oily, which would bring more moisture to the mixture. Try pressing a pinch of it between your fingers and if it clumps, you can try drying it out by spreading it on a baking tray and putting it in a low oven for a while, not enough to toast it but enough to dry it out (a bit haphazard, I’m afraid, because it would depend on the almonds).
I know these are pretty random issues, but the particular ingredients people use makes such a big difference to success or failure in macarons.
Best of luck, and please do let me know how you get on 🙂
Thanks for such a detailed reply. It’s really appreciated 😊 Some of the points you make I have tried to eliminate and swap around but I won’t go into that now. I have a few more tests to do app-roaching it in slightly different ways and then when I’ve done that I’ll try to pull together the key factors and maybe email those together rather than do it now while its “work in progress” 😊
Tomorrow I plan attempt 3865 (actually its only attempt 9, it just feels like 3865!) and will let you know how it goes and also any additional findings that I have come across.
All the best and stay safe
(Lockdown is a time for Macaron making !!!)
If it worked better than well doing it “wrong” then maybe you should continue to do it wrong. If that is what worked for you, your kitchen, and your ingredients, then why not keep doing it that way?
this just contracts everything that i have been watching using Italian method where it says to put sugar water when the egg whites are frothy not SOFT PEAKS, now im very confused 😦
I’ve read of people saying frothy, soft peaks, firm peaks, stiff peaks… I just do what i was taught in classes and it works for me. I’ve actually tried softer peaks and I thought it was a bit too wet (almost soupy), but that may be just because I’m used to the way I usually do it so I’m more comfortable with it.
I swear some people are teaching us the wrong way to make macaron, damn!
I don’t think there’s a “right” way 😉
Im not surprised that you don’t have the picture when you’re pouring the sugar water, it’s not because you have your hands full, you’re using a stand not hand mixer so clearly you have another hand free to hold the camera..but you chose not to and I know exactly why. People, you don’t pour sugar water when the egg whites are on its stiff peak, otherwise what’s the point of doing Italian, you’re better off doing the French method then.
No, actually I was more concerned about the hot syrup hitting me or my camera. If you look at the photos and the video, you can clearly see the stiff peak.
Is there some way of attaching a video to the message as I have lots action vids of the pouring the hot syrup?
I’m not sure that wordpress can handle attachments in comments, but maybe you could put it on youtube and post the url?
It is there in the video in the post, at about 1minute45.
I don’t have a youtube channel, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about. Hats off to all the peeps who are able to keep up on their social media platforms and huge kudos to you for always going out of your way to help anyone with mac questions! If the person who wants to see the syrup action vid doesn’t mind going on my Instagram account: davidlumto There’s a story video of it in my saved history under Italian Macarons in the making. Stay healthy and safe!
Thanks David 🙂
I’m an adventurous rather than overly accomplished cook, and have been trying to perfect macarons for a few years. There are so many recipes online, but this one wins hands down. It works every time. Thanks. The video is invaluable.
Thanks so much for your comment, Jon! 😀
Thank you so much! I have tried and tried to make these with varied success, your recipe is the best! I have made a few times now and have only had one batch turn out too hard, so now I make sure my oven isn’t too hot. I make my own powdered sugar too and that has made a big difference,I think. Thanks again!
So happy to read your comment Tracy 😀 Great move to make your own powdered sugar!
What speed on the Kitchen Aid stand mixer do you consider “high speed” for whipping the egg whites for 3 minutes? I’ve seen people do 10 and I’ve seen others do 8. My recipe is exactly the same as yours but the blog I got it from doesn’t whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. I’d like to give your method a try. Thanks!
I do it on 10 🙂
Thank you for responding so quickly! I have a few more questions if you don’t mind… if I can’t find pure icing sugar, should I add a bit more egg whites to the ground almond/icing sugar mixture until it’s the same consistency as yours? Mine is more like a very thick paste and it’s even worse when I add cocoa powder.
I also noticed that your vegan macaron recipe is similar to this one. Does that mean I could use carton egg whites for this recipe instead of fresh egg whites?
Before trying extra egg white, I’d recommend having a go at making your own powdered sugar. Just put granulated sugar into your blender or food processor and blend! It should only take a few minutes.
Cocoa powder does have the unfortunate side effect of making the mixture a whole lot stickier, which is why the macs always need a couple of minutes extra in the oven.
My vegan mac recipe was an experiment that turned out ridiculously well, but I know from other people’s experience that success depends a lot on the brand of chick peas. I suspect the same would be true for carton egg whites. You would need a brand that advertised itself as being suitable for making meringue.
Good luck, and I’d love to hear how you get on 🙂
very informative site.
I need to keep ready 300 wafers (150 pairs) of 4 flavours on 5 Dec, the consumption will be in the week that follows, how early can I start making the wafers? after baking can I keep in the normal fridge in closed container? I’m planning to fill on 4th & 5th Dec, Pistachio & cream cheese, Chocolate butter cream with butterscotch sauce, strawberry butter cream with strawberry sauce & lemon butter cream with lemon curd.
Also is it required to slam the tray very hard after piping the batter? Because it spreads and doesn’t rise much. I would appreciate your reply as it will help me a lot.
I don’t slam the tray very hard, just a few firm taps on the bench to help release air bubbles.
Freezing the shells works well, but I made about 300 macarons in five flavours for a wedding last year and did a heap of testing – I found the best method was to freeze the complete macs in airtight containers right after filling, then thaw in the fridge the day before serving. The ones with curd, though, it might be better to thaw in the fridge the same day as serving, because curd can soften the shells too much unless there’s a layer of buttercream between the curd and the shell (not just a dam round the edge).
A little late to your game here. I just took a class to learn to make macarons. I was taught the “French” version. Did you know that this cookie was brought to France by the Italian Chef of queen Catherine de Medici during the Renaissance? So there you go for those who only want the French version. I will be trying them with your instructions. I seem to be fairly adept at meringue so I’ll see how it goes with the Italian version. The Chef teaching the class I took used the Italian version of buttercream icing for the middle of the macarons. Anyway, thank you!
Thanks for your comment – I do love the history of food! 😀
I too have used the aged and fresh agg whites, and I cannot believe you find no difference. The feet I get on my macarons with aged whites of 2 days is incredible. They are usually higher than the dome. (I use the French method.)
Thank you for the notes on 10x sugar and cornstarch. This in invaluable information I will remember from now on!
Perhaps it’s the method that is important regarding aging or otherwise. It could also be that my eggs aren’t refrigerated, which could make a difference. It seems the what works in one kitchen doesn’t work in another – part of the mystery of macarons 😉