Macaron or macaroon (depending on how comfortable you are with saying the French “on” like in “Manon” ) are to me, such a delight to bake! There are so many things I love about them. They are amazingly cute, they are delicious, easy to drop in a little box to share and extremely photogenic ^^
But unfortunately, they have a bad reputation to be difficult to make. I am not going to lie, I was always scared to try myself at it. If I remember well, I think I didn’t do too bad the first time! Which means, there is no reason why you can’t be successful yourself.
But before, let me share a story of my early love for macarons. My mum and dad have an egg farm, and one of their client specialised in making chocolate and macarons! My dad used to deliver the eggs every Wednesday, and me and my sister would always fight to go with him that day (In France we didn’t have school on Wednesday). The only reason why because we knew the chef baker would either give us the left overs of the batch or dad would buy us a bag of macarons! (If you were lucky you would have the extra big ones !!) Anyhow, my dad also always bought us half a kilo of macarons for our birthday and that was the best day ever 🙂
Now, let’s help you to make Macarons!
- Lesson number 1: Utensils. Before you start attempting Macarons, make sure you have everything you need. There is nothing worth than being half way a recipe and realising you don’t have the right nozzle, or piping bag. I have listed the things you need below.
- Lesson number 2: Meringue. Make sure you are comfortable with making a successful Italian meringue before attempting the recipe. I personally do them with Italian meringue since my oven is a bit temperamental (they hold better and you have more chance to be successful than with French meringue)
- Lesson number 3: Know your oven. I would recommend to turn down your oven from 10-20 degrees if you are not sure, and then turn it up ifyou feel it could do with a higher temperature.
- Lesson number 4: Put a tray to heat up in the oven where you will place the second tray of Macarons on top for baking.
- Lesson number 5: Once you have piped the shells onto your tray, leave it to dry for about 20min, until you can touch the top of the shell and it doesn’t stick to your fingers.
- Lesson 6: Half way through the bake, open the oven and turn the tray. That will ensure an even bake.
- Lesson 7: Just do it and try 🙂
You can make the shells any flavour you want, the recipe bellow is the basic and then you can add flavouring to the shells. The ones I made in the picture are with cacao powder and Matcha powder. You can be creative 🙂
Quantity: 40 Macarons
Utensils: 2 baking trays (or 4 if you can put 2 trays at a time in your oven), 2 piping bags, a round nozzle 5mm, grease proof paper, thermometer, electric mixer, a pan
Plain Macaron Shells
- 2*55g of egg whites at room temperature
- 150g of grounded almond ( powdered almonds)
- 150g of caster sugar
- 50g of water
- 200g of dark chocolate
- 66g of heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- Preparation steps for the shells: In a pan, mix the caster sugar and the water and heat on medium heat until the sugar has devolved. In the meantime, in another bowl, mix the almond powder and the icing sugar and the first 55g of the egg whites. Mix until it forms a paste. Reserve.
- Make the Italian meringue: In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the second 55g of the egg whites and start to whisk it until soft peaks. Bring up the heat under the pan with the water and sugar mix, and bring to 118 degrees. When the syrup has reached temperature, slowly pour into the beaten egg whites still mixing. Then leave the meringue to cool and reach room temperature ( about 8-10min).
- Finish the macaron batter: When the Italian meringue has reached its consistency, then add 4 tablespoons to the almond paste and start to mix well for the mix to be smoother. Finish with adding all of the Italian meringue to the paste and Macarone for about 5 min. You need to get a soft mix but not liquid. Don’t hesitate to mix well and breaking the egg whites.
- Pipe the shells: Pre heat the over at 165 degrees and place your 2 first oven trays in the oven so that they can reach temperature. Take the other 2 oven trays, and cover with grease proof paper. Pipe the shells ( you can use a pre-made template if you are worried about the size – I usually count a few second in my head to make sure I dispose the same amount of batter for each shell).
- Dry the shell: Leave the shells to dry for about 20min.
- Bake the shells: Bake for about 13 min, turning the tray half way through the bake for an even bake. Once baked, leave to cool and the shell would easily come of the grease proof paper.
- Make the Ganache: In a pan, heat up the heavy cream until to the point of boil. In a bowl, cut the chocolate in squares and pour the hot cream on top, mix well with a spatula until the ganache is smooth. Reserve 15 min in the fridge for the ganache to harden.
- Assemble the Macarons: Find the shells that match in terms of size, and fill one shell with some ganache and place the second shell on top.
- Reserve in the fridge for at least 1 Day ( or overnight) before eating. This is soooo important because your macarons need to take the moisture of the fridge to be delicious!
Can’t wait to see your creations!!