Here it is! A tutorial on how to make macarons.

light macarons

I was originally drawn to macarons because of their beauty . . . and because I wanted a challenge. It’s easy to be intimidated by these gems, but hopefully I can help unpack the mystery behind them!

Here is a step-by-step tutorial for you. Let me know if you try them, and how they work for you!

Tools you will need:

Grab your recipe:

My favorite macaron recipe

My favorite chocolate macarons and red velvet macarons

1. Measure (weigh) your ingredients.

In baking, exact measurement is key – but macarons take it up a notch with the precision. Most recipes will call for everything in grams, so it’s helpful to have a kitchen scale handy.

macaron ingredients

2. Process your almond flour and powdered sugar together.

I know it may seem crazy to do this, since the almond flour is already ground and the powdered sugar is already fine, but it really does help to take this step. If you have any large particles in your batter, it can cause your shells to tear as they bake. You want to do everything in your power to ensure smooth, lump-free batter. I combine the almond flour and powdered sugar, then process them together in my ninja – or food processor. Process or “blitz” these together for approximately one minute.

process flour

3. Sift the almond flour/powdered sugar mixture through a sieve into a separate bowl.

This is another step to prevent any large particles from getting into your batter. You will have some larger pieces left over in your sieve, but no worries – you can just toss them. I must stress that you need a fine mesh sieve/strainer, not just a regular sifter – here is a good example of one you could use.

sifting ingredients4. Make your meringue.

Ah, the egg whites . . . some bakers let them age for a few days, and/or insist that you let them come to room temperature. I have experimented with age and temperature . . . and to me, it didn’t make a difference whether they were aged, fresh, cold, or room temp.

In this step, you will whip your egg whites, along with a dash of salt and some granulated sugar until you get stiff, glossy peaks. The time frame may vary depending on your mixer, so keep checking it periodically. You will see the meringue clump in your whisk attachment, and you can even turn your bowl upside down without it falling out. Like the photos below:

meringue in wisk
the peak doesn’t fall and the meringue clumps in the whisk

upside down bowl2

Β 5. Mix the macaron batter. {carefully}

This is the part that I struggled with the most . . . since you have to get the feel of it. You dump your dry ingredients, all at once, into the meringue and then begin to mix the batter. I think some bakers call this “macaronage” or something really fancy. You fold the dry ingredients in by scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and also using a smoothing motion on top. Keep folding and mixing until the batter gains fluidity (is that a word?) . . . where it falls off the spatula in ribbons and melts back into itself within 20 seconds . . . most people describe this stage as looking like molten lava.

from this . . .
from this . . .
. . . to this.
. . . to this.

This really takes experience to master. I made several batches of macarons until I could get it right. If you under-mix the batter, your shells are too poofy and not smooth. If you over-mix the batter, it’s nearly impossible to pipe the batter, as it is sloppy and oozes everywhere. Your shells will also be too flat.

Watch THIS video for a visual guide, too!

This is where the determination and patience kicks in. If your batch fails, don’t worry – it happens to all of us! In the end, they will still taste good and your loved ones won’t know the difference πŸ™‚

6. Pipe the shells.

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a large round tip (like this one) with your batter. Using a template, pipe your shells (this helps to keep the size consistent) onto parchment lined cookie sheets.

piped macarons2

 

7. Rap the cookie sheets . . . and preheat your oven.

Now take your cookie sheets and firmly rap, or bang them on your countertop several times. This gets rid of any air bubbles in your shells. Yes, even air bubbles can cause the shells to tear! It just happened to me just last week. Go ahead and preheat your oven. Most recipes call for 300-315F, but everyone’s oven is a little different . . . 285F works best for me. Let your shells rest for 20-30 minutes before baking. This allows the outside of the shells to form a skin, which will help them develop “feet” as they bake (my favorite part)!

8. Bake!

I typically bake my macaron shells at 285F for 18-22 minutes. You know they’re done when the caps (top of the shells) are firm, and the parchment paper will peel away from the bottom of the macaron shells cleanly. I love watching the little feet appear – that’s when I know I’ve made them right!

IMG_2581

9. Fill and enjoy!

After the shells have cooled, fill them with anything you love – buttercream, ganache, caramel, biscoff, etc! Now, they say that macarons should be eaten at least 24 hours after they are assembled . . . if you can wait that long! See, macarons actually get better with age. The moisture from the filling permeates the shells, making the inside more soft and chewy, while the outside remains crisp.

macarons in box

 

Here are some additional resources:

“How to Make Macarons: A Detailed, Illustrated Step-by-Step Recipe” by Food Nouveau – this Β is an AMAZING resource, I recommend that EVERYONE who is serious about macarons reads this.

Learn How to Make Macarons in Five Minutes by Food Nouveau – you MUST watch this!!

“All About Macarons” by Food Nouveau – you can also find templates here.

My favorite macaron recipe by Brave Tart

Macaron Mythbusters by Brave Tart – super enlightening! This also helps to demystify macarons.

“Macarons are for Eating” by Brave Tart – it’s OK if they don’t look perfect, their purpose is to get eaten πŸ™‚

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Let me know what questions you have, and how your macarons turned out!

corrected tutorial image

4 Comments

4 Comments on How to Make Macarons

  1. Christine
    February 18, 2015 at 8:31 pm (4 years ago)

    thanks Sarah! loving your blog!

    Reply
  2. SprinkledCakes85
    February 18, 2015 at 8:55 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for reading, and for inspiring me to do this, Christine! That really means a lot, and I hope I can help/inspire people πŸ™‚ . . . at least when it comes to baking!

    Reply
  3. Brenda
    February 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm (4 years ago)

    I was just lucky enough to receive a batch of your AMAZING macarons as a gift and I am in heaven! I don’t purchase or eat them here in this country because I was totally spoiled by Paul, a well know and exceptionally good bakery in Paris. Well, madame, your macarons are just as good as theirs!!! I can assure you that I will be ordering batches for special occasions. Thank you thank you THANK YOU for sharing your gifts!

    Reply
    • Sarah P
      February 22, 2015 at 9:04 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks for the kind words, Brenda! I am so glad you like them . . . I just hope they arrived unscathed, as the last batch that I shipped got smooshed in transit! Those little guys are so delicate πŸ™‚

      Reply

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