Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

Ok get ready for a long one folks. I debated all weekend how much macaron info I should share- but decided on all of it- so here you go.  I’ve been wanting to post this since the day I took my Macaron Class in Paris a few weeks ago, but have been waiting to gather some information from my at-home attempts at making them before sharing what I know with you. Let me start by telling you this- making perfect macs is a lot easier in a huge classroom kitchen with all the ingredients pre-measured, weighed and sifted with a professional pastry chef at the helm than in a minuscule kitchen all alone. Nevertheless, I’ve now made these twice since coming home, using two slightly different methods, and I feel pretty good about sharing what I learned with you. My teacher in Paris answered lots of questions that I thought both you guys (and I) may have, so I’m including that as well!

I took my class from a lovely cooking school in Montmarte called Cookin’ with Class. The classes are all taught in English, and the subjects range from making macarons, croissants, baguettes and other French desserts. Briony, the pastry chef who taught our class was wonderful and very very knowledgable. (I felt like the most annoying student though, as I literally asked a question after every step she explained. What can I say- I wanted to have a thorough knowledge of this stuff!)

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

The method that we learned was the “Italian Meringue” version, which involves making a sugar syrup that gets poured into the egg whites to create a very stable meringue. Though this process may be slightly more difficult, I like it leaps and bounds better than the “French Meringue” method I’ve tried in the past. The sturdy meringue results in a much more consistent cookie, and I desperately need to know that if I put all the work required into these that they will turn out well. We made three different flavors of macs and they turned out pretty beautifully if I do say so myself. Mine at home aren’t quite so perfect- but I’m getting there!

If you’re at all familiar with macaron making- you know there are a few schools of thought when it comes to a few different (slightly time consuming) factors. In my class- we were taught to basically do ALL of them. I’ll give you the run down:

-Start by aging your egg-whites 24-48 hours. Strain them with a fine mesh seive to get rid of any globby weird bits- resulting in purely liquid egg whites. (This results in a smoother, shinier macarons.)
-Triple sift your almond flour- discarding any larger bits. Then double sift the almond flour together with the powdered sugar.
-Let macaron shells sit out on the counter for 30- an hour to develop a shell before baking.
-Bake with a wooden spoon in the oven to keep the door slightly ajar and reduce possible humidity.

Whew. Right? I mean- that’s a lot of details. Are you completely put off from EVER trying macarons after that?

I came home and did exactly this stuff. Every last bit of it. (Well actually no- I only sifted my almond flour once. I just couldn’t do it 3 times.) The macarons turned out well, maybe not quite as smooth and shiny as in Paris (my fault for skipping the 2nd and 3rd sift.)

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

I couldn’t help but wonder if all those steps were really neccesary. I remember seeing Annie’s post about the Bouchon recipe for Italian meringue macs- (which didn’t require any of that stuff) So- I tried that version yesterday to compare my results.

Truth be told- they turned out almost exactly the same. No egg white aging or straining, no sifting of the flours etc. There were a couple things I would keep from the first version- just because it worked better for me, but all in all- I think the more simple recipe is generally the way to go. Were my shells as smooth and shiny as the ones I made in class pictured above? No. Would they be if I did all the things Briony suggested? Probably- but I don’t mind all that much. I still think they look pretty and taste great.

This is actually the recipe that we used in my class, but made in the more simple way. My friend Jessica came over while I was making these and snapped some pictures of the process to help give a visual of how it went down. (Don’t mind my makeup free pajamaed self.)

I’m only giving the recipe for the shells themselves, because there are endless possibilities for the fillings. In class we made, salted caramel, blackberry and chocolate passionfruit. At home- I filled mine with a simple vanilla pastry cream as well as a few with the salted caramel filling. You can use any sort of ganache, jam, preserves, curd or buttercream. (Though many of the macarons I had in Paris stay away from heavy buttercreams- more flavor can be achieved with a potent ganache or fruit preserves.

I hope this is helpful. At the very bottom of the post- after the recipe, I’ve included a few FAQ, Tips and Troubleshooting Topics that may also be of help!

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

Sifting  almond meal. I suggest doing it at least once to weed out some big lumpy pieces.

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

There’s my itty bitty kitchen! And me checking the temp of the sugar syrup.

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

Carefully pour the syrup in a steady stream. You want to aim for the spot where the egg whites meet the bowl so it doesn’t cool too much before getting whipped.

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

The bowl will cool a bit before the meringue is ready.

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

Stiff and glossy!

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

Folding.

 Making Macarons: What I learned in Paris.  via The Baker Chick

Piping- keep your bag stright up and down. The little dots on tops will disappear on their own if your batter was mixed enough.

Basic Macaron Shells

Yield: About 50 sandwich cookies.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams almond meal (or ground blanched almonds.) sifted.
  • 300 grams powdered sugar- sifted
  • 110 grams egg whites
  • 300 grams white sugar
  • 75 grams water
  • 110 grams egg whites

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the sifted almond meal and powdered sugar- breaking up any lumps or large bits.
  2. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour 110 grams of egg whites in. Fold them in gently until the mixture is well combined, thick and paste-like.
  3. Meanwhile- place the other 110 g of egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Leave it be while you make the sugar syrup.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and stir together until dissolved. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.
  5. When the syrup reaches 225 degrees F- turn the stand mixer on high and start whisking the eggs. You want them to be at soft peak stage, so as soon as they are, turn the speed to low. The egg whites can wait for the syrup- but once the syrup is ready- it cannot wait.
  6. When the syrup hits 239 degrees- carefully pour it into the side of the bowl while the mixer is running. You don't want the syrup to run down the bowl- or it will cool- so aim to pour it right at the spot where the egg whites meet the side of the bowl.
  7. Whip on high for about a minute- and then reduce speed to low and continue beating until the bowl has cooled slightly, and glossy stiff peaks have formed.
  8. Add 1/2 of the meringue to the almond mixture, and gently fold it in until combined and smooth. Gradually add the rest of the meringue until batter is smooth and it almost ribbons off the spoon.
  9. If you want to divide the batter and add gel coloring to any/part of it this is the time. After adding a bit of color, continue to fold it in until the batter is smooth and shiny and totally ribbons of the spoon.
  10. Fill piping bags with a round tip and preheat oven to 300F.
  11. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper. If your oven has a strong fan- you may want to pipe dots of batter onto the corners to stick the parchment down. OR- you can weigh it down with butter knives along the edges.
  12. Pipe small rounds with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet. You'll need to develop a rhythm that works for you so that your macs are similar in size. I like to count out loud- "1, 2, 3- release."
  13. Let the piped macs sit out until a trace of a shell is formed- 20-30 minutes will do- maybe less. This helps keep their shape while baking.
  14. Bake for about 12 minutes. To test if done- open the oven and wiggle the top of a shell back and forth. If it's super "wiggly" they need more time. Perfect macs will be just a little wiggly- but overall firm.
  15. When done, remove parchment from the sheet and let cool for 5 minutes on the counter top. Gently peel parchment paper off and cool completely before filling.
  16. Macarons taste best when "ripened" in the fridge for 24-48 hours, but can last in the fridge air-tight for up to a week.
http://www.the-baker-chick.com/2013/04/making-macarons-what-i-learned-in-paris/

FAQ:

Can I use a silicone baking mat instead of parchment? Briony says no- the batter doesn’t stick to the silicone as well so it tends to spread more.

Can I use liquid egg-whites? No – never. The preservatives used to give them a long shelf-life doesn’t bode well for macs.

Do I need a stand mixer? Yes- I wish the answer was No- but for this recipe- you need the egg whites to move in their own while you pour the syrup. Maybe it would work if you had a helper in the kitchen- but I had an epic fail trying this with a hand mixer.

This is a huge recipe-can I cut it in half? I don’t think so- reducing the amount of egg whites to would mean your whisk attachment may not reach them to whisk them into a meringue. UPDATE: So a few of you commented that you have successfully halved this recipe- awesome! I will try again even though I didn’t have luck. Read the comments for some tips of how to help your whisk attachment reach them. 

My shells are hard and crunchy- what do to? It’s your lucky day- it’s WAY better to over bake your shells than under-bake them. They will soften after you fill them and  they ripen in the fridge. 

Must I use a kitchen scale? Yes- I really think that weight vs. volume measurements is the way to go. They really do better when everything is precise. 

Tips:

It may be tempting to try to flavor the shells a lot to make them whatever flavor you are going for- but I don’t really suggest it. (though I will share the chocolate shells at a later day.) You’d be amazed at how strong of a flavor the filling can give the whole cookie once it has ripened. Test it and give them a taste tight away and then after 48 hours- the flavor of the filling really comes through!

Everything that touches those egg whites needs to be clean as a whistle. A trace of oil or grime on your whisk or mixing bowl will mess up your meringue. Also- yes- even the smallest trace of yolk can be a disaster.

Humidity is the death of macarons. Don’t try these on an overly humid day or your shells may crack or not develop feet!

PS- After I had already planned on making these, Lindsay announced that macarons where the “Kitchen Challenge” for April. How perfect for me since I want to participate whenever I can!

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Comments

  1. Oh, I can’t believe it! Today I’ve posted my very first chocolate macarons on my blog, too! I haven’t been taught by a French chef though but from my aunt! Well, yours look a lot better but I’d be glad if you took a look at mine :)
    You’re always sooo inspiring to me.

    xo, Elisa

  2. These look awesome, and fabulous tips! I did a small batch of French ones yesterday, flavored with dried hibiscus, and they turned out decently. May have to give the Italian version a try too… wonder if I dropped a few flowers into the sugar syrup while it heated if that would ruin the entire thing? :)

    • I’m not sure- that sugar syrup/egg white step sure can be a finicky one. Let me know if it works though- it would open up lots of possibilities!

      When I asked questions about flavoring the shells the only options we were given were whole vanilla bean, or super-intense flavor extracts that only need a few drops to be potent. She said that a bit of spice could be added, but that you’ll get more punch by just creating an intense flavor in the filling. :)

      • I mean it wouldn’t necessarily add any liquid, since I’d just be ‘steeping’ the flowers in the syrup. Guess I won’t know until I try! :)

        • Yes! And please let me know how it goes once you do. :)

        • A chef suggested this on twitter for meringue but I guess you could try with macarons: grind up fruit tea til a really fine powder then folding it though. I asked how many tea bags but he buys his in loose in bulk so he couldn’t give any guidelines.

  3. Yay!!! This is has me so nervous but SO excited to try macarons. For the longest time I didn’t have a stand mixer or a kitchen scale and I’ve finally got the equipment I need so no more excuses! Thanks so much for all these wonderful tips!

  4. Thanks for sharing! I have only tried the french macaron recipe that doesn’t require cooking the sugar syrup. I’ve been a little intimindated to do that, but now I’m going to try!

    Do you have the recipe for the flavored shells (blackberry, salted caramel and chocolate passion fruit)? I’ve only ever made the vanilla ones, snickers ones and mint and I’m dying to try a new version. Thanks!

    • Hey Maureen!
      Those recipes actually still use the same shell with some food coloring.
      The blackberry just used a blackberry jam as a filling.
      I’m planning on making the other fillings sometime soon and sharing them on the blog- but if you are desperate for them sooner- feel free to email me :)

  5. These look pretty cool. thanks for sharing. I have question about your baking pan. Are there ridges or something on it? Looks like lines showing through the parchment. Could just be the photo of course.

  6. I love this post!
    I managed to scale down macarons for two (a small nightmare, but turned into a miracle), and yes,they’re finnicky. But, I have to say, I don’t do a whole lot. I do sift almond meal because I buy the kind at trader joe’s with shell. But, I’m guessing that letting them sit on the counter first + my propane oven (low humidity) is the reason it works. I love love love your photos :)

    • You did!!? I must check that out! Did you use the Italian meringue method too? I had made small batches with the french method- but had a very hard time getting my mixer to grab the egg whites when I cut them down. Going to look for yours now… :)

  7. My uncle lived in Zurich for most of his life and when he visited us, we knew we were going to get pounds of heavenly chocolate.
    But, the most interesting thing he brought were the Sprungli Luxenburgerlis, which were baby macarons.
    Today, macarons are haute couture in the sweets world and very fussy to make.
    Thanks for the tips and the recipe. I’m going to try my hand at making them again!

  8. Thank you for the great info. I was just getting ready to try my hand at macarons and was bewildered by all the recipes. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  9. Thank you so much for this whole post!! I’ve been wanting to make macarons fora while, but I’ve seen so many recipes, I wasn’t sure which one to make! Since you explain a lot of the background and went to a class in Paris with a pastry chef, I’m going to make these! I finish Uni in 6 weeks and then I can spend all Summer baking!!

  10. I love the thoroughness of this post, Audra – So glad you chose to share ALL that you learned in Paris! My first attempt at macarons was my last, sadly, but after this post showing how to make your gorgeous macarons, I definitely want to get back on that horse! Thanks so much.

  11. What a fabulous post Audra! Those macs you made in your class are gorgeous, love the vibrant colors :) I’ve had moderate success with the French Meringue method, but have been itching to try the Italian one since buying Bouchon Bakery. Thanks for the tips, I know they’ll come in handy!!

  12. GREAT post, Audra. I haven’t tried macarons yet and I want to so badly. I need to set aside a day to just read up and try it out!

  13. I have been wanting to try macarons for quite some time but have always been a little scared. I am so glad you shared your tips/tricks/thoughts – It’s so hard to know what methods to go for and which ones don’t really change the outcome much! I definitely need to give your method a try now that I have a stand mixer (yay, Christmas!).

  14. Those are gorgeous!! And they look so delicious! While the steps are very tedious, I am totally going to try it!

    Also, you look amazing without makeup! I’m just going to pretend you didn’t write that part about no makeup….And your kitchen is so cute! I love all the colors (the teapot, mixer, le creuset)

    p.s. in the ingredients list, the first 110 egg whites doesn’t have a ‘g’ next to it….at first I thought we needed 110 egg whites! It’s obvious in the directions, but just wanted to let you know….sorry!!

  15. Christine says:

    Awesome post, Audra!! This sounds like a great baking challenge to take on; thanks for all of the info. I do have a few questions–when you say the macs should be ‘ripened’, does that include them with or without filling? Rephrased–should they be filled or unfilled prior to ripening, and does that depend on the type of filling? I’m guessing that a buttery filling might make a difference compared to a jam or something similar. Also, can you freeze macarons? Filled or unfilled? I’m guessing not, but thought I’d ask. Thanks again!!!

    • I totally get your question :) they should be “ripened” with filling. Then the flavors of the filling have time to soak into the cookie. :)

      And yes!! You can freeze them! I don’t remember how long she said, but at least a couple weeks. I was thinking of macaron ice cream sandwiches!! :)

  16. I make a ton of macarons using this exact recipe, though I cut the almonds and sugar in half and make two batches with one Italian meringue if that makes sense. For chocolate shells, I drop the almond flour and icing sugar down to 135g each and add 30g of cocoa. For pistachio shells: 135g icing sugar, 135g ground almonds and 30g ground pistachios. To save time grind the almonds and icing sugar in the food processor then sift – who has time to triple sift?? I follow your blog from South Africa (but am originally from the US) and really enjoy it. Thanks for the time and effort you put into it!!

  17. I haven’t been brave (foolish? j/k, haha) enough to try making macs at home yet, but when I do I’m sure your post will be an invaluable resource! Thanks for sharing your knowledge :)

  18. Is that 110 eggwhites? They look so good!

  19. I love this post, it’s great! I’m jealous that you got to take a macaron class in Paris – that’s so exciting.
    Your macarons look perfect, too :-)
    I’ve been making a lot of macarons lately trying to test out different fillings, and wanted to let know you know that I successfully halved this recipe and didn’t have any problems with my whisk not reaching my egg whites! And it still makes a TON of shells! :-)

  20. Carolyn says:

    I just made chocolate passion fruit filled macarons yesterday! The amount of each ingredient in your recipe is the same as Pierre Herme’s recipe. I have successfully halved the recipe…. To make the whisk attachment reach the bottom of the bowl,with a small amount of liquid, I just don’t lock it into place on the mixer and it works great. I also add 1/2 tsp of meringue powder into the egg whites.

    One question – what kind of food colouring did you use in your class? I find unless i use powered food colouring the colour fades a lot when baked.

    • Hey Carolyn!
      So good to know it can be halved- maybe my larger 6 qt mixer is part of the problem? The teacher had said we shouldn’t attempt it- but I’m gonna try again.

      We used gel colors. I’m not sure of the brand, I think it was European! I can email her and see what she says :)

      • Carolyn says:

        Hi Audra — I have a big 6 gt mixer… I can’t remember where I learned the trick to not lock the whisk on the “pin” (Just slide it up, but don’t turn it), but it works wonderfully for whipping small amounts of egg whites, whipping cream, etc.

        And one other question… Pierre Herme writes about using titanium dioxide for shells where colour isn’t added… did your instructor talk about that at all?

        The pictures and lighting in the step by step pictures is beautiful.

  21. wow yours turned out beautifully. i made macarons once and they turned out horribly. i love that you were able to take a macaron class in Paris. That is such a dream come true! I’ll have to pick your brain when I plan a European vacation because you seem to find the best things to do! thanks for sharing your wonderful tips! maybe i’ll give it a try soon :) i’ve kind of been scarred with my first attempt! haha

  22. This is so beautiful! I made meringues in cooking camp one year and these remind me of the precision and cleanliness needed, especially when working with egg whites. Your photos and kitchen-ware is absolutely beautiful!

  23. My friend and I just recently took a macaron making class at our local Sur La Table, and now we’re both addicted. Our instructor showed us, both the French and Italian style, but had trouble with the sugar crystallizing with the Italian Meringue. So we’ve just stuck to the French Meringue instead. But seeing your post, gives me courage to try the Italian Meringue. Thanks for sharing!

  24. This is SUCH a useful post, thank you so much!
    I am so envious of your baking class experience, I hope to do exactly the same thing one day.

    Leah x x x

  25. This is such a helpful post. I’ve been wanting to make some macaroons, but I’ve been a bit nervous. They’re on my 2013 bucket list, so I better get to baking. Your macaroons turned out absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for putting together such an educational post.

  26. Dear Audra,
    I’m an italian girl who found out about you almost accidentally (without the almost) and couldn’t help falling in love immediately!!! Thanks for all of your recipes, tips, great photos and bits of life!
    P.S. Your chocolate chips cookies are the BEST ever, really appreciated by anyone.
    Lots of love,
    Ilaria

  27. This is such great information and couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been wanting to make macarons for a while now. You’ve inspired me to actually do it! Your photos are so beautiful! So happy to have found you!

  28. wowza they look beautiful! I am obessing over macarons right now during spring! filled with ganache or even fruity fillings! yum! i have to try these sometime soon. Ps– i know this is random but where did u get ur sifter? i see martha stewart using it too and i cant find it online!

  29. oh my gosh, those macaroons are absolutely gorgeous – whether you followed all those steps or not! They have to be one of my favorite desserts.

  30. Your itty bitty kitchen is so cute and colorful! Our old place in the East Village had bright yellow walls like that and we miss them dearly (Park Slope kitchen… not so cute haha). I’ve been fascinated with macarons for years, but haven’t been brave enough to get after making my own yet. I may just have to get at it this weekend! *Inspired.

  31. Becca from cookie jar treats says:

    First off, if that is what you look like without makeup and getting ready, you are very blessed, haha. :)

    And second, these macarons are beautiful. I wish to make macarons some day, but I think I would like to be in the comfort of my own home before atempting that. Thanks for all the tips on macaron making! :)

  32. I can’t begin to tell you how much I LOVE this post!! This weekend I am buying a better sifter and a candy thermometer and getting some macs in my life!

  33. First of all, I am super jealous that you learned how to make macarons in Paris! Second, I just love this post. So informative! I used Annie’s method for the first time (only time so far) I made macs and was very successful. I’m definitely going to try to do some extra sifting next time, though. Actually, I think next time we should get together to make them!! Mac party in my kitchen?

  34. gitaisme says:

    This is the recipe that I’ve been looking for!
    I made macaroon with a person whose also went to a cooking school in Paris to made macaroon like you and she did exactly like you wrote (except for the silicon baking mat, which she used and it was a total success)! I’ve tried to browse it on the internet but no one ever mentioned about the TEMPERATURE for the sugar syrup!
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for your recipe!

  35. Hi! Love all the info! Question: do you not add that first granulated sugar amount to the egg whites you whip before adding the hot syrup? Thanks!

  36. Hi, Just tried your recipe this weekend. And they turned out great. I’m so glad I tried the italian method. Thanks for posting this:)

  37. Brianna Flynn says:

    Your macarons are lovely!

    I will note that you CAN use liquid egg whites, but not the kind you’ll find at your regular grocery store. I use Papetti’s which I get at my local restaurant supply, and they work amazingly, they pour out looking just like normal egg whites (which they are, I guess, as they’re for restaurant use). I make thousands of macarons a month, which I why I experimented with these – it is so much easier than separating flats of eggs every week! And a carton is only $2 and change, which is also nice.

    I use slipways almost exclusively because in Florida, the humidity causes my macarons to wick into weird shapes on parchment, but I also use a printed template under the mat so my sizes don’t go all screwy.

    Also, have you tried blending your powdered sugar and almonds in a food processor? It’s also a huge time saver, I just push everything through a sieve after and I get no big chunks or unblinded bits.

    I am so envious of your glossy shells – mine get sheeny but never that shiny!

    • Brianna Flynn says:

      And, um, that’s ‘silpats’ not slipways as my autocorrect insists I meant!

    • Brianna,

      I have been making macarons for a long time and I would like to transition to using the Papetti’s egg whites. Unfortunately, when I use them, my shells have a big air pocket and don’t come out the same. Do you recommend some special baking when you use the Papetti’s egg whites? What temperature and how long do you cook your macs? The commercial oven I use only has increments of 25°F. Today, I tried: 325°F for 14 minutes and the macs where hollow. I increased the cook time to 16 minutes and then the macs were turning brown – the top baking sheets had hollow macs and the one underneath was okay (although brown). Do you recommend anything to fix this? I am so frustrated!!!!

      • Hey Caroline,
        I’m not sure if Brianna with reply back, but I will try to reach out to her if possible. I wish I could be of more help, but I always use regular old egg whites.

  38. Quick question, you said to sift your almond flour 3 times, did you have to put it in a food processor first? I have chefs who would do that first along side the icing sugar before sifting so I was just wondering if that’s what you did too? Thanks a bunch!

  39. I have a question. Where do you position your racks in the oven? In the middle only? on the top and bottom? pleas help! Thanks

    • Hey Theresa! My oven runs hot from the bottom so I bake these in the upper third rack. If your oven is normal- middle rack would be best. I don’t suggest baking more than one tray at a time unless you have a convection oven.

  40. Yvonne jackson says:

    Hello
    These all look so beautiful, I have made about five batches with the different method,however I can’t seem to get mine to hold their colour, I have tried both paste and powder, they look pretty before they cook but looses the colour in baking. I’m not sure how much to use. Any ideas please
    Thanks x

  41. Hi! I was wondering, can I reduce the amount of sugar , or replace some of it with more almond meal? I don’t want them to be too sweet… I’ll be doing them for the first time and I don’t want to mess something up :)

    Thanks!

    • Hey Natasha- I would really not mess with macarons- the proportions need to be exact for them to turn out right!

      • I thought so… but I read somewhere that you can add a pinch of salt to the almond/sugar mixture which will reduce the sweetness. Maybe that will help…

  42. Great recipe overall! Some of my macarons cracked! Any suggestions/tips?? Thanks!

    • Hi Carolina, cracked macarons could be due to a variety of things: 1- too much moisture in the air due to humid weather 2- the macs didn’t dry out enough before baking 3- piped too close together.

      Sorry I can’t help more- without being there its really hard to know!

  43. can we freeze the macarons ?? thanks

  44. Jane Michelle says:

    Hi,
    I love your photos and recipes and tips and everything. They’re so so inspiring to me!!! Can you please help me at the baking part, my macarons can’t seem to keep their colours, it’s alway fading and get alit brown… Thanks so much.

    • Hey Jane- what type of food coloring are you using? A strong gel coloring is best. If they are getting brown- I think your oven is a little too hot- I suggest using a oven thermometer to test the temperature of your oven :)

  45. Hi,
    I really love how your macaron looks. So pretty. I have a question for you why does some macarons looks matt and not glossy. Mine is always matt in color. I wonder why?

    • I think the shininess comes from egg whites that have been strained and beat into a super glossy meringue. I have had both matte and glossy too!

  46. Kathryn Tobacco says:

    Hello, I just stumbled on your blog looking for instructions to make macarons. I didn’t even know about the Italian versus the French method. It sounds like you really put a lot into this so I am going with your way or the Italian way. Can I pre-triple sift my almond flour in advance and then I can just use it as I bake? Or does it clump in storage? I am not sure if what I am sifting is stuff that wasn’t milled finely or if I am just breaking up the meal? When it comes to baking I am a perfectionist so I will probably want to triple sift. I just got a 3 lb bag of superfine blanched almond flour. I love that you gave everything in grams. It makes everything so much easier. And you look gorgeous without makeup!

  47. Debbie Lowenstein says:

    Hey, Audra. I also ‘stumbled across your post while trying to do a little research on the best method to make macarons. I am an experienced mac baker (if you include all the flops in the experience) but I wanted to find out why some that I see in photos have so much more height than mine do, and if that was a result of using one method over the other. I’m guessing that the French method is the one without the cooked sugar. I’m pretty much into baking authentically which is why it caught my attention that you have actually taken a class in Paris and learned how to do it there. I have used the Italian meringue (ironic, isnt it?) process mostly, and I thought I found the greatest success with the recipe from Bouchon. I still get shells too flat for my liking but honestly the last time I made them was when it waswarmer and could have been a little humid. I will try the extra sifting although I feel like I lose some almond there. (I usually use the package almond flour)
    I’m glad I found your blog and will keep up with it in my own tiny kitchen! (sent from my phone so I hope there are no ridiculous typos)

  48. Do you put the filling in before you ripen them in the fridge? Also, I live in northland (New Zealand) where mos of the time it is humid! What would I do if I had an order for these and when I went to bake them it was a humid day? Is there any way around it?? Thanks for this recipe and sharing your knowledge!! Much appreciated :)

  49. I’m a bit confused because in one of your FAQ’s, you said you cannot use liquid egg whites… but isn’t liquid egg white straight from a whole egg. And in one of your reply’s, you said you can’t have any egg yolk in your egg whites. So my real question is, can we use the egg white straight from a whole egg?

  50. ann demers says:

    Can the macaron shell cookie be frozen. If yes, how long are you able to freeze them for?

  51. How you achieve such beuatiful colours? My shells until now have a good colour at the interior but outside turn into a pale beige…. Should I take more colour or reduce the temperature or…?
    Thanks in advance for your help :)

  52. I was wondering if you could tell me approximately how many egg whites are in 110 grams. I just want to make sure that I have enough eggs on hand before I start. Your pictures look so great.

  53. Anne Marie says:

    Hi I was just wondering if you could tell me what temperature to bake the macarons at? (I don’t know if I’m blind or just totally missing it!)

    Thanks

  54. Cheryl Chuang says:

    Hi i tried the recipe just now but my meringue just doesn’t seemed right, after adding the sugar syrup i beat it for about 10 minutes already, the meringue is cooled but i just can’t get it to stiff peaks.. it was glossy but quite soupy.. I’m sure that I’m using all clean equipment and i have aged the egg whites, what am i doing wrong?!

    • Debbie Lowenstein says:

      Sounds to me like something happened with the eggs . . . Was everything totally dry? Maybe a bit of yolk in there? Something splash into the cup while whites were aging?

      • I agree- sounds like something with the eggs. So frustrating- I hate when that happens! Also make sure you pour the sugar syrup right to the spot where the egg whites touch the bowl!

  55. Debbie Lowenstein says:

    Making macarons all this week. I need a good stable filling. Is Swiss buttercream too mushy? What are the best for stability?
    Also, I’m always so afraid of folding too many times to get the macaronage, then I end up with bumpiness. Pushing down with a damp finger results in a less than perfect top. Can you help allay my fears? Yours look so perfect!

    • I suggest ganache, jams, or a nice firm butter cream.

      In terms of folding- you want to get to the “ribbon stage.” Perfect batter will smooth out on its own even with a little tip!

      Sorry for the late reply- my baby was born the day before you asked this!

      • Debbie Lowenstein says:

        Well, congrats! That’s a good excuse : )
        I ended up doing a swiss bc with a blob of jam or caramel or whatever flavor. I was making salted caramel, passion fruit, and raspberry. I was asked by a company owned by a friend to make 94 packages of macarons (which equals 564 cookies! ) as a classy gift to clients. I managed to ship out 33 packages before I found out that one client had received it and they were totally crushed to unrecognizable. Agghh! We had stacked 6 of then in a plastic tub and stuffed each side with tissue paper, tied with pretty ribbon. They looked so nice! Now it’s on to Plan B. A sturdier cookie is in order. Gotta come up with a good one that looks nice!

  56. I have been making french macarons for about 5 months. I am finding that if I divide the recipe and color half, the color is not true (it seems faded) and the colored macarons crack. I do not have the cracking problem at all with the uncolored macarons. I use Americolor gel to color my macarons. I am coloring them before I put the mixtures into the piping bags. Any suggestions?

    • Do you add the color to the egg whites during whipping, or to the TPT?

      I find mine will crack if the liquid is off, I will actually reduce the egg white in the TPT by the amount of coloring I put in. This keeps the liquid to powder ratios true.

      • I am adding the color at the very end after I have folded in the almond/confectioner’s sugar mixture. I’ve been doing it then because I am dividing the batter to make two different colors. Also, since I was using gel color, I didn’t think that the color would throw off the liquid to powder ratio?

        • That should work as long as you don’t get the batter to ribbon stage until *after* you add the color. Divide the batter when it’s almost here but not quite and then add color. Make sense?

  57. Excellent recipe and guidance, thank you! I made a batch and am in the process of baking it. I split the batter and am making half with grated lemon peel that was dried overnight. I’ll fill them with a lemon cream, and the other plain half with a chocolate ganache of some kind. Some thoughts:

    1. I ground blanched almonds in a food processor, and there was no way to get small fluffy particles that would sift. I got an oily mass that could be forced through a mesh sifter–whatever was left over I continued to grind until it went through. Once I added the powdered sugar and first set of egg whites, what I had was loose almond paste. I had to pass everything through the food processor a final time to get it smooth. Way time consuming & very sticky. Pre-ground almond meal would be a real time saver.

    2. I did use a hand-held mixer to make the egg-white/sugar combination. I used a wide, stainless steel bowl, and poured the sugar in gradually around half the circumference of the bowl. Then with the mixer hand I turned the bowl quickly, poured over the other half the circumference, and continued until all the syrup was used.

    3. I used a small ice-cream scoop rather than piping the batter, holding the scoop as level as possible with the sheet.

    Everything worked pretty well. I have uncracked, semi-gloss tops, good feet, and flat undersides. They are not uniformly circular in shape, but since I am pretty awful with a pastry bag I doubt I would do better that way.

    • Hey Maggie- For future reference- you can grind the almonds but you need to add the powdered sugar as well otherwise you’ll end up with almond butter (and it seems like you realized!) :)

  58. aubrye thompson says:

    I attended several classes from this french coking school and they were excellent. The caramel ones were out of this world!!! I havent made any at home using the italian method becuase boiling the sugar scares me! I found an excellent french recipe in the cookbook Small Plates and Sweet Treats by Aran Goyoaga which was very detailed and only required the sugar to be added slowly to the meringue and thy turn out perfect everytime. Its so interesting to know there are so many ways to reach an awesome result of the macaron! Thanks for sharing your tips, I was about to experiment with liquid egg whites and your tip saved me! Thanks!!

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