The macaroon is a delicious little bite enjoyed by many. But it's a demanding job, and one that scares off many enthusiasts. But with the right tips, it's not that complicated. Let's take stock together! General information about macaroons Is it difficult to make macaroons? Macaroons are a recipe that scares a lot of people. For a long time, I couldn't get my macaroons right, they were my real pet peeve. But once you've got the right recipe and understand the technique, it's not such a difficult recipe if you apply yourself. Just take your time, stick to the recipe and you should be fine. Macaroons - where do they come from? The macaron as we know it is said to have been brought from Italy by Catherine de Médicis to Nancy for her wedding. It's an adaptation of "maccherone". It was then popularized by Benedictine sisters Marguerite Gaillot and Marie-Elisabeth Morlot when they launched their boutique. At the time, it consisted of a simple hull. It was Ladurée who adapted the recipe to the 19th century, adding two shells with a ganache and creating the macaron de Paris as we know it today. Macaroons which meringue? The big debate when choosing a macaroon recipe: French meringue or Italian meringue? Well, I have it on good authority that it doesn't matter. In fact, Richard Sève explained in my article about his recipe that the results are equivalent. The important thing is to have small bubbles (so don't beat too fast) so that the whites are solid. Basically, French meringue or Italian meringue, it doesn't matter as long as your egg whites are better set. Personally, I make them with French meringue, which is less complicated. Which recipe for macaroons? I've tried lots of macaron recipes, with French meringue or Italian meringue, with or without crust... I didn't notice any difference. On the other hand, the real point of difference, in my opinion, lies in 2 things: drying almond powderchoose a recipe in which some of the egg whites are added in liquid form, making macarooning much easier and increasing the chances of success. How to make macaroons Which baking sheet to use for macaroons? Some recipes recommend using two baking trays, one on top of the other, to bake macaroons. This would be the key to having a collar on the macaroons. Personally, I use a simple perforated baking sheet covered with parchment paper, and I've always had beautiful ruffles. Which socket to use for poaching macaroons? Personally, I pocket my macaroons with a PF10 (i.e. a 10 mm diameter petit fours sleeve). You can use the top size (12 mm), but be careful not to make the macaroons too large. What colouring should I use to make macaroons? Macaroon dough is a bit touchy and doesn't take well to being mixed. So to color your macaroons, avoid liquid colorants, which will change the consistency of the dough. Prefer powder or gel colorants, which are more powerful and won't make your paste runnier. Tips on macarooning What is macaronnage? Macaronnage is the step in which the "tant pour tant" is added to the meringue. This is the most delicate stage in making macaroons. How do I Macaronner? To make the macaroon, add almond powder and sugar to the egg whites. Next, gently lift the whites to integrate them and crush any lumps of egg white. When should I stop Macaronnage? You should stop macarooning when the preparation is well amalgamated and homogeneous. How do I know if I've macaronned correctly? If you have macaronned well, your dough will form a ribbon. In other words, if you let it fall again, it "runs off" and slides to the bottom of the bowl. If your dough falls into several pieces, continue macaronning. Assembly tips Macaroons - how to get a beautiful ruff? The macaroon collar is a great mystery in the blogosphere. Some swear by baking on double sheets, while others let their dough crust over for hours before putting it in the oven. I don't do either and I've always had a nice ruff. Apparently, it's more down to the quality of the egg whites. Whether you opt for a French or Italian meringue, don't assemble it too quickly. By raising the whites for a long time but at a low speed, the air bubbles will be finer but more numerous, and your whites will be more stable. How to poach macaroons? This is an important step in making pretty macaroons. To poach correctly, your piping bag must be held perfectly perpendicular to the baking sheet. Hold still and press down on the bag, a nice round shape will form around the tip. Quickly lift the sleeve and voilà! Take care to pocket your macaroons quiconce on the baking sheet. This ensures good air circulation and even heat distribution during cooking. How do I get smooth macaroons? For smooth macaroons, you need dry almond powder, finely blended with powdered sugar for 5 minutes. In this way, there will be no grain on the hulls. Second tip, before placing the macaroons in the oven. Drop the plate from a height of 30 cm to remove air bubbles. How to dry almond powder? Moisture is the sworn enemy of macaroons. By drying your almond powder, you reduce the risk of over-wet dough. To do this, bake your almond powder for 10 minutes at 150°C. How do you know if the macaroons have croutés? Your macaroons are crusty when they no longer stick to your finger when pressed. But this step is not mandatory. Personally, I don't crust my macaroons. Baking macaroons How do you know if the macaroons are cooked? The macaroons are cooked when they have a nice, smooth shell and come off the baking sheet by themselves. Your macaroons should be a little hard when they come out of the oven. They regain their softness on contact with the ganache. For a long time I undercooked my macaroons because I wanted them to be soft when they came out of the oven, but that was a mistake. Why are my macaroons hollow? The macaroons are hollow when the bottom has stuck to the baking sheet and the top has separated. This is a sign that the cookie was undercooked. How to remove macaroons from greaseproof paper? If your macaroons don't lift off the baking sheet on their own, they're undercooked. Leave them on the baking sheet outside the oven for a few minutes and they should peel off on their own. If this isn't the case, you can run a small amount of water between the baking sheet and the parchment paper, as the steam will loosen the stubborn shells. When to remove the macaroons? The macaroons can be removed from the mould as soon as they come out of the oven, or a few minutes later if they are not completely baked. When to garnish macaroons? The macaroons should be filled cold, otherwise the filling will become runny. How to store macaroons Can macaroons be frozen? The macaroons freeze well. You can keep the shells in the freezer for up to 3 months. For the trim, it obviously depends on the components. When to eat macaroons Macaroons should be eaten at least 24 hours after baking. This is the time needed for them to regain their softness and take on the taste of the filling. Remove from the fridge 1/2h before serving. How can I prevent macaroons from going soft? To prevent macaroons from softening, keep them refrigerated. They keep for up to a week. Recurring problems with macaroons Why do macaroons crack? The macaroons crack because of a baking problem. Try baking the cockles for longer, but turn the oven down a little. Why doesn't macaron swell? If your macaroons don't rise, it's because your egg whites weren't properly beaten. In fact, it is the air bubbles present in the preparation that expand when heated. If the macaroons don't puff up, it's because the eggs weren't properly beaten. Why is my macaroon hard? A hard macaron is an overcooked macaron. Be careful, though: when it comes out of the oven, it should be a little hard (enough to detach on its own), and will regain its softness when it comes into contact with the ganache. What to do with failed macaroons? Failed macaroons often taste really good. If they're too hard, you can use them as cookies in a yoghurt or cheesecake base, for example.