Successful macaroons: 28 tips from a French Pastry Girl

Successful macaroons: 28 tips from a French Pastry Girl

The macaroon is a delicious little bite enjoyed by many people. But making it is demanding and scares many people away. However, with the right tips, it is not that complicated. Let’s take a look together!

General facts

Is it difficult to make macaroons?

Macaroons are a recipe that scares a lot of people. For a long time I failed at making macaroons, it was really my pet peeve. But once you have the right recipe and understand the technique, it’s not such a difficult recipe if you apply yourself. You just have to take your time, stick to the recipe and it should turn out fine.

Macaroon what origin?

The macaroon as we know it is said to have been brought from Italy by Catherine de Medici to Nancy during her wedding. It is an adaptation of the “maccherone”. It was then popularised by the Benedictine sisters Marguerite Gaillot and Marie-Elisabeth Morlot when they launched their shop. At the time, it was made of a simple shell. It was Ladurée who adapted the recipe in the 19th century by adding two shells with a ganache and created the Paris macaroon, as we know it today.

sucessful macaroons

Macaroons what meringue to choose?

Grand débat lorsqu’on choisit une recette de macarons : meringue française ou meringue italienne ? Hé bien je tiens de source sûre que ça n’a aucune importance. En effet, Richard Sève dans mon article à propos de sa recette

There’s a big debate when choosing a macaroon recipe: French meringue or Italian meringue? Well, I have it on good authority that it doesn’t matter. Indeed, Richard Sève in my article about his recipe explained to me that the results are equivalent. The important thing is to have small bubbles (so not to beat too fast) so that the whites are solid. Basically, it doesn’t matter whether you use French meringue or Italian meringue as long as your whites are better set. Personally, I make them with French meringue, it’s less complicated.

sucessful macaroons

What recipe for macaroons ?

I’ve tested a lot of macaroon recipes, with French meringue or Italian meringue, with or without crusting… I didn’t see any difference. On the other hand, the real point of difference in my opinion lies in 2 things:

  • drying the almond powder
  • choose a recipe where part of the egg whites are added liquid by liquid, this makes the macarooning much easier and increases the chance of success

What material to use to make macaroons

Which baking tray to use to make macaroons?

Some recipes recommend using two baking trays on top of each other to bake macaroons. This would be the key to getting a collar on the macaroons. Personally, I use a simple perforated tray covered with baking paper and I have always had beautiful collars.

Which pastry socket to poach the macaroons in?

Personally, I poach my macaroons with a PF10 (i.e. a 10 mm diameter small “petits fours”). You can use the size from above (12 mm) but be careful not to make the macaroons too big.

What colouring should I use to make macaroons?

Macaroon dough is a bit sensitive and does not take well to being mixed. So to colour your macaroons, avoid liquid colouring which will change the consistency of the dough. Prefer powder or gel dyes, which are more powerful and will not make your dough more liquid.

Tips for “macarooning”

What is macarooning?

Macarooning is the stage in which the “tant pour tant” (meaning “fifty for fifty”) is added to the meringue. This is the most delicate stage in the making of macaroons.

How to make macarooning?

To “macaroon”, add the almond powder and sugar to the egg whites. Then, gently lift the whites to integrate them and crush any lumps of so much for so much.

sucessful macaroons

When to stop macarooning

You should stop macarooning when the mixture is well blended and homogeneous.

How to know if I macarooned correctly?

If you have made a good macaroon, your dough will form a ribbon. This means that if you let it fall, it will “flow” and slide to the bottom of the bowl. If your dough falls in several pieces, continue to macaroon.

Assembly tips

How to have a beautiful collar?

The macaroon collar is a great mystery in the blogosphere. Some people swear by baking on a double tray, while others crust their dough for hours before putting it in the oven. I don’t do either and I’ve always had a nice ruffle. Apparently it’s more to do with the quality of the egg whites. Whether you choose a French or Italian meringue, don’t whip it up too quickly. By beating the whites for a long time but at a slow 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 beautiful macaroons. To poach correctly, your piping bag must be held perfectly perpendicular to the plate. Don’t move and press down on the bag, a nice round shape will form around the sleeve. Quickly lift the sleeve and voilà! Take care to place the macaroons in the pocket on the baking tray. This allows the air to circulate and the heat to be distributed evenly during baking.

How to get smooth macaroons?

To get smooth macaroons, you need a dry almond powder that you mix finely with icing sugar for 5 minutes. This way, there will be no grains on the shells.

sucessful macaroons

Second tip, before putting the macaroons in the oven. Drop the tray 30 cm high to remove any air bubbles.

How to dry almond powder?

Moisture is the sworn enemy of macaroons. By drying your almond powder, you limit the risk of the dough being too wet. To do this, put your almond powder in the oven for 10 minutes at 302°F.

sucessful macaroons

How do I know if the macaroons have crumbled?

Your macaroons have crusted well 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 I know if the macaroons are cooked?

The macaroons are cooked when they have a nice collar, a smooth shell and when they detach themselves from the tray. Be careful, your macaroons should be a little hard when they come out of the oven. They will regain their softness when they come into 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 this was a mistake.

Why are my macaroons hollow?

The macaroons are hollow when the bottom has stuck to the tray and the top has come off. This is a sign that the biscuit was undercooked.

How to remove macaroons from greaseproof paper?

If your macaroons don’t come off the tray by themselves, they’re not quite cooked through. Leave them on the tray outside the oven for a few minutes and they should come off by themselves. If not, you can run a little water between the tray and the baking paper, the steam will loosen the stubborn shells.

When to remove the macaroons?

The macaroons can be taken out of the oven or a few minutes later if they are not completely baked.

When to fill the macaroons?

The macaroons must be filled cold, otherwise the filling will be watery.

sucessful macaroons

How to store macaroons

Can macaroons be frozen?

The macaroons freeze very well. You can keep the shells in the freezer for 3 months. For the filling, it obviously depends on the components.

When to eat the 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. Take them out of the fridge half an hour before eating.

How do I keep the macaroons from going soft?

To prevent the macaroons from becoming soft, they should be kept in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to a week.

Recurring problems with macaroons

Why do macaroons crack?

The macaroons are cracking because of a baking problem. Try baking the shells 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 were not properly set. Indeed, it is the air bubbles present in the preparation that expand with the heat. If the macaroons do not rise, the eggs were not properly beaten.

Why is my macaroon hard?

A hard macaroon is an overcooked macaroon. Be careful though, when it comes out of the oven it should be a little hard (enough to be able to detach itself), it will become softer when it comes into contact with the ganache.

What to do with failed macaroons?

Failed macaroons often taste very good. If they are too hard, you can use them as biscuits in a yoghurt or cheesecake base for example.



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