Successful macarons: 28 tips from a French Pastry Girl

Successful macarons: 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

Are macarons hard to make?

Macarons are a recipe that scares a lot of people. For a long time I failed at making macarons, 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.

Macaron what origin?

The macaron 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 macaron, as we know it today.

sucessful macarons

Macarons 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 macaron 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 macarons

What recipe for macarons ?

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 macaroning much easier and increases the chance of success

Are macarons supposed to be chewy?

Yes! When they leave the oven, macarons are quite hard. But with the contact of the ganache they become soft and smooth.

What material to use to make macarons

Which baking tray to use to make macarons?

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

Which pastry socket to poach the macarons in?

Personally, I poach my macarons 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 macarons too big.

What colouring should I use to make macarons?

Macaron dough is a bit sensitive and does not take well to being mixed. So to colour your macarons, 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 “macaroning”

What is macaroning?

Macaroning 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 macarons.

How to make macaroning?

To “macaron”, 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 macarons

When to stop macaroning

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

How to know if I macaroned correctly?

If you have made a good macaoon, 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 macaron.

Assembly tips

How to have a beautiful collar?

The macaron 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 macarons?

This is an important step in making beautiful macarons. 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 macarons 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 macarons?

To get smooth macarons, 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 macarons

Second tip, before putting the macarons 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 macarons. 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 macarons

How do I know if the macarons have dried enough?

Your macarons have dried enough when they no longer stick to your finger when pressed. But this step is not mandatory. Personally, I don’t dry my macarons.

Baking macarons

How do I know if the macarons are cooked?

The macarons are cooked when they have a nice collar, a smooth shell and when they detach themselves from the tray. Be careful, your macarons 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 macarons because I wanted them to be soft when they came out of the oven, but this was a mistake.

Why are my macarons hollow?

The macarons 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 macarons from greaseproof paper?

If your macarons 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 macarons?

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

When to fill the macarons?

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

sucessful macarons

How to store macarons

Can macarons be frozen?

The macarons 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 macarons?

Macarons 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 macarons from going soft?

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

Macarons what went wrong?

Why do macarons crack?

The macarons 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 macarons 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 macarons do not rise, the eggs were not properly beaten.

Why is my macaron 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 be able to detach itself), it will become softer when it comes into contact with the ganache.

What to do with failed macarons?

Failed macarons 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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