Here is the fool proof step by step instructions to succeed at making macarons shells:
Ingredients for about 30/35 macarons – 5cm diameter:
Prepare your ingredients and lay them out on your working area:
Almond flour – 150g
Icing sugar – 150g
Aged Eggwhite (preferably fresh egg white, cracked 2 to 3 days prior) – 110g divided into two bowls of 55g each
Granulated sugar – 150g
Water – 37g
Tips about ingredients:
Almond flour or Almond meal
Almond meal is coarser than almond flour. Try to find the finest almond flour, if not, use a food processor to refine it.
Cornstarch or no cornstarch, it doesn’t really matter.
The ageing process will allow you to increase your chance of success at making a nice peaky meringue by increasing the egg whites elasticity.
Boxed egg white work too but there is a risk they won’t rise as nicely as “real” egg whites.
Ageing means cracking your eggs up to 3-4 days in advance, keep in the fridge, take them out and let them rest at room temperature 24 hours before baking.
If one day, you wake up and have a sudden craving for macarons, crack eggs and place the egg whites in a microwave for 10 seconds, this is almost as good as the ageing process.
Nothing special here, just the usual granulated sugar.
1-Line your baking sheet with your macarons baking mat. A silicone baking mat or parchement will work well.
2-Blend the almond flour and icing sugar in a food processor. Do not overblend as you will release the oils in the almonds and your macarons will not turn out. Sift the mixture to obtain the finest mixture. This will increase your chance of getting a smooth shell. Skip this step and save 20 minutes if you have bought our 300g pouch of mix.
3- Add the first 55g bowl of egg whites to the sifted almond flour and icing sugar and mix well until the batter has absorbed all the egg whites.
4-In this recipe, we are using an Italian Meringue. The following steps should happen simultaneously:
a/ Add the granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat, when the sugar and water reach 118 Celsius, take it off. You must use a candy thermometer to get this exact temperature.
b/ But first, when the temperature of the sugar and water reach 100 Celsius, using your electric mixer, start beating your second portion egg whites that you have placed in a dry and clean bowl at full speed.
By the time your sugar reaches 118 degrees the egg whites should be frothy slowly add the sugar/water to the bowl, aiming at the space between the bowl and the turning whisk.
Wait for about 2 minutes – add 5-8 drops of colorant if needed- until the temperature of the bowl is lukewarm to the touch (50-55 degrees Celsius).
You have made an Italian Meringue, the peak should look like a beak, or a bent peak.
5-Add ½ of the meringue to the almond flour icing sugar and eggwhite batter. Mix well, this is called “Macaronner”.
6- The “macaronage” step now is crucial and will get you perfect shells if done correctly or will trigger numerous issues if not.
Gently fold the rest of the meringue into the batter using a rubber spatula. Move your spatula from the bottom of the bowl to the edges with one hand, using your other hand to rotate the bowl. Make sure no dry patches are left and keep on mixing until the mixture is shiny and flowing, but still thick in consistency.
Hold your spatula up, the batter should fall creating a large ribbon of a lava like consistency.
7- Fit your pastry bag with a number 8 tip. Pipe out circles of batter on the parchment paper or baking mat.
Once all the batter has been used, tap the baking sheet gently to smooth the batter out and get rid of the air trapped in it.
8-Let the shells rest for 20 to 40 minutes depending on weather (dry weather, less time, humid, more). Turn your oven on at 150 Celsius or 300 F. Baking time and temperature will vary depending on ovens. Start at 300F for 11 minutes, then adjust accordingly (more time/higher temperature if over baked, less if underbaked).
Take your shells out of the oven and let them cool completely before removing them from the mat. Congratulations! You've now made French Macaron shells that are ready for a delicious filling.
We'll be posting some of our favourite filling recipes soon, so stay tuned!