Ever wondered how to make French macarons? Very likely this is the only Macaron recipe you will ever need! French macarons, these colourful, bite size desserts are highly addictive and wildly popular across the globe. I cover all the necessary details regarding the ingredients & technique of making French macarons, the tools you need in order to succeed, I even put together a Macaron Troubleshooting Guide for typical beginner mistakes!
Macarons are super versatile and can be made in hundreds of different colours and with almost any fillings. Once you master the base Macaron recipe I am sharing with you today, you will be able to make macarons in any shape, size, colour or taste!
What is French macaron?
Macaron is a sweet meringue-based dessert made with egg white, sugar, almond meal, and usually food colouring.
Since the 19th century, a typical Parisian-style macaron is presented with chocolate ganache, buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two cookies. The cookies are characterized by smooth squared top, a ruffled circumference—referred to as the "feet". Macarons can be found in a wide variety of flavours that range from traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to more unusual (foie gras, truffel). What is your favourite macaron flavour?
What is the difference between macarons and macaroons?
Macarons and macaroons are wildly different and don´t be one of those people who confuse them!
Macaroons are made from shredded coconut held together by egg whites and granulated sugar. They are extremely quick and easy to make, sometimes dipped into chocolate. They are of course very delicious with coconut flavour but in a totally different league vs. French macarons!
Macarons on the other hand typically made from almond meal, icing sugar and egg white. Macaron is very different from macaroons in terms of the preparation process but also in regards to the final outcome, texture and taste.
Are French macarons hard to make?
In summary, yes they are not the easiest to make! Are they impossible to make at home? Absolutely not, you definitely have to try this macaron recipe paying attention to the hundreds of tips I am giving away!
Macaron making requires precision, patience and I would also say passion that will keep you going to practise and test the macaron recipe until you succeed. We love to claim that a recipe is foolproof but if I want to be honest with you, there is no such thing as foolproof macaron recipe or a recipe that works for all. Exactly the same recipe can turn out widely different just by changing something as little as few more folds than necessary on the macaron batter - it will turn out too runny and that batch of macaron might end up like pancake.
Although macaron is made of a few basic ingredients like almond meal, egg white and sugar, there are a number of techniques and basic rules you have to be aware of and test in your own home kitchen environment considering humidity, your oven, how fresh the egg white is etc. So when it comes to foolproof macaron recipe, I believe it is more about sharing all the knowledge, dos and don´t-s so that you will be able to walk on your own macaron making journey with confidence until you succeed.
My Top 5 Baking Tips for home bakers
- Read this macaron recipe carefully including my tips and recommendations on how to avoid and fix typical issues during baking. I know it is long, but there is a tip in every sentence, I promise, you will need my tips for making macarons
- Avoid using substitutes and changing the recipe unless you are aware of how to fully reformulate the recipe in order to keep the balance in texture as well as flavour. Eg. reducing sugar or using ingredients not on the right temperature etc. will all have an impact on baking this French macaron recipe
- For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is not provided in this recipe as it is definitely not appropriate for making macarons
- Did you know that most home ovens can significantly under or oven run? Also, oven temperature hugely drops when opening the oven door therefore it is recommended to always pre-heat the oven above the required baking temperature.
- Temperature is so important when it comes to baking and accurate oven temperature is key, can make or break any recipe in particularly macarons are very very sensitive! Make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer to avoid macaron disasters than can be preventable
Important notes regarding the INGREDIENTS of this French Macaron recipe
Almond: Almond is the base of this macaron recipe. Look for almond flour or almond meal or fine ground almond, worth to buy good quality ground almond so called blanched almond without skin. Blanched almond basically means that the brown skin has been removed. For this French macaron recipe, you always want to use blanched almond flour. Technically you can also make fine ground almond yourself in a food processor however you have to be extra careful to process the almond until it is fine BUT making sure that you do not over process it until a point that the almond starts releasing oil. While processing any nut after a while it starts to get sticky then oily then eventually you end up with an oily cream eg. almond paste that is super for making ganache or ice cream but not for making macaron. You definitely want to avoid any unnecessary oily almond while making this macaron recipe so if it is available in your country, the best if you buy ready made fine ground almond. I have also heard that sometimes almond powder is sold in a sort of fat free version, I am not sure what it means exactly but make sure you buy normal almond flour so not the strange fat free version
Can I replace almond flour with other nut flour in this macaron recipe? Yes, you can! In fact hazelnut as well as walnut flour can make wonderful macarons! This Gold macaron recipe for example made with half almond - half hazelnut flour
Can I use regular flour for making macarons? Short answer is no!
Sugar: For the best result I recommend to use 3 types of sugar at 3 different stages of this macaron recipe
- For the marzipan like almond paste base you will need icing sugar or confectioners' sugar mixed with almond flour. Icing sugar is effectively granulated sugar grounded into powder that typically also contains corn starch. If in your country icing sugar is not available, you can either use regular powder sugar or make your own icing sugar by mixing powder sugar with corn starch. Normally icing sugar contains 2% starch so you can mix 98g powder sugar with 2g starch to get 100g icing sugar
- For supporting the egg white while beating up I recommend to use fine sugar, that is normal granulated sugar pulse blended into smaller bits (but not going that far that it would turn into powder sugar). Fine sugar is a common type to make meringue however if you are experienced in making meringue you might be ok using normal granulated sugar
- For the sugar syrup normal granulated sugar is totally fine
If you want to learn about the different kinds of sugar and how to use them in baking, please read my article in here.
Egg white: Making this macaron recipe like any other meringue based recipe require egg white! Make sure you use room temperature egg whites that are absolutely free from any sort of fat (e.g. egg yolk). If you get some egg yolk into the egg white, start again. Believe me, you can’t make a successful meringue and macaron with that batch unfortunately.
What Are Aged Egg Whites? Aged egg whites are separated at least a day ahead of time to help relax the proteins inside the whites. It helps creating a strong meringue with stiff peaks. There is a huge debate about whether to use aged egg white to make macarons and if so how many days should we age the egg white. You will be pleased to know that this macaron recipe works without aged egg whites. Having said that, I don´t think that aging egg white can hurt, so it is something you can experiment with.
Food colouring: It is not absolutely necessary but macarons meant to be colourful, aren´t they? As a general rule you want to add as little “extra things” to the macaron recipe as possible to avoid breaking it, especially if you are just starting out. This is especially important when it comes to liquid ingredients so forget cheap supermarket food colourings! Gel food colouring can work fine if you don’t use an extensive amount however high quality powder food colouring is the most risk-free option . The depth of colour you can achieve with any food colouring is usually in line with the quality / price. For example it is much easier to achieve a pastel pink than dark red. High quality food colouring does not fade while baking, check the reviews before you purchase any product.
My top 10 tips regarding the TECHNIQUE of making this Macaron recipe
1. Which macaron method is the best?
Aka What is the difference between French and Italian macarons?
Generally there are two main ways of making macarons, the French and the Italian way defined by the type of meringue technique used in the macaron recipe. To be clear, both of them are so called French macarons but the way how the meringue is prepared is different.
In the French method, egg white is whipped while fine sugar is added to it gradually until stiff peaks. From there, sifted ground almonds and powdered sugar are folded in slowly until the desired consistency is reached. This process of knocking out air and folding is called macaronage.
The Italian method involves whisking the egg whites with a hot sugar syrup (at a set temperature) to form the meringue. Sifted almonds and icing sugar are also mixed with raw egg whites to form a paste. The meringue and almond paste are then mixed together then, again this is called macaronage.
The macaron recipe below is generally following the Italian meringue method however some part of the sugar is added into the meringue in a "French way", before pouring the sugar syrup in. I have great success with this macaron recipe, I find it is more foolproof than any other recipe and I can warmly recommend to try it if you have always struggled making macarons.
Either the French or Italian meringue method can make a great macarons overall, however there are a few differences. Some people might say that French method is easier as no sugar syrup is involved however when it comes to overall success, Italian seems more stable, allows less errors as the meringue made with sugar syrup is more stable therefore the macaronage process is way easier. People have been long debating which one is easier and / or tastier, I suggest to start with this macaron recipe below that offers the least opportunities for mistakes.
2. What food colouring to use for making macarons?
Good quality food colouring should not fade while baking and should not mess up the texture of your meringue so make sure, you chose one a reputable brand, perhaps check Amazon reviews.
First and foremost forget liquid food colourings, it will mess up the macaron batter and very likely your macarons will crack.
I recommend powder food colourings, they make no impact on the texture of the meringue whatsoever., super safe to use and the one I have certainly does not fade at all. I do not have link for the one I use (bough it in France I think many years ago), but I have the picture of it. It is a brand called Les Artistes-Paris.
Alternatively, as second best option, go for concentrated gel food colourings, any reliable brand like Wilton or AmeriColor can work. Always start with a small amount and increase it gradually. If you are making macarons the first time, it is a a good idea to skip food colorings for two reasons: 1. One less risk 2. You will be able to judge on the colour of your baked macarons better eg. is your macaron browning? Then reduce the temp or move the tray further from the heat (on lower or higher shelf of the oven).
In terms of natural food colourings, I have not tested much myself apart from matcha. The problem with natural food colourings, in my view , is that you have to add so much that it might destroy the meringue. Remember, until you are a real Pro, it is always a risk to add anything to the macaron batter so take it step by step.
3. How to make macarons - Italian meringue technique
Disclaimer: Macaron is typically a dessert that most people have to try more than once to get it right. Do not expect that they turn out perfect the first time! The ones you see on Instagram or Pastry shops usually have been perfected many many times sometimes over years! I have a Troubleshooting Guide at the end that will make your macaron test and try way easier so you can fine tune your technique, ingredients, baking temp until you get it right!
As mentioned above this macaron recipe is based on the Italian meringue method. Once you start making macarons you will realize that although the whole process looks like 20+ steps here, in reality it is literally less than 15 minutes.
I can safely say that making this macaron recipe takes really not much time, certainly no time compared to making cakes etc. The technique part is where you need a good foundation so it is worth to spend a bit of time learning sort of the "theory part" before you make your first batch in practice.
Regarding the quantity of this macaron recipe, it makes about two trays of macaron shells depending on the size and how closely you pipe them next to each other. In theory you can half the recipe but it is not easy to whip up half size meringue also difficult to measure the temp of the sugar syrup if it is too small amount. To cut the long story short, I do not recommend to half the macaron recipe if you are a beginner.
- First and foremost before starting this macaron recipe you have to measure all your ingredients with a Digital scale. This is non negotiable, you absolutely can not make macarons using cups and whatever other funny measurements. It might work for cookies (not really), but definitely not for macarons
- Make sure you arrange every tool you will need at hand, there is nothing more stressful than not finding the piping bag when you need. You will need the following items: Rubber spatula, Stand mixer with whisk attachment to beat egg white, Infrared thermometer gun or any other cheaper thermometer to measure the sugar syrup, Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. 1A Round nozzle tip , Silicone baking mat or a tray with parchment paper, Digital oven thermometer to check your REAL oven temperature. Prepare also the food colouring next to the mixer
- Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any potential residue
- Pulse blend almond flour with icing sugar for 5-10 seconds (not longer as the almond can get sticky / oily( then sift them together and measure with a Digital scale
- Make sure egg white is on room temp, you will need 2 x 55g
- Move one of the 55g egg white into the mixing bowl of your Stand mixer
- Prepare and measure the superfine sugar and have it close by the Stand mixer
- Start making the sugar syrup by boiling granulated sugar with water in a saucepan
- Start whisking egg white on low/medium, once foamy start adding the superfine sugar slowly, a small amount at at time
- Boil sugar & water together for a few minutes until reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F. On my stove this takes about 3 minutes. You absolutely have to measure the correct temperature either with a Infrared thermometer gun or any cheap sugar thermometer can work. One tricky part is how to measure the syrup temp in a shallow saucepan so make sure you use a small saucepan that actually can give some height to the syrup, that is easier to measure. If you use a large saucepan, the syrup "will get lost" in the saucepan makes it impossible to measure the correct temp
- By the time syrup reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F, the egg white & fine sugar mixture should be already reaching a consistency of somewhere between foamy and soft peak. If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches the desired temp, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving but do not whip it up to stiff peaks
- Once syrup is on the right temp (118C-120C / 244-248F) , remove from heat, wait 5 -10 seconds for the bubbles to calm (be careful!!)
- Increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined. Pour it slowly but constantly. This is one of the tricky parts in the process. What you want to make sure is that you pour the syrup without touching the whisker as that would result in making a whole lot of mess within the mixing bowl including sugar syrup crystallizing into hard sugar shards. Make sure you pour the syrup on the side of your bowl and it will be fine.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium/high and continue beating the egg white until it develops shiny, sticky, stiff peaks and as you touch the bowl it is more or less cooled. In my experience, you do not need extra hard meringue as some other recipes state. I only beat the meringue for 3-4 minutes, by that time it is already stable and fluffy but check the consistency rather than the time
- While beating up the meringue mix the other 55g egg white with a with the almond and icing sugar mixture. Use a flexible Rubber spatula. First it might look crumbly but it should come together in a minute or two into a thick almond paste. This step can be done ahead if you wish however you have to cover it with a plastic warp as it can get dry in a few minutes
- In the meantime keep an eye on the meringue and check its consistency every now and then. When the meringue is 90% ready (judging that will comes with practise) add food colouring in. As mentioned above I recommend to use powder colouring that has no impact on the meringue texture. Second best option is high quality concentrated gel food colouring. Do not use liquid food colouring as it will ruin the meringue
- Once you have your stable meringue ready as well as the marzipan paste, let´s move onto the macaronage stage of this macaron recipe
- Gently fold in meringue into the marzipan mixture in thirds, making sure that each third is fully incorporated before adding the next
- In terms of the folding process it is quite a particular one: I like to think that the first third is about loosening up the marzipan, the second third already working on the macaronage process and somewhat pressing the air out and the last third is fine tuning the consistency to the stage you need - that is not too runny, not too stiff, the ribbon stage
- After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. How to check when the macaron batter is ready? When you lift the spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows to write the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready
- I would like to highlight that it is extremely important that you do not over mix your macaron mixture. Too much folding would result in too runny macaron batter that makes it impossible to pipe or even if you can pipe, it would spread too much.
- On the other hand not enough folding would result in too thick macaron batter that again makes piping difficult, leaves unappealing nipples on the macaron shells. It can also result in unpleasant texture and unappealing look of the final baked product
So overall there are two crucial steps you need to get right during making this macaron recipe: a strong meringue and an appropriate macaronage = folding technique that will make the batter into a so called ribbon consistency. Again, it might a sound difficult and a long process but in practice this is done in less than 15 minutes!
4. How to pipe macarons?
Once you have your macaron batter ready in the right consistency (ribbon stage) the next task is piping, it is actually a rather important part of this macaron recipe.
You will need a Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. 2A Round nozzle tip or alternatively you can cut the end of the piping bag but make sure you cut it straight otherwise the macarons might turn out to be egg shaped. Piping equal sized, round macarons takes a lot of practise, don´t be hard on yourself!
Using a template with circles can be useful, but even with that almost 100% you don´t get it right the first time and it is fine! Ideally, the size of the macaron diatemer should be around 3-4 cm (1,5inch) but don´t stress about that the first time. However, make sure you pipe more or less equal sized macarons so you can sandwich them together later when they are baked.
You will also need a Silicone baking mat or a tray with parchment paper. Again, lot of debate which is one is better (or a third option that many people recommend: teflon sheet). As you can see my macarons turned out almost identical on parchment vs Silicone baking mat so don´t worry about it too much. If your macarons do not turn out well it is most likely due inappropriate technique or baking temperature and not because of the baking sheet. My personal preference is Silicone baking mat over parchment because it is more sturdy, less floppy and with parchment there is always the risk of getting slight wrinkles on the paper that is not the best when you want flat macarons.
OK, now onto piping the macarons!
- First of all you should move the macaron batter into the piping bag in a careful manner, making sure to minimalize any air bubbles. Fill the piping bag maximum half then try to remove any air bubbles before piping - by pressing onto the piping bag with your hands
- Hold the piping bag fully vertical and pipe with even pressure. Leave some space in between the macarons making sure they don´t touch each other, also the air can circulate in between them while baking
- As you pipe, the macarons should spread a little but not too much - if the macaron butter is in the right consistency. In case the macarons are spreading too much or the batter is too runny, try making another batch and fold it less
- If you are experiencing tiny nipples on top of the macarons after piping, you can get rid of them by tapping the tray onto the kitchen counter a few times (once you piped a whole tray)
- Whether there are nipples or not, tap the tray onto the kitchen counter about 5-6x to release air bubbles. Pop any air bubbles that might've come to the surface using a toothpick
- Now onto waiting. Making this macaron recipe you need to rest the macarons until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. There are some other macaron recipes out there with different ratios and sugar syrup temp that require longer or no resting time at all. This particular macaron recipe requires a resting time of 25-40 minutes depending on temperature and humidy. Test by gently touching the macarons. I found sometimes they feel "dry" already after 10 minutes but when I baked them they still cracked so make sure they are super dry as you touch and there is a real thick skin on the surface. Not resting your macaron long enough is the most common reason for cracks on the surface while baking so I would say it is probably a good idea to wait at least 25 minutes. On the other hand, do not rest them for too long (hours) neither as that can cause a whole lot of other issues
5. How to bake macarons?
Once you nail making meringue, the macaronage process and the piping technique, the next thing in this macaron recipe is baking these amazing, delicate French dessert!
First and foremost, make sure you invest into an inexpensive Digital oven thermometer. Most oven under or oven heat and with macarons, that can make or break the outcome!
Bad news is that there is no such thing as one oven temp that fits all! Good news is that once you make your first 1-2 batches of this macaron recipe, you will see whether you need to increase or decrease the oven temp. I do not recommend using fan, unless it is a professional oven that you have. In home ovens the air can circulates all over the place that can cause a lot of issues on the meringue.
So how to bake macarons?
- Bake only after appropriate resting time, there should be a proper skin formed on the surface of the macaron
- It is a good idea to properly pre-heat your oven while resting your macarons so for min 25 minutes
- I recommend to bake the macarons 155C / 311F but I pre-heat my oven +20C / 68F more as when I open the oven door, the temp drops
- I bake the macarons in the bottom third of my oven so they definitely do not get browned on the top, you know your oven the best, experiment
- I bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes but you have to test it in your own oven. They should not get browned in this temp but there should be a feet development already at around 5 minutes
- Once macarons are done, remove them from the oven and cool them on a cooling rack but leaving them on the parchment or silicone mat for 30 minutes. Please remember, they will stick to the mat while they are hot, they are not supposed to come off until they cool!
Should I bake macarons on parchment paper or silicone or teflon sheet?
It is down to personal preference, either way your macarons should turn out well with this recipe
How do I know that the macarons are done in the oven?
When you touch the top of the macaron, it should not move around on its feet. If it does, then they are not yet done baking. However, do not test whether they easily come off the baking sheet because they are not supposed to! They will only come off the baking sheet (whether it is parchment or silicone) when they are cooled!
Do I need to rotate the baking sheet while baking macarons?
I suggest do not open the oven door unless your oven bakes very uneven. How do you know that your oven bakes uneven? Well, you will see it on the macarons, they don´t lie! If some part would be browning or it would be an uneven feet development on the macaron shells, it might be a good idea to quickly rotate the baking sheet.
What happens if 155C / 311F baking temp is too low in my oven?
You might see no feet development or that they need significantly more time in the oven to be done. Increase the oven temp by 5C next time
What happens if 155C / 311F baking temp is too high in my oven?
Too high baking temp can cause the macarons to sort of explore or bake in a "mushroom" shape or even crack on the top (a lot of other things can cause cracks too). Or perhaps they will be browning...Decrease the oven temp by 5C next time
6. What tools do I need to make macarons?
This macaron recipe is relatively a low key activity in terms of equipment, you really don´t need a lot of fancy tools - instead it is more about precision and practice.
You will need the following items for making this macaron recipe:
Digital scale - For consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients. This is absolutely a MUST
Rubber spatula - Every home baker needs a few good quality rubber spatulas, not just for this macaron recipe but for every desserts where the recipe states "folding". While making the almond paste make sure you use a flexible rubber spatula, with the help of that the paste will come together in a few seconds. Then while folding meringue into the marzipan paste, at the macaronage stage, rubber spatula will be again extremely important
Stand mixer - Macaron making is a multitasking process and a stand mixer will make your life easier while beating the meringue. I did make macarons few years ago with an electric hand mixer but it is about 1000 times easier and less risky with a stand mixer. I have a KitchenAid Classic and that works perfectly fine
Infrared thermometer gun or any other thermometer - Once you progress in your baking journey at some point you will need some thermometer to measure sugar syrup or any other ingredients that need to be on a certain temperature. You can buy it as cheap as a few euros / dollars or you can purchase a more advanced Infrared thermometer gun that is a must to use for chocolate tempering
Piping bag with a round nozzle tip eg. 2A Round nozzle tip - Nozzle tip is not mandatory in case you can cut your piping bag perfectly straight and pipe the macarons directly without nozzle, however piping bag is absolutely necessary to make macarons. I must state that no matter what piping bag you chose to purchase, practicing your piping technique is also a must. If you have never used piping bag before, perhaps it is a good idea to make any kind of cheap butter cream and practice first
Silicone baking mat or a tray with parchment paper - You anyway will need silicone baking mat for a lot of other desserts so I can warmly recommend to invest into 2-3 pieces. If it is not accessible for you, use parchment paper, it should still work for this macaron recipe!
Digital oven thermometer to check your REAL oven temperature - I would say this is non negotiable. So many of you messaged me with various baking problems in the past year and at least half of these issues can be contributed to inappropriate baking temp. In case of macarons, baking temp is one of the most important factors and being aware of your real oven temp is as important as measuring your ingredients properly
7. Macaron filling ideas
I love that Macarons are super versatile, you can literally make any fillings from raspberry to pistachio or more extreme ones like blue cheese or truffel. Typical macaron fillings can be white, milk or dark chocolate based ganache, tangy curds, perhaps fruit confit or jam. I do not prefer butter creams, see reasons below
There are a few considerations worth to bear in mind regarding macaron fillings:
- The macaron shells are naturally sweet due to the sugar syrup and icing sugar therefore I do not recommend overly sweet fillings that is full of sugar eg. butter creams
- Macarons are stored in fridge and "aged" for around 12 hours therefore you have to think about a filling consistency and texture that is pleasantly smooth yet firm enough on fridge temperature, again a silky chocolate ganache is a much better choice than buttercream that can get rock hard in the fridge
I particularly enjoy tangy fillings eg. my lemon curd recipe. You will need a slightly firmer and more stable consistency than normal lemon curd that is used in tarts so I recommend to add 1 sheet of gelatin into the warm curd (soak gelatin into cold water first). Fill the macarons when curd already sets in the fridge.
My other recommendation is fruit ganache eg. white chocolate based raspberry ganache that brings silkiness and natural fruitiness to the filling. In my tarts eg. in this raspberry tart recipe I use 1:1 ratio so 200g chocolate with 100g heavy cream and 100g fruit puree. For macaron filling the ganache needs to be a bit more thick and stable so I used 200g chocolate with 75g cream and 75g fruit puree to fill my macarons in this post. Fill the macarons when chocolate ganache already sets in the fridge.
Coffee ganache can be also a perfect macaron filling with natural, delicious coffee flavour. In my coffee tart recipe I use 1:1 ratio so 200g chocolate with 150g heavy cream and 50g coffee. Similary as in case of raspbery ganache, for macaron filling the ganache needs to be a bit more thick and stable so use 200g chocolate with 80g cream and 20g coffee. Fill macarons when coffee ganache already sets in the fridge.
8. How to fill macarons?
Finally, you nailed this macaron recipe, it is time to fill your macarons!
First prepare the filling and let it set in the fridge - depending on the recipe it might take a few hours or over night.
Once you have the macarons shells baked and cooled, you are safe to remove them from the baking sheet. In case they ended up slightly different in their sizes (that happens, don´t worry), make sure you pair the similar sizes next to each other.
Filling macarons takes again some practise. The general rule is to pipe the filling onto one side of the macaron then press two shells together evenly so the filling will come out to the side but not more. How much filling do you need per macaron? It is impossible to give an exact amount here, you will see after filling one or two macarons whether you need more or less.
What happens after filling the macarons? Good news is that you are done with making macarons! Bad new is that you have to wait. Macarons require about 12h aging time in the fridge, within this time frame the filling will soften the shells. They can be eaten of course straight away but the texture will be rather hard, nothing like the beloved soft and chewy macaron texture.
9. How to store macarons?
Macarons normally stored in fridge in an air-tight container and their shelf life is rather a delicate matter.
Once they are filled, they need about 12h in the fridge for the shells to soften however with over time they will further soften and can become mushy. My reco is to make the macarons a day ahead so if you want to serve them on a Saturday afternoon tea, assemble them on Friday and they will have the perfect texture for Saturday.
Macarons can be also frozen, I don´t tend to do it but if you are making them in large batch, it might be a good idea.
10. Macaron Troubleshooting Guide
Well macaron baking is one of a kind, you either succeed relatively quickly or you might run into several issues. I suggest first to familiarize yourself with this macaron recipe including the "theory part" then jump into practice, test and learn from your mistakes. There is no such thing as impossible in baking, if I could make it, you can make it too with practice and precision!
Sometimes one issue can be caused by various mistakes eg. oily almond flour, inappropriate folding technique and too high oven temp combined.... so you have to test and learn, change and adjust.
I put together a Macaron Troubleshooting Guide section in here, as you might recognize some of these mistakes and with the help of my Troubleshooting you will learn how to avoid them. I made some of the mistakes on purpose, some of them by accident, also got some pictures from you guys.
My plan is to keep this section up to date with new issues that might arise so please don´t be shy! Feel free to share with me any issues you might have with your macarons. Best, if you email me or DM me on my Instagram!
1. Macarons have vulcanic eruption / cracks on the top
Possible causes & Solutions
- not resting long enough before baking - Solution: I actually made this mistake on purpose to show you what happens if you bake the macarons straight after piping without appropriate resting time. With this macaron recipe (there are maybe some others out there with different ratios) , ,make sure you rest the macarons until a proper skin has formed on the shells, this can take anywhere between 25-40 minutes depending on temperature and humidy. Test by gently touching the macarons. I found sometimes they feel "dry" already after 10 minutes but when I baked them it was still too early so make sure they are super dry as you touch and there is a real thick skin on the surface
- too much air or air bubbles in the macaron batter - Solution: make sure you tap the tray few times onto the kitchen counter after piping
- too high oven temp so the macarons effectively erupt- Solution: try decreasing oven temp by 5-10C less next time
- too much liquid in the meringue - Solution: Several years ago I had many cracks on my macarons then I realized that cheap supermarket kind liquid food colouring is not appropiate to make macarons. Make sure you use concentrated gels or powder is even safer. If you are constantly struggling with cracks, try baking one batch without food colouring and see how they come out
2. Macarons are lopsided
Possible causes & Solutions
- resting too long - Solution: I made this mistake on purpose as wanted to check what happens if I rest my macarons for over an hour. Make sure you rest the macarons until a proper skin has formed on the shells but not too long so do not leave them without baking for hours
- uneven piping - Solution: Make sure you pipe the macarons straight while holding the piping bag perfectly vertical
- too strong or uneven fan in the oven / uneven heat in the oven - Solution: I do not recommend using fan if you have an average home oven as the air can circulate very uneven therefore macarons bake uneven. On the other hand what if you don´t use the fan and your oven still heats uneven? Unfortunately it is a very difficult situation and apart from rotating your tray (that has also risks - see below) there is not much you can do
- opening the oven door - Solution: You have to remember that macarons are very sensitive meringue like cookies therefore opening the oven door and letting cold air in is not the best idea. However, if your oven heats very uneven, feel free to rotate the tray halfway through but make sure you do it as quickly as possible
- tapping the baking tray too hard or uneven - Solution: Tapping the baking tray is important but make sure you do not ruin your macarons while doing so. It is especially risky when macarons are piped onto parchment paper that is not as sturdy as silicone baking mat
3. Macarons stuck to the baking mat
Possible causes & Solutions
- underbaked - Solution: This is actually a really easy issue to fix. If your macarons stuck to the baking mat it is almost sure that they are underbaked. Next time bake it few minutes longer
- macarons are still warm - Solution: Please remember that you have to let the macaron properly cool on the baking mat before moving them. They are not supposed to come off while they are hot
4. Macarons hollow
Possible causes & Solutions
- inappropriate macaronage - Solution: This is not an easy issue to fix as the proper folding technique comes with experience. Make sure you press some air out of the meringue as you fold it with the almond paste, that can help to avoid hollow shells
- too low oven temp - Solution: If you also experience longer than normal baking time then maybe you can increase oven temp by 5C next time
- inappropiate meringue - Solution: This again will come with experience. You have to make sure you beat the meringue just until early stiff peak. Both underwhipped and ovewhipped meringue can cause hollow macarons
5. Macarons have nipples
Possible causes & Solutions
- undermixed (too thick) macaron batter - Solution: This is an easy fix, aim for the ribbon stage! After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. How to check when the macaron batter is ready? When you lift the spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows to write the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready
- macarons were not tapped onto the kitchen counter - Solution: Even if your macaron batter is slightly thick you can get rid of these nipples by tapping the tray onto the kitchen counter a few times
6. Macarons have no feet
Possible causes & Solutions
- inappropriate macaronage - Solution: This is not an easy issue to fix as the proper folding technique comes with experience. Make sure you press some air out of the meringue as you fold it with the almond paste, that can help to avoid a lot of troubles including no feet cookie like looking macarons
- too low oven temp - Solution: If you also experience longer than normal baking time then maybe you can increase oven temp by 5C next time
- inappropiate meringue -Solution: This again will come with experience. You have to make sure you beat the meringue just until early stiff peak
- macaron batter is too wet - Solution: Make sure your sugar syrup has the right temp (118-120C). Also avoid using liquid food colouring
7. Macarons are flat and wrinkled
Possible causes & Solutions
- overmixed (too runny) macaron batter - Solution: Remember, aim for the ribbon stage while making this macaron recipe! After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. How to check when the macaron batter is ready? When you lift the spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows to write the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready. Do not mix the macaron batter after this point as the mixture can get runny easily
- weak meringue - Solution: Make sure you aim for a strong "early stiff peak stage" meringue. If the egg white does not achieve this stage even after beating for 5 minutes in the stand mixer, it is better to start over
- too much food colouring - Solution: Avoid using liquid food colouring or too much of gel food coluring
- oily almond - Solution: Try to buy good quality blanched almond as it might get oily in the food processor while you are making it yourself
8. Macarons are browning too much
Possible causes & Solutions
- too high oven temp or baking too long- Solution: This is an easy fix. If macarons are browning on the top, either move the tray lower and / or decrease the oven temp. If macarons are browning on the bottom, move the tray up and / or decrease the oven temp. I had an oven once that was browning my macarons so much that I actually had to place and extra tray on the top part, try this trick perhaps. Or simply bake for less time.
9. Macarons have uneven surface (bumpy and rough)
Possible causes & Solutions
- almond flour not fine (has too large almond bits) - Solution: This is an easy fix. Pulse blend almond flour with icing sugar for 5-10 seconds (not longer as the almond can get sticky) then sift them together, in this way the almond paste will be very smooth, not bumpy
Do you experience any other macaron issues? Please let me know and I am eager to cover that too in my Macaron Troubleshooting Guide!
French Macaron recipe ideas to try
Festive Gold macaron - This Gold macaron can be the perfect bite size treat for any special occasions or celebrations like birthdays, weddings, Christmas or New Year´s etc. Beyond its gorgeous look this Gold macaron also tastes amazing; it is filled with caramelized white chocolate that has the perfect deep caramel note without being overly sweet and hazelnut paste with the most delicious natural nutty flavor. Recipe in here
Pistachio macaron – You just can´t go wrong with pistachio flavor, it is widely popular! This Pistachio macaron is filled with my pistachio ganache that has the perfect color, deep nutty pistachio flavor without being overly sweet. The macarons are decorated with a super easy white chocolate & pistachio pattern, they can´t really get any more delicious and pretty! Recipe in here
Crème brûlée macaron – Crème brûlée macaron is a dream for Crème brûlée and macarons lovers! This macaron recipe delivers on all the key Crème brûlée attributes without compromise: lovely bite sized macaron shells are sandwiched together with creamy custard filling while a crunchy caramelized sugar is added on top as decoration. Recipe in here
Earl Grey macaron with lemon curd filling – This Earl Grey macaron recipe with lemon curd filling is the most aromatic bite sized desserts ever, perfect for tea lovers! The French macaron shells are loaded with fragrant Early Grey loose tea and sandwiched together with creamy, buttery, tangy lemon curd that perfectly balances the tea inspired shells. Recipe in here
Chocolate & hazelnut macaron – This Chocolate Hazelnut macaron recipe is a dream for chocolate and hazelnut lovers in a lovely, bite sized French macaron format. The macarons are filled with silky chocolate ganache and hazelnut paste with the most delicious natural nutty flavor. Recipe in here
French macaron recipe (Italian meringue technique)
- Small enough saucepan to measure sugar syrup correctly
- 150 g Almond flour finely grounded
- 150 g Icing sugar
- 55 g Egg whites room temp
- 120 g Granulated sugar
- 50 g Water
- 55 g Egg white room temp
- 30 g Superfine sugar
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Measure all your ingredients with a Digital scale and prepare all the tools you need at hand
- Properly clean your mixing bowl and whisk attachment by wiping them down with vinegar
- Pulse blend icing sugar with almond flour for 5-10 seconds then shift them together. The mixture should be very fine powder like
- Move one of the 55g room temp egg white into your Stand mixer
- Start making the sugar syrup by boiling granulated sugar with water in a saucepan
- Star whisking the egg white on low / medium speed then gradually add the superfine sugar onto it
- Boil the sugar syrup until it reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F. Use a Infrared thermometer gun or any other thermometer to measure the correct temp
- By the time syrup reaches 118C-120C / 244-248F, the egg white & fine sugar mixture should be already reaching a consistency of somewhere between foamy and soft peak
- Once syrup on the right temp remove from heat. Keep the Stand mixer speed on medium and begin slowly pouring the syrup down on the side of the mixing bowl making sure that the syrup flows on the side only and does not get onto the whisk
- Increase Stand mixer speed to medium / high and continue whisking the meringue until it forms early stiff peaks meaning it is strong enough to hold its shape but not over whipped
- In the meantime mix the remaining 55g egg white into the almond flour & icing sugar mixture until it forms a paste, use a flexible Rubber spatula.
- When meringue is almost done mix in food colouring (powder or gel) and continue beating for a few more seconds
- Once meringue as well as almond paste ready, gently fold in meringue into the marzipan with the help of a Rubber spatula. Fold meringue in thirds, making sure that each third is fully incorporated before adding the next
- The first third is about loosening up the marzipan, the second third already working on the macaronage process and somewhat pressing the air out and the last third is fine tuning the consistency to the stage you need that is ribbon stage
- After adding the last third of the meringue make sure you check the consistency of the macaron batter every few seconds. When you lift the Rubber spatula over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon. Try to write number 8 with the ribbon, once the consistency allows to write the number 8, it is very likely that your macaron batter is ready
- Tap the baking tray onto the kitchen counter a few times to release any air bubbles. You can also pop air bubbles out using a toothpick
- Rest the macarons on room temp for about 25-40 minutes depending on temperature and humidy. Test by gently touching the macarons, it should feel dry on the touch and proper skin should form on the surface of them
- Pre-heat oven while macarons are drying. I recommend to bake the macarons 155C / 311F but I pre-heat my oven +20C / 68F more as when I open the oven door, the temp drops. Make sure you use a Digital oven thermometer to check your real oven temp
- Bake the macarons for 14-15 minutes, adjust if necessary to your oven (use my Troubleshooting guide)
- Once macarons are done, remove them from the oven and cool them on a cooling rack but leaving them on the parchment or Silicone baking mat for 30 minutes. They are not supposed to come off the baking mat until they are properly cooled
- Once macaron shells cooled, remove them from the baking sheet. In case they ended up slightly different in their sizes, make sure you pair the similar sizes next to each other
- For filling ideas read my blog post above this recipe
- Pipe filling onto one side of the macaron then press two shells together evenly so the filling will come out to the side
- Macarons require about 12h aging time in the fridge, within this time frame the filling will soften the shells.