Perfect macarons are the unicorns of the baking world. Every baker has dreams of that perfect, glossy, smooth shell, a chewy texture and, of course, that they make those iconic little feet. My recipe will help you get all those things!
Macarons are my absolute favourite thing to make. They are a big challenge but when you nail them, it gives me HUGE satisfaction! After making them a thousand times, I’ve really got the perfect macaron recipe. I’ve also identified the critical points which will make or break your macarons. I’m kind of on a mission to make sure that everyone can nail the perfect macaron too! If you’re a watcher, rather than a reader, watch my full video tutorial below, otherwise keep scrolling!
TIPS TO PERFECT MACARONS
Tip 1. Get a scale. I’ve said it a thousand times, but weighing your ingredients will change your baking!
RASPBERRY WHITE CHOCOLATE MACARONS
150g ground almonds
pinch of salt
55g +55g egg whites, at room temperature
gel food colouring
1 x quantity white chocolate ganache (recipe at the end), to fill
125ml raspberry jam, to fill
Line 2 x baking trays with baking paper.
Tip 2. Always use baking paper – not silicone baking mats.
Place the ground almonds, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until fine. Sift the mixture twice and pulse any remaining lumps until they pass through the sieve.
Tip 3. Your ‘ground almonds’ aren’t fine enough. You know that glossy perfect macaron? The gloss comes from superfine almonds! Grind them in a food processor or blender and sift them through your finest sieve you have.
Add 55g egg whites to the ground almond-icing sugar mixture along with the food colouring. Do not stir. Set aside.
Tip 4. This allows the almonds to absorb any excess water in the egg whites which will make your batter more stable.
Place the remaining 55g egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Simmer until the syrup reaches 115 degrees Celsius on a sugar thermometer. Start whisking the egg whites until they reach soft peak stage. When the syrup reaches 118 degrees, pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg whites in a steady stream. Continue whisking until the meringue is thick, glossy and still warm to the touch.
Tip 5. Use the Italian Meringue method (as opposed to the French meringue method). It’s a little more effort pouring a hot sugar syrup over the whipped egg whites, but will give you more consistent results.
Fold the almond icing sugar mix into the meringue in two parts, using a metal spoon, taking care not to knock the air out.
Tip 6. Use an unrefined icing sugar – Natura Sugars is my go-to brand. Unrefined sugar has loads of flavour so it’s not just sweet. This one is also super fine so makes a really glossy macaron batter too!
Keep folding until the batter is glossy and forms a thick glossy ribbon when dropped off the spoon (to test, drop a blob on the baking tray and tap 3 times – it should spread nicely).
Tip 7. This is probably the most important step and it’s known as ‘macaronage’. If your macarons always come out with feet but are dull, it’s because you’re not folding the mixture long enough. Keep going until it’s glossy!
Place in a piping bag and pipe 5 cm rounds, leaving enough room for spreading.
Tip 8. Use a macaron template! Click here to download mine.
Tap the baking tray firmly on the work surface 3 times to remove the bubbles and for the macarons to spread slightly. Allow to stand at room temperature for 45-55 minutes or until the surface of the macaron no longer feels tacky to the touch (it shouldn’t stick to your finger).
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius (fan-forced) or 130 degrees (conventional) and move your oven rack to just below the middle rack. Make sure you have no other baking sheets in the oven – this can interfere with heat transfer.
Tip 9. If you think your oven temperature might be off, get an oven thermometer. They’re really affordable and will take so much of the guess work out of your baking.
When the oven is ready, place one tray of macarons in the middle of the oven and bake for 12-13 minutes. They are ready when the feet feel firm and the macaron shell ‘gives’ a little when you poke it. Allow them to cool on the baking tray before removing them with a palette knife. Pipe a ring of white chocolate ganache (see recipe below) on half the macarons and drop a small amount of raspberry jam in the centre. Sandwich the macaron shells together.
Tip 10. Leave them for a day after filling (refrigerated) so they absorb the moisture from the filling and become chewy