Macarons (the original French macaroons)
This variety of flavours means that I test many alternatives, so don't be surprised if in the pictures the colour of the macarons changes, I used the best photograph available for each stage. You will also find a page dedicated to fillings for macarons.
For 20 macarons, you will need:
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).
Resting : 55 min.
Cooking : 20 min.
Start to finish : 2 hours 38 min.
At what time?At what time will I finish if I start at...?
At what time should I start if I want to finish at...?
Work that out...
How much will it cost?
Per macarons : 0.15 €
Note : These prices are only approximate. Read more...
Step by step recipe:
|Sieve 80 g ground almonds into a bowl, and discard any bits of almonds or skin which remain in the sieve.
You can use "white" ground almonds (without skin) or "grey" (with skin), it's a question of taste and appearence of the finished macarons. In my opinion, "grey" almond macarons have more flavour, but less clear colour (natural, green, yellow, pink, etc...).
|Sieve 150 g icing sugar into the same bowl.
These siftings (and that which follows) are to obtain a fine mixture of ground almonds and icing sugar, without any small lumps.
|Then mix almonds and icing sugar with a whisk, to avoid lumps reforming.|
|Put 2 egg whites, a few drops of lemon juice and a pinch of salt in a mixer bowl.
Note: If you have several egg-whites in a bowl, and don't know how many, remember that one white egg is about 35 g.
Beat on high speed until stiff adding the tablespoon of sugar halfway through.
|Add 10 drops food colouring, and beat a few seconds more to mix thoroughly.|
|We do this, instead of adding colouring before beating, to keep the colour stronger.|
|Sieve the icing sugar and almonds mixture onto the egg-whites.|
|Tip the bowl slightly and, with a maryse or a spatula (a maryse is much better), mix gently, turning over from top to bottom rather than round.|
|This is the first tricky stage: you should work the mixture, the aim is not to obtain a light mixture (as for a mousse for example)...|
|...but something slighly runny and shiny.
This process is called "macaroner" in French(to macaron, perhaps?).
|With a forcing bag (or a teaspoon, but it's much more difficult), form small heaps of mixture on cooking parchment or silicon paper on a baking sheet about the size of a 2 euro coin (1").
Leave a reasonable space between heaps, because they will spread out a little.
|Tap the baking sheet gently on the work surface to spread out the heaps, and to round them (to remove the small point left by raising the forcing bag).|
|See the photos for what happens after tapping the baking sheet.|
|Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour, for the heaps to "form a crust".
This is the 2nd tricky stage: this time of "forming crust" is important for macarons which are well rounded, and do not split during cooking.
|To test if your macarons are sufficiently "crusted", touch a top lightly with your finger: if the dough does not stick to your finger, the macarons are ready.|
|Then preheat the oven to 160°C or 320°F, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
For some mysterious reason I have found that macarons rise best if they are on two baking sheets (one on top of the other) instead of a single one.
Turn the baking sheets (front to back) after 6 minutes for even cooking.
|Leave to cool completely before removing the macarons, and place on a wire rack to await filling.
This is the 3rd tricky stage: You should not overcook the macarons, which should stay moist in the middle. Watch the coloration: if you have used food colouring, they should stay that colour and not become brown.
|Pair-up the macarons, i.e. by putting together a "top" and a "bottom" of about the same diameter.
Then place "top" and "bottom" beside each other.
The fillingExample: Raspberry macarons
Mix 70 g jam sugar with 100 g Fruit coulis (fruit purée) in a small pan.
|Bring to the boil on high heat, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.|
|Leave to cool, and begin the assembly when the filling starts to thicken.|
|Spread a teaspoonful of filling on "bottoms".|
|Then place a "top" on each one, and press together lightly so that filling is squeezed just a little beyond the edge.|
|The macarons are ready. Keep in the refrigerator.|
Remarks:Recipe is for 20 macaroons, that's 40 half shells.
For more precise calculations, according to the number of egg-whites you have: please note that for 1 egg white (35 g) you should use 75 g icing sugar and 40 g ground almonds. Allow me to insist on using precise measures for the ingredients in this recipe. I suggest you really weigh everything rather than using volumes, even if you are unused to doing this.
Macarons are always better (smoother) after a night sealed in a box in the fridge.
This recipe can be varied ad infinitum with different fillings and/or colours. For fruit for example, following the basic principles of the recipe you can try: apricot, lime, blackcurrant (mmm!), strawberry, etc... On this page you will find some ideas. I have noticed that to get the full "macaron effect", you need to serve several colours and flavours at the same time. Your guests (and you) will be delighted.
I think nevertheless that macarons are improved when their filling is a little tangy, fruity, to contrast strongly with their very sweet taste.
If you encounter problems, here are some mistakes which all beginners make (and me most of all):
- Not sieving ground almonds and icing sugar => macarons with blisters, lumps of almonds or sugar.
- Poor mixing of egg-whites and dry ingredients => uneven macarons, almond cakes rather than macarons
- Not waiting the 30 minutes to "form crust" => macarons cracked, insufficiently risen or rounded
- Undercooking => macarons too soft, impossible to remove from baking sheet
- Overcooking => dry macarons
- Trying to remove macarons from baking sheet before completely cooled => macarons break up or split in two
- My macarons are brown despite my green (or other) food colouring => overcooking
Last modified on: December 13th 2012
Your 65 comments or questions on this recipe:
At last, a readable french recipe ;-)
Comment #1 posted on september 16th 2008 at 09:22 by Emma.
This is the best macaron recipe I hae ever seen, step by step with photos. I generally use egg whites for Shaum Tortes, but now will try macarons, especially after eating Thomas Kellers at Bouchon.
PS> My best friend rode Paris Brest Paris in 07 and wished she could have seen more of Brest, so we are going back in September!
Thanks for a fantastic site. Found you via Google
Comment #2 posted on august 4th 2009 at 19:02 by Annie.
Thank you Annie for this appreciation.
What is a Shaum Tortes ?
PS : Please feel free to contact me before coming back to Brest.
Comment #3 posted on august 5th 2009 at 09:41 by jh.
Thank you so much! i failed 2 times before and was about to give up. it was then i found this page. the pictures were promising. so i decided to give it a try and, yes, i did it! however, they are cracked[i did leave it for more than 30mins outside] and they have a peak at the top and looks like a hill. it deflates after a while looking flat and empty. its a little brown on the sides and i have only baked it for 8 and a half minutes opening the oven at 6mins. how should i fix it???
Comment #4 posted on december 31th 2009 at 04:52 by Jocelyn.
You're welcome !
For the peak on top, it's possibly that they have not leave enough before cooking for crusting. Have you use the tips to check how it stick with your finger?
And for the cooking time, try to leave your oven closed and for 12 minutes (maybe more, it depend of your oven, look how your macaroons are after this time).
Bonne chance !
Comment #5 posted on december 31th 2009 at 09:19 by jh.
Thanks for your advices. i made another batch. it looked better. but it is too flat and not chewy enough for my liking. its top layer is a little too crisp. [i left it out for about 1h15mins this time, was it the long timing that caused it?] the bases sticks to the baking paper i use. how should i correct these problems?
happy new year to you! (:
Comment #6 posted on december 31th 2009 at 14:43 by Jocelyn.
Happy new year too !
1h15 is a bit long but not so much, have you check the top with your finger?
Sticking macaroons is often a matter of cooking time or temperature oven.
See the "If you encounter problems" in the recipe there is tips there to help you.
Comment #7 posted on january 2nd 2010 at 11:08 by jh.
I have baked the chocolate macaron using your recipe. I add 30g of cocoa powder and subsitube 30g from the ground almond. The macaron in the oven was baked beautiful with smooth surface and nice feets but when out of the oven, the surface started to be uneven What is the reason behind it or did i use the wrong recipe for the chocolate macaron?
Comment #8 posted on february 22th 2010 at 12:55 by christine.
Usually when surface "fall" when out of the oven, it's ofently a matter of temperature (a bit not enough hot) or cooking time (a bit too short).
Comment #9 posted on february 22th 2010 at 13:29 by jh.
So the recipe for the chocolate macaroon is
2 egg whites
150 g icing sugar
50 g ground almonds
1 tablespoon caster sugar
30g cocoa powder
Bake at 160c for 12 to 15 min. Or is it 80g ground almond and 30g cocoa powder?
Comment #10 posted on february 22th 2010 at 14:50 by christine.
It is 80 gr ground almond and 30 g cocoa powder.
To be not so precise a teaspoon of cocoa powder is enough because it's only a matter of color, not of taste which will come with inside chocolate ganache.
See fillings for macaroons about that.
Comment #11 posted on february 24th 2010 at 09:25 by jh.
This is great recipe, but what can i substitue in for ground almonds? and i'm wondering if the mixture should be runny or like dough. mine was runny and it just messed up the piping bag. so now i am going to try again with ground macadamias?
Comment #12 posted on april 5th 2010 at 23:18 by Anonymous.
I am half way through making a batch of macaroons. at the moment they are sitting waiting to 'crust' it has been over 2 hours and they are still sticky. the only progress they have made is leeking food colouring out the side, this is the second time i have tried making these today.
Comment #13 posted on april 6th 2010 at 03:06 by nina.
I'm afraid ground almonds could not be replaced, I had try to make hazelnut macaroons a few weekfs ago, and it was a complete crash.
Mixture should be runny, see photos to know how much.
Comment #14 posted on april 6th 2010 at 13:13 by jh.
To nina: maybe the ambiant air is not dry enough, where you are, to 'crust'?
Carry on, you will finally succeed!
Comment #15 posted on april 6th 2010 at 13:15 by jh.
Just finished following this recipi BRILLIANT . my colors were a little darker but the good thing is i know were i went wrong the Phone rand darn it but they are not 2 bad thanks again
Comment #16 posted on august 25th 2010 at 16:50 by frangiepan.
This recipe looks brilliant!
But I must say that it should be macarOns in English as well.
MacarOOns are actually the nutty chocolates with coconuts and is completely different in texture and taste.
As a fervent macaron lover, it is sad to see that this delicate french pastry is misnamed by most people. I was surprised when I went to this one art gallery cafe and found that even this fancy cafe actually labelled the pastry as macarOONs not macarons.
Comment #17 posted on september 3rd 2010 at 23:27 by macarOns.
I was in London a few weeks ago, and I saw a Ladurée shop full of macarons, the price write on the windows was xx£ (I don't remember, but expensive surely) for 10 macaroOns.
I'm gonna modify the recipe right now! Thank you for this interesting precision.
Comment #18 posted on september 4th 2010 at 07:02 by jh.
Hey i'm not sure how to do the first tricky step where you make the dough runny. Can you explain it? Thanks for sharing this great recipe. =)
Comment #19 posted on september 19th 2010 at 08:59 by Shy.
Sure! The most important thing is to remember that you are making macarons, not a mousse or something else. That's why the dough should be runny, you don't need to make something fluffy at all, but a dough almost liquid.
And to do that you need to mix the dough lightly, turning it, using a soft spatula (for a good deal of time for beginners I'm afraid) until it get this famous runny and shinny state.
The best way to do is not to turning dough, not like for a cake for example, but turning around instead with the soft spatula. Turning around and raise the dough, turning around and raise, and again, and again...
It is a so special process or gesture that in French pastry it's a dedicated verb "macaroner", which could be something like "to macaroon".
I hope this help?
Comment #20 posted on september 19th 2010 at 09:42 by jh.
YES! I MUST TRY THIS! I've tried several recipes and none of them worked! I have some baking in the oven right now under directions from another recipe but it looks a complete disappointment.. I can't wait to try this tomorrow!
Comment #21 posted on december 8th 2010 at 13:54 by Anonymous.
Lovely macarons and I like your step by step guide. May I know 2 egg whites is about how many grams?
Comment #22 posted on january 27th 2011 at 00:44 by Lisa.
Yes, each egg white is about 30 grams.
Comment #23 posted on january 27th 2011 at 08:19 by jh.
Hello! Thank you for the recipe. I made using your recipe for 20 macarons for the first time today. There are several things wrong with them. Most are cracked but 2 are smooth. I waited about 55 minutes (dry to the touch) to crust before baking. The mixture was runny (perhaps a little bit too runny than in your picture), therefore the end result I have fairly flat macarons. I made my own piping bag and I think I cut the hole (nozzle) too big. I think what I did wrong was not to weigh the egg white and not to use a proper piping bag with a fitted nozzle. They are cooling now but I am delighted because I know the result will be better next time. I will make some again tomorrow. I won't bother with the filling just yet. When they are perfect (one day, hopefully soon!) then I will make some filling. Thank you for the tips as well.
Comment #24 posted on april 15th 2011 at 11:22 by Raspberries.
My macarons are stuck to the baking paper. When I tried to remove them, only the upper crust came off and left some soft macarons on the paper. I waited overnight to remove. What do you think is wrong with them? Can you please advise? Thanks in advance.
Comment #25 posted on april 16th 2011 at 09:56 by Raspberries.
It's possibly a matter of cooking time or cooking temperature, maybe your oven is to low in temperature. Try to increase temperature, or cooking time.
Comment #26 posted on april 17th 2011 at 10:57 by jh.
Thanks for all the tips. I am trying my 1st batch , top good but they spread too far. What did I do wrong?
Comment #27 posted on october 19th 2011 at 01:55 by Noela.
Maybe you have too much, or too strongly, mix egg white with the mixture?
Comment #28 posted on october 22th 2011 at 13:43 by jh.
Best recipe ever..i tried this recipe after failing 3 times..Thank you sooo much..i follwed it step-by-step and it was perfect!
Comment #29 posted on november 8th 2011 at 18:25 by Naseera.
Why do they crack on top? How do I fix this for next time?
Comment #30 posted on november 17th 2011 at 20:33 by Opal.
since am using a lot of egg white as i am doing macrons every day ,
how can i use the egg yolk ? can i store them in fridge or freezer ??
please advice & thank you for all honestly advises
Comment #31 posted on december 26th 2011 at 23:00 by meroula.
To have ideas to use egg yolk, you can use the "search in recipes" item menu. There is 30 recipes using it. I especially love the crème brulée.
Comment #32 posted on december 27th 2011 at 11:06 by jh.
And yes, you can freeze egg yolks. The good idea about this operation could be to make small "packets" of 1 or 2 egg yolks instead of a big one, it will be easier to separate, de-froze and use.
Comment #33 posted on december 27th 2011 at 11:07 by jh.
Hi, I was trying to make the Italian macarons today.
I separate the eggs siff the almond powder with sugar powder & added the egg white ,but I had to leave home @this step,
so I mix the almond with sugar with egg white together on the fridge to continu tomorrow
Will this rewind the recipe??
Thank you ,meroulla
Comment #34 posted on january 2nd 2012 at 22:38 by Meroulla.
Hey, this is French macarons ! :-)
For the delay, I don't know (never try this), but I don't think so macarons are so fragile and delicate...
Tell us what you get if you try to?
Comment #35 posted on january 3rd 2012 at 08:16 by jh.
it worked very good after delay of 48hrs .i was very happy for the successful
thank you jh for your advises ,
the only thing i need to practice with my forcing bag to get them the same sizes
Comment #36 posted on january 5th 2012 at 15:10 by meroula.
I have made macarons twice, first time they were undercooked and the second time I cooked them for longer and they were supposed to be a pink colour but the shell was brown. However they were perfectly cooked and the insides were pink it was just the shell. I don't think they were overdone cos they were still chewy and macarons consistency. Have u gone wrong or is it just natural with the colour I used?
Comment #37 posted on april 20th 2012 at 23:47 by Anonymous.
I mean have I gone wrong, sorry!!
Comment #38 posted on april 20th 2012 at 23:49 by Anonymous.
You've pointed one of the worst difficulty with macaroons, keeping the pretty colour vs get perfectly cooked. The problem is the more or longer you cook, the more the colour turn to brown. The difficulty is finding the good equilibrate (can I say this word?) between those 2.
Please note that you should add much more food colouring drops than another recipe, because of the cooking.
Comment #39 posted on april 21th 2012 at 10:11 by jh.
Your recipe works perfect for me. I've done a few times and the only complaint is that the feet rise but then deflates after a few minutes of baking while they are still in the oven so I don't get really nice feet. It seems that feet are not strong enough to support the shell. I have tried differents temperatures, with the door completely closed or partially open and sooner or later it happens.I have a professional electric convection oven with two fans at the back and no options to turn off the fan. Can you give me any advice?
Comment #40 posted on april 23th 2012 at 02:54 by Elena.
Because you have a great oven, it's probably a matter of working with the mixture before cooking. Possible problems could be : not enough macaroned dough or not enough waiting time for crusting.
Comment #41 posted on april 23th 2012 at 08:25 by jh.
Great recipe but why are mine too flat?
Comment #42 posted on april 29th 2012 at 23:12 by cm.
What time of year are macarons served?
Comment #43 posted on may 3rd 2012 at 06:26 by Hannah.
Comment #44 posted on may 3rd 2012 at 10:15 by jh.
Hope to cook them 2 morrow.
I will be back with the results!
Comment #45 posted on may 12th 2012 at 18:35 by ghfjdkl.
You made macarons easy! I failed my first time but with your amazing tutorial I made lovely little macarons that everyone loved! The tips were genius! Truly amazing!!!!!! Thanks!
Comment #46 posted on june 5th 2012 at 03:58 by Sw.
I made the chocolate macarons today and while they come out well, they are not shiny, but a matte brown? When I see chocolate macarons on blogs and the Internet, they are always shiny?
Comment #47 posted on june 10th 2012 at 23:13 by cravingthis.
Maybe you have not enough worked the mixture?
Comment #48 posted on june 11th 2012 at 18:08 by jh.
hello! i have been attempting to make macarons recently, but i have the dilemma of the crust not forming even after waiting a period of time and there is not a foot that forms during baking. instead it goes straight from sticking to the baking paper, to becoming burnt! i am thinking it might be due to the humidity of my country? (i am fron singapore, located in south east asia.) i am also using a very low-quality oven..
Comment #49 posted on june 24th 2012 at 18:59 by ray.
Yes, you're probably right it's a matter of humidity, and it's worst in this case if you have a rather bad oven, I'm afraid.
But the first point to improve is certainly the oven, try to get a sophisticated one (electrical, "not a liar" with temperature), and I'm sure you're gonna succeed!
Comment #50 posted on june 24th 2012 at 20:44 by jh.
I made chocolate macarons today, I baked them for 15 min but when I tried to removed them from the silicon sheet the bottom were kind of mushy and like a little sticky (I waited around 5mins after taking them out of the oven) so I baked them for 15 more min they looked perfect but they are really hard not soft at all, I guess I overcooked them?? After the 15 min in the oven should they be kind of mushy in the bottom or not? And then cool them more before removing them from the sheet?
Comment #51 posted on august 13th 2012 at 07:42 by Gabita81.
After 15 min they should be rather hard, so maybe you can increase temperature of your oven, or time in the oven. Don't mind if they are hard, because when furnished (filled ?) they will be softer.
Comment #52 posted on august 14th 2012 at 11:32 by jh.
What a fantastic recipe! Thank you for posting these step-by-step photos. I tried the recipe for the first time last night, and it worked almost perfectly. It would have been perfect if I bothered to sift the almond meal -- my own fault! I love the fact that you can scale up or down this recipe just by clicking the buttons on the page. :)
Comment #53 posted on september 23th 2012 at 11:13 by Nerrida.
Thank you so much for the great explanation. I tried yesterday, and the mix was too runny, and then today it was perfect, but like someone above, mine never dried enough. So I put the in the oven anyway, but there was no "foot". I see how it is important to have the top dry so the foot forms, so what should I do? Thanks.
Comment #54 posted on december 9th 2012 at 05:54 by Vero.
Let stay a longer time, possibly in a warm and dry place until macaroons top is not sticking.
Comment #55 posted on december 10th 2012 at 08:46 by jh.
Thanks for your valuable page. I plan to make about 150-200 macarons for special even. How should I do that? I have 1 oven and 2 pans(to use them at the same time), I have about 3 weeks to finish it. Can you give me advice as I don't know how to keep macarons for a long time and keeping a good taste?
Thanks again for everything
Comment #56 posted on february 14th 2013 at 07:23 by Ram.
I suggest you:
1) If this is your firsts macarons, first make a (or some) test to improve your skill.
2) Make your macarons in different flavours and colours (maybe 3 or 4), this will be more pretty to your guests eyes
3)Transform your kitchen in a macarons factory the day before, make them all in a day, and store the macarons in the fridge once finished.
4) Keep smiling...
Comment #57 posted on february 14th 2013 at 08:56 by jh.
Thanks for your replay,
1)I did followed your receipt and it worked good with me thanks for your receipt and your follow up as well.
2)Can I use 2 racks (2 pans , one at top and other at bottom) and the same time? If so, should I switch them after 6 minutes?
3)After I finish them and finish filling as well, right?
4)When should I keep them in freezer and when should I keep them in fridge?
Thanks again and again for your nice efforts which added a lot of smiles for all of us.
Comment #58 posted on february 15th 2013 at 03:47 by Ram.
1) good news!
2) Yes, and yes, it will be better
3) First make all your macaroons, then only fill all
4) For 1 to 2 days before => fridge, more than 2 days => freezer (a good idea is to make a test with some macaroons in the fridge and some others in the freezer to see how they are after some days)
Comment #59 posted on february 15th 2013 at 15:04 by jh.
I picked '10 macarons'
Will that make 10 shells or 10 made macarons
Comment #60 posted on march 17th 2013 at 22:03 by Marlan.
"Recipe is for 20 macaroons, that's 40 half shells." said the recipe
Comment #61 posted on march 18th 2013 at 08:12 by jh.
I LOve it
Comment #62 posted on march 20th 2013 at 08:17 by Anonymous.
I have overcooked macarons before now, which is probably why they browned slightly and I lost the pastel colours. I've read that when testing to see if they're cooked, you should test them for 'wobble' by gently touching with a fingertip to see if they move. Should they be totally without woble, or is a tiny bit OK? It seems that if i cook for a few more minutes after testing, that's when they brown!
Comment #63 posted on april 23th 2013 at 17:29 by Artylady.
What a great find this is! My problem has been that the macarons always brown slightly, spoiling the colour.I've tried lowering the oven temp but am wary of doing this too much. My oven has quite a strong-seeming fan which can't be swithed off. Could this be the problem?
Comment #64 posted on april 23th 2013 at 17:25 by Artylady.
Yes, it's better to switch off the fan of the oven, if you can.
Note that macarons mixture should be strongly coloured, more than a meringue for example, because of the loss of coloring during cooking.
Comment #65 posted on april 23th 2013 at 17:43 by jh.