Step by step recipe:
- 3 min.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...).
- 3 min.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.
- 1 min.Then mix almonds and icing sugar with a whisk, to avoid lumps reforming.
- 10 min.
- Add 10 drops food colouring, and beat a few seconds more to mix thoroughly.
- 1 min.We do this, instead of adding colouring before beating, to keep the colour stronger.
- 2 min.Sieve the icing sugar and almonds mixture onto the egg-whites.
- 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)...
- 15 min....but something slighly runny and shiny.
This process is called "macaroner" in French(to macaron, perhaps?).
- 20 min.
- 1 min.
- See the photos for what happens after tapping the baking sheet.
- 30 min.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.
- 15 min.
- 20 min.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.
- 5 min.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.
- 2 min.
The fillingExample: Raspberry macarons
Mix 70 g jam sugar with 100 g Fruit coulis (fruit purée) in a small pan.
- 5 min.Bring to the boil on high heat, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring continuously.
- 5 min.Leave to cool, and begin the assembly when the filling starts to thicken.
- Spread a teaspoonful of filling on "bottoms".
- 20 min.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