So I’m not sure how the macaron hype started, but recently I’ve been seeing more photos of people getting amazing macarons from specialty shops than of people sleeping in class. And although I have yet to set foot in one of these sweet shops, I have not been left behind in this wave of macaron obsession. After a friend showed me a video of some guys with amazing accents make them, I became motivated to create some of my own.
Today marks the 4th time that I’ve tried to make macarons, and I can happily say that I have finally succeeded! Those of you who have made them before will likely agree with me that it takes quite a bit of trial and error to figure out what works best with your own resources at home to create macarons of optimal quality. So long story short, I finally found a way to make macarons that has worked best for me so far (but FAR from perfect), and I’d like to share it with you!
Here is the video that I mentioned above:
And my recipe has been based off the one that was used in the video, and can be found here.
Anywho, here is my specially modified recipe!
- 3 egg whites
- 75 g castor sugar
- 125 g almond meal
- 160 g icing sugar
- 15 g black sesame powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- filling…anything you like! (I used nutella mixed with jam)
- separate the egg whites from the yolks and in a clean, dry bowl, and let stand for ~15-20 minutes at room temperature while completing step 2. (I have yet to find out why some recipes recommend letting the egg whites age for at least 24 hours before using them…which I didn’t do here, FYI. I also have yet to find out whether letting it out to stand for a bit before whisking them has any significance…but just recording everything that I’ve done here!)
- sieve the almond meal, icing sugar, and black sesame as much as possible into a clean, dry bowl, and ensure this is well mixed.
- whisk the whites until thick and glossy.
- add the castor sugar and whisk again until stiff.
- add the dry mix into the whisked egg white bowl in a few portions and carefully fold in,retaining as much air as possible.
- add vanilla extract and mix again.
- put mixture into a piping bag (or ziplock bag, anything similar)
- line a baking tray with parchment paper and pipe circles onto the tray, leaving a small gap between each macaron. (and yes, there IS a technique to piping macarons, as my super bake savvy professor has mentioned to me! In my trials, I’ve tried doing it in a spiral fashion so that it resembles a pile of poop, but today I noticed that it works much better if you position the tip of your piping bag (or ziplock bag) in the spot where you want the centre of your macaron to be, squeeze to dispense the mixture, and concurrently move your bag in a slow upwards motion as the blob of mixture on the tray is amounted to your liking, then release your squeeze. And I’m sure there are some places on the web that teach you exactly what is the best way to pipe…but I haven’t looked and I could be completely wrong! But it’s what has worked best for me so far. 😛 I still get a little pointy tip on most of them…but maybe I’ll be able to get rid of it once I get a proper piping bag!)
- put the tray to one side to rest for at least 20 minutes to allow a slight skin to form. (1. you may need more than 1 tray. 2. letting it out to rest is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! I learned this the hard way because again I didn’t look it up, nor did the recipes I looked at tell me why…but you must leave it out to rest so that a skin forms to ensure that during the baking process, while your macarons expand slightly, the tops do not crack!)
- preheat the oven to 280°F.
- pick the tray up and drop it onto a flat surface from a small height… this forms the ‘feet’ that is associated with macarons.(you may not actually see anything happen after you do this, but results do show up after they start baking.)
- bake for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to chill at room temperature until completely cold. (I would probably tack on an extra 2-3 minutes the next time I make this, because most of them came out a tad too moist in the middle and probably underbaked (see below). But at least they aren’t burnt or overbaked like my first 2 trials! Your oven might be different, so for your first time making this, you might want to watch them while they bake. At 280°F, it’s less likely that they will burn quickly, but watch out for yummy baked smell -> burning smell…and the bottoms of the macarons should be minimally browned only. Once you start to see the sides of the macaron turn brown in the oven…that means they are likely overbaked.)
- sandwich the macarons with a filling of choice… (I used nutella mixed with fruit jam! OMNOMNOMNOM)
- serve and eat within 48 hours when at their freshest.
And there we have it…give it a try and let me know how it goes! I’m really not a baker, so I can’t even begin to fathom how much I need to learn still…if you have had any macaron experience, please share your baking pearls below so that I may learn from you and make improvements!! Would be greatly appreciated 🙂