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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Basic Macaron Recipe - french meringue method

Apart from my love for eating and making macarons, I also love talking about macarons.


The queen of all the cookies and petit fours. To me, macarons is the ultimate dessert experience. They're sure to impress taste-wise and visual-wise.

With the quality of macarons that are available in Melbourne, I can assure you that 80 per cent out of the time, the macarons that you make at home will be far more superior than what you find in Melbourne, Australia.



First thing first, I am not a macaron expert. I'm just a home cook who have had a fair share of failed attempts and successes at making macarons.

I have been making macarons every weeks for about four months now for my own consumptions, work functions and friends. Due to my obsession with these little beauties, I've spent a substantial amount of time (too much time actually) researching, reading tips and going through online forums, and learning from my own mistakes. So, I think I know quite a few things about macarons.

If you want to make proper macarons, you need proper tools to achieve that. You'll need:
  • Piping bag size 14 inch (350 mm). You can probably get away with smaller bag but I found this size is perfect for a batch producing 25 macarons.
  • Pipping nozzle, 1cm plain round tip (size 11)

  • Good quality (prefer heavy steel, commercial weight) sheet pan (baking pan). I love baking trays from MasterClass. They are made of heavy steel, got a commercial weight and reasonably priced. Good baking tray helps to insulate the heat and make the macarons rises better and give you the more uniformed macaron feet (those holy-grail of macaron lovers)
  • Non-stick baking paper or silicone mat or Silpat
  • Sieve
  • Spatula
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer (or a whisk with a strong arm)
  • Scale (I prefer to measure the exact ingredients intead of going by volume measurement i.e. cup)
There are two methods of making macarons, French meringue and Italian meringue method. French meringue is where you mix fine sugar into whipping egg white. Italian meringue is where you mix hot sugar syrup into whipping egg white. I prefer using French meringue as it gives softer and lighter shell texture. Or maybe because I had more successes with French method than Italian's.

I tried Italian meringue method once and failed miserably. They weren't macarons, more like a macawrong. The shell was very tough, dry and crunchy. I think I could have broken my teeth biting into them. I think those macarons can kill the kangaroos too if they are hit with those tough macawrongs.

Note: since then, I have made a number of successful batches of macarons using Italian meringue method. I am now loving the Italian meringue techniques. You can find the details here.

The recipe and method given here is for French meringue method.

Macaron shell only has four basic ingredients, which are
  • egg white,
  • almond meal (ground almond),
  • pure icing sugar (preferably pure without any cornstarch ), and
  • caster sugar (fine sugar).
From these basic ingredients, you can improvise colour and flavours to your imagination. For examples, you can add lemon zest, coffee powder, cocoa powder, green tea powder...possibilities is endless.

Macaron shells are sandwiched together by chocolate ganache, jam, buttercream, curd and again there are almost no limits on what you can do. Let your imagination runs wild.

Here is the basic macaron shell recipe,I recommend you read my first blog, I heart Macarons,  here for more information. For other macaron flavours you can browse through my blog.

Basic Macaron Recipe
ingredients
100g egg whites (3 extra large eggs, aged at room temperature at least 24 hours)
110g almond meal (ground almond, almond powder)
165g pure icing sugar
60g caster sugar (fine sugar)
colouring powder of liquid

notes:
I usually weight egg white before I weight other dry ingredients and I go by ratio of the dry ingredient against egg white as below:

egg white 1.00 part
almond meal 1.10 part
pure icing sugar 1.65 part
caster sugar 0.60 part

method

Process almond meal together with icing sugar in a food processor or blender (this process is optional, you can just sift the ingredient without regrinding them. However, if you'd like a super smooth macaron shell, processing is recommended).

Siifting almond meal and icing sugar together into a bowl.



I find that pastry scraper works well with sifting.
Use the scraper to help pushing dry ingredients through sieve.

If using colouring powder, mixing it with caster sugar (fine sugar) before adding to the whipping egg white. I find that this help to blend the colour powder well without any effect on the egg white. The colour you aim for should be four or five times more intense than the actual macaron shells, as the colour will fade when mixed with other ingredients.

colour powder is mixed with caster sugar (fine sugar)


Beat egg white until it is foamy. While beating,  gradually add caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, into the egg white. Beat the egg white unitl it reaches almost a stiff peak. If using colouring liquid, put several drops of colouring in to egg white and beat until combine.


egg white should hold its form

Put egg white into the almond, icing sugar mixture. Mix the egg white quite vigorously for the first ten stokes or so to make sure that egg white will blend in with the dry ingredients.


Don't be too gentle with the mixing.
Don't worry that you will deflate the egg white.
We are not after the air from egg white, or meringue texture.
This is more like a meringue cookie.


Then, continue to mix until it is well blended and the mixture is glossy. The technique I use is lifing the mixture by spatula , turn and push it against the bowl. Lift, turn and push, lift, turn and push, until you achieve well-combined and shiny mixture. I find that this helps to incorporate egg white into dry ingredients really well.



The texture should resemble a very thick cake batter consistency, or many web sites uses 'magma'-ike consistency. The texture need to be mixed just right, not overmixed. If anything, it's is better to be a bit undermixed than over. Overmixed batter will be runny and will produce rather flat macarons with spread-feet.

Put macaron shell mixture into piping bag fitted with 1-cm plain round tip (size #11).



Pipe the mixture on to baking trays (you will need two trays for this recipe) lined with non-stick baking paper (parchement paper) or non-stick silicone baking mat or Silpat. Pipe 2.5-cm (1-inch) diameter and 2.5 cm apart.

Tap the trays on the bench (or shall I say bang the trays on the bench) to flatten the piped shells. Macarons will be become slightly larger after they're flattened.


Before and after the tray are tapped.
The piped shells are slightly flattened after the tapping.

Stand the trays for 30-60 minutes until the dry crust is formed. This will help to strengthen the macaron shells and will give better rised macaron feet. The piped shells are ready to go into the oven when they are dry to touch (slightly touch the shell with your finger. The shell shouldn't stick to your finger).


The macarons are ready to go into the oven
when you can touch them without them sticking to your fingers.


Preheat the oven to 160c/180c (convection/conventional oven) about 15 minutes prior to the bake. Just before loading the trays in, reduce the temperature to 140c/160c (convection/conventional oven). Bake on the middle shelfs for 13-15 minutes. Baking time will depend on the size of your macarons. From my experience baking in convection oven, it takes 14-15 minutes to bake 2.5-cm macarons.

Macaron feet will start to appear after 5 minutes


Remove baked macaron shells from the trays when they are slightly cool down. To help releasing macarons from trays, spray water on to hot trays underneath the baking papers. The steam  (from water touching hot tray) will help releasing macarons. If macarons still stucks on trays, use serrated knife to help.

Leave them on the rack until completely cool

Leave macaron shells on cooling rack until completely cool. Spread or pipe ganache into shell and sandwich two shells together.




Store macarons in an air-tight container in the fridge. Macarons taste better after at least 12 hours in the fridge.

Macarons are kept well in the fridge for 3-5 days.



Simple chocolate ganache filling recipe

100 g dark chocolate (50% cocoa), chopped
100 ml thickened cream (whipping cream, minimum 35% fat content)
20 g butter, chopped 

Put chocolate in a seperate bowl.

Bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove it from heat as soon as it comes to the boil. 

Pour hot cream into chocolate. Leave it for about 10-20 seconds. Stir the chocolate and cream mixture until melted. Scatter butter pieces on the mixture and stir until well combine. 

Chill the ganache at least an hour before using them to fill macarons.  


Voila! Your own little beautie to enjoy!


57 comments:

  1. Excellent description of the process! Thank you.

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  2. been following your tips and been getting huge successes...of course there are bad macaron day esp whn it rains here in KL! tqs much!

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  3. Hi KG in KL,

    Glad to hear that you had successes. Keep on making them, more practices will even give you more successes and consistent outcomes.

    I've been making macarons weekly for about 6 months now and I'm still jumping with joys when the macaron batch turned out with the lovely feet.

    Sue

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  4. Feet is everything, Mine were not as high as the one in the picture. What did I miss ?
    Please advise

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  5. From my experience, it could be few things contributing to feet:

    - Make sure you leave your piped shell to form crust, i.e. that it is dry when you touch it slightly and it doesn't stick to your finger.

    - What kind of oven you're using? Convection oven generally provides good result. Maybe try pre-heating oven to higher temperature, like 170c, then drop it to 150c. Initial high heat can also contribute to the shell spring up and create feet.

    - Make sure you don't overmix the batter. Overmix batter will give macarons with spread feet. The overmix batter will be runny, and not flow as slowly. If this happens, mix in one tablespoon of almond meal to thicken the batter.

    - What kind of baking tray do you use? If it's not a heavy-based, commercial weigth quality. You will have to double line your tray to give it better and even heat distribution.

    Hope this helps.

    Sue

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  6. Hello

    I'm very happy to find ur blog only yesterday...been reading it till 2 am & now continuing reading it again...I have been looking at a lot of other blogs over a year just to find out more abt macaron & to gather tips...ur blogs has finally inspired me....am now ready to try....thanks for sharing:))...Ruby

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  7. Thanks Ruby. You're welcome.

    Macarons are not that hard to make, I really mean it. Your first batch might not be perfect, but with the persistence, you'll be good at it. Anyone can make this little beauties with the right tools.

    Sue

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  8. Hi
    I have a few questions:

    How to avoid bubles. I think over and under mixed create bubles and what do I do to fix it.

    And I freeze egg white for future use, would I work and how old is too old to use it.
    I have a better result using Italian method, do you know why ?

    Please advise

    Thank You very much for your help.

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  9. First of all, I am, by no mean, an expert. I got the info by my own observation through trial-and-errors and lots of reading and roaming on Internet forums.

    - Bubbles - I'm not sure that it is caused by over or undermix the batter. Undermix batter usually resulted in a lumpy macarons, not smooth. Overmix, will give you spreading macarons with sticky shells. I think it could be due to the piping. How you fill the piping bag, and how you pipe. When filling the bag, make sure you get the air out. Also, make a quarter-turn on the piping bag after piping each time. This helps to reduce the air in the mixture, as the mixture is pressed everytime you pipe. If there are still air bubbles, tapping trays on kitchen bench also help remove some of bubbles, and flatten macarons.

    Frozen egg white - works well, It might even be better than fresh. As the white has lost its moisture and the protein are strenghten. I'm not sure how long will it keep...but I'd say a month, or with general rules, maximum is 3 months.

    Italian meringue - I believe by using a cooked egg white (with sugar syrup) help stabilized the meringue and make them behave in a more predictable way with macarons.

    Hope this helps. I found a lot of info from reading through a macaron forum on eGullet. Link is below:
    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/24767-macarons-the-delicate-french-invention/
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  10. HI! i m wondering how much of cocoa powder to put for my macaron shell? should i also adjust the amount for the icing sugar and caster sugar? I did twice for chocolate macarons but failed :( first one my batter was too thick. second time, the macarons shell cracked and had a little feet when baking :(
    Like to hear your opinion because I'm so lost :)
    Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Jamie,
    If you are doing 100g Egg White macaron batch, I would say put about 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, about 30 g. You don't have to reduce the amount of other dry ingredients.

    If you find that the batch is too thick, you can put a dab of egg white into the mix to loosen it up a little. However, too thick a batch could also mean "under-mixing". Make sure you mix it well, without overdoing it.

    The cracked shells could mean too hot an oven, or overmixed batch. Macarons can be (it actually is) temparmental. You have to mix it just right, neither under, nor over. Below is my post for Chocolate macaron using French meringue method. You can also easily adjust to Italian Method, which I find more dependable.

    Good luck with the batch, most of all, have fun with making macarons.

    http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2010/11/chocolate-macaronsbest-for-chocoholics.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hello! I have a question about mixing the dry ingredients into the egg whites. I read from some blogs that it is important to deflate the egg white by harshly mixing both ingredients. Then I read other blogs that says otherwise and should be gentle with mixing both ingredients. I tried the gentle method and my macarons ended up with a crack shell. Like to hear your thoughts. many thanks :)

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  13. Omg, I love your macarons! they are so pretty!! About beating the egg whites, I don't know how to differentiate stiff peak. I beat with electrical hand mixer and when I lift my egg whites with my mixer it forms a peak but it curves inwards. I think that's call stiff peak? I afraid to continue mixing that may lead to overmixing my egg whites. The photo that you posted doesn't seem to form a peak when you lift your mixer and looks rather rounded. @.@ very confusing.
    Plz advice! And thank you from your time!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for the compliement:)

    Stiff peak egg whites is glossy and thick.

    It will also hold its shape when you lift the beater up or turn your mixing bowl upside down, i.e. it won't flow or move.

    As long as the egg white is stiff, hold its shape, doesn't flow, they'll be fine in macarons.

    Sue

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  15. Hi Amber,

    It is important that macaron batter is well-mixed, i.e. smootth,yet thick consistency. Don't be too gentle with the mixing, otherwise,you'll end up with lumpy shells.

    When mixing egg whites in, you have to mix quite vigorously for the first ten stokes or so to defalte the egg white and make it incorporate into dry ingredients. After that, you can do gently mixing, with lift-and-fold-and press the batter to (again) make that the batter is well-mixed, and thoroughly incorporated.

    Some of the blog that you come across might employ Italain Meringue method. With Italian's, you can be more harsh in mixing the egg white as the egg white is more stable and stiff, it will be more forgiving when it comes to harsh mixing.

    Hope this helps.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks a lot for the reply :)

    I've a better understanding on how to fold the dry and wet mixtures. But when should I stop folding? I yet to determine well-mixed batter and usually tend to over-mixed 'em :( (sometimes I'm under-mixed as well)

    I have another question regarding the egg white and the macarons' shells.
    I felt after I added the caster sugar into my egg whites it became very sticky. I aged my egg whites for 1 and a half day at room temperature. It is supposed to be sticky? It is also sticky, think and glossy.

    Also, I realized that the macaron's shells are very thin and break easily when I press a little pressure. It didn't cracked when baking and formed feet. But the shells weren't hard and crispy as I like it to be. The worst thing is I'm not sure what the cause :(
    Like to hear your thoughts on these!
    Thank you again! XOXO!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Amber,

    You should stop mixing once the the batter is combined, no lumps, smooth and slow flowing like magma. Some website suggested 50 stokes of mixing, which could be a good referring point. Once you've got a hang of it, you sort of know naturally that it's enough mixed. The overmix is quite easy to spot, it's will be runny, not slow-flowing.

    Stiff peak whipped egg whtie is glossy and thick, very thick. I wouldn't call it sticky. The texture is pretty much like meringue on Lemon Meringe pie, thick, full-body.

    Thin shell - could also be a result of overmixed batter. I generally not a fan of crispy and thick shell. I like my macaron with delicate texture. But if you'd like crispier an thicker shell, you can try leave the shell sitting (to form the crust) for longer, say 1-2 hrs and also try baking at higher temperature, let's say 160 c instead of 140c.

    Cheers, Sue

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  18. Hi
    I subtituded 1/3 of almond with ground coconut. I don't know the subitution is the cause of sticky cookie. I used EcoSilk so it should be good. I have to use a thin spatula to remove the ccokies off the mat but It didn't save the day, the bottom broke off and sticky. However, after I sandwiched them the eater can't tell the different but I knew there were some sticky situation. Do you think it was the coconut, they yielded a great flavor.
    Please advise.

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi,

    I included ground coconut in the shell batch a couple of time, replace 40% of almond meal.

    Yes, the macaron with ground coconut is slightly stickier than usual. Mine got off the baking paper quite easily. I suppose ground coconut is more sugary and oilier than almond meal.

    You need to make sure you leave them to completely cool before removing from the mat. I usually leave the whole baking paper/sheet on a cooling rack and remove the shells 15 minutes later. This way, it is easy breezy to remove from papaer. Have you tried this?

    I love the coconut in shell mixture. It is aromatic, sweet and toasty. My post for this coconut macaron is below:

    http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com/2011/03/cherry-ripe-macarons-one-tasty-little.html

    Cheers,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi

    About Caster Sugar. Question: If you are going to heat up the sugar until melted so granulated sugare would give the same result wouldn't it.
    What is the difference.

    Please advise.
    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi,

    Caster sugar is super fine sugar so it dissolves faster, therefore, it's desirable to use in dessert, candy making.

    Are you talking about French meringue or Italian meringue? I'm a bit confused why you need to heat up the sugar for the French meringue? If you are referring to Itlian meringue, I believe the sugar needs to be dissolved quickly and thoroughly way before it reached desired stage (118C or soft ball stage), otherwise, sugar might risk becoming crystallised otherwise.

    I have never use normal sugar for this purpose. It might or might not work. The only way to find out is to try. If you happen to try this, I'd love to hear how you go:)

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi

    My son just came back from ten day tour of French, his group visited one of the french culinary school in Paris ( He doesn't remember the name ), Guess what, they demonstrated how to make Macaron cookies. He said: " Their cookies are better than yours, they use egg white straight from the carton, they bake the cookies right away and they don't refrigerate the cookies. " My cookies were good enought to brat, my son ate so many of my cookies before he went over there. I think he is 14 and didn't pay much attention and the chef spoke French.

    Just want to share the information with you
    Happy cooking

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hi
    I like to share this with you. I using Italina method and age the egg white for may be 36 hours ( I used to leave 24 hrs ), my egg white didn't peak ( I blamed on the egg white was out too long ?? ). I dumped the hot sugar and egg white, cracked couple fresh eggs and left the egg white in the room temperature for 1 hr and whipped them up, using French method. They turned out fine, nice raised feet. So, do we really need to age the egg ?. It would be nice to hear from you.

    Thank You

    ReplyDelete
  24. Personally, I think aging egg white is an insurance that the crust will form, and the feet will appear as a result. Aging egg white helps losing moisture, as some recipe also recommend including powdered egg white for the same reason. I think I made macarons without aging egg white once or twice. It worked alright but I had to increase the bench time, sitting for the crust to form. I also think room temperature and humidity played some parts.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for the info about your son's trip. I believe personal preference about macarons are varied. Some like it dry, some like it moist. I find chilled MACARON got well-blended flavour from the filling and shells, and the texture I prefer, moist, delicate, melt in the mouth.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey

    I'm facing a problem here,
    my macarons' surfaces cracked ! What should i do to fix them ? Looking forward to your reply.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi,

    Cracked shell could be a result of too hot an oven. Try reducing oven temp by 10C, and see what happen.

    It is also good idea to find that right temperature of your oven for baking macaron. Try baking a small batch of macaron at a time with different temps, until you find that perfect temperature.

    Hope this helps.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  28. hi Sue

    just found your blog n it's really give me more idea..
    i've tried to bake this macaron like 8 times and all of it was faled.. so desperate here.. but i still curious to try.. i'm planning to use you recipes..

    and from my failed experience, i have some questions to ask..
    why my macarons is hard to get dry?
    n why my macaron doesn't have a foot and its just like a cookie.. they puffed on the oven but flat after that..

    thank you sue

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Lolo,

    Macaron is hard to get dry could be resulted from:
    - not aged egg white. Egg white should be aged 24 - 48 hrs before making and is at room temperature at the time of mixing. It is to remove the moisture in egg white and strengthen its protein structure.
    - humidity. It takes longer for shells to dry when the weather is humid. It's now in Winter in Australia (cold and high humidity most day) and it took me over 60 minutes to have dry shells (crust formed).

    No feet, flat macarons can be result of:
    - overmixing, the macaron batch have to be just mixed. Overmixing batch will be runny. The just mixed batch has thick consistency, like a very thick cake batter. It will flow slowly, when you lift the batch and pour it back into itself. If you somehow overmix you batch and it becomes runny, try adding some more dry ingredient to thicken it.
    - do you use scale to measure the ingredients. Accuracy and precision is critical when making macarons. Ratio between wet and dry ingredient has to just right, just so.
    - As you mention previously that your shell is hard to get dry (or maybe they weren't dry), this could also be the cause. Crusted shell (dry to touch) has strong surface and will give the well-raised feet when baked.

    Hope this helps. If you happen to make macarons again and blog about it. Feel free to send me the link and I will have a look:)

    Cheers, Sue

    ReplyDelete
  30. So I should aged the egg white on refrigerator for 2 days and leave it on room temperature before I ready to use it?

    And after I read your instruction all over again, I found out that I made a mistake when I whipped the egg white till hard peak. it should be just on soft peak, it that correct?

    And I just want to make sure before I bake it again, how do I know when the macarons is ready to taken out from the oven?

    Oh ya Sue, is that oke if I just reduce the amount of sugar ratio?

    Thank you Sue, it helps a lot.. I let you know the result :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Lolo,

    Yes, you should age the egg white 1-2 days before making macarons. Remove egg white from fridge about 1-2 hours before mixing the macarons to bring the egg white to room temp.

    Whip egg white - no, it's not soft peak (from my understanding, soft peak is when the egg white starts to foam up really frothy, but not firm enough to stand on its own). Egg white need to be whipped until it's stiff,just almost stiff stiff peak, as in the photo.

    If you followed the temperature in the recipe, it should take between 14 - 17 minutes to bake. The shell will be dry and slightly colored.

    If you reduced the sugar ratio, you might have to increase almond meal to compensate.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the macarons, most of all, have fun making them (and eating them, as they will be delicious no matter how they look ^-^)

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh Sue, I'm baking macs now, and I leave them 1 hour more and still not dry.. what should I do sue?

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hi Lolo,

    How long was the piped shells standing? Maybe leave them 30 - 45 more minutes. They might dry up.

    To test if the shell are dry, gently and lightly touch the shell, the piped shells shouldn't stick to your finger.

    You can always try baking one tray first and see what happens.

    Good luck:)

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  34. Hi Sue,

    I tried another batch macarons, and today is better than before, but still I can't get any foot on my macarons..

    my macs did well actually, it easy to take out from baking sheet, it did puff on the oven and stay still after that.. the only problem I have this time is no feet! huhu

    I dried it by using AC and fan, and it took almost one hour to get the hard skin on it.. Actually the piped macs form a soft skin already after 45mins, but I'm too scared to put on the oven.. Am I dried the piped macarons too long/too dry? Is that a problem if I dried too long?

    Thanks Sue..

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hi Lolo,

    Dry shells should give you well-raised feet. So, your lack of feet shouldn't come from dry shells. If anything, dry shell might result on the not-so-thin meringue shell when baked, in another word, slightly thick crust and losing its delicate thin macaron shell.

    What oven do you use? What type of baking tray you use? If it's not a heavy commercial weight, you might need to double line the baking trays to insulate the heat.

    Also, try preheating your oven to 10C hotter, and turn it down before you put the macarons in.You can always try baking few macarons at a time, just to experiment what works for you and your circumstances.

    Have you by any chances overmix you macaron? Did you beat your egg white enough?

    That's what I can think of at the moment.

    Good luck with your quest on macarons. By the way, you might get better lucks if you use the Italian Meringue method, instead of French. It delivers more consistence result and more likely to get the feet.

    It is also a good idea to read through the thread about macaron on eGullet (below link). I found this very useful when I started out on my macaron journey 9 months ago.

    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/topic/24767-macarons-the-delicate-french-invention/

    Cheers,
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello, I have a problem, my egg whites turned into a soup after adding the sugar, what went wrong??
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi Tom...first off, I haven't used the French Meringue method for a while. But I made meringue pretty regularly. I have never come across egg white turn to soup after adding th sugar. Sugar usually helps to stabilise egg white and it's protein, which means egg white should become stiff.

    How do you whip the egg white? hand or machine? What speed? It has to be high speed. Some meringue also asks for vinegar or cream of tartar which I believe help stabilizing the white (however, I don't use it with macaron but I do with Pavlova), which you might w ant to experiment:)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi, thanks for the reply :)
    I decided to try the french meringue method because my last 2 attempts at italian meringue failed miserably.

    I whip it with a machine (it only has 2 speeds), I started with the first speed because that is usually enough for making the egg whites stiff, but this time it didn't seem to be working so I turned it onto high.

    The macaroons ended up rising and having feet, but were still very flat, and hollow!

    I will keep trying until I get it right :P

    ReplyDelete
  39. You're welcome Tom. Egg white had to be very stiff and glossy to give macs with nice feet. Hollow could be resulted from too hot an oven.

    Good luck with the next batch. Practice makes perfect.;)

    ReplyDelete
  40. So I just finished eating that batch, and am ready to make another one soon :)
    Just one question, how do you know when the macs are actually cooked? Because the first time I tried making them, the shell was cooked, but the inside could have used a while longer in the oven.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi Tom...that's one of the hard question actually!

    First of all, I'm no way an expert. What I find that if the shells are dry and just slightly brown it's cooked. The aroma also gives it away that's cooked as well (I mean from the oven when the macs are ready).

    ReplyDelete
  42. Haha, thanks, I'll keep that in mind! will let you know how it goes... :P hopefully not a disaster.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Sue,

    You blog inspires me. Am going to the kitchen right after this to try out my very first batch of macarons. I am a bit weary about using sugar, can I replace it with fructose? Also, must I use baking sheets if my baking trays are non-stick? If I've run out of baking trays, would it still be ok to use a cake tin to bake my remaining macarons? Tx Sue!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Hi,

    I'm glad you find the blog inspiring.

    I'm not sure about fructose. I never use one before. Do you usually substitute sugar with it and it works similarly? If yes, I would presume that you can. I guess, the only way to find out is to experiment.

    I also use non-stick baking pan but I also prefer to use non-stick baking paper and/or Silpat. It's to guarantee that macaron will be off the sheet easily and intact.

    I have never baked macaron in cake pans. However, I think having a high-raised baking pan (cake pan in this cake) might have some effect with heat distribution, and your macaron won't rise properly as a result (again, I'm not an expert, I'm just a home cook. The only way you can find out for sure is to experiment it yourself).

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  45. Just to let you know i followed your recipe and made my first successful macarons! best one i've tried, so thanks. see my blog on them - http://www.cupcakesvscontracts.wordpress.com(i've linked back to your recipe). thanks! x

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  46. Glad that the recipe works well for you, Grace.

    Your macarons looks great too. Very well done!

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  47. Your macarons looks GREAT! I have a quick question...for colored macarons, do I need to adjust the oven temperature or the cooking time? thanks

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  48. Thank you. You don't have to reduce oven temperature or baking time for colored macarons...just treat them the same....have fun making the macs:)

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  49. Hi Sue! I just wanted to thank you so much for the detailed instructions. I just made my first macarons as part of a series on 2012 food trends I'm doing for my blog. They turned out perfect on the very first try and I'm sure I owe it all to you! Your instructions are spot-on. I used your ratio and republished it as part of my post. I also linked to this page so hopefully I can return your favor by bringing you more views from my readership. Thank you again and I'd consider it an honor if you took a moment to read my post: http://yinmomyangmom.com/2012/01/12/food-trend-french-macarons-heres-what-all-the-fuss-is-about/

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    Replies
    1. Great job, Allie. You are natural with those macarons. Well done for a novice!

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  50. Hi Sue, Thank you for sharing! The icing sugar I get from the supermarket (Woolworths) in Auckland, New Zealand has 3% tapioca starch mix with powder sugar. On the packet it is stated "Home Brand : Icing Sugar". It is the same in the other supermarkets. I can't locate any shop selling pure icing sugar in Auckland. Sue, is it alright to use this Icing Sugar in my macarons? Please advise. Thanks.

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  51. Hi Sylvia,

    In Australia, there is pure icing sugar, CSR brand, the packaging is pinkish colour.

    I never used mixed icing sugar, but I guess it should be okay. Just make sure you whip the egg white to a very stiff stage, a very dry meringue is the key to great macarons.

    Good luck and, most important of all, have fun making, eating and sharing them!

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  52. hye sue,

    may i know during baking the oven fire should be set on top or bottom only? i tried on both top and bottom but my mac crack..

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ellianne,

      I used convection oven (fan-forced) which means the heat source comes from the fan.

      If you use the conventional oven, I would say you only need fire (heat source) from the bottom only, otherwise it'll be too hot and little mac will crack. Please note, I'm not familiar with conventional oven.

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  53. I dont know what ive done wrong but this is the 4th time i tried this recipe and the macarons always come out uncooked. i mean the shells were cooked but everytime i try to seperate it from the parchment paper, it sticked so hard that only the shells came out leaving the uncooked macarons on the paper and it was very messy. this happend even after i put it back inside the oven for another 10 mins. Do you know why this happens?

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    Replies
    1. Try whipping egg white more, until it is very stiff and glossy.

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