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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Macaron Day - Jour du Macaron = Happy Day!

Do you know that there is an official Macaron Day or Jour du Macaron?

I’m not talking about the usual macaron days I had so many in a week. It’s the official Macaron Day initiated by Pierre Herme, an annual celebration of macarons. It has been running on 20th March annually for the past six years. Many patisseries in France, Japan and US are participating in the event. Some participating shops in New York even hand out free macarons to customers if asked.

Well, today is Jour du Macaron…Let’s talk macaron. Let’s us all macaron aficionado observes our passions and obsessions with these little beauties.

Oh, macaron, the queen of dessert. She is temperamental (well, she is the dessert diva after all). You have to treat her right, give her enough stokes and not over-handle her and you will be rewarded with those pretty feet underneath crisp meringue shells. The feet…the holy-grail of macaron makers. For some, the feet are the key success indicator. And it’s right, in a way. Feet (the well raised ones, not spreading) will only appear when you do something right and you’ll get the good meringue shell texture as a result.  Not-so-high-feet and slightly-spreading-feet macarons still taste heavenly nonetheless.

Little Miss Diva also has the tendency to act differently during high humidity. Her skin (crust) won’t form or takes forever to form. She loves warm and dry weather. It’s the condition she’ll behave the best.

Even though she is a diva, she can be easy to get along with. Spending a bit more time with her and you will be surprised that she would stop acting like one and start behaving.

I do have an obsession with this little diva. I love making macarons. I love that you can create so many possibilities with flavours, colours and looks. It is fun and rewarding.

Here are some of the tips and tricks about macarons that I gathered from recipes, (mostly) forums on the Internet and my own trial-and-retribution. Their significances are not in order. 

- Egg white needs to be separated at least 24 hours in advance and is at room temperature at the time of mixing (aged egg white). I believe this helps losing its moisture and strengthen the protein.

- If you forget to separate egg white beforehand, don’t panic, you can put egg white in a microwave for a quick 10-second to remove some moisture. I have tried this and it worked well

- Frozen egg whites works fine with macarons. There is no issues or whatsoever.

- Macarons taste better next day after they are filled and chilled, when crisp meringue shells and filling have come together.

- They can be kept a few days in a covered container in a fridge.  They are also frozen well without losing its eating quality.

- You might come across some posts on the Net suggesting touching the non-smooth macaron shells (the uncooked piped shells) to smooth the surface. Don't ever do that!  This will create a weak spot on the shells and you'll end up with rupture shells.

- Dare to mix the batter! The batter need to be well-and just-mixed. Don't be afraid of collapsing the meringue (whipped egg white) as we are not making meringue or pavlova, we are making almond meringue cookie. 

- Use heavy-based baking pan, the commercial quality ones. If you don't have them on hand, double lining trays for even heat distribution, i.e put two trays on top of each other .

- Cool macaronss completely before removing from baking paper, to avoid issues of macarons sticking to baking paper. I usually remove the baking paper/sheet from trays and leave them on cooking rack until they are cool completely. Removing macarons wil be a breeze after that.

That's all I can think of now. Let's celebrate the Macaron Day. Let's have more macarons.



  1. hi... i dont know if you can help me but i REALLY need help.
    ive been trying to get the perfect french macarons -like yours :) but i just cant seem to find the right temperature

    everything else is perfect. the taste, texture.

    the only problem i have is when it is in the oven.

    it will rise and then 7 minutes later it starts browning and the sides get really burnt and crispy.

    i end up with burnt macarons,

    i have tried to lower down temperature but then the macaron wont really rise and i end up with flat macarons.

    =s dont know what else to do. hope you can help :D

  2. Hi Anis,

    What kind of oven do you use? I baked mine in convection oven at 150C, that was pre-heated at 160C for a minimum of 15 mins.

    What temperature you bake your macaron at? I've come across recipes with different baking temp and time. Some even go as high as 190C. I find that 150C works fine for me for 3-cm size macarons.

    Macaron will generally brown slightly, or more than slightly. Intense colour or chocolate powder help to hide the browning effect.

    Do you made macaron with French or Italian meringue method? Italian's will provide better formed and shinier crust. There is a post on my blog called Basic Macaron using Italian Meringue. Try that and see how you go.

    Flat macaron could be because of the overmixed batter, not necessary oven temp.

    You might also like to try double your trays, to give better heat distributiion and see how you go.

    Duncan at SyrupAndTang wrote a useful article about oven & macaron. You might find something useful there. The link is below.

    Hope this of lucks for your delicious macaron adventure.


  3. I am so inspired! I'm dying to make macarons, but feel so intimidated! but, I have a free weekend coming up...might need to give it a go! thanks for all the tips!

  4. You're welcome. MACARON were made to be harder than they actually are. First time might not be perfect, they will taste great nonetheless.

  5. hello Sue,

    i have been inspired by and went ahead and did my very first macaroons yesterday.. well they turned out emm lets say slightle less than ok,,, only the taste was good, i also cant shape them the same size for all of them it was a mess yesterday i don’t know my batter might lil bit runny and i couldn’t control it, second my macaroons were concaved :S plz help i really want to get it right:'( thank u


  6. Hi Aysha,

    Sorry for the late reply. I'm travelling at the moment.

    Shape - Do you use piping bag? I find using piping bag with round tip make a huge difference. The macaron will come out round with little effort. I also use two hands when piping, one at the bottom to support and guide the piping.

    Do you use parchment paper? Is it smooth enough without any creases? Sometimes the fold and creases on paper can result in macarons in odd shapes.

    Runny - Did you whip the egg white enough? It had to be really stiff and glossy meringue. Not stiff enough meringue can result in runny batch. Overmixing also contributed to runny batch.

    Concaved macs - again could be not-so-smooth parchment paper or runny batch.