Marvellous Macarons at home!
Making perfect almond macarons is tricky, but if you follow our bakers’ instructions, you can do it! You will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe, as well as a piping bag!
This is the basic recipe for almond macarons. They are delicious when sandwiched together with chocolate ganache, jam or buttercream.
250g caster sugar
60 ml water
3 egg whites (125g in total)
63g icing sugar
190g ground almonds
Line 4 baking sheets with baking parchment or non-stick silicone roll
Sift together the ground almonds and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and make sure there are no lumps. As this is the bowl you will use to mix everything together later, make sure it’s big enough.
Add 62.5g of the egg whites and mix together until you have a paste. Cover the bowl with cling film.
Put the sugar in a saucepan and then add the water. When making sugar syrup, it’s always best to add the sugar to the pan first to prevent any sugar crystals from getting stuck to the side of the pan.
Cook the sugar syrup on the stove on a medium high heat. Once it reaches boiling point, put your sugar thermometer in and turn the heat down to medium. DON’T STIR IT!
Place the remaining 62.5g of egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Or use a large bowl and a hand held electric whisk.
Once the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches about 105° C, start whisking your egg whites on a low speed for a couple of minutes, then increase the speed to medium until you get soft peaks. If the egg whites reach the soft peak stage before your sugar syrup gets to the right final temperature (121° C) turn your mixer back down to low until the sugar syrup is ready.
Once the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 121° C, turn your mixer up to high and slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the mixing bowl while the egg whites are whipping. Make sure you do this in a slow, steady stream, as pouring too fast will cause the sugar syrup to stick to the bottom of your bowl and congeal. Make sure you have an oven mitt handy to support the bottom of the extremely hot saucepan with the sugar syrup in it.
Keep whipping the egg whites until your sugar thermometer shows that the temperature has come down to 40° C. You may not have very stiff peaks like the French method of making meringue, but that’s OK. As long as you can hold the bowl upside down without the meringue running down the side, you’re good.
Using a spatula, fold the meringue into the egg white/almond flour paste 1/3 at a time. The first 1/3 can be mixed in thoroughly. The next two additions should be folded in very gently so that you don’t over mix. Italian meringue is sturdy, but you want to fold it into the paste until it runs down in ribbons and incorporates back into the batter in 10-20 seconds.
Fill your piping bag with the macaron batter and pipe out circles of about 1.5 inches in diameter.
Now leave the piped macarons to ‘dry out’ before baking. You need to leave them for around 30 minutes until a skin forms on top of your piped discs.
In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 300 F, once the oven is heated bake the macarons for about 25 minutes. If you have a fan oven, you can bake two sheets at a time. If you don’t, one sheet at a time works best.
If the macaron shells still ‘wiggle’ when you touch them after 25 minutes, bake them for a few more minutes until they are set.
Cool them completely before removing them for the baking sheets.
Fill with your chosen filling – enjoy!