How to make French Macarons
Now, I don’t know about you, but I LOVE eating macarons. However; I haven’t always loved making them. Macarons are notoriously finicky. Beat your egg whites too little or too much and you’re left with flat macarons. Fold in your powdered sugar and almond flour a few too many times and the tops crack. Even a rainy day (something completely out of your control) can ruin them. All these factors give these delicious, delicate pastries a bad rap.
The base of macarons is made from whipped egg whites, which you then fold a mixture of powdered sugar and almond flour into. This batter tends to be unstable and unpredictable, which can be pretty disheartening to even professionally trained bakers.
What makes this classic macaron recipe foolproof?
Years ago, I had the honor of making macarons with the amazing pastry chef Alon Shabo. He taught me a new technique for making macarons and I haven’t looked back since. Instead of making a French meringue (uncooked egg whites) you make a Swiss meringue (warmed egg whites). The result? A much more stable base for otherwise finicky macarons
Ingredients for Macarons
This is the easy part! You’ll only need a few ingredients to make these scrumptious French confections. You’ll probably have most of these on hand aside from almond flour.
- Super Fine Almond Flour: Repeat after me, almond flour is NOT almond meal. Make sure you use almond flour, which is much finer and made from blanched almonds (no skin) as compared to almond meal which is usually less fine and contains almond skin. You want almond flour (we love Bob’s Red Mill!) for smooth, bump free macarons!
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar will both sweeten and thicken your macaron batter. You’ll also use powdered sugar in your desired filling.
- Granulated Sugar: You’ll need granulated sugar to help aerate and whip up your egg whites into stiff peaks.
- Egg Whites: Some people swear by “aged egg whites”, but we don’t mind our egg whites youthful. I jest, but we don’t find that it makes a difference with the swiss meringue technique! Just make sure you measure out the egg whites by weight and that absolutely no egg yolks make their way into the separated whites.
- Food coloring (optional): If you want to color your macarons you’ll need just a few drops of food coloring.