Simple and Easy Macaron recipe for beginners
Like souffles, macarons have an almost mythical aura about them, touted as being fiendish to make, where the slightest inaccuracy can lead to disaster. Given that I am severely lacking in skills of precision and accuracy, being a somewhat freeform and chaotic baker, I approached the task with a sense of trepidation. I even made sure I had enough ingredients to make another batch, if necessary.
However, I was pleasantly surprised. While French dessert macaron is not the easiest thing in the world to make, the list of ingredients is hardly mind-blowing and it’s not rocket science – just takes a bit of time, patience, and practice. This is my first-ever batch, and while they are far from perfect, I am happy with how they turned out.
After reading various French macaron tutorials and tips, I was terrified of overmixing, which meant I didn’t get the batter relatively as smooth and runny as it should have been, but it meant that I couldn’t wait to try another batch. They really are delightful to make! This is how to make French macarons step by step:
French Macarons dessert
For the Macarons
- 3 large egg whites
- 75 g caster sugar
- 140 g icing sugar
- 100 g ground almonds
For the strawberry filling
- 1 tbsp butter or margarine
- 100 g icing sugar
- 1 large or a couple of small strawberries
For the Macarons
- Preheat the oven to 160oC and line 2 flat baking trays with baking parchment.
- Sift the ground almonds and icing through a seive – this is important as it makes sure the mixture is very fine and not grainy.
- Set to one side and put the egg whites into a large, spotlessly clean bowl. Have the caster sugar ready in a smaller bowl.
- Whisk the egg whites with an electric whisk until they turn white and begin to thicken. Then add the caster sugar a little at a time, whisking continuously. The mixture should be stiff and not move when the bowl is turned upside down.
- Working quickly but gently, add a few drops of pink food coloring and tip in half the almond mixture into the meringue and fold in. Then add the remaining mixture and continue to fold until you have a smooth and runny batter. You can add more food coloring as desired.
- Spoon the batter into a piping bag. You could use a nozzle to pipe, but I just cut the end off a disposable piping bag.
- Pipe small circles of the mixture onto the baking trays, leaving adequate space between each one, because they may spread a little as they bake.
- Leave for at least 20 mins to allow the macarons to form a ‘skin’. They should be resistant and not sticky to the touch.
- Tap each tray onto the counter to get rid of any air bubbles, then bake in the middle of the oven for 15 mins.
- Remove from oven and transfer the macarons, still on the baking parchment, to wire racks to cool.
- Once thoroughly cooled, peel the macarons away from the baking parchment and set aside.
Making the filling
- Finely chop the strawberries (or give them a quick whiz in a blender, depending on how smooth you want the filling) then place in a bowl with the butter and icing sugar (sifted).
- Whisk to a smooth, creamy mixture. It should be stiff enough to spread on the macarons; add more icing sugar if it is too runny.
- Use a palette knife to spread some buttercream on one macaron shell and sandwich together with another. Repeat until all the macarons are done.
- Leave to set completely, then serve.
What Are French Macarons?
They adorn a thousand window displays. Endlessly versatile, they are drama queens in sugar and almond form. They are the veritable stars of French patisserie. Allow me to present French macarons – or macaroons.
Macarons are often confused with macaroons. Both of these delightful cookies share some similarities, but macarons are crafted with almond flour, while macaroons include shredded coconut. Additionally, macaroons often receive the delightful touch of being dipped in or adorned with chocolate, a tempting twist you won’t typically find gracing French macarons.
These famous cakes are exquisite and delicate French confections that have taken the world by storm. They become a trendy dessert option for weddings, parties, and high-end events. They have also become a symbol of French patisserie, attracting visitors worldwide.
Macarons have a rich history that can be traced back to medieval Italy, where almond-based meringue cookies similar to modern macarons were created. However, it was in France where they truly evolved into the iconic treat we know today. Catherine de’ Medici, the Italian-born queen of France in the 16th century, is credited with introducing macarons to the French court. Over time, the French refined the recipe, and macarons gained popularity, especially in the 19th century.
Macarons come in a wide array of flavors and colors. Some classic and traditional flavors include vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, salted caramel, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, and lemon. However, some adventurous bakers, like me, love to experiment with unique combinations, such as lavender and honey, matcha and white chocolate, pumpkin, cheese, coffee, or coconut French macaron recipe.
Macarons are known not only for their delectable taste but also for their stunning and colorful visual appeal.