The method I am using is the French macarons method. This method requires allowing egg whites come to room temperature and resting your macaron shells from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the weather. We have a lot of humidity and heat in Texas, so 30 minutes usually works for me. Please note that I do not have any affiliated links on this blog post. The links are simply linked as to where you may want to buy your ingredients.
French Macarons Ingredients
● 145g egg whites, room temperature (approx. four eggs)
● 80g granulated sugar
● 230g powdered sugar
● 120g almond flour
● 12g powder (optional)
● 1 tsp flavored extract
● Drop(s) of Americolor food coloring
Besides the Kitchenaid mixer, piping bags with coupler/tips and parchment paper, these are the tools I use when making French macarons.
Tools I Use
● Kitchen Scale
These are inexpensive and comes in handy. Not just with Italian macarons, but anything in baking when you want precise measurements and accurate results. It’s all about baking in weight instead of volume (cups). My brother bought my kitchen scale, so I do not know the cost of it. But Amazon carries a variety of kitchen scales. You don’t need anything special, just something that weighs ingredients.
● Oven Thermometer
When you pre-heat your oven to a certain temperature and it beeps, what temperature is it exactly? At my apartment, I turned it to 350°F. Then it beeped. It’s actually 260°F. That is off by a long shot. I have the Rubbermaid Stainless Steel Oven Monitoring Thermometer.
● Macaron Mat
I purchased the Simple Baker silicone mat, half sheet size with bear ears! This helps with the consistency in size. Even with all the macarons I bake, it helps to know when to stop squeezing my piping bag when it reaches a certain size. You can also trace a 1.5″ circle onto parchment paper and then flip it over. That is not something you can reuse though once your Italian macarons bake.
● Flavor Extracts
I’m using Bakto Flavors because it offers a variety of flavors.
● Measurement Bowls (optional)
When I’m measuring ingredients, I like to use a mixing bowl. I purchased my stainless steel bowls from Sur La Table. I use a spoon and continue spooning in my ingredients until it reaches a certain weight. These are so easy to clean and then I can use my measurement cups and spoons for other desserts. The other option is to weigh your ingredients directly in what equipment you’ll be using. For example, the KitchenAid mixer, saucer pan, etc.
● Baking Pans
Great quality baking pans are important. You want something that insulates from the bottom when it’s placed in the oven so that it bakes all-around. I’m using the Platinum Professional Quarter Sheet Pan because I wanted something durable and thick. The texture on the pan requires a silicone mat, otherwise if it’s only parchment paper, it moves and slides right off your pan.
- Preheat oven to 300°F
If your oven takes as long as mine to pre-heat, this is usually the first step I take. This is where the oven thermometer comes in handy to give you a precise idea of what the real oven temperature is.
- Weigh and sift almond flour, powdered sugar and powder ingredients.
Start weighing the 120g almond flour and 230g powdered sugar in the measurement bowls separately. Measure out the powder (matcha, black sesame, pomegranate, etc). Use a food processor to combine both if needed. Do not process the almond flour separately because it will become almond butter. After a couple whirls, sift it in a mixing bowl. With any loose clumps, toss it or use for a later batch. You should toss only if it’s a few clumps, but if it’s more than 1 tsp, use the food processor again.
- Whip the egg whites.
Weigh 145g of egg whites. In a mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add granulated sugar gradually. When egg whites form stiff and glossy peaks, add your choice of flavored extract and gel food coloring until combined. When the macarons bake, it will become lighter in color. So add in more drops of gel food coloring if needed. Do not over beat!
- Add dry ingredients to egg whites.
Add half of dry ingredients to egg whites. Using a spatula, begin folding and rotating your bowl. Add the rest of the dry and continue folding. It is done when it flows like a ribbon.
- Prepare Piping Bags.
Pour the batter into a piping bag. If you have a large batch, use an 18″ piping bag. If you don’t have that, you can use something smaller and then refill your batter if necessary. I use an Ateco #12 tip and press it to the end of the bag with a coupler. Then, twist the end, so batter won’t flow through as you’re filling the bag. I find that using a tip is necessary. If there isn’t a tip, then the batter oozes out freely.
- Prepare Baking Pans.
Place the silicone mat on the baking pan, then place parchment paper on top.
- Squeeze the Batter
Squeeze the batter into the bag so that it slips down to the end of the piping bag. This is a required step so that air bubbles do not form.
Hold the piping bag a few cm above the parchment paper. Hold it vertically and squeeze the top of the piping bag to pipe out the macaron shell. Squeeze until it reaches the inner edge of the circle. Give it a little twirl to stop. You may also use cold water to pat down peaks. If you’re batter is folded correctly, the peaks will settle itself.
- Bang baking sheet on counter
To rid of air bubbles, tap the baking sheet on the counter lightly a couple of times. This also helps flatten out the points on top of the shells if you did not flat it out with cold water. For the persistent air bubbles, you may use a toothpick to poke it out.
- Dry Shells
Dry the shells on the counter for 30-60 minutes at room temperature until a skin forms on the surface. You will able to ‘pet’ the shell with your finger. If it doesn’t stick, it is ready. If it sticks, dry it out a bit longer.
- Bake at 300°F for 18 minutes.
Place one baking sheet in the oven in the oven at a time. For my oven, if I place a baking sheet at the bottom, it crinkles and turns brown because the heat is too high. When the oven beeps and you’re ready to take it out, slide the parchment paper off the silicone mat. This is important because it will continue baking if you leave it on. Wait 5-10 minutes before peeling it off the parchment paper.
- Fill macarons
To fill macarons with frosting, pair each with similar size. Pipe the filling on one shell and them sandwich the other shell together. Squeeze and twist shells until the frosting reaches close to the side.
To store your finished macarons, line an air tight container with parchment paper. Carefully arrange and place macarons inside and let sit for a day or two before eating. Thaw for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Which method have you tried before – French meringue or Italian meringue and which do you prefer? From what I can tell based on taste, French macarons are not as sweet as Italian macarons.