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Tender, crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, almond-flavored meringue and creamy fruity or nutty filling – that’s what these delicious macarons are made of. Here you can learn how to make the popular French pastry in the form of colorful double cookies with almond meringue yourself. In addition, I’ll give you tips and tricks for the making, so that you succeed in the dessert, tell you from which meringue you can make it, and what else you can fill it with. You can find a detailed macaron recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions right here at the bottom.
What are macarons?
Macaron is a popular French pastry that has now spread all over the world. It has the shape of a round filled double cookie. In this case, the cookies are made from meringue with almond flour. A typical appearance for such a cookie is the “foot” on which the “lid” is placed. The filling can be different, for example ganache, jam or any cream.
Italian or French meringue?
I had made my macarons with the Italian meringue. Their making is a little more complex than the French meringue, but it is also more stable and firmer in consistency. In addition, macarons made with the Italian meringue are moister. By the way, the basic recipe for this meringue is used to make the cream for various Russian pastries. Among other things, it is used to fill korzinochki and puff pastry horns. Of course, you can also make your macarons with the French meringue. For this you then only need ground almonds, powdered sugar, egg whites, sugar and 1 pinch of salt. Almonds and powdered sugar are mixed together. Egg whites are first beaten with a pinch of salt until foamy, then add sugar in portions and beat until stiff. It is best to keep egg whites at room temperature so that the sugar can dissolve more quickly. Then fold the egg white mixture into the almond mixture. The rest of the procedure with the settling, drying and baking of macarons is exactly the same as in the macarons recipe with the Italian meringue, which you can find here below.
You can fill the French pastry as you like. For example, make your favorite cream. Or fill it simply with jam. What I filled my macarons with, I show you in the recipe below. Often the macaron filling consists of white or dark ganache. Ganache is a French cream made with cream and chocolate. If you want to fill the pastry with ganache, take any chocolate (dark, white or milk chocolate) and cream in the ratio 2:1. Heat cream and dissolve chocolate in it. Let it cool down and fill the macaron shells with it. To make the filling even creamier, you can add a small piece of butter to the hot cream together with the chocolate and dissolve it. You can adjust the consistency of the ganache yourself. The more chocolate and less cream you use, the firmer the ganache will be. Conversely, the more cream and less chocolate in the ganache, the softer and more fluid the cream will be. You can also add chopped nuts, rum or vanilla to the ganache according to your taste. White ganache is ideal for coloring with food coloring.
How thick you make the filling layer between macaron shells, you can decide yourself. If you like pastries with a lot of cream, just make a thicker layer. Depending on this, you may need to make a little more or less filling.
How to make colorful macarons?
Macarons are known for their bright color. You can color the meringue with any food coloring to get colorful almond meringue. Food coloring powders are best for this purpose. Alternatively, you can use gel food coloring. However, only add very small amounts of it to the meringue, as excess liquid can lead to failure in making the macarons. If you’re making the Italian meringue, you add the food coloring to the sugar syrup as it cooks. If you are making the French meringue, you add the food coloring to the egg white and sugar mixture as you whip it. You can also color macaron filling any way you like.
Moody pastry or success through experimentation
Macarons are a very moody pastry and only succeed if you pay attention to even the smallest details for their making. Until you get perfect macarons, you may need several attempts and a lot of experimentation. For example, the time to dry macaron shells can vary greatly. Sometimes it takes as little as 15 minutes, sometimes up to 2 hours. It depends on how high the humidity is and how warm it is in the room where the shells are dried. Also, as far as baking is concerned, you have to experiment with the temperature of the oven. This is because every oven bakes differently. And the perfect temperature to bake your macarons depends on your oven. Here below in the recipe, I’ve given you all the times and temperatures that I’ve used to make my macarons successfully. They might be different for you.
How to store the French almond meringue pastry?
Macarons taste best the next day after they are made. You should let them sit overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume them within about 3 – 4 days. Macaron shells without filling can also be stored dry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days.
These macarons are
- crispy on the outside, moist on the inside,
- with almond flavor,
- with fruity berry and nutty pistachio filling,
- also available with other fillings,
- classics of French cuisine.
Macaron recipe with Italian meringue
You can find the exact quantities and step-by-step instructions to make macarons yourself here below in the box recipe.
First, you need to make the meringue. This can be French or Italian meringue. I had made Italian meringue. For this you need
- ground almonds,
- powdered sugar,
- egg whites,
- and pinch of salt.
How to make macarons: this is how it works
- Sift almonds and powdered sugar and mix together. Stir in half of the egg whites.
- Dissolve sugar in water in a saucepan and simmer the sugar syrup until 118 – 120 °C. At the same time, beat the second half of the egg whites with salt until foamy. Slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg whites in a thin stream and beat for about 10 minutes until a firm meringue mass is formed.
- Fold the meringue into the almond mixture. Place the almond dough in a piping bag and pipe small blobs onto the baking sheet. Let the macaron shells dry at room temperature until their surface is no longer sticky. Preheat the oven to 150 °C, put the baking tray with the macarons shells in and switch the oven to 140 °C. Bake for about 7 minutes, then let cool and fill to taste. Done!
How to make macarons: with these tips and tricks you’ll succeed
- The exact weighing of all ingredients for the meringue is very important. This is the decisive factor for the success of macarons.
- You should sift ground almonds and powdered sugar to remove all lumps and coarsely ground pieces.
- When separating egg whites from yolks, make sure no bit of yolk ends up in the whites. Otherwise, your whipped egg mixture might not set. Also, both the mixing bowl and the whisk in which and with which the mixture is whipped must be clean (definitely not greasy) and dry.
- The temperature of the sugar syrup to which it must be cooked is very important. It must not be lower than 118 °C and higher than 120 °C. To get the right temperature, it is best to use a kitchen thermometer.
- Add the sugar syrup to the egg whites only slowly, in a thin stream and in no case too quickly.
- The egg whites must be whipped to a froth when you add the sugar syrup. It should not be too little, so that it is not yet frothy, but it should not be too firm either.
- After you add the sugar syrup to the egg whites, it’s important to whip the mixture well. After adding the hot sugar syrup to the egg whites, the mixing bowl will be hot. When you’re done whipping, it needs to be a little warm.
- The consistency of the almond dough is crucial for the success of the pastry. Fold the meringue carefully but quickly into the almond paste. When doing this, stir the dough in circular motions with a silicone spatula until it flows off the spatula in an unbroken strip. If you have stirred the batter too long, it will be too runny. As a result, the macarons will not rise during baking and will not have a typical “foot”. If the batter was not stirred enough so that it remained too firm, your macarons might burst when baked.
- Using a piping bag, make all the almond dough blobs as evenly sized as possible. Be sure to leave space between them, as they will still spread out a bit and get bigger as they bake.
- To pipe macarons shells, you will need a piping bag and a round, approximately Ø 8 mm hole nozzle.
- Be sure to let macaron shells dry until they are no longer sticky on the surface before putting them in the oven.
- Macaron shells are done baking when they peel off easily from the baking paper and their “lid” is no longer wobbly when you touch them.
- The drying and baking times given in the recipe may vary. Just experiment until you get the perfect pastry.
- If macaron shells turn yellowish when baked, the oven temperature is too high and you should reduce it.
- Fill macaron shells only when they have cooled completely.
- Macarons are perfect when they have a “foot” and a “lid”. If your macarons don’t have a “foot”, the reason could be that you didn’t let them dry enough before baking. Also, the perfect macaron shells are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside without a cavity.
- Almond meringue cookies taste best the next day. Let it rest overnight in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Did you make French macarons using this recipe? I look forward to your result, your star rating and your comment on the recipe below, how you liked the pastry.
Fancy more delicious dessert with sweet meringue? Try also:
Macaron recipe / how to make macarons
for the meringue (for approx. 40 macarons or 80 macaron shells)
- 250 g ground almonds
- 250 g powdered sugar
- 90 + 90 g egg whites
- 250 g sugar
- 75 ml water
- 1 pinch of salt
- food coloring (alternative)
for the berry filling (enough for about 20 macarons)
- 110 g frozen raspberries or blackberries
- 130 g butter (room temperature)
- 65 g powdered sugar
for the pistachio filling (enough for approx. 20 macarons)
- 110 g pistachios (roasted)
- 110 g sweetened condensed milk
Preparation of the meringue
- Sift ground almonds and powdered sugar through a fine sieve and mix them together.
- Add 90 g of egg whites and mix to a homogeneous paste.
- Put water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; the sugar should have dissolved before boiling. If it doesn't, take the saucepan off the heat briefly, stir it until the sugar dissolves, put it back on the heat and then boil it.
- Alternatively, add any food coloring to the sugar syrup, stir it briefly and boil the sugar syrup over low heat (stop stirring) until it reaches 118 - 120 °C.
- In parallel, start whipping the remaining 90 g of egg whites and salt with a food processor at medium speed.
- Once the sugar syrup reaches 118 - 120 °C, take it off the heat and immediately add it slowly, in a thin stream to the whipped egg whites, continuing to whip the egg whites. Just before the sugar syrup reaches the necessary temperature, you can check if the egg whites already have a foamy consistency. If it is not, you can briefly turn the food processor on maximum speed. However, the egg whites must not be whipped into a solid mass when you add the sugar syrup. After adding the sugar syrup to the egg whites, continue to beat the mixture at maximum speed of the food processor for about 10 minutes, until the cream is firm and the mixing bowl with the meringue is no longer hot, but only warm when touched from the outside.
- Add the meringue in batches to the almond mixture and gently and briskly fold it in in circular motions with a silicone spatula. You must keep making circular motions with the silicone spatula until you get a viscous almond dough that flows off the spatula in an unbroken strip. The dough should not become too runny, nor too firm. (Be sure to follow my tips and tricks for this here at the top of the post).
- Fill the almond dough into a piping bag with a hole nozzle and place blobs about 2 inches in diameter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving enough space between them.
- Tap the baking sheet with the bottom straight down on the work surface a few times to remove any air bubbles from the blobs. Let the macaron shells sit at room temperature until their surface dries a bit and is no longer sticky. To check, touch a few macarons to the surface with your finger. The time to dry can vary greatly, depending on the room temperature and humidity. For me, it took 1.5 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 150 °C top and bottom heat. Put the baking tray with the macaron shells into the oven and switch it to 140 °C. Bake the macaron shells for approx. 7 minutes, and they should have "feet". Remove them from the baking tray together with the baking paper onto the work surface and let them cool down.
Preparation of the berry filling
- Defrost the raspberries or blackberries and drain them thoroughly. Puree them and rub them through a sieve.
- Beat softened butter and powdered sugar for about 3 - 4 minutes until creamy white.
- Add the berry mixture and whip to a homogeneous cream.
Preparation of the pistachio filling
- Grind roasted pistachios finely.
- Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until homogeneous.
Filling the macarons
- Fill a piping bag with the filling and pipe some of it in the center of the bottom of a macaron shell. Place a second macaron shell with the bottom on top of the filling and press it a little so that the filling spreads to the edge of the macaron shells. Repeat the same with all the macaron shells.
- Pack the macarons in an airtight container and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- Accurate weighing of all ingredients for the meringue is very important. This is the decisive factor for the success of macarons.
- Be sure to sift ground almonds and powdered sugar to remove all lumps and coarsely ground pieces.
- The temperature of the sugar syrup, to which it must be boiled, is very important. It must not be lower than 118 °C and must not exceed 120 °C. To reach the right temperature, use a kitchen thermometer.
- Add the sugar syrup to the egg whites only slowly, in a thin stream and in no case too quickly.
- After adding the sugar syrup to the egg whites, it is important to beat the mixture well.
- The consistency of the almond dough is crucial for the success of the pastry. The meringue should be carefully but quickly folded into the almond paste. The dough should be stirred in circular motions with a silicone spatula until it flows off the spatula in an unbroken strip.
- Be sure to let macaron shells dry until they are no longer sticky on the surface.
- Macaron shells are done baking when they can be easily removed from the baking sheet, and their "lid" is no longer wobbly when touched.
- The drying and baking times given in the recipe may vary.
- The time to dry the macaron shells is not included in the preparation time.
- Note the detailed tips and tricks for making your own macarons at the top of the post.