BASIC MACARONS (FRENCH MERINGUE)
YIELD: 32 SHELLS (16 MACARONS)
- 50 g ground almonds, blanched
- 50 g confectioners sugar
- 40 g room temperature egg whites
- 40 g white sugar
Preheat oven to 325 F.
- Sift the almond meal and confectioners sugar together and set aside.
- In a clean bowl of a standard mixer, start whisking the egg whites at a high speed. (I add a pinch of cream of tartar to help the egg whites stabilize.).When the whites starts to foam, slowly pour in the sugar. Continue whisking till the whites turn glossy and medium peaks appear. Reduce the speed of the mixer and beat in any flavour or color at this point. Take the egg whites to stiff picks. Do not overmix..
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and pour in 1/3 of the almond meal and confectioners sugar mixture in the bowl and fold it in with a spatula. This step is called the macaronage.
- MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Pour the rest of the almond meal mix into the egg whites and fold it so that everything is incorporated. The mixture should become glossy and you should be able to form ribbons when lifting the spatula. Many recipes call for lifting the spatula and letting the mixture fold back in to the bowl while you make the figure 8 and the mixture doesn’t brake.
In this stage the whites should not be able to hold their form and they should sink slowly down until somewhat flattened. The ribbon or figure 8 on the surface should sink into the rest of the mixture and disappear in about 20 seconds.
- Fill a pastry bag with the batter and pipe onto parchment paper. When piping the macarons, keep the piping tip still while piping to get round macarons. Swirl the tip on the top to finish pipping. A template will come in handy in this case, there are plenty for free online.
- Once you finish piping, tap the pan to get rid of the air bubbles withing the batter. You can use a toothpick to burst the bubbles on the surface. You need to let the macarons rest until a thin skin is forms on top. You should be able to touch them without getting the mixture on your finger tip.
- Put the macarons in the oven with an inverted empty pan on the rack below it. This allows the macarons to rise more evenly.
- The macarons should be done around 12 minutes.
- Once you remove the macarons from the parchment paper let them cool in a wire rack.