Macarons are notoriously difficult to make. Each bakery chef has his/her tricks and tips. The recipe I swear by is possibly the easiest - the classic French meringue method.
Ingredients: ¾ cup almond flour 1 cup powdered sugar ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 large egg whites, at room temperature ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar Pinch of salt Gel food coloring (optional) Flavor extract (optional)
Equipment/tools needed: Electric mixer Large silicone spatula 2 baking sheets Parchment paper Fine-mesh sieve Pastry bag ½ inch round tip Tooth pick Directions: To make French meringue:
Add granulated sugar, salt, and cream of tartar to the egg whites. Whisk until dissolved.
Beat the egg white mixture at medium speed until the meringue is glossy and stiff peaks are formed, about 8 minutes.
Add food color and flavoring extract. Beat for a few seconds to mix.
To make macaron batter:
Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar. Add to the French meringue.
Use a silicone spatula to fold the almond and sugar mixture into the French meringue, using the classic “J folding” technique (make “J” pattern instead of circles in the batter).
Keep folding until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes. This step is key for achieving the perfect macarons.
Pour batter into a piping bag with a ½ inch round tip.
Baking Macaron Shells:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Holding the piping bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet).
Firmly tap the baking sheets several times against the counter to release any air bubbles. Use a toothpick to pop any remaining bubbles.
Let the unbaked macaron shells sit at room temperature until a skin has formed and the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity.
Bake in oven at 300°F for 12 minutes. Let cool completely.
Repeat for the second batch.
Peel the shells off the mats and sandwich with fillings of your choice (see my filling recipes for ideas).