As I’m sure you are aware, macarons are notoriously hard to make.. This is because they’re so delicate and so many things can go wrong! I had many failed attempts at making macarons, but I preserved because they are so cute!
I would say Macarons are the trickiest treats I have ever baked – just like Choux pastry, they require a lot of patience and attention to detail to master. However, don’t be discouraged because they are definitely a ‘wow’ bake and produce such satisfying results which 1000000% make up for all of those attempts! 🙂
I am OBSESSED with Ladurée! Everything they produce is so colourful and is made so meticulously. Ever since eating a macaron from Ladurée (raspberry to be precise), I have been crazed by them.
The recipe for the macaron shells comes from Indulge with Mimi – who I first discovered on instagram. Her recipe is so detailed and is amazing for beginners, as it points out all the tricky stages. I used the exact recipe on Mimi’s website for the macaron shells and then made my own Fresh cream and strawberry filling.
You can find how to bake a perfect macaron shell on www.indulgewithmimi.com, or below with my complete recipe! Enjoy! xxx
PS. THIS RECIPE IS EXCEEDINGLY LONG, SO PLEASE BEAR WITH ME – macarons are worth it, I promise! ❤ ❤ ❤
Ingredients: (for 12 macarons)
- 65g ground almonds
- 65g icing sugar
- 45g caster sugar
- 50g aged egg whites (approx 2. see below for ‘aged’)
- pinch of salt
- gel food colouring – not liquid!
- 330ml double cream
- fresh strawberries – 8 medium sized ones
***Aged egg whites – It is lead to believe that using ‘aged’ egg whites in your macaron mix will give the macaron a better overall consistency. This is because the egg whites become slightly dehydrated and so in turn a stiffer meringue is achieved. I have always stuck by this rule and for the most part it has given me good results However, don’t worry toooo much about this step if you’re craving macarons! To age your egg whites, weigh them and then place them in a CLEAN bowl. Cover with clingfilm and pierce a few holes in the top. Place in the fridge over night. [sorry for being so stressy, but it is so important your egg whites are stored in a clean, fat/oil free bowl. This is because fat will interfere with the formation of a foam as you whisk your egg whites (boooo) 😦 ]
Start by setting up your work station – line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Set up your piping bag with a round nozzle (I place the nozzle into the bag, snip off the end and push the nozzle through. I then place the piping bag into a glass and turn the ends over the rim of the glass. This makes piping bags so much easier to handle!).
Sift together your ground almonds and icing sugar. It’s important you don’t force through any lumps of ground almond into the bowl, discard large lumps and replace with some more ground almond! I also like to give my ground almonds and icing sugar a whizz in the food processor – so the consistency is nice and fine.
In a clean glass bowl, whisk your egg whites until foamy and frothy. Add you salt and continue to whisk until ‘soft peaks’ – this is when the egg whites are starting to get thicker, but don’t yet retain their shape/ are slightly runny when you lift up your whisk. Add your caster sugar slowly and continue to whisk until you get a nice glossy meringue – I would say for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add your food colouring paste of choice and whisk to incorporate. The meringue should be nice and stiff, like the picture below! 🙂
Add 1/3 of the almond mix into the egg whites and fold with a spatula. With your spatula make figures of 8 patterns, scooping the ground almond mix around and down in the meringue. You don’t have to be too delicate at this stage!
Add the rest of the almond mix and continue to fold. This stage is called ‘Macaronage”, and is so critical! Mimi explains this all sooo well, and has handy little videos to visually compare your macaronage. Stop folding when your macaronage has a ‘lava-like’ or honey consistency – this consistency is thinner than I had ever been achieving before I started using Mimi’s recipe. Another greta tip is to draw out a figure of 8 into the macaronage with your spatula – if the trails of the macaronage mix stay in place then it is ready (see pic below). Check this if you’re at all worried! 🙂
Fill up your piping bag, and pipe the macaron mixture into equal sized circles – its a good idea to make a template by drawing around a small round object on the under side of your parchment as a guide.
Tap your tray on the surface of your work surface… by tap I men actually hit your baking tray down onto the surface with quite a force. This is to get rid of any air bubbles in your shells which cause cracking when baking. I tap my tray about 3 or 4 times, but try not to get carried away..!
Turn on your oven to 160°C. Leave your macaron shells to rest on a work surface for around 30 mins. This is so your shell’s develop a ‘skin’, which allows little macaron ‘feet’ to form when baking. I have always rested my macarons, although some cookery books will miss out this step. You’re looking for the appearance of your shells to become matte and not shiny at all, this could take 15 mins, or even 45! Another way to test is to gently touch the surface of the macaron – when you touch and the surface feels dry and does not come away onto your finger, your macarons are ready for the oven! FINALLY!
Bake for 12-14 mins, one tray at a time! 🙂 Remove your macarons from the oven and leave to cool for about 10 mins on the tray
To make the filling, simply whisk your cream until they have achieved soft peaks and are almost firm (no stiff peaks!). Chop up your strawberries extremely fine – by this I mean almost crushing your strawberries so they release some juice. Add to the cream and stir.
Pipe your beautiful strawberry cream on the top of one of your shells. Place another shell of the same size on top and sandwich them together
CONGRATS!! You have just (hopefully) made delicious macarons and have survived my exceptionally long recipe (apologies) ❤
I hope these macarons have given you so much joy, as they do so for me! However, please continue to practise the art of macaron making if they weren’t perfect first time – trust me, they definitely weren’t for me!
Lots of Love, Sofia xxxxxx ❤ 🙂