See how easy it is to make your own macarons in the video below the recipe.
Unfairly, Macarons get such bad press about being difficult to make. They may not be the easiest, but seriously, they are not so bad, as you can see in the following recipe. You just need to bear a few points in mind and before you know it, you will be creating perfect macarons every time.
If you are a complete beginner, you may like to take a look at my top tips for making macarons.
This easy macaron recipe is the basic one, with a few extra tips to help a beginner on their way. From this recipe, the macarons can then unleashed on your imagination on by changing the colours and flavours of the fillings, take a look at the extra notes at the end.
If you are a little unsteady with a piping bag, is best to either create a template on greaseproof paper or buy a specially designed silicon macaron mat if you want even sized macarons. My favourite comes from Lakeland in the UK.
Macarons are sometimes called macaroons. Technically this is incorrect, and you can read why here.
- 100g (1 cup) icing (powder) sugar
- 100g (1 cup) ground almonds
- 2 medium, free-range egg whites
- Small pinch salt
- 55g (¼ cup) caster (fine) sugar
- For the filling:
- 150g (2/3 cups) unsalted butter, softened
- 75 g (2/3 cup) icing /powder sugar
Macarons need a steady, lowish temperature to cook properly, too high, and they quickly burn, too little and they don't cook through. These temperatures are a guideline, adjust to suit your oven.
Preheat the oven to 140C/ 300F. Do not use a fan if possible but do not worry if you have no alternative, the results will still be good.
- Sieve the icing sugar and ground almonds into a large mixing bowl. Throw any lumps left behind away. Mix the two together.
- In a separate, scrupulously clean bowl whisk the egg whites and salt until they form soft peaks. Add the caster / fine sugar, a little at a time and continue to whisk until the whites are very thick and glossy (ideally, you should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the whites falling out - go on, I dare you !) Gently stir in the icing sugar and almond mix. The mixture will lose some air and become quite loose, don't worry, this is the way it should be.
- Using a piping bag with a 1cm / 1/3" nozzle, fill with the macaron mixture. Place the silicon mat (see note in the introduction) or paper template onto a baking sheet. Pipe small blobs onto the sheet remembering that less is more at this stage because the mixture will settle and form into the allotted spaces.
- Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on the work surface to help the macaron mixture to settle and to break any air bubbles, then leave to dry for 20 minutes - the surface of the macaron will become smooth and shiny
- Bake the macarons in the preheated for 7 - 8 minutes open the door to release any steam, close the oven door and cook for a further 7 - 8 minutes. The macarons are cooked when they feel firm and are slightly risen.
- Slide the mat or greaseproof paper onto a wire cooling rack and leave to cool thoroughly. Do not be tempted to remove the macarons from the mat until they are cold or you will break them.
- Make the Filling
- Beat the softened butter until it is fluffy, then gradually beat in the icing sugar. At this point you can add in any flavourings, you may choose. See examples below.
- Place approx 1/2 a tsp of the filling to the flat side of one macaroon and sandwich together with another then twist ever so slightly to create a bond. Continue with the remaining macarons.
- The macarons can be eaten immediately but will benefit from being refrigerated for 24 hours (that's if you can resist them for that long) as this will make them even more chewy and tasty.
Making Different Coloured Macarons
This is the basic recipe for macarons, and you can make coloured macarons by (sparingly) using a food colouring paste rather than liquid food colouring. The colour should be added to the egg whites before whisking. However, If you would like chocolate macarons - Chocolate Macaron Recip
Filling Variations for Macarons
- For pink macarons: raspberry, strawberry are good matches, or for contrast add a little vanilla flavouring to the buttercream.
- Green macarons work very well with a pistachio flavoured cream, use either food additive or finely ground, pistachio nuts.
- Still green, add a little coconut, fresh lime zest and a tiny squeeze of the juice for a zingy filling.
- Purple, blueberry flavor is perfect.
- Cream coloured vanilla extract for an extra creamy taste.
- Yellow, lemon works well.