French Macaron: Simple and tasty recipe
French Macarons are a tasty treat that seem near impossible to make. They are so delicate and complex, yet so simple. Oddly enough they are not as difficult as you might think – easy to make, easier to mess up!
I’ve watched many youtube videos and read countless recipes online to come up with an easy to follow guide, here is an quick and simple recipe that is sure to impress your guests.
Step 1: Measure out the ingredients prior to commencing.
- Caster Sugar 110 grams
- Water 25 grams
- 5 egg whites
- 5 egg whites
- Salt flakes
- Colour of choice – for this recipe I used 4 part yellow, 2 part red, 1 part brown
- Mix together in a large bowl:
- Pure icing sugar 110 grams (be sure the packaging is labelled ‘pure icing sugar’ as regular icing sugar is not pure)
- Almond meal 110 grams
- Using a shot glass or similar circular item that is approximately 3.5-4cm in Dimeter (mine is 3.8cm) trace circles onto the back of a sheet of baking paper. Ensure there is a 2cm gap between each circle otherwise the macarons will stick together. Ensure the baking paper is trimmed around the edges to fit the baking tray.
Salted Caramel filling:
- 1 Tin condensed Milk
- Salt flakes
Step 2: making the Macaron shells
Place 1.5 egg whites into your mixer and put this on a medium setting. After a few minutes this will start to look white and foamy, don’t over beat the eggs.
Whilst the egg is beating, place 110 grams caster sugar and 25 grams water into a pot and bring to a simmer – the sugar syrup is ready when it is about 120 degrees Celsius and appears transparent.
Add the food colouring of choice to the sugar syrup. By adding at this stage you will ensure any excess liquid is boiled out so that it won’t affect your mirange.
Whilst the egg is still mixing, add the warm sugar syrup by pouring it slowly down the side of the mixing bowl so that it slowly mixes in – be careful not to hit the mixing blades or this can make a huge mess!
After 3-4 minutes your mirange mix should be ready. You can tell it is ready because it will have a firm texture. If you can hold the mixing bowl upside down without the mixture coming out of the bowl then it is ready, if it starts to slide out then continue mixing.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the icing sugar and almond meal mixture and remaining half egg white.
Don’t be afraid of deflating the mirange mixture as you will want to remove some of the air to create a slightly runny consistency.
Transfer the mixture into a piping bag with the spatula, if using a disposable piping bag then cut about 8mm of the end.
Pipe the mixture into the centre of the circle, holding the piping bag vertically and centre until your mixture fills the circle to ensure even cover.
Once complete, hold the tray up and drop gently on to the bench or the palm of your hand to help flatten out the macaron mixture – be careful not to over flatten them!
Sprinkle some salt flakes over the wet mixture to taste (this step is optional as you will ad more to the filling later).
Set aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the mixture to set, the shells should now be firm and almost rubbery to the touch
Bake for 12-15 minutes at 150 degrees Celsius fan forced ovens (note: cooking times my vary between ovens – make sure you keep a close eye to avoid over cooking!)
Remove from oven and slide baking paper with macarons off the over tray and leave to cool for at least 30 minutes before adding filling.
Step 3: Salted Caramel filling (the good stuff!)
There are many ways of making caramel, I generally make Dolce De Leche – this is essentially caramelised sweetened condensed milk, which if you have ever had this before is wonderful stuff!
Traditionally made by simmering a pot of milk and sugar for 7+ hours, I use the cheats method of cooking it in the can.
First, remove the label, the place the can in a large pot ensuring the whole can is submerged in the water for the whole simmering process. Next simply turn on the gas and let it simmer for about 4 hours. Let cool before you open as the can will be highly pressurised and could send hot caramel flying in different directions! Some recipes I’ve come across recommend to put a hole in the top of the can and keep the water level slightly below the top of the can – this is to prevent the can building too much pressure and exploding during the boil. I’ve always done it the first way with no issues to date.
Once the boil is complete I’d recommend you leave the can in the fridge overnight to cooled down, so you might want to prepare this step the night before.
From here it’s pretty easy to construct the macarons – first, stop yourself from eating the entire can, then simply find two that are similar size, spread some caramel mixture on one, add a little pinch of salt flakes and lightly squeeze and twist the two shells together. Be careful not to over salt as you may have salt on the outer shells already.
Don’t be put off if they don’t turn out the first time, it may take two to three batches to get it right. Once you have honed your skills try doubling the recipe to make a larger batch.
Good luck and thanks for reading!
Daniel Reid – Director – emanate finance
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