With Ann Reardon

Easy French Macaron Recipe (Macaroons)

french macaroon strawberry and cream

I am often asked why have my macarons failed?! Why are there no feet?! Why have the macaron shells cracked? And which recipe do you use for your macarons? So here it is… french macaron recipe and troubleshooting.
On a recent holiday I found a 200 year old cookbook on my mums bookshelf.  It tells that King Henry VIII granted an estate in Leadenhall Street to a Mistress Cornewallies in reward for the fine puddings that she presented to him. Follow these easy steps to make macarons fit for a king. You will aquire such indulgence that is pleasing to the palate and if you’re lucky enough perhaps you too will be granted an estate!

200 year old macaroon recipe
The picture above shows the 200 year old macaron recipe. They called them almond puffs. Personally I prefer to make them using my electric mixer using the recipe below.

French Macaron Recipe Ingredients

This recipe uses metric cups where 1 cup=250mL (8.45 fluid ounces). The US cup measurements are also provided To help those using US cups where 1 cup=236mL (7.98 fluid ounces). As Macarons require a great balance in ingredients it is important to stick to the cup measurements used in your area.

4 large egg whites (or 5 small) approx 140g (4.94 ounces)
1/3 cup or  70g (2.47 ounces) caster sugar [*US cups: 1/3 cup plus 1 tsp]
1 1/2 cups or 230g (8.11 ounces) pure icing sugar [US cups: 1 1/2 cups plus 4 tsp] .  IF you wish to use icing mixture INSTEAD of icing sugar you will need 1 3/4 cups or 275g (9.7 ounces) icing mixture [US cups: 1 3/4 cups plus 4 tsp]
1 cup or 120g (4.23 ounces) almond meal [US cups: 1 cup plus 3 teaspoons]
2g (0.07 ounces) salt (tiny pinch)
gel food colouring (optional)

Macaron Recipe Directions

This recipe makes approximately 40 shells or 20 filled macarons

Preheat the oven to 150C (302 degrees Fahrenheit)

Place egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl and mix with electric mixer until stiff enough to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out. Continue to whip for 1-2 more minutes.  How long this takes will depend on you mixer.  Add gel or powdered food colouring and continue to mix for a further 20 seconds.

Sift the almond meal and icing sugar and salt twice, discarding any almond lumps that are too big to pass through the sieve. Fold into the egg white mixture. It should take roughly 30-50 folds using a rubber spatula.  The mixture should be smooth and a very viscous, not runny. Over-mix and your macarons will be flat and have no foot, under mix and they will not be smooth on top.  See the macaron troubleshooting post for examples.

Pipe onto trays lined with baking paper, rap trays on the bench firmly (this prevents cracking) and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Check if one comes off the tray fairly cleanly, if not bake for a little longer (make sure you are using NON-stick baking paper or they will stick).
how to pipe macaron

PLEASE make sure you watch the macarons FAQ and troubleshooting video. This way you can learn from the mistakes and questions of those who have made them before you.

Filling your macaroons

ganache macaron
My favorite is flavoured ganache, but you can use jam and cream, butter cream or just eat them plain.

Ganache Recipe
100g (3.53 ounces) chocolate
30ml cream

Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for a minute and then stir. If it is not adequately melted then microwave for 20 seconds and stir – repeat until smooth. Allow to cool and thicken before piping onto macarons.

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2012

1,456 Comments View Comments

  1. I have read that egg whites need to be aged 3 days or room temp, etc. Can I use egg whites straight from the fridge after cracking a fresh egg? Do they need to sit? Can’t wait to try these!! 🙂

    • ann

      I use them straight from the fridge fresh, I do not age them at all.

      • The egg whites and sugar never got dry. I got stiff peaks but it wasn’t dry. Beat them on high almost 20 mins. Any ideas?

        • ann

          Hi Eloise, In a humid environment like singapore it is unlikely that they will form a ‘skin’ when leaving them to dry like the recipe you were using asked for. Try the recipe in this post instead – you do not need to leave them to dry at all, just put the straight in the oven. For best results heat the oven to 180 degrees C and then decrease to 150 degrees C immediately after putting them in the oven. Put in on a shelf near to the top of the oven and move down once they look done but are still sticking to the baking paper on the base. Also do not add too much liquid colour or it will effect your results – just a couple of drops of gel colour at most. For stronger coloured macaron use powdered colour. Let me know how you go. Ann

        • ann

          hi suzanne were you using a stand mixer or electric hand mixers? They will look slightly different if not using a stand mixer. Make sure you keep the mixer running for the whole 10 minutes do no turn off and then on again.

          • We did use a stand mixer and kept it running the entire time. I’ll just have to try again another day. Maybe it was too humid in the house even though we had the AC on since it’s been so hot here lately (Chicago area). Definitely worth another shot though! I’m determined to get them to turn out! 🙂

          • ann

            Hi Suzanne The only other reason I can think of is if you had the slightest bit of egg yolk in your egg whites. Egg yolk is an emulsifier – it allows things to mix that do not normally mix. If you want to try it put some oil and water in a container – obviously they do not mix, add some egg yolk and shake it up – they will now mix. Egg whites and air do not mix so it forms bubbles but if you add egg yolk at the start of the process it lets them mix – depending on how much you add they will either not whip at all or will whip some but not be stiff once you have the sugar added.

          • Just a suggestion for Suzanne .. if there was any trace of grease/oil in the bowl or on the whisk then the eggs will not whip for you. There could be a tiny streak of oil from a previous recipe on the bowl or between the strands of the whisk which is causing the problem. Try wiping the inside of the bowl and the whisk with a *tiny* amount of white vinegar on a piece of kitchen paper, then rinse both with boiling water, and wipe completely dry with kitchen paper. Hope that helps 🙂

          • ann

            Hi Grainne I have heard this many times but even if I add a few drops of oil to the egg whites and sugar they still whip up fine. Egg yolk stops them from whipping properly. Give it a go with oil and let me know how it goes for you.

  2. Hi Ann,
    Would it be ok if I put both macarons trays in the oven at the same time? Where and how should I place the trays? and after what minute should I switch both of the trays position? I have read many macarons recipes on internet and it seems like the amount of egg whites used in most of the recipes are quite the same (around 2 egg whites or 90grams of egg whites), however, the amount of powder sugar varied a lot. So, I want to know if the amount of powder sugar and almond will effect the baking if we put too little or too much of them? I usually reduce the amount of sugar in cake or other dessert recipes by 30% because I dont like my dessert to be too sweet. If I want my macarons to be less sweet, what should I do?

    • ann

      Hi, Yes I often put two trays in at once but the top tray in the oven always works out perfectly and the back row of the middle tray often crack
      (because they are right at the level of the fan at the back of the oven). I swap them when the top tray looks cooked but is still sticking to the baking paper. No I would not reduce the amount of sugar in the shells. If you want them to taste less sweet add a little salt to the mixture and use a filling that is not so sweet – such as cream instead of buttercream. This is one of those recipes that you need to use exact amounts for.

  3. Hi,
    Im about to attempt your macaroons, was just wondering I have a fan forced oven do I still put the oven on 180 degrees and then drop it to 150 degrees or if it is a different temperature for fan forced, if you could please let me know.
    Thanks

    • ann

      Hi Mel, Yes my oven is fan forced and 150 degrees is actually 180 when you measure with an oven thermometer. For best results put it at 150 on the dial and then when you put them in the oven turn it down to about 130 – which will be 150 inside the oven.

  4. Hi, I gave your recipe a go today. They turned out great!
    As said in a previous comment about resting the macarons before baking. I put one tray in to the oven first and left one to bake after the first tray, I found that the first tray had nicer feet and the second tray had a little less height for the feet. Why is this? Thanks! Love the blog 🙂

    • ann

      Hi Lewis, They look delicious – well done! I find that the foot of the macaron is mainly effected by the oven temperature and over-mixing. So there are two possibilities – one is that the second batch had slightly more mixing as it was in the piping bag for longer. The other more likely explanation is that when you took the first tray out and put the second in the oven temperature dropped. Try heating the oven to 180 deg C and then lowering to 150 when you put the tray in.

  5. I have always wanted to try these after seeing how expensive some can be in the shops. Just wanting to know whats a good buttercream mixture to use in these? Would you just make the cupcake buttercream or would that be too hard?

  6. This looks so wonderful I will need to have a go.
    Do you need to wait for the macaroons to dry before putting them in the oven because a lot of methods tell you to leave it to dry for about half an hour.

    Thanks.

    • ann

      Hi Cath, I have experimented with putting them in straight away and leaving them for various times and it made no difference. The main thing that people say to leave it for is for the foot of the macaron – the bubbly bit around the bottom. To get the best foot heat your oven to 180 degrees C and then decrease to 150 when you put them in. And don’t over-mix, this is a balance as if you under-mix they won’t be smooth on top if you over-mix they won’t have a good foot. Practice makes perfect.

  7. Thanks Ann I think as u said I’ve gone with the temperature, i kept it too low. I will post my macaroons next and will let u know if i have got it correct. and i used a liquid color soo much also. Thanks again Ann.

  8. Thanks Ann. I meant that its fully baked, it doesn’t stick to the parchment paper. But it doesn’t rise. For example yours has hole like ones for standing, but mine is just flat like a disc.I hope you can understand what I am meaning. I think if you enlarge the pic and see you will see the mistake.
    Thanks Ann.

    • ann

      Sorry, now I understand – you mean the bit around the base, it is called the foot / feet of the macaron. The most common reasons for it to be missing are – (1) over-mixing, but yours do not look over-mixed to me, (2) too much liquid colour (use powder for intense colours) or (3) oven temperature too low – you can buy a cheap oven thermometer on ebay and check your oven temperature – or if you can’t wait that long try increasing it by 10 degrees C and see if that fixes it.

  9. Hi Ann
    Thanks!! The recipe came out good for me but for only one mistake. My macaroons did not have the holes in the bottom. I hope you got it. What could have I gone in wrong with. Otherwise it tasted good. I have send a pic of it.
    Thanks again.

    • ann

      Hi Shayas, They look great! I am a little confused are you saying they did or did not have holes in the bottom? They are not supposed to have a hole in the bottom – if the base is staying on the tray when you lift them up then they are under-cooked. If that is not what you meant then please feel free to explain the question.

    • ann

      Shayas, After further experimenting you get the best ‘foot’ on your macarons if you set the oven to 180 degrees C then when you put the macrons in the oven decrease to 150 degrees C.

      • ay it would be nice if the decrease in temp were in the formal instructions above.

  10. Hi, this recipe looks great!
    How many macaroons does this make?
    And how long will the shells last?
    I want to make a tower for this Saturday, can I make the shells now (Wednesday) and fill them Friday night? How early in advance can I make them?
    Sorry for all the questions, novice baker, 1st birthday, freaking out!…
    Thank you!

    • ann

      Hi Kate, How many it makes depends on the size that you pipe your macarons – mine are quite big by macaron standards and it makes approx 20 filled (ie 40 halves). If you pipe them smaller it will obviously make more.
      Yes, you can make them now, I would store them unfilled in an airtight container with baking paper sheets between the layers.
      Don’t add too much liquid colour to your macarons or it will effect the results. If you want strong colours use powdered colour.
      All the best for the party and happy birthday to your little one.

  11. How many macaroons does this recipe make?

  12. love it!!

  13. What is a almond meal? Are there other substitudes.

    • ann

      Almond meal is almond that are blanched (peeled) and then ground into a fine powder. You can make your own but it is much easier to buy it. You can substitute for other nuts but it will effect the flavour.

  14. ann

    happy baking!

  15. These are so yummy I made some using this recipe and everyone loved them thanks.

    • ann

      Great to hear Tea, enjoy

  16. Do you have the recipe for chocolate macarons?

  17. Amazing – mine always cracked and now I know why, thanks for the tutorial.

  18. How do I flavour the macaron recipe?

    • ann

      It is easiest to flavour you fillings – if you want flavoured ganache boil the cream with what you want to infuse it with eg: cinnamon quills /vanilla pods / stem ginger. Then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Strain and then bring back to the boil and pour over your chocolate as per ganache recipe. One I love is chocolate macarons with ginger ganache.

  19. I agree with Trudy. There is no possible way that someone can make a mistake using your recipe and explanation.
    Thank you.

  20. I love the way you explain everything in your recipes you are a great teacher.

    • So true! I’ve watched all her macaron recipes and she explains it so well!!!! Totally an expert macaronist:)

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