Yield: 18 macarons
Macarons are an intimidating bake for plenty of folks—us included! Before we attempted macarons for the first time, we found it beneficial to read a lot from various sources to help us feel comfortable before diving into this new technique. And while we’ve tried to provide enough information below,if this is your first foray into macarons, you may wish to educate yourself even further. To assist on your macaron quest, we’ve compiled this list of some excellent additional resources:
- How to Make Macarons (video) – Bake It Up a Notch with Erin McDowell
- Beginner’s Guide to French Macarons – Sally’s Baking Addiction
- How to Make French Macarons – Food Nouveau
- The Ultimate French Macaron Guide – Mike Bakes NYC
- Macaron Troubleshooting Guide – Sweet & Savory
NOTE: Macaron shells are notoriously finicky, so we highly recommend weighing your ingredients with a kitchen scale to be precise in your measurements. No matter how much care you take with measuring cups, weighing your ingredients will always be more accurate.
- 3 large egg whites, aged for at least 24 hours
- 1 ¼ cups + 2 ½ tsp (125g) almond flour
- 1 ¾ cups + 4 ¾ tsp (210g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 2 Tbsp + 1 ¼ tsp (30g) granulated sugar
- yellow gel food colouring, optional
- zest of 1 lemon (very fine)
Ginger French Buttercream:
- 5 Tbsp (62g) granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp (28g) water
- 3 large egg yolks
- 9 ½ Tbsp (136g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- 3–6 Tbsp (60–120g) Umikah Yuzu Curd
- One or two days before you plan on making your macarons, wipe down a small glass or ceramic bowl with a little bit of lemon juice or white vinegar. Separate three eggs. Place the whites in the glass bowl, cover bowl with cling film, and poke quite a number of holes in the cling film. Place yolks in a small, lidded container. Set whites and yolks in fridge, letting whites ‘age’ for at least 24 hours.
NOTE: Ageing the egg whites allows them to dehydrate a little bit and lets their proteins relax. Aged egg whites whip up more easily and are less likely to be overwhipped. (Plus, Pierre Hermé and Ladurée recommend ageing egg whites for macarons, so it’s obvs the way to go!)
- An hour or so before you start making your macaron shells, retrieve your egg whites from the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Print out our 1.5-inch macaron template and place pages side by side under the parchment on one baking sheet. Set aside.
NOTE: We find it handy to clip the parchment and template pages to the baking sheet with metal binder clips to keep everything in place when piping.
- Put almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, and ground ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Blitz for a minute, stop and scrape down bowl, then blitz for another minute or until everything is a very fine powder.
- Set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl. Run flour-sugar mixture through sieve, discarding any wee clumps left in sieve. Repeat sieving once more.
- Use a little bit of lemon juice or white vinegar to wipe down bowl and whisk attachment of your mixer. Place egg whites in bowl and whip at medium speed.
- Once egg whites start to get a little frothy, add cream of tartar. Keep whisking at medium speed until soft peaks form.
- With the mixer running, slowly add the granulated sugar a teaspoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff, glossy peaks form, taking care not to overbeat the meringue.
- If you want to colour your shells, add a few drops of gel food colouring to the meringue. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold the colour into the meringue a little bit to start distributing the colour. (It’ll get distributed all the way when you mix in the dry ingredients.)
- Now it’s macaronage time! Macaronage is the process of adding the dry ingredients to the meringue and working the batter until it’s smooth and flowing. To begin, add one third of dry ingredients and one third of lemon zest to meringue. Gently fold into meringue by running a silicone spatula around the edge of the bowl, then pressing the flat side of the spatula through the middle of the batter. Turn the bowl and repeat these actions until the dry ingredients have been incorporated, making sure not to miss any dry pockets at the bottom of the bowl.
NOTE: If you’re new to making macarons,this helpful video shows the whole macaronage process.
- Add another third of the flour mixture and lemon zest, following the steps above to fold into the meringue. Repeat with the final third of the dry ingredients and lemon zest. Continue gently folding until the batter runs off the spatula in a wide, thin ribbon with jagged edges and has a “lava-like” consistency.
NOTE: Wondering if your batter is correct? Form a figure 8 with batter as it drips off the spatula. If the batter doesn’t break and the “8” slowly flattens out on top of the rest of the batter, it should be good!
- Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a medium, round piping tip. Start with the baking sheet that has the template on it. With the tip relatively close to the parchment and the piping bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the macaron shells, filling the circles on the template.
- Firmly thwack the baking sheet on the counter a few times to even out the shells and pop any air bubbles. If any annoying air bubbles remain, you can gently pop ‘em with a toothpick.
- Carefully slide template pages out from under parchment and slip ‘em under the parchment on the other baking sheet. Repeat piping and thwacking for a total of 36 macaron shells.
- Allow the shells to rest for at least one hour. They’re ready to be baked when they have formed a matte skin and are no longer tacky.
NOTE: This step is vital for your macarons to rise properly and get their trademark feet, so don’t be impatient! If you live in a humid area or it’s raining, the macarons may need to rest for even longer. It’s worth the wait, my friend.
- Towards the end of the resting period, set oven rack in the middle and heat oven to 300°F.
- Bake macaron shells one sheet at a time for 14–18 minutes until they have their lil feeties. To confirm that the shells are fully baked, lightly tap one. If it jiggles or breaks, the shells need another couple of minutes in the oven.
- Place baking sheet on wire rack and allow shells to cool on sheet for 10–15 minutes. Transfer shells to wire rack to cool completely.
NOTE: The shells should pop off the parchment paper fairly easily if they are baked through and have cooled slightly.
- While the shells are cooling, let’s make some French buttercream! First, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg yolks until they are thick and foamy.
- While eggs are being whisked, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. While stirring, heat on low until sugar dissolves. Then increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil.
- Cook sugar mixture until it reaches 240°F (soft-ball stage). Upon reaching soft-ball stage, remove saucepan from heat immediately.
- With mixer on low, slowly pour sugar hot syrup into bowl with egg yolks.
- Keep mixing until entire bowl is cool to the touch and the yolk and sugar mixture is room temperature.
- Increase mixer speed to medium. Add butter to bowl one cube at a time, allowing each piece to be fully incorporated before adding the next cube.
- Add vanilla, ginger, and salt. Keep mixing until buttercream is creamy & smooth (5–6 minutes).
NOTE: If your sugar/water mixture went a little past soft-ball stage and you end up with a few sugar chunks in your frosting, don’t fret! After the buttercream is finished, run it through a sieve to remove any sugar bits. Then beat with a mixer for a couple minutes.
- Now that you have cooled shells and yummy buttercream, pair up similarly sized shells. Flip half of the shells over and pipe a ring of buttercream on each. Spoon ½ to 1 teaspoon of yuzu curd in the middle. Top with matched shells, very gently pressing each macaron together.
- We won’t blame you if you simply must eat a couple macarons immediately, but they’re even tastier the next day! Place all macarons in a lidded container and store in the fridge overnight.