French Meringue Macarons
Recipe courtesy of Duchess Bake Shop cookbook.
Find step-by-step photos below recipe directions.
135 g (1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp) almond flour (finely ground almonds)
195 g (1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp) icing sugar
100 g (about 3 large) egg whites, at room temperature
38 g (3 Tbsp) granulated sugar
7 g (2 tsp) egg white powder (egg albumen)
1/4 tsp powder colour (optional)
filling of your choice (see page 30)
You will need a macaron template to help you ensure that your shell sizes are uniform. Cut a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet and trace 20 × 1-inch circles onto it spaced about 11/2 inches apart. Place the template on one of the baking sheets and cover it with a second piece of parchment.
1. Sift the almond flour and icing sugar together into a bowl. If necessary, press the last of the mixture through the sifter with your hands. Discard any larger pieces that won’t go through. Set aside.
2. Whip on high until a stiff meringue forms (4 to 41/2 minutes). Make sure to whip until it’s really stiff (Photo A).
3. Pour the sifted almond flour mixture over the meringue and, using a spatula, gently incorporate until just combined (Photo B). Transfer the batter to a shallow wide bowl (Photo C).
4. Now proceed to the macaronage. With a plastic bowl scraper, smear the batter along the sides of the bowl and scrape it back into the centre. Repeat until the batter becomes shiny and reaches the consistency of slow-flowing lava (Photos D–I). How many times you need to do this is highly variable; it might be only a couple of passes or up to a half dozen. If
the batter is moving faster than slow-flowing lava, it’s been overmixed.
If making a macaron gâteau: Stop mixing your batter a bit early so that it ends up a bit stiffer and able to retain its decorative piping during baking.
Hold the piping bag vertically with the tip 1/2 inch above the lined baking sheet. With even pressure, while holding your piping bag steady, pipe onto the parchment following the template that you have placed underneath (Photo K). At this stage you can sprinkle on additions such as finely chopped nuts, cocoa nibs, or coconut depending on the type of
macaron you’re making. Go easy on these as the oils can affect the shells.
5. Carefully remove the template from underneath the parchment (Photo L), put it on the second baking sheet, cover with another piece of parchment, and repeat step 7. If you have extra batter, feel free to pipe extra shells in empty spaces on the parchment between already piped shells.
6. For baking, use only the middle rack of the oven, baking one sheet at a time. Bake the shells for 8 minutes. Briefly open the oven door to let out steam, rotate the baking sheet, and bake for another 4 minutes.
Note: Oven times may vary. If the shells start to brown around the edges, immediately remove them from the oven.
7. To prepare the macarons for filling, find pairs by matching their sizes. Line the pairs up on a tray. Take one of each pair, flip it over, and gently make an indent in the centre using your thumb (Photo O).
8. Fill each indented macaron with the filling you have chosen and cover with its twin, sandwich-style (PhotosP–Q).
9. If you want to fill your macarons with two different fillings (for example, vanilla buttercream and strawberry jam), simply pipe a ring around the outside of the macaron with one of the fillings and insert the other filling in the middle (Photo R).
FOR STORING: Filled macarons can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.