Basic Macarons - Italian Meringue Method - learn all the secrets to perfect macarons in step by step photo tutorial and a troubleshooting guide.
Line two 15in x 21in baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Preheat oven to 350F with the baking rack in the middle. Gather all of your ingredients and equipment.
Sift the ingredients:
Combine 212 grams almond flour and 212 grams of powdered sugar and sift it twice into a large bowl.
Measure the egg whites:
Separate eggs and reserve 172 g of egg whites. Place them in the microwave for about 40 seconds and heat in 5-7 second intervals, mixing in between each interval.
Now take away about 90 grams of egg whites to a clean, grease-free bowl of a stand mixer.
Add the remaining egg whites (82 g) to the almond flour and powdered sugar mixture that was sifted earlier and mix together into a thick paste.
Make the syrup for Italian Meringue:
In a small saucepan combine 236 grams of sugar and 158 grams of water. Place over medium heat. Stir the sugar until it dissolves, being careful not to splash over the sides of the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until about 235F-240F.
If there is sugar splatter on the sides of the pot when making syrup, wash it down with a wet brush to prevent the formation of large sugar crystals. If the syrup crystallizes, discard the syrup and start over.
When it does, whip the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of sugar just until foamy, being careful not to overwhip. Stop the mixer once the egg whites are whipped to the proper consistency, or run it on the lowest speed.
If the egg whites do not look smooth when whipping them and look lumpy or "curdled" instead, discard and prepare a fresh set of egg whites for this step (about 90 grams), remembering to heat the egg whites.
Once the syrup reaches 248F, remove from heat and with the mixer running at the highest speed slowly pour the syrup between the bowl and the whisk.
Continue whipping for about 8-10 minutes and until the bowl is cool to the touch, the meringue is stiff and glossy. Add gel food coloring during the whipping stage if using.
The meringue will be stiff, but a whisk dipped into the meringue and lifted will have a peak that slightly bends.
Next, fold the whipped meringue into the almond mixture, in 3 additions. Continue folding until the mixture falls off the whisk like lava, forming a thick ribbon, that you can draw a number 8 with.
The mixture shouldn't be so stiff that it holds its shape, but it shouldn't be so loose that it dissolves into itself and does not maintain the ribbon. It is better to for the mixture to be slightly stiff than too loose.
Fill the prepared piping bag fitted with the 5/8th inch round plain tip (Ateco 808) with the macaron batter. You can drape the empty bag over a tall glass to make it easier to fill the pastry bag.
Pipe the macarons onto the prepared parchment-lined baking sheet by pressing out 1.5-inch circles about 1 inch apart.
Rap the sheet against the counter 5-10 times to remove any large bubbles. If you use a softer surface to avoid the loud noise that comes with rapping the sheet on the counter, increase the number of raps.
Pop the air bubbles: Next, use a pin or something sharp to pop any remaining bubbles that have risen to the surface of the macarons, but haven't popped.
Place into a preheated to 350F oven and reduce the heat to 325F right away. Bake for 10-12 minutes (best to set the timer). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing off the parchment paper.
How to know when macarons are ready: open the oven and touch the top of the macaron - if the top shell doesn't wiggle too much from the "foot" of the macaron, the macarons are ready. If it still wiggles, add 1 minute of baking time and check again. Note the baking time and set the timer for this time for the next batch.
Bake the rest of the macarons in the same fashion, preheating the oven to 350F each time a new baking sheet is placed in the oven.
Remove the baking sheet with the macarons from the oven and carefully slide the parchment paper with the macarons out of the sheet and onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely, then gently peel off each macaron shell. Before filling, pair the shells by size.
To fill macarons, use either a ziplock bag or a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain round piping tip (Ateco 807), then fill with cream.
You will need about 4 cups of filling for this amount of macarons.
Filled macarons should be allowed to mature by refrigerating them for 24 hours, covered, before serving.
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