Basic French Macarons
Basic French Macarons -- detailed post on how to make perfect macarons. These basic ones are flavored with vanilla and sandwiched with nutella.
- 125 gms Almond Meal flour
- 210 gms Sugar Icing Sugar (Confectioners / Icing)
- 3 egg whites (Large)
- 30 gms Sugar (Granulated)
- a pinch Salt
- 1 vanilla bean seeds (- scraped (I used ¼tsp vanilla powder))
- Nutella (- for filling)
- Prep Almond Flour & Confectioners Sugar: Grind almond flour/ meal and confectioners sugar for about 1 minute. Then using a fine sieve, sieve the mixture and remove any large pieces of almonds and lumps. Set aside until ready to use.
- Aging the Egg Whites: I left the egg whites in an airtight container for about 36 hours in the fridge. Then left them on the kitchen counter for about 16~18 hours. Egg whites can be left in the refrigerator for at least 1 day to up to 5 days and then brought to room temperature before using them.
- Prepare Piping Bag: Place a ½"~¾" tip on a piping bag and set it ready to fill in either a measuring jar or a tall glass.
- Prepare Baking sheets: To make life easier, you can trace 1½~2" diameter circles on the back of the parchment paper. Then line 2 baking sheets with these parchment paper. Place another baking sheet under the prepared baking sheet, for even heat distribution.
- Whipping Egg Whites: Weigh granulated sugar. Add egg whites, granulated sugar, salt and vanilla seeds to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Using the wire whip attachment, whip the egg whites until very stiff peaks form.
- Thanks to Bravetart's post, there was less guess work in making the meringue. Her instructions with exact timings and speeds on a Kitchenaid mixer work like a charm. Here's what you need to do if you have a Kitchenaid Stand mixer: Whip the egg whites on speed 4 (medium speed) for 4 minutes, whites will be very foamy at this point. Increase the speed to medium-high or a 7 on Kitchenaid and whip for 3 minutes. Then crank it up to 8 and whip for 3 more minutes. Then for 1 final minute, whip till the meringue clumps up inside the whip. If it doesn't, then whip for 1 more minute until it clumps inside the whip.
- Combine dry ingredients into wet ingredients: Add the dry ingredients all at once into the meringue. Using a rubber spatula fold and imcorporate dry and wet ingredients. Rubbing the spatula against the bowl helps too. About 40 turns should be enough to get a homogenous mixture, any more handling would ruin the well beaten air in the meringue.
- Piping Macarons: Fill the prepared pastry bag with half the batter and pipe onto the pre-traced circles. Repeat with the remaining batter.
- Rap the baking sheets real hard on the counter twice to remove any air bubbles from the macarons. Rotate the baking sheets 90degrees and rap them 2 more times.
- Let the macarons dry for at least 45 minutes before baking. They should be dry to touch.
- Baking the Macarons: Preheat the oven to 325°F. You might have to change the temperature depending on your oven, check how the macarons turn out between 280°F~325°F to find the optimum temperature.
- Bake for 12~18 minutes or until you can cleanly peel the macarons from the parchment. I baked mine for 14 minutes.
- Cool the macarons on the baking sheet. If you to reuse the baking sheet, then cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and slide the parchment onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Finishing Touches: Spread/ dollop/ pipe filling/ frosting of choice on one macaron and top it with a carefully chosen similar sized macaron.
- Final Rest: Let the sandwiched macarons rest in the refrigerator for at least 24 hrs before enjoying them. This helps the flavors to meld. Bring them to room temperature before serving.