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French Macaron Recipe – by madeitwithlove

Hi Everyone,

I hope you’re all fine and well underway with your festive creations.

We have some fabulous online tutorials and, of course, this year the fantastic designs in Paul and David’s new book. This gives us all a plethora of choice to improve our skills and for my part I’d like to share an easy recipe for French macarons.

Included is a template for the macaron box, Hobbycraft also stock truffle boxes.

Local bakeries keep the window boxes in which the marzipan fruits are displayed. I hope some of you will enjoy making these whether for yourselves as desserts or as small gifts made with love to give to your guests.

French macaron recipe - boxed macarons

French Macarons

Ingredients

Makes 12 x 2.5″ macarons with your choice of fillings of either flavoured ganache or butter cream. The recipe looks complicated but isn’t, the directions take longer to type up than the whole actual process of making theses tasty addictive little morsels!

  • 150g ground almonds
  • 150g icing sugar
  • A choice of colours to colour your macaron paste
  • For the meringue
  • 100g egg whites (you will need to break 3 large eggs and weigh the whites. The whites should be aged for three days at room temperature)
  • 130g caster sugar
  • 35 ml water
  • Sugar thermometer/digital thermometer
  • Macaron template, piping bags and half inch piping nozzles.
  • I used pastry nozzles. If you don’t have the nozzles just snip a large enough hole in the bags to deliver a good blob of paste with ease.

*Place parchment paper on 2 flat cookie trays. Using a 2.5″ round or heart shape cutter, mark out 12 shapes in pencil on each tray. Turn parchment over. This is the template for the macarons.

Method

  • Place ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and whizz for 30 seconds, stop, pulse for 30 seconds, then another quick whizz. This is to make the ground almonds finer and to thoroughly incorporate the two ingredients.
  • Sieve the mix three times into a large bowl to make it extra fine. NOTE: There will be some husky bits left in the sieve each time, discard these. This process is very important for making smooth shiny macarons and shouldn’t be skipped. Set aside.

For the Italian Meringue

  • Incorporate caster sugar and water in a saucepan and gently bring to the boil without stirring. Temperature should reach 120c on the thermometer. While sugar is heating, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks using either an electric hand whisk or a stand mixer.
    French-macaron-recipe-hand-whisk-240x280 French-macaron-recipe-adding-the-syrup-231x280
  • Once the syrup has reached 120c add it to the stiff egg whites in a steady stream avoiding the beater.
  • Keep beating all the time to a stiff glossy meringue and until the mixture is cool. This takes several minutes and is well worth the time.
    French-macaron-recipe-beating-280x223 French-macaron-recipe-whisking-259x280
  • Add a third of the meringue to the almond icing sugar mix and incorporate to break down the meringue bubbles.
    French-macaron-recipe-adding-meringue.bmp-280x209
    French-macaron-recipe-adding-meringue-2-280x195 French-macaron-recipe-perfect-consistency
  • Add the remaining meringue, paddle the mixture to break down the bubbles until you have a thick but dropping consistency batter.

At this stage don’t under mix or over mix the batter. It shouldn’t be thin and runny or thick and clumpy.

  • Divide the batter into separate bowls to add your colours. French-macaron-recipe-baked-280x225
  • Place batter into piping bags and pipe out 2″ blobs into the centre of the shapes (round or heart).
  • Don’t pipe right to the edge of the shapes as the batter will spread.
  • Lift the trays and bang them a couple of times on the counter to release any air bubbles, you’ll see the bubbles pop!
  • Leave the batter to rest for half an hour or until it forms a skin, when touched gently doesn’t come off on your finger. Resting the batter is a crucial part of the method as this creates the little frill or feet at the base of French macarons when baked. If it doesn’t have feet it isn’t a French macaron. To assist the skin to form, it helps to pipe them out in a warm but not humid kitchen.
  • Bake as single trays for 10/15 minutes on 160c/140c fan/gas mark 3.Macaron batter can sit without spoiling for several hours on the counter or for three days in the fridge.
    All ovens vary so keep an eye on them!
    Once baked, remove from oven and cool completely before attempting to release from the parchment.

Macarons should be crisp on the outside and soft and slightly gooey on the inside.
Pair the shells and glue together with fillings, you can embellish, personalize or lustre them for an extra festive look.

 French-macaron-recipe-Finished-macarons-280x210 French-macaron-recipe-boxed-macarons-280x210

Making the Macaron Box

If you are making macarons to give as presents, you cannot always get the exact size box you need, even if you can get the size, buying an individual box is not cheap.

I have devised a simple box you can custom make to fit the size of your macarons.

  • Use the template below as a guide, using you own dimensions. Make the width and height of the box, ever so slightly bigger than the diameter of your macaron. Measure the depth of your finished product and make the body of the box the length of the number of macarons you want to put in the box.

French-macaron-recipe-box-guide

 Cut around the outside of the box and along the four lines as indicated in the diagram above.

French-macaron-recipe-macaron-box-280x210 French-macaron-recipe-macaron-box-2-280x210 French-macaron-recipe-macaron-box-3-280x209

  • Fold inward and the box will take shape. We used a sheet of gold coloured card for this, then we lined the box with a piece of thin, brightly coloured card and glued it all together with Pritstik non toxic glue.

To make the lid you can cut out the shape in a similar way, making it slightly wider and longer and, of course, much shallower. Otherwise you could make a sleeve. To make our lid, we found some clear plastic covering from some old packaging , cut and bent it to shape, then tied the box up with ribbon ( not shown ).

Enjoy,

madeitwithlove