I’ve started making more macaron at work lately. It’s downright impossible to do there in the summer when the humidity is upwards of 90% on a daily basis. Those bitches will always deflate before forming a skin to be ready for baking. Jerks.
Truth is though, aside from the humidity being a dick, macarons are not hard (I’m totally going to bake a tray without resting soon so that I can find out for sure if that REALLY IS NEEDED because the internet has lied to me before. I know, right? The internet? Lie? Nooooo, never!). I remember when they first became popular here in North America and all the baking bloggers were going batshit insane for them. Perfecting them and doing this and doing that and your eggwhites must be 2 weeks old and sitting on your counter for 3.6 days and you have to crack your oven door open with a spoon to let out humidity and you need to bake them double panned and if you fold the batter too much you’re fucked might as well just throw it in the garbage, and don’t forget to spin around 8 times and chug a litre of milk before baking, that’s the real good luck charm.
The very first time I ever made macaron I had no idea they were supposed to be this tricky, hard, finicky thing. They turned out beautiful…and then I read a blog post about them and how hard they were and I was like “lol bitch please” and went to make them again and WHADDYA KNOW they turned out like shit. They got into my head, those famous internet bakers, and convinced me that these are hard and I shouldn’t be able to make them without wanting to burn my house down.
Eventually I got over my fear of wrinkled, lopsided, and exploded shells and started making them again. I have no idea where the hell I picked up my method to making macarons. I can’t remember if it’s what I learned in school (pretty sure it’s not) or if I found it in a book (which one tho?!) or if I stumbled upon it on the world wide web at some point. Either way, I’ve been slowly adapting it until it almost now produces super hella consistent shells on a regular basis. Swaaayt.
So ya, kids, I just wanted to share my pictures of shittymacs I’ve made and stolen from my instagram account (follow me for super rad baking pictures for your viewing pleasure, find me under the name “taragone” ~~).
I use the Italian meringue method for my macarons. I’ve hated the french meringue method since the very first day I ever made it in school. I don’t think there’s really a reason why. I just always felt in my heart that it wouldn’t produce as much consistency as Italian does. I like how sturdy and stable the Italian meringue is. I want to jump in a bathtub full of it. I wonder if it would hold me up? Would I float in a bathtub of Italian meringue?! I must know…
Well if you’ve made it this far then I feel the least I can do is at least share my recipe with you. So here you go my patient pretties.
Macarons, Italian meringue style
300g icing sugar
300g almond flour
110g egg whites
120g egg whites
300g granulated sugar
Preheat your oven to 275F. Prepare an 18″ piping bag with a round tip that’s like..1/2″ in diameter and set aside.
Pulse the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sift and continue grinding the big almond bits that get left behind until there are none left and they all fit through the sifter.
Mix together the icing sugar and almond flour with the 110g of eggwhites until it forms a paste, add any food colouring at this point. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, start the 120g of eggwhites whipping slowly in a stand mixer on first speed while the sugar cooks.
Heat the sugar and water in a pot until it reaches 118C. Once it starts to get around 110C you can turn up your mixer speed so the whites are medium stiff before you add the hot sugar.
Slowly pour the sugar down the side of the mixing bowl while the mixer runs on medium high speed. Then increase to high and let it whip until it’s cooled down.
Now take a big spatula scoop of the meringue and add it to the almond paste. Fold/mix it in until about 75% combined. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold together until thoroughly combined but not deflated. It should flow like lava, all slow but purposeful. There are countless pictures and video tutorials on the world wide web that show exactly what this should look like.
Now you can transfer that mixture to a piping bag, not all of it because that would be silly and it won’t fit, and start piping your little babies in even rows onto trays lined with baking mats. Do not use parchment, it absorbs the moisture and gets all wrinkly and your babies will not stay round. Give the pans a good hard tap on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Let those puppies sit out at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes, until if you gently touch them they do not stick to you.
I bake my macs one tray at a time because my oven is that uneven. I bake for 10 minutes without opening the door at all and then rotate and bake for 2-5 more minutes, or until if you try to move a mac it is held firmly in place. It’s better to overbake them than underbake them!
Then let them cool before removing them from the mats and filling with whatever you’d like. Ganache, buttercream, caramel, jam…the opportunities are endless. They are best if left to mature in the fridge for at least 24 hours but feel free to eat them all with some tea and feel really fancy right away if need be. I won’t judge.