French Macaroons

Written by on July 18, 2012 in Desserts

French macaroons

What could be more delightful than delicious little French Macaroons or macarons as they are called in France? The actual preparation is not difficult but it is really critical to get the proportions exact and, if you’re adding flavouring or colouring – put a little less egg white in – too much liquid means that they will run when you pipe them on a tray and go too flat and biscuit-like instead of the delicious chewy centres we all love. This is an easy recipe for macaroons, there are other methods which involve more complicated steps than this and which the true French artisans employ to create these tasty little cakes.

Did you know that these little petit-fours which we all associate with France were actually imported from the Italian court of Catherine de Medici? The names comes from the Italian word “Macarone” meaning “fine paste” in the Venetian dialect.

Ingredients to make 60 mini macarons or 40 medium macarons

10og fine caster sugar
180g ground almonds
150g egg whites
270g icing sugar
Colouring/flavouring of your choice

Filling of your choice

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3 and line a baking tray (or two) with baking paper. Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar and ground together.

2. Whisk the egg whites at room temperature until it forms soft peaks in a separate bowl and add the caster sugar a teaspoon at a time whisking in well until the mix is stiff and glossy. You can leave the macarons plain – they are a biscuit colour and quite delicious or at this stage you can add the flavour and/or colouring  If you want more than one colour like in the picture  – divide the mix into different bowls .

3. Sift the ground almonds and icing sugar  into the meringue and mix with a large metal spoon. Add the remaining half, fold the mixture until it is shiny and has a thick, ribbon-like consistency as it falls from the spoon. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (½ inch) plain nozzle.

4. Pipe discs of the macaroon mixture onto the baking sheets (make sure you grease them first to avoid the cakes sticking) or grease proof paper. Give the baking sheets a sharp tap on the work surface to ensure there are no air bubbles and flatten out any peaks,  just wet your finger with water and push them down. Leave the discs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes – this helps them to form a slight skin which enhances the texture. Test that they are ready by touching them lightly, no mixture should stick to your finger.

5.  Pop them into the oven – middle shelf and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool. When they’re completely cold, sandwich them together with butter cream, cream, Nutella, jam, whatever your choice and enjoy (they won’t keep for more than a couple of days but funny enough they never seem to last that long anyway).

Bon appétit

See Macaron Queen Jill Colonna’s Sticky Toffee Pudding Macaron recipe
Read about the history of the macaron

Related Articles

How to make chocolate fondant cake

This gooey-centred chocolate pudding is irresistible! It’s not known exactly who invented it or when though french chef Michel Bras claims to be the creator. But, whoever it was, we should all be thankful for this mellow, melt-in-your mouth classic. Here’s how to make chocolate fondant cake at home… Ingredients for 4 2 oz bittersweet […]

Continue Reading

How to make Paris-Brest cake

How to make Paris-Brest cake

Written by on October 24, 2019 in Desserts

The Paris-Brest cake was invented in 1910, by pastry chef Louis Durand of Patisserie Durand in Maisons-Laffitte. It was inspired by the famous cycle ride between Paris and Brest in Brittany. The round elements represent the wheel of a bike. The cake is made from choux pastry, filled with praline cream and garnished with flaked […]

Continue Reading

Easy recipe for Millefeuille with strawberries

The origins of the famous millefuille (which can also be spelled mille-feuille) cake aren’t known though a cake that was somewhat similar was said to have been first made in the 17th century. It wasn’t the millefeuille as we know it today, that took years of perfecting by various chefs including the famous King of […]

Continue Reading

Recipe for Tarte Reine-Claude

Recipe for Tarte Reine-Claude

Written by on August 23, 2019 in Desserts

Queen Claude’s tart is a classic French dessert and definitely fit for royalty! It’s really easy to make and utterly delicious. The tart is made with plums known as Reine-Claude (greengage). The plums are named after Claude of France (1499-1524), the wife of Francis 1. If you love sweet, fruity tarts – you’ll love this […]

Continue Reading

How to make Canelé de Bordeaux cakes

The origins of the little French cakes known as canelés remains a mystery, but one of the most plausible theories is that they were invented by the nuns of the L’Annonciade monastery in Sainte-Eulalie, in Bordeaux. When basking them, some people use a silicone mold. But I always recommend using traditional copper molds. Granted, copper […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top