I’ve been making macarons for many years now and it was a difficult process, I must say! Then, when I finally figured out how to deal with their fussiness, I started doing character macarons and it CHANGED everything. For a long time, I was using a recipe in cups and not weighing my ingredients. As you know, in USA, that’s how our measurements are and I got it to work for me using an adapted recipe from Martha Stewart. When doing characters, and using batter on batter, all that went out the window!! The problems occurred again so I had no choice but to weigh ingredients. I should have done this from the start! I found this to be very useful because I was seeing that the “two large eggs” I typically used would weigh anything from 58 grams to 72 grams. So, of course this was affecting my batter! So I started experimenting with many different recipes, and I finally found my go to recipes by Indulge With Mimi (you can find it on her website/blog) and Qnbeemacarons (you can find the recipe on her Instagram)! They both work excellent for character macarons too and a lot of batter on batter work. Additionally, they produce smaller feet that I personally like, rather than the more fluffier feet (which I think has to do with using more powdered sugar as I had in other recipes), although I’m not sure.
While I love their recipes, I really wanted to figure out what was going on with the original recipe I used to use in cups and how to get the right amount of egg whites for that recipe (since it’s not posted anywhere on Martha Stewart’s site although she does have the grams conversion for the other ingredients). I also love the amount of macarons that recipe yields. It’s the perfect amount I typically need! So I started experimenting with different weight amounts and looking at websites about macaron ratios. I produced a recipe that made full, fluffy macarons but the problem was the feet were really ruffled, a little too much. I tried again, and my 2 egg whites ended up weighing 60 grams rather than 70. Again, with the fluctuation in weight! It was then that I remembered how well the vegan macaron recipe worked for me from Crazy Vegan Kitchen http://www.crazyvegankitchen.com/raspberry-rose-vegan-macarons-using-aquafaba/ , so I figured why not try that! Instead of aquafaba, I used egg whites and halved the recipe so I would use 55 grams of EW. It worked beautifully!!! I then tested it with 70 grams of egg whites for both characters and regular macarons and just did the math for the ratios using her recipe as a guide. The results were what I wanted – full macarons with small, cute feet!
Here’s my recipe (adapted from Crazy Vegan Kitchen)
- 70 grams egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 70 grams granulated sugar
- 93 grams of almond flour (I use brands “Amoretti” or “Oh Nuts”
- 84 grams of powdered sugar
- A few hours before making your macarons, separate the egg whites into a bowl and seal with Saran wrap. Poke tiny holes in the Saran wrap. Leave it out at room temperature. If it’s very hot in your home, put it in the fridge and before baking, allow to come to room temperature. I will say though that I’ve tried egg whites straight out of the fridge and it worked just fine.
- Sift you powdered sugar and almond flour so it’s fine or use a food processor. Just be careful using a food processor because if you don’t thoroughly mix the two well before putting them in the food processor, the oil from the almond flour can cause your macarons to be wrinkly or splotchy. If you sift, you don’t run into that problem, but do make sure to gently mix with a spoon so you incorporate the two ingredients.
- Place your egg whites in your mixing bowl and use whisk attachment. Mix on low speed, and then increase the speed a bit. When it gets bubbly and frothy looking (I know it’s a gross comparison, but when it looks like bubbly spit), add the cream of tartar. The mixture should look foamy as you continue to mix these two.
- Then add granulated sugar, slowly pouring the sugar into the mixture. Make sure your mixer speed is still on low. Then increase your mixer speed slowly and all the way up to high speed. Wait until it forms soft stiff peaks (may take 5 -8 minutes). To test it, take your whisk attachment off and see if the stiff peak stays on it; nothing should move off your whisk at this point.
- Some people add gel color at this point and you can do that. Some people also add flavorings at this point, but I avoid that totally because it can compromise your batter with the liquid depending on the brand or consistency. IMPORTANT: for coloring: make sure it is Gel food coloring and not liquid as liquid will make your meringue runny. I personally wait until I fold my entire wet and dry ingredients until I add color.
- Fold almond mixture into meringue mixture until it forms a consistency that is shiny, thick and lava like but also falls off the spatula slowly but not running down it. Sometimes after you add the almond flour mixture, your color will be lighter, so if you want to add more food coloring, do so now as you are folding. When you get that “molten lava” consistency, you are ready to pipe!
- Pour the batter into a pastry bag with a round tip (I usually use a Wilton 2A nozzle) and pipe small circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Tap the sheets about 3x onto a hard surface to remove air bubbles. This is extremely important! Also, pop the remaining air bubbles with a toothpick. Let the batter sit to develop a skin anywhere from 10- 30 minutes at least (this will form the top shell surface and ensure the shells do not break or crack as they bake. It will also help with achieving the “feet”). Now, I have lately reduced resting time as I see some people say it’s not needed! I usually rest for 10 minutes now, even with characters, and I’m usually fine with that. I also noticed doing that produces smaller feet for me. But you should touch the macs lightly with your fingertip and see if it’s sticky and not wet. If it’s not wet, it should be ready for baking.
- Then place in the oven at 300 F (use an oven thermometer if you can because this is the part that caused my macs to fail a lot. Some say 325F but mine must be at 300F-310F after much trial and error. You will find what works best for you. You may have to test this too because ovens can be calibrated differently).
- Bake for about twelve minutes-twenty minutes on the middle rack (again, that depends on your baking temperature and could also depend what kind of tray you use! I use Nordic pans with silicone mats). Only bake one tray at a time. Remove the tray after they bake and place onto a wire rack. Cool completely before removing otherwise they could stick to the mat. Then add filling or freeze the macs if you don’t intend to use right away. They freeze well and very long as long as not filled!!
I hope this recipe works well for you! There are so many variables with macaron baking and it seems different things sometimes work for different people so experiment and have fun with them! They can be extremely frustrating to bake, but trust me, once you do and get comfortable, they will become one of your favorite things to bake! The challenge is enticing! 🙂