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French Macarons (Swiss Meringue Method)

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This French Macaron Recipe is easy, foolproof and the result of endless testing! In this post, I’ll give you all my tips and tricks, everything I know, to getting macarons that look like they’ve come out of a French patisserie. Chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside and filled with my white chocolate ganache recipe. A true melt in your mouth experience all in one cute little cookie!

French Macarons - stacked on a plate

If you’ve ever attempted to make these little French cookies, you know they can be finicky, but once you learn the tips and tricks in this blog post, you’ll be onto your way to making amazing macarons! I’ve included my tips and tricks, explanations of the ingredients used, the tools I used and a macaron troubleshooting section too so that you can be equipped for recipe success.

If you’re looking for my popular macaron recipe which has a couple more steps, give my Italian method French Macarons a go. People swear by it. The filling I used in this recipe is my White Chocolate Ganache, but these are great with Chocolate Ganache or even Buttercream!

Macarons vs Macaroons

First off, let me be that person. Yes, some people call this cookie recipe ‘macaroon’. It’s harmless to call it that, but it’s not a macaroon. Macaroons are a coconut cookie made of coconut and egg whites. Really delicious, but completely different from these cookies which are macarons.

Macarons are delicate little French sandwich cookies. That’s what we’ll be making today!

French Macarons - side by side 01

What do French Macarons Taste Like?

They’re soft and chewy cookies with a thin crisp outside shell. Depending on how you flavor them and fill them, they can pretty much taste however you like! The cookies themselves have a unique almond nougat like flavor with almonds.

French Macarons - angle shot

Tools And Equipment You’ll Need.

  • Kitchen scales – this recipe needs precise measuring and the only way to get that is by measuring your ingredients using digital kitchen scales.
  • Mixing bowls – use glass or metal mixing bowls, not plastic. Especially for the meringue.
  • Hand whisk – to mix up the egg whites and sugar.
  • Electric hand mixer – or stand mixer fitted with balloon whisk attachment.
  • Food processor – if you don’t have one of these you can use a fine mesh sieve
  • Fine mesh sieve – for sifting almond meal and sugar.
  • Spatula – preferably a stiff spatula.

Ingredients You Need To Make French Macarons

Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

French Macarons - ingredients image

There are several different macaron making methods. Italian, French and Swiss. I’ll be using Swiss method in this recipe. It’s as stable as the Italian method, but in my experience in baking this and testing it 9 times, it’s smoother and shinier which looks nicer.

  • White vinegar – this is used to clean the mixing bowl you’ll be using for the macarons.
  • Almond flour – you want to use almond flour and not almond meal. Almond meal has the skins left on it before being ground up, almond flour uses blanched almonds which have the skin off and is much finer in texture. That will result in a smoother, shinier and brightly colored macaron. For this recipe you cannot substitute with almond meal with another nut.
  • Powdered sugar – you can use pure icing sugar or soft icing sugar which has corn starch added to it. If your sugar is clumpy, run it through a sieve before using.
  • Caster sugar – also known as superfine sugar is the best sugar to use as it dissolves quicker than granulated sugar.
  • Cream of tartar – this is an acidic powder which helps stabilize the egg whites before being whipped. You can use 1/4 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice in it’s place.
  • Food gel coloring – if you want to color your macaron shells the best thing to do is use food gel, not liquid food dye.

How to make French Macarons!

For an in depth, step-by-step of how to make macarons see the recipe card below and check out my video tutorial.

French Macarons - instructional image 01
  1. Begin by measuring out all of your ingredients – macarons are a quick process and each step doesn’t wait around for you to measure out the ingredients to do the next step.
French Macarons - instructional image 02
  1. Blitz the almond meal and powdered sugar together in a food processor.
  2. Run through a sift.
French Macarons - instructional image 03
  1. Discard large pieces of almond meal.
  2. Whisk egg whites and sugar together
French Macarons - instructional image 04
  1. Place on a double boiler
  2. Whisk until sugar is dissolved
French Macarons - instructional image 05
  1. Use an electric hand mixer to whip to stiff peaks
  2. Add dry ingredients
French Macarons - instructional image 06
  1. Mix with a spatula until no dry ingredients are showing
  2. Then begin mixing by scraping around the bowl
French Macarons - instructional image 07
  1. And through the middle
  2. When you can get a figure 8, the batter is done
French Macarons - instructional image 08
  1. Pipe macarons
  2. Tap on bench three times
French Macarons - instructional image 09
  1. Pop air bubbles in macarons
  2. Allow to dry until tops aren’t sticky any more. Then bake in a conventional oven / setting (no-fan), one tray at a time for 10 minutes on 120C / 240F.
French Macarons - instructional image 10
  1. Fill macarons
  2. Sandwich them together

My favorite fillings!

You can fill these with anything you like! Flavored frosting, crushed cookie frostings or ganache. Here are my favorite fillings!

Chocolate Ganache - square image

Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!

  • Clean your meringue mixing bowl using white vinegar.
  • Measure your ingredients using kitchen scales and make sure you measure them to the gram! This recipe needs accurate measurements to work and for that reason cup measurements will not work. In fact, in baking all recipes should be measured using kitchen scales for best results.
  • If you don’t own a food processor, you can sift the dry ingredients together three times.
  • Use good quality almond meal – it’s usually finer. And don’t use almond meal. It has the skins in it.
  • If using a food processor, don’t over pulse the ingredients as it can release the oil in the almonds and cause your macarons to crack.
  • Take care not to get any egg yolks in the egg whites when separating the eggs.
  • To color your macarons – use food gel coloring and not liquid food coloring.
  • Use a toothpick to get rid of air bubbles in macarons after they’ve been piped.
  • To bake macarons – Bake macarons in the middle rack of your oven, one tray at a time with the fan off.

Macaron Troubleshooting

French Macarons - macaron troubleshooting

I have Hollow Macarons

  • Overmixed or undermixed batter
  • Pop air bubbles using a toothpick for best results
  • Oven was too hot – use an oven thermometer to make sure oven is accurate.

Macarons Have No Feet

  • Meringue was overwhipped – whip until you reach stiff peaks, not beyond that.
  • Meringues not dried properly – make sure you dry your macarons until the tops are not sticky to the touch.

Cracked Macarons

  • Overbaked
  • Overmixed batter
  • Pop air bubbles using a toothpick for best results
  • Meringue was overwhipped (see above)

Runny Batter, Macarons Spread Too Much – oh dear, start again!

  • Batter overmixed and deflated too much
  • Mix only until you can get a figure 8

Macarons are not perfect circles and have peaks

  • Macaron batter undermixed – scrape off the

Frequently Asked Questions about French Macarons

How to store macarons?

Store macarons in an airtight container for up to three days. They’re even softer and chewier the next day!

How do I know my macarons are baked?

Great question! If they’ve browned, they’re overbaked, if the macarons have risen with nicely formed feet they’re most likely done. If they look done, the best way to test them is to touch them with a finger and if the feet aren’t wiggly and stay put, they’re done.

How do flavor my macarons?

The easiest and best way to flavor macarons is with the filling you choose to use. You can use a ganache or buttercream and fill the center with caramel, Nutella, anything you like! I would avoid adding any oils, extracts or essences to the macarons shells themselves. Disaster awaits if you do!

How do I make chocolate macarons?

Easy! Use the same exact method and ingredients but add 2 tbsp of a good quality cocoa powder to the dry ingredients.

Can macarons be frozen?

Yes! THey can can freeze unfilled macarons, thaw them completely and then fill them. Freeze in an airtight container.

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French Macarons - pinterest image
French Macarons - angle shot

How To Make French Macarons (Swiss Meringue Method)

Take the guess work out of making perfect French Macarons, because I’ve got a fool-proof recipe to get perfectly chewy centers, crispy outsides, and those cute feet!

Serves 30 cookies

4.2 from 34 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Calories: 56kcal

Ingredients

Macarons

  • 1 tsp white vinegar to clean bowl
  • 120 g almond flour see notes
  • 155 g powdered sugar
  • 100 g egg whites room temperature (see notes)
  • 120 g caster sugar superfine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar or couple drops of vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 drops food gel coloring

Frosting options


Learn How To Make it! [VIDEO]


Instructions

Macarons

  • Almond mixture – Add your almond meal and powdered sugar to the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 10 times to help combine the ingredients and get a finer almond meal. Use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the food processor bowl and pulse another 10 times. Pour into a sieve over a mixing bowl. Sift as much of the mixture as you can. You will have about 2 tbsp of large almond pieces. You can discard them.
  • Meringue – Add the vinegar to the bowl you’ll be making your meringue in. Glass or metal, not plastic. And use a paper towel to wipe down. Add the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar to the bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Fill a medium sized pot 1/3 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Place a heatproof bowl on top. Glass or metal, not plastic. Add the egg whites, caster sugar and cream of tartar and whisk until sugar has melted completely and the egg whites become frothy, about 60-90 seconds.
  • Take off the heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Alternatively, you can use an electric hand mixer. If you’re coloring your macarons, add your food gel coloring at this point. Begin whipping on high speed, about 2-3 minutes. The meringue will become thick and glossy and you will reach stiff peaks.

‘Macaronage’ (mixing stage)

  • What is it? – This is the most important part of making macarons and can make or break your cookies. The key is not to overmix your batter. Follow the instructions carefully and see the post for step-by-step instructions.
  • First mix – Add a spatula full of meringue to the almond mixture and use a spatula to mix until well combined. You don’t need to be too careful how you mix at this stage, this just helps thin out the batter a little.
  • How to mix – Add the remaining meringue to the almond mixture. Use your spatula to scrape around the bowl, then go through the middle of the mixture. I’ve left photo instructions in the post of this recipe. Repeat this until you reach the right consistency. This form of mixing helps incorporate the meringue into the almond mixture and also helps slightly deflate the meringue to the right consistency.
  • The right consistency – I call it the ‘ribbon stage’. It’s when the batter falls off your spatula, back into the mixture in a thick ribbon. It should disappear back into the batter after about 10 seconds. When you feel like you’re nearing this consistency, begin testing the batter for the ribbon stage. If it’s still too thick, mix another couple times and test again. If the mixture appears thinner than what’s described, there’s no saving it. Start again.
  • Transfer batter to piping bag – Fit the end of a large piping bag with a medium sized round tip. I used a 1.5cm / 1/2-inch round tip. Fill half way with batter and then twist the end while the piping tip is facing up.
  • Piping your Macarons – Pipe rounds of batter on your baking trays measuring about 3cm / 1 1/4 inch wide and about 2cm / 3/4 inch apart. Gently tap the tray on your workbench three times to allow any air bubbles to rise to the top and escape. If you see little bubbles on top of your piped macarons, use a toothpick to gently deflate them. This will help achieve a smooth macaron cookie.
  • Drying your macarons – Allow your macarons to dry for 30-60 minutes out in the open. This will help them form a skin which will prevent steam from escaping out the top of your macarons when they bake causing them to crack. Instead, the macarons will rise from the bottom forming their iconic ‘feet’. To test if they are dry enough, run your finger on the top of a macarons, it shouldn’t be sticky anymore.
  • Baking your macarons – Ten minutes before the drying time is up, preheat a conventional oven (no fan) to 120C / 240F. Bake your macarons 1 tray at a time in the middle rack for 10-12 minutes. Once they’re baked, let them cool completely before you try to remove them from the tray.

To Decorate

  • To finish your macarons, pipe buttercream frosting or ganache on half the macarons and sandwich with the other halves. For filling options see the ingredients list.

Notes

Measuring out your ingredients – this is the very first step in the recipe and it’s really important. This recipe moves quickly, one step after the other, and so having everything measured out before you begin will help you breeze through the recipe properly. This recipe is measured out in weight and not cups as it is the most accurate way to get consistent, accurate results. Especially with a recipe as finnicky as macarons!
Almond Flour – For this recipe you will need to use almond flour. This is different from almond meal. Almond meal is ground up almonds with skin on, almond flour is ground almonds with skin off.
How to Make Your Own Almond Flour
  1. To blanch your almonds – Place your almonds with skin on in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to sit for 60 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool them down. Squeeze each almond and it will slip out of the skin. Discard the skin, keep the almonds! Lay out on a baking tray and allow to dry completely before proceeding to the next step. If you’re using almonds that are already blanched, skip this step and do the next step!
  2. To blitz the almonds – place the blanched almonds into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz on high speed for 10 – 15 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Repeat this process until a fine powdery substance forms. IMPORTANT: Do not over mix. This can cause the mixture to become a paste. If this happens, start again. Overmixing can also cause the almonds to heat in the food processor which releases their natural oils. This can cause problems down the line when making your macarons.
Egg whites – For this recipe, you don’t need to worry about ‘ageing your egg whites’ to get a better meringue. The Swiss meringue technique (gently cooking your meringue and sugar together) helps get you a good meringue.
Storage – Unfilled macarons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. They will soften slightly over time and will soften again when filled. Filled macarons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Nutrition – is based on per sandwiched cookie, minus the filling. Refer to nutritional value of whichever filling you use.
A note on measurements – all ingredients in this recipe are offered in Australian cup measurements and weight measurements. Weight measurements are created by me, in my kitchen here in Melbourne Australia. The best way to get recipe success is to measure ingredients by weight, using kitchen scales.

Nutrition

Calories : 56kcal
Carbonhydrates: 7g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.002g
Monounsaturated Fat : 0.004g
Sodium: 6mg
Potassium : 16mg
Fiber: 0.4g
Sugar : 6g
Calcium: 9mg
Iron: 0.2mg
Nutrition Disclosure
Gave this recipe a go?Mention @thescranline or tag #thescranline!

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4 comments

Anonymous June 30, 2023 - 4:57 am

1 star
Those using Fahrenheit instead of Celsius should up the temp to 350 F. I did everything as instructed and have done other macaron recipes before, and they came out wholly underbaked. Very disappointed.

Reply
Nick Makrides July 1, 2023 - 5:01 am

No, they shouldn’t up the temperature. Because I tested this recipe, I have made it time and time again, as have other people, as instructed and have had success. I would suggest checking your oven temp and if it’s working properly.

Reply
Carly November 12, 2023 - 8:29 pm

5 stars
Hi Nick! I love all of your baking, and I really appreciate all the tips!! I am in a high altitude area, (Alberta, Canada) so I tried upping the temperature to 300 degrees F , and my time to 15 minutes, because my mother in law (from NZ) once came over and had a beautiful pavlova completely FLOP because she used a NZ temperature haha! It worked so well! I really appreciate the recipe!!

Reply
Nick Makrides February 15, 2024 - 6:45 am

Oh that’s so amazing to know Carly! Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you loved them! N x

Reply

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