Macarons Part Three

Yes. It is yet another post about macarons. However, I do have some exciting news this time! I have a new recipe that has been working wonderfully. The shells have a nicer texture and are not as sweet, and most importantly, this new recipe is a lot easier to make (or rather, harder to completely ruin).

If you’ve done any research into the making of macarons, you probably know that there is the french meringue method where granulated sugar is poured into the egg whites as you beat them, and there’s the italian meringue method where a hot sugar syrup is poured into the beating egg whites. The resulting cookies are relatively the same with some small differences in the shells. Although it is said that the Italian meringue method has a higher success rate for beginners, I had only ever used the french meringue method since it was working (kind of) well for me and I didn’t want to bother with cooking the sugar. I promise I’m going somewhere with this, so stick with me.

This spring, my mom took a baking class in Taiwan and came home with a macaron recipe unlike any I had seen on the internet. It wasn’t a french meringue, nor was it an italian meringue. It was actually closer to a swiss meringue, where the egg whites and sugar are mixed together and heated to about 110F (45C) before beating. So, I tried this new method and it worked very well. In fact, I found that the ‘macaronage’ – the combining of the egg whites and the almond mixture – required significantly more mixing and was thus much harder to overmix (a problem I often encountered with the extremely delicate french meringue).

So every batch I made with the swiss meringue was turning out quite well, except the shells were a little too hard and the cookies were still too sweet. I experimented with different baking temperatures and times, different resting periods, and varying amounts of both granulated and icing sugar. What I’ve come up with is just right: not too hard, not too soft, and most importantly, not too sweet. So here it is, my new macaron recipe:

Macarons (Swiss Meringue)

105 g egg whites (about 3 eggs, I have had no problems with the carton egg whites either)
110 g granulated sugar
140 g almonds, ground or sliced (you can replace 40 g of the almonds with other nuts, such as pistachios or pecans)
90 g icing sugar

Measure out all of your ingredients, and thoroughly clean the bowl of a stand mixer, ensuring it is completely dry and grease-free.

Combine the icing sugar and almonds in a food processor and sift through a sieve. If you still have a large amount of big almond pieces, grind them in the food processor and sift again. Set aside.

Combine the egg whites and granulated sugar in the clean bowl and place over a pot of barely simmering water. It is very important that this water is not boiling, and make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water; just an inch or so of water will do. Whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 110 F or 45 C. Transfer to mixer and beat on medium-high (I use a 6 on my kitchen aid) for 5-8 minutes until you have a stiff peak. The time will vary so make sure you watch carefully and check every 30 seconds once it looks almost ready.

Pour in half of the almond mixture and combine. No need to be super delicate just yet, but definitely don’t attack it too vigorously either. Pour in the rest of the almond mixture and fold until it is completely combined and you can’t see any more streaks of dry almond. This is when you start adding colour, if you wish. Continue folding until you reach a consistency where batter falling off your spatula will flatten out in about 10-15 seconds. You can also dollop some on a plate and see if a peak stays or settles. It’s kind of tricky to describe the batter consistency, so it may just take some trial and error. Remember, it is always better to undermix as you can always give the batter a couple more turns.

Once your batter is ready, fill a piping bag with a plain round tip (at least 1 cm in diameter is ideal) and pipe circles on a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat on the underside of a baking pan (not a baking sheet).

Let the piped macarons sit for roughly 30 minutes to harden a bit. Keep in mind this waiting time will vary depending on the humidity. You don’t want the shells to be completely solid but you also don’t want them to be mush. Preheat to 180F 275F and bake for 12-15 minutes. I find that placing an empty baking pan on the rack below the one you are using prevents the bottoms from getting too hard. Remove from the oven, and let cool on a drying rack before removing each shell with an offset spatula. If you are not filling them right away, you can keep them in an airtight container in the freezer for a couple weeks.

These are chocolate balsamic, maple pecan, raspberry, and peppermint. The chocolate and peppermint are filled with ganaches with a splash of balsamic vinegar and peppermint extract. The maple pecan and raspberry are both a swiss meringue buttercream with maple extract and raspberry jam. The maple pecan shells are my favourite of the bunch and are also made with 40 g of pecan in the shells. I find that the swiss meringue buttercream is significantly less sugary than other fillings and has a lovely smooth texture, so combined with the new sugar-reduced shells, they make for a delicious treat.

If you’ve had some trouble with macarons before (particularly with overmixing the batter), or if you have always found them too sweet, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! As always, please feel free to leave any questions in the comments, and I’ll try to help you out as best as I can.

Related Posts:

macarons part one: french meringue method

macarons part two: coffee, pistachio, chocolate, lemon

matcha green tea macarons

 

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41 thoughts on “Macarons Part Three

  1. Hi Rachel – I’m interested to try the Swiss Meringue type method.

    1. Your instructions are to whisk the sugar and egg whites until it reaches 110-F, what are you using to determine this, an instant read thermometer? I was thinking of using a candy thermometer, but will it get in the way while I’m whisking? 2. Your recipe states to bake the macarons at 180-F, is this correct? Most recipes are baked at 300-F.
    3. Do you fold the mixture until it reaches the right consistency for piping, as you would the French method? You mentioned having to fold it even more so.
    4. Do you have recipe ingredients for the flavored macaron shells?

    Thanks in advance. I know there are a lot of questions!

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    1. Hi there! I use a candy thermometer as well, I just stick it in when the sugar looks dissolved and stick it in to check every now and then, so it’s not in the way when I’m whisking. I actually bake at 275F – thanks for pointing out that error. I do fold until the same consistency as you would with a french meringue method, but it just takes longer to get there because you need to break down the meringue more. You just need to get it to a consistency where the peaks will settle themselves.

      As for the flavored shells, when I do flavor the shells it is only a very subtle flavor and is more just for colouring. Nearly all of the final flavor comes from the filling. For pistachio, I simply replace some of the almonds with pistachios, and for coffee I just add a couple teaspoons of coffee grounds or espresso powder. I’m sorry I don’t have any actual measurements for these because I usually just make it up as I go along but I’ll make note of it next time and let you know! I made some matcha green tea macarons earlier today and just added about a tablespoon of matcha powder to both flavour and colour the shells.

      Let me know if anything is still unclear and good luck!

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  2. I like this method too and my recipe is similar but i use half of the whites as is and mix it into meringue and almond mix. Shells are smooth and not cracked, feet not overly pronounced and most importantly not too sweet. Favourite flavour of my friends is believe or not durian. Interesting to note that your way evolved from the french method of beating all the whites and mine from the italian method of saving some whites for the meringue. Good old swiss. Happy baking.

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    1. That is indeed very interesting! I’ll certainly give that whites into almond mix thing a go, I’ve never even heard of that before – just the egg whites straight from the egg directly as is?

      Durian would certainly not be on my list of appealing flavours, but I’ve seen many questionable flavourings when it comes to macarons haha. Happy baking to you too! Thanks for visiting the blog and commenting :) and sorry for the delayed response, happy holidays!

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  3. I have tried this recipe and cannot figure out how you got the batter to a nice, slow-flowing “ribbon”. How long did it take? For me, there was too much almond meal so it would not get thinner than a very slow and lazy glob.

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    1. Hmm, you may need to just keep on mixing the batter. I started making macarons using a different method/recipe which required the upmost delicacy, so my judgements may have been skewed as to the mixing that is required for this recipe. Make sure you double check the measurement of ingredients, and it may even help to take the sugar/whites off the heat a little earlier, or beat them a little less? I’m really not too sure but hopefully you can find a way to make it work! Please do let me know if you do work out a solution :)

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  4. Hi! Gonna try the recipe for the first time. But just a quick question : the almond content is more than the icing sugar measurements.. Is that how it is meant to be?? Till now all recipes I have come across have more icing sugar than almond meal. Thanks in advance..

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  5. Thank you so much for your posts and for this wonderful Swiss meringue macaron recipe. I have actually tried it out a couple times and I like the end results of the good ones better than the French meringue method. However, I have encountered one problem which I didn’t experience with the basic French meringue method. The problem is that some of the macarons came out lopsided with this Swiss meringue method every time I tried it. Do you have any suggestion to what could cause this? If you have time, I’d really appreciate your insight! Thanks again :)

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    1. I’m glad to hear the recipe is working out for you! It always feels great to make a successful batch of something after all that effort.

      In terms of the lopsided macarons, maybe your baking pans are warping in the oven? Take a peek next time, pans warp over time and from a bunch of other factors (this has caused me a couple lopsided macarons). Or it might just be uneven heat distribution. Also double check that you are piping them straight and that they’re not lopsided before baking. Hopefully you can figure out a solution! I’m not really sure what would be causing it but that’s what I can think of off the top of my head. Good luck and happy baking! :)

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      1. Thanks a lot for your thoughts. I do think it’s the oven though. What’s weird is that I don’t get this lopsided problem when I use the basic French meringue method (whipping the egg whites without heat). Maybe it’s my meringue not being so stable. But I do like the end results of the good ones from your recipe better. Thanks again :)

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      2. You’re very welcome. I think that since the Swiss meringue is more stable than the French meringue, the piped shells harden much quicker, whereas the French meringue is able to shift its shape more. I have generally had a lot more success with the Swiss meringue and like the taste/texture of it better as well.

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      3. I have one more question if you don’t mind. When you make the Swiss meringue, do you remove the egg whites + sugar mixture promptly after it reaches 110F or do you wait a little bit? How long should the egg whites + sugar be over the heat? Thanks in advance!

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      4. I’m not really sure about how much time it takes, but I do take it off promptly. It takes quite a while to cool on the mixer, so there’s no need to continue heating it after it hits that temperature.

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  6. Hi i tried out your recipe today and everything was fine till it got to folding the egg whites with the almonds+icing sugar. I ended up with a really mealy dough-like batter. could this be because I overbeat the egg whites until they were too stiff? They tasted great though! ^^ Definitely going to try again.

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    1. Hmm I’m not sure why that would have been, but I don’t think that very stiff whites would cause that problem. Sorry for the delayed response, but I hope you’ve been able to work it out.

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  7. Thank you for the recipe. I love macaron but other recipes is too sweet for my taste.
    I tried yours today and it turned out with cracks on top and no foot.
    I think I did not mix the batter enough as I was afraid of overmixing it ( I did French method before and it’s very easy to be overmixed). But I love the taste/texture. It’s chewy, nutty and not over sweet .
    I’ll try again.
    Dee

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  8. Hi, I tried again your recipe. This time I mixed it just about right.
    The cookies came out smooth, round when I piped them. I let dry for 30 mins and
    I baked at 280F. The cookies are flat, some has tiny foot, some has no foot, some has little cracks, some just a little bit lopsided. I’m not sure what I did wrong this time.

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  9. I tried again and baked at slightly different temp around 275F. The cookies have little foot but all lopsided.
    I gave up with this recipe. Not sure how you can make the cookies as in the pictures.

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  10. Omg i have been obsessed w macarons and after 8 different batches i ran across ur recipe! They came out perfect on the first try! I did the pistacho… Butter cream was a little sweet but bc the cookies were less sweet it was delicious!!!

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    1. I haven’t ever measured this recipe by volume, so I unfortunately don’t have any numbers to give you. However, I would highly recommend investing in a food scale since weighing out ingredients is much more accurate and consistent than scooping.

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  11. I’m glad I came across your recipe! I’ve tried french and italian method. Although some people said swiss meringue method don’t yield good tasting macarons, I decided to give yours a try and love the result and I have more success with this than the French one. One thing I notice though, the shells with Swiss meringue are thinner and not as “crunchy” after 1 day of maturation. They are not mushy but definitely more delicate and softer like I’ve left them for 3 days. Do you have this problem too? Thank you :)

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  12. I cannot express my joy and appreciation to you. I have baked macarons many many times. sometimes it takes 2 tries to get the right batch, but after trying 2 batches of Italian method and one french method last night. I was done!!! Nothing worked. they were just sinking. And then i thought to myself this morning, but there is something called a swiss meringue, maybe there might be a macaron recipe out there. So i goggled and there it was – your beautifully written recipe and instructions. I am truly grateful and would have loved to send you pictures. At first i was skeptical about the quantities especially the almond being more than the powdered sugar, but i went with it and it was simply perfect!!! the shells were smooth, the macrons were chewy with a nice sheen and none were disfigured. The colors (pink and teal) were also bright. It did not brown at all.. I am super grateful. thanks so much!!!

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  13. Hi…I’m probably going to try this recipe and method this weekend. I was reading through and it says, “pipe circles on a sheet of parchment paper or a silicone mat on the underside of a baking pan (not a baking sheet).” I was just curious — why the underside of a baking pan? By underside, do you mean invert the baking pan so the bottom faces up and bake the macarons on the bottom surface? I was just curious what this does… Thanks so much for this helpful tutorial!

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  14. Thank you so much for your recipe! I love that I finally have a recipe where I’m not getting hollows in the macs. Just wanted your advice on an issue I am having though. The macarons seem to take a vary long time to bake compared to other recipes I’ve tried. I’m struggling to get them to come off the parchment cleanly at 300F even when they have been in there for 30mins. They are still always slightly tacky underneath. In the past that temperature has been fine to get a smooth clean removal from the paper after only 17mins in the oven. I’m concerned that if I leave them much longer, I’ll end up with discoloured macarons. Is this normal with this recipe because of the higher proportion of almonds? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :-)

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  15. Hi,

    I tried the first time and macaron developed fleets well after 7 minutes baking but then they got flatten. on my second try, my macarons are hollow, cracked with no fleets. What would cause these problems?

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  16. Hi, I pop my macaron into the oven, and it starts to break on the top and the inside ooze out, i can see it is bubbly. I slightly overmix on the first attempt, and undermix on the second (know by looking at how the macaronage spread after pipping out and the pointy tips) i tap it hard and dry it using fan. I use 135c and put a baking pan below my baking sheet. It is undercook even after 20min. Can you figure out what’s wrong with my techniques ? Thank-you

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  17. I was excited to try this recipe since the italian macarons are too sweet for my taste but unfortunately I was hugely disappointed! ALL macarons had cracked tops, no feet. Back to safe italian.

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  18. I tried this with the exact formula given and it was ok. I make macarons all the time and I don’t normally use a Swiss base but did this time because I had to do 6 dozen total with different colors for each dozen. It’s a lot easier to use either a Swiss or an Italian days and that situation because if your pipe quickly enough you can split the meringue three ways and do you 3000 it one time versus having to do six individual batches. I not working with a French meringue base but it’s very hard to split those without The last tray being deflated. The meringue recipe was good, it looks great and it held stable without deflation the entire time. It appeared to mix well but the cookies did not have any visible shine. I did this again I think I would probably adjust the almond and powdered sugar ratio because they seemed overly thick and cakey and I think reducing the amount of almond flour would probably correct this …. I have three more dozen to do today and I will go ahead and run it again and what do you say that and comment on the results are down when my trays are done baking.

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