Hello my macaron baking friends! Today I will share some tips with you on how to make perfect macarons! In this post you will find some very valuable tips that I have learned over the past 6 years or so of making macarons.
Making macarons is about precision and technique. Regardless of the method you choose to use to make macarons, as long as you nail down the technique, you will be a macaron master. Because you will know what the batter is supposed to look and feel like and how to make that happen.
There are 3 different methods that you can use to make macarons: French method, Italian method, and the Swiss method.
My favorite method is the Swiss method, and the great majority of my Macaron recipes on the blog are using the Swiss method.
I won’t go too much into explaining each method today, but I will give you tips that will help you regardless of the method you are using. If my tips are focused towards the Swiss method, I will make sure to point it out. But if you use a different method, please read along and I am sure you will find some valuable information here.
Tips on How to Make Perfect Macarons
1- Find a method and recipe you like the most and work on perfecting it.
Like I said, there are three different methods, French, Italian, and Swiss. And it’s very important that, after experimenting with a couple of different recipes and methods, you find one that you really like and stick to it.
The reason for that is: most recipes out there are actually accurate. If someone says their recipe is fool-proof, then it probably is for them!
However, making macarons is very particular. And it can take time for you to figure out your groove. Time and practice.
So this is what this tip is about: practice, practice, and practice some more. And if you are using the same method, and the same recipe, you’re more likely to get comfortable with it, and be able to pin point any issues, and troubleshoot any mistakes you may have made.
And trust me, if you are a beginner you will make mistakes. Be ok with it. There’s nothing wrong with you or the recipes, there’s just a huge learning curve with macarons.
Now, I am not saying just stick with the first recipe you find even if it doesn’t work for you over 10 times. I am saying to find a recipe you like, you feel comfortable with, you get somewhat good results, and then use that recipe to learn how to make macarons and perfect your technique. And you may have to shop around for a bit before finding it.
2- Use a scale to weigh the ingredients
This is a question I get all.the.time: “can I get the measurements in cups?”. The answer is: no, and here’s why.
I used to write the measurements in cups in the beginning of my macaron blogging, however I understand now better than ever how important it is to use a scale when making macarons.
Volume measuring using cups and tablespoons is not accurate. And you want to be as accurate as possible when making macarons. The best way to do this is to use a scale to weigh the ingredients.
Every time you scoop a cup of almond flour of the bag, you will obtain a different amount of almond flour. But with a scale you are able to measure the same amount, without adding too much, or too little.
This is the scale I have. I’ve had this scale for years now. Click on the image below to be directed to the product on Amazon.
3- Use finely ground almond flour
I use Bob’s Red Mill Superfine Blanched Almond Flour most of the time.
You can use store-bought, or even grind your own. When grinding your own almond flour, make sure not to over-process it, because the almonds will begin to release fat as you continue to process it, and you don’t want any grease in your almond flour.
Oily almond flour will cause wrinkled macaron shells, or cracked shells.
I like to store my almond flour in the cupboard. Some people store it in the fridge, and then if the flour becomes humid, they usually bake the almond flour in a very low oven (200ºF) for about 10 to 20 minutes to dry the flour out from humidity, and then let it dry and cool down before using it in the recipe.
Also, you can use whole almonds instead of blanched, as long as it’s fine, however your macarons will have tiny speckles in the final baked shell.
Why having good quality almond flour is necessary to learn how to make perfect macarons? Because it’s one of the main ingredients of these cookies, and if you aren’t using the best quality ingredients, you leave much to chance.
And you probably are using good quality eggs, and good quality sugar, however when it comes to the almond flour, sometimes you have to experiment around with different brands in order to find one you love the most.
4- Figure out your oven
This tip, and the next deserve their own special post. And they are getting one, because it’s a very extensive topic and I have lots to say about it! I’ve already started working on the post, but in the meantime, please have this in mind. The oven is such an important component of baking macarons.
I often get macaron questions to help troubleshoot issues, and great part of the time, it’s an oven related issue.
What you need to know is that each oven works differently, my oven is different than yours, which is different than your friend’s oven, and your mom’s oven, and so on. So please take time to understand how your oven works.
Pipe your macarons in a few different trays, and bake at different temperatures, on different oven rack heights.
Take notes. And then bake other batches the same way, and notice the results. This is the only way to actually figure your oven out, through testing, practicing.
And specially if you bake convection oven, or gas oven, or at high altitude, all of these things will change a lot from my kitchen to yours. And even other electric ovens like my own, the difference can be huge, depending on the brand of the oven, how old the oven is, etc.
Which leads me to the final tip:
5- Get an oven thermometer!
Please do not continue to bake macarons if you don’t have an oven thermometer.
Home ovens are very inaccurate at keeping the temperature to what you set it to. The oven’s internal thermometer is gauging the temperature of where it’s installed, which is on a spot in the back or sides of the oven, where it’s subjected to drafts or hot spots, so it’s not telling the temperature of the inside of the oven, where the macarons are actually being baked.
Plus, ovens cycle on and off in order to keep a stable temperature. So all these things mean that the temperature you are setting your oven to, won’t be consistent or reliable.
The only way to really know and be able to control the oven temperature is to have an oven thermometer in place.
A slight 5 degree temperature can make a huge difference. And many people that ask me macaron questions and are having a hard time with their shells, solve all their problems by getting an oven thermometer, and beginning to understand how their oven works.
Just as an example, if I set my own oven (which is relatively new) to 325ºF or 320ºF, the internal temperature after 20 minutes of heating will be around 350ºF. If I didn’t have an oven thermometer in there, I’d never be able to tell, and I’d just be ending up with cracked shells, and spread out feet without knowing what’s going on.
So here are my 5 tips for today on how to make perfect macarons. I actually have many more coming.
I was writing an ebook last year, but because I am actually publishing a cookbook soon (a cupcake cookbook), I am not allowed to publish anything else for the time being. So I’ve decided to turn all the knowledge I’d put into the ebook pages into blog posts which can be helpful for everyone!
If you liked this post, share on Pinterest by pinning this image above! And let me know in the comments, or on instagram dms if you have any macaron questions.
My next posts will be:
- The most important stages of making macarons
- Understanding your oven
- Frequently asked questions
- Macarons for beginners
- Tools I use to make macarons
So stay tuned to grab all these next posts, and subscribe to my blog, on the sidebar, by entering your email, so you can be notified of when I post these next few posts!
More resources: I have over 70 macaron recipes and flavors here on the blog, plus many tips throughout all of my posts. Click here to see my list of macaron flavors.
Also, check out my Youtube channel. I make and post macaron videos every week. You can check them out by clicking here.
Thanks for reading my tips on how to make perfect macarons! I hope you enjoyed and learned something today! Have a great day!