Pour the sifted powdered sugar and almond flour into the stiff meringue.
At this point, also add the vanilla bean seeds if using.
Add the food coloring at this point, if using. I decided to keep my shells white.
Once you’ve piped as many circles as you could, bang the trays against the counter a few times each.
Pour the milk/yolk mixture back in the pot where you heated the milk, through a fine mesh sieve to catch any bits of eggs that may have cooked.
In the bowl of your mixer place yolks, sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until combined over the pan of boiling water.
Vinegar: Before starting make sure to wipe down the bowls, whisks, silicone mats and everything you are going to use with vinegar, to avoid any grease particles of coming into contact with the meringue and batter.
Vanilla bean: The vanilla bean in the shells is totally optional, you can just leave it out if you don’t want to use it.
Egg white powder: Egg White Powder is not the same as meringue powder. Egg White Powder is made of only egg whites. They help with getting fuller shells, and specially when adding a lot of food coloring to the batter, because they make the shells dry faster. I recommend experimenting with it if you can find it. I use 4 grams for each 100 grams of egg whites.
Food coloring: I didn’t add any food coloring, but if you do make sure to use gel food coloring, not liquid. If you are a beginner macaron baker, I recommend going easy on the food coloring, as it can alter the batter a lot, and it can take extra mixing time, specially if you continue to add the food coloring as you do the macaronage.
Scale: Please use a scale when measuring the ingredients for accuracy.
Macaron amount: It will vary greatly depending on how big you pipe the shells, and on how runny or thick the batter is.
Baking time/temperature: Baking time and temperature will vary according to your own oven. I recommend experimenting with your oven to find out the best time, temperature, position of the baking tray. Read more about how to figure out your oven here.
Oven thermometer: Make sure to have an oven thermometer to bake macarons. It’s one of the most important things about making macarons. Home ovens aren’t accurate at all at telling the temperature, and even a slight 5 degree difference can make or break your whole batch.
Tray rotation: Lots of bakers don’t have to rotate the trays 180 degrees in the oven every 5 minutes, but I do have to with my oven, or I will get lopsided macarons. Please adjust this according to your oven.
Broiler: If you don’t have a torch, you could try using a broiler to toast the top of the macarons. This is a bit risky, because it might actually burn the shells depending on how far the shells are from the broiler, and how strong the broiler is, so I recommend experimenting with one or two shells before putting all the shells under the broiler.
Also, only use the broiler with the shells without filling, otherwise the filling will inevitably melt. If using the broiler method, first caramelize the shells, and then you can fill the bottom shells with the buttercream and custard and top with the caramelized shells.
French Buttercream troubleshooting: If the French Buttercream is too soupy or not coming together, insert the bowl in the fridge for about 10 minutes and then try whipping again. You will need a hand mixer to make this buttercream because of the low quantity of ingredients. If you choose to use a stand mixer, the whisk won’t reach the bottom of the bowl and won’t whip the yolks properly. You can use a stand mixer, but I would double the recipe.
Troubleshooting: Please visit this article for troubleshooting tips.