Friday, April 23, 2010

Macaron 101: French Meringue

I have done it.

The French Meringue 101 is finished.

Two months of testing, almost 80 hours in the kitchen baking. Obliterating countless eggs and pounds of almonds and sugar trying to produce not only good macarons but also the maca-wrongs that plague bakers. Testing the limits of how many macarons my family was willing to accept ("Gah! Not MORE macarons!" has been a common utterance around here). That is what it took for me, Ms. Humble: Wannabe Macaron maker, to feel comfortable posting a 101.

Have I mastered everything? No, of course not. Have I learned a thing or two about French Meringue Macs? Absolutely, and hopefully I can provide some hints for folks seeking to master--or at least mildly subdue--these temperamental cookies.

Before I get into that though, let me mention a quick note about emails: I'm wretchedly behind on answering them. I've been doing a tremendous amount of behind the scenes baking. If you've sent me pies for the contest, questions, science goodies, or just general love, and I have not gotten back to you, I'm so sorry. I adore and appreciate every email I get, I've just been swamped for weeks now. I'll try to get caught up on them asap.

Alright with that out of the way, let's rock n' roll.

Macaron 101: French Meringue

Disclaimer: For us non-professionals, macarons are frequently annoying and unreliable.

What may work in my kitchen may not work in yours. There is almost universal agreement that macarons require a very individual approach. This is one of the reasons there is so much variation between recipes for their execution. There are some universals, yes. However, finding what will work in your kitchen, in your ovens, with your ingredients may take a little time.

This quote from the Times kind of sums it up:

Even the professionals struggle with macaroons, says Meike Beck, chief home economist at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Three seconds of overbeating and they’re ruined.” The institute spent a month making hundreds of batches of macaroons, trying to perfect a recipe. In the end it gave up. “They’re best left to the professionals. Macaroon recipes do work. But they are not consistent.” -- Times Online

Not exactly a confidence booster, is it.

Best left to the professionals though? Nonsense.

Sure macarons can be pesky and frustrating. Making even perfectly lady-like women, such as myself, call them obscene names on occasion, but they're certainly not impossible.

In fact, getting a cookie that is close to ideal isn't all that difficult. Getting the perfect macaron, where every detail is just right, that can be tough. However if a newbie like myself can manage it on occasion, so can you. I'm no trained professional, after all.

So, in setting out to conquer French meringue macs I started by looking for the 'perfect' recipe.

I began by researching what was out there on the web. Looking at what worked and what seemingly didn't. I started gathering recipes, from various cookbooks, ones posted online supposedly used by Laduree and Hermé, recipes from the well known--and not so well known--macaron baking food bloggers. I gathered over a dozen unique, 'successful' recipes for the basic french meringue macaron and I poured over them.

Single recipe, many results.
Even small variations in technique can make for big differences in the final cookie.
They all looked different at first impression, each recommending different of amounts for each ingredient. However, when I started reducing them to simple ratios of egg, sugar and almond, I noticed they were actually quite similar...

Let me demonstrate with a bit of scatter plot nerdery:

If this is an unforgivably dorky approach to baking, I apologize but this is how Ms. Humble rolls.

The dots are the ratios of 1 gram of egg to grams of sugar and almond. The amount of almond meal in macarons is pretty consistent across recipes with a few exceptions. Roughly 1.2-1.3g of almonds per 1g of egg white. There is slightly more variation in sugar, with most of the recipes using 2.1-2.5g of sugar per 1g of egg.

Really though, apart from the outliers, most recipes are pretty similar. Which made it amusing when I saw debates over X's macarons vs Y's macarons, knowing that they were nearly identical.

In crafting my own recipe I decided to toss out the radical outliers (like that lousy I Heart Macarons recipe), deciding to focus on the point around which many of the successful recipes clusters. I felt like this was where I would find the 'perfect recipe'. Or at least, the most 'reliable' recipe. I liked the 1.2/2.35 point and I decided it was where I would begin my baking trials. I did messed around with some slight variations on that recipe, +/- a few fractions of a gram for almond/sugar for every gram of egg, but it doesn't result in much difference.

So yes, that is how I chose the recipe. 1.2/2.35 grams almonds/sugar for every gram egg white.

So, based on the scatter plot we see that most macaron recipes are very similar, so why the variation in the results or appearance, right? This comes down to variation in technique. As I mentioned above, macarons are notoriously persnickety when it comes to execution. Of course, the prescribed method is where the recipes start the deviate. The results of this instruction isn't always clear. As I mentioned in the Italian Meringue Macaron 101, you can make beautiful looking macarons that are not great (hollow, hard, dry, chewy etc). So given a set of good french meringue ratios, what do I do to produce good macarons?

This is where I started experimenting.

Vanilla bean, vanilla sugar, pure vanilla extract make this delicate
Swiss meringue butter cream filled macaron pure bliss.

To keep this from becoming a 10k word post I'm going to limit things to what did work and try to address some of the pitfalls that result in macawrongs along the way.

The French Meringue Method

When I first jumped into macarons several months ago I started with the Italian meringue method, as it is often recommended to beginners as 'more reliable'.

I'm not entirely sure why this is the case. Perhaps it has more leeway when it comes to over/under-mixing. It is difficult to under-mix and even if mixed to death and still makes decent looking cookies (provided one cooks them hot enough) as I demonstrated in the Italian meringue 101. However, French meringue macarons are a little more particular when it comes to mixing.

The upside though is a cookie that is lighter than the Italian meringue, tastier (not as sweet as the cooked sugar method) with a more delicate, cookie-like texture.

Now that I've gotten the hang of french meringue, I prefer it to the Italian. Not only because they are tastier, but because they are simpler. I don't have to worry about boiling small amounts of syrup and whipping up fragile egg whites with molten sugar.

All I need to do is ready my ingredients, beat, combine, allow to rest and then bake.

Do folks have more trouble with french meringue than Italian? It does appear that way. However I think this is because many more bakers attempt the French method. After all, cooking sugar to a specific temperature can be intimidating. Not to mention the idea of combining hot sugar to raw eggs seems like the perfect recipe for candied omelets.

I'm going to come out and say I think the French meringue method is, at its core, easier than Italian. Are beginners really more likely to mess up the French method more than the Italian? Debatable. I think Italian meringue is easier to mix but harder to bake correctly (it is tough to conquer IM's tendency to produce hollow shells or sticky bottoms). I think french meringue is marginally harder to mix correctly (based on the results I see out there in the blogosphere).

Which method should you use? Whichever one gives you results you're happy with.

The Recipe:
(For the moment. I'm always experimenting)

(For my latest Macaron recipe and Macaron troubleshooting guide, see this post: LINK)

Ms. Humble's Scatter Plot Macarons

yields 50 (100 shells) macarons (feel free to divide it for fewer cookies)
120g almond meal
200g powdered sugar
100g egg whites
30-35g granulated sugar
food coloring gel

Line 2-3 heavy gauge aluminum baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners (more on this below). Prep a piping bag with a round tip (I use a Ateco #11 for most of my macs, though I'll occasionally use a #804 for larger macarons). I place the bag into a tall drinking glass (or stout glass) and cuff the bag's opening over the top, this makes the bag easy to fill hands-free.

Weigh out almond meal and powdered sugar and sift together to remove any clumps. (If you own a food processor, I highly recommend blending the ingredients and then sifting.)

Weigh out the egg whites into a large mixing bowl (stainless steel or copper), if you're using stainless feel free to add a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or couple drops of lemon juice to help strengthen the whites. If you're using copper you need not and should not add any additional acid (more on this below).

Weigh out the granulated sugar. (Often I'll use homemade vanilla sugar for this.)

Begin beating the eggs on low speed. What you're doing here is unraveling the egg white's proteins (these are what will capture the air bubbles you whisk in), they're bundled up and you need to gently unwind them. A light touch does this far better than scrambling them on high speed. Once the egg whites are very foamy, begin sprinkling in the sugar as you beat. Increase the speed to medium, if necessary, and beat the meringue to stiff glossy peaks. (If they start looking grainy, clumpy or dry... uh... you've gone too far.)

Add the food coloring (for the full recipe it usually takes 2-4 drops of gel, for a half batch 1-2 drops does the trick) and mix.

Add about 1/4 of the almond/sugar mixture and fold in until no streaks remain. Continue to add the almond mixture in quarters, folding until you reach the proper batter. (More on this below)

Pour the batter into your prepared piping bag and pipe rows of batter (dollops a little bigger than a quarter) onto the baking sheets, giving them space to spread.

Tap the pan on the counter to bring up any air bubbles and quickly pop them with a toothpick.

Allow the cookies to rest on a level surface for 30-60 minutes. Until they are no longer tacky to a light touch. If you have problems with burst shells, you may need to allow them to rest longer or double stack your baking sheets to provided better insulation from the bottom.

While they rest, place an oven rack in the lower 3rd of your oven and preheat to 275-310°F (I've had the most success with about 285-290°F). I do not use fan-forced (convection) heat. If your oven tends to brown the cookies, consider placing a rack in the top of the oven with a baking sheet on it to shield the cookies. Occasionally my top element in my spastic electric oven turns on and browns my cookies, upsetting me greatly.

Bake the cookies for 16-20 minutes.

That out of the way, let's get to the details now...


Silicone baking liner vs. Parchment: I've tested and retested and found that on average I get the best results from parchment. The precut sheets you can find online and in bakery supply stores in particular (they're great). Parchment from a roll tends not to lay flat (even with a little extra macaron batter tacked to the corners to help it stay down) and that can sometimes make my macarons look a bit more like amoebas than round cookies.

I have found that parchment produces taller compact feet, the Silpat baked cookies' feet tend to be shorter and a bit ruffled. In my kitchen, at temperatures under 300°F, the cookie's bottom tends to lift off the slipat and cling to the top of the shell, making a little hollow under the cookie. This makes them easy to remove and the macs don't have a gap between the cookie's insides and the top of the shell. Which if you're having trouble with hollow at the top macs, could be a good thing.

The down side of parchment is that the surface can be uneven (particularly if you reuse your sheets), prone to crumpling up when you tear them off the roll, or like I mentioned, don't lay flat. You can often help the latter of those issues by gluing the sheet to the pan with little splots of macaron batter.

Silicone baking liners (I use the Mui brand) are nice because they're reusable (rolls of parchment run me $4-5 (ridiculous) at the grocery store, I hate buying parchment (parchment and garbage bags! Grrr)), perfectly level and may add extra insulation to the bottom of the shells (which could be good for bursting shells issues).

Hand Mixer vs Stand Mixer: Long ago I eschewed my stand mixer for a hand mixer when it comes to making macarons. Proving that sometimes inexpensive kitchen gadgetry can produce the best results. While I own two stand mixers and neither of them can make a decent meringue from a small amount of whites. This is due to the small volumes of whites called for and the fact that the meringue is difficult to monitor in the bowl as it mixes. It is hard to see into those deep bowls, the view is obstructed by the mixing arm and the powerful mixers can quickly take a almost-there meringue to an over-beaten mess.

I'll even hand whisk a meringue before I use my stand mixer. Great for beefing up your forearms...

So my mixer. I use one with wire whisk attachments (as well as standard and 'European' beaters and a hilarious padded, travel-esque case) and I have been very happy with its ability to whip up good meringue.

Copper vs Everything: Folks who have been reading my blog for a while should be aware that I bought a copper bowl a while back. It arrived a few weeks ago and I've been making macarons, meringues (remember those chocolate meringues...) and Swiss butter creams with it ever since.

Let's talk copper review for a moment...

I am absolutely in love with my bowl.

I love it like a child, a child that does exactly what I want.

It makes absolutely beautiful meringues. Dense, glossy and almost impossible to over-beat. Yes, that's right. No more grainy broken meringues in this household. It has fulfilled every promise touted by its proponents (those discussed in length in the Chemistry & Beauty post).

I'm not going to imply that it is impossible, or even difficult to make macarons without a shiny copper bowl, of course you can make great meringue in a stainless steel bowl. Copper just makes meringue so much easier (near fool proof).

Every batch of meringues I have made has been phenomenal. Strong, dense and glossy. Chemistry rocks.

The maintenance isn't as bad as I had expected. Before using, I sprinkle a little salt onto a slice of lemon and rub down the bowl, removing any trace of oxidation. Then I rinse the salt and lemon juice off the bowl, dry and start whipping my eggs. Clean up is easy, just a little soapy water and a thorough drying to prevent spots. It is still as shiny as the day it arrived, though I suppose the daily use prevents it acquiring much of a tarnish.

Despite being expensive and its usefulness limited to beating eggs, I'm completely smitten by the bowl. I should have bought one long ago. I'm so committed to copper now that I bought a second bowl to give to Mother Humble (sorry to ruin the surprise, Mom but you didn't show up last week).

I bought Mauviel brand bowls, however it is not necessary to go out and drop a lot of money on a fancy French beating bowl. There are less expensive bowls on the market that offer the rounded bottom and copper ions perfect for beating meringue. Old Dutch makes copper bowls for a fraction of Mauviel. The one catch is Old Dutch bowls are coated with a thin layer of varnish to keep it from tarnishing (in case you wish to use it as a decorative piece, fruit bowl, etc). The varnish needs to be removed before you can cook with it, which requires a $4-5 trip to the hardware store for a striping agent. So, if you or someone you know doesn't mind the smell of solvents, you can pick up a Old Dutch bowl for the price of a few large pizzas.

Alright, I've said my piece about copper bowls. Back to the macarons...


Almonds. I've made wonderful macarons with either slivered blanched almonds or almond meal. I'm a big fan of Bob's Red Mill almond meal/flour (usually found on the baking aisle of many grocery stores with the specialty flours, or hidden with the organic food). However, when I am making hundreds of cookies (like I have been) I trade convenience for economy. If you have a food processor you can weigh out the required amount of silvered blanched almonds along with the powdered sugar. Blend in your food processor for a few minutes and then sift the mixture through a medium sieve and then reprocess anything left behind.

Do this until everything falls through neatly. This should allow you to achieve nice smooth shelled macarons without any lumps or bumps.

Powdered Sugar: I use starched powdered sugar, despite its reputation for being ill suited for macarons. Unfortunately, powdered sugar without starch is near impossible to find in retail stores in the U.S.. It appears if I want to bake with it, I need to order it from a specialty shop.

Pressed for time and wanting to know what influence 5% starched sugar has on my macarons I decided I was going to make my OWN powdered sugar. Equipped with absurdly over priced, superfine sugar ($6 a pound?! Who buys this stuff? Madness!) and a blender, I set about making it.

I processed the sugar in the blender for a couple minutes until it turned into a fine powder. I probably could of let it run another few minutes but my blender was getting hot and I wasn't about to destroy any appliances in my quest for perfect macarons.

This is what I ended up with. It was close but not quite. Powdery, but not quite 10X.

So I baked two batches of macarons with this sugar.

Round #!!


That is not right. The cookies were feet-less and cracked. Total macawrongs! Finally, I've made a true foot-less mac! Woo!

The insides vaguely resembled a normal macaron and the smell was... weird. Like toasted marshmallow. Perhaps I undermixed? After all that can lead to puffy macarons with no feet. Perhaps I didn't allow them to dry long enough? I did place them in the oven after 30 minutes and they were still tacky to the touch (I was impatient...what can I say). Maybe my sugar wasn't fine enough and didn't dissolve like powdered sugar would? Is that why they smell like sugary marshmallows?

So I decided to test them again. The same recipe, the same sugar, only this time I would learn towards over mixing a little and allow them plenty of time to dry.

I allowed my second tray of starchless-blender-sugar macarons to sit out for over an hour and it was STILL tacky. Then I let a fan blow on it for another 20 min to help them along.

After 20 minutes they were still tacky but I baked them anyway.

The result?

On the right. I believe they're flatter coming out of the oven than going in. Flat, feetless monstrosity. I'm so proud.

Clearly substituting superfine sugar or homemade powdered sugar for a commercially made variety kills macarons. The Starch vs No-Starch mystery persists, I'll have to get my hands on a bag of it sometime soon and update this post.


I separate my eggs and leave the whites in a bowl on the counter covered lightly with a paper towel for at least 24 hours. All my French meringue attempts have been done with aged eggs, I just didn't have time to multiply all the different tests x3 (farm fresh whites, 24hr aged, 72hr aged, etc).


This is a great video of macarons being mixed. This is the technique I'm in the habit of using now. For some batches I would add all the almond/sugar mixture to the meringue at once (as recommended by some recipes) and then fold. Which produces better cookies? Difficult to say, they tend to have similar results. Still, I like doing it this way and feel it is a great demonstration.


How to bake a French meringue macaron? If only I had a dollar for all the different techniques I've seen suggested.

Some recommend a higher initial temperature in the oven and then dropping it. Others recommend a consistent temperature.

Some keep the oven cracked all the time, some part of the time, some not at all.

In terms of testing, I had my work cut out for me.

One of my most reliable sources (explaining how they learned it at pastry school) recommended placing the shells into a 350°F oven and then reducing the heat to around 300°F.

The results of this: it worked. I had to reduce the cooking time to 12-15min however. It is worth trying if you're having trouble with the low and steady method. I lean towards the low and steady method now as I've found it produces a slightly more agreeable macaron texture.

I've cooked the shells at the temperatures called for in my recipe with the oven cracked and the oven closed and have failed to notice a major difference in results. The idea of venting it is, I'm told, to help reduce the humidity in the oven. Perhaps my oven is well ventilated and this isn't necessary. If you're shells are completely hollow (from the insides collapsing after cooling) it might help to keep the oven cracked (keeping an eye on the temperature), a drier oven might help the cookies' interiors set. If you have a small pocket above a otherwise great interior, ignore it. It will disappear when the cookies are matured.

Overall, after testing several batches of macarons under different conditions, I found that temperatures in the range of 270-310°F for 15-20 minutes produced the best results (in my kitchen, mind you). The lower you go the longer you'll need to cook them. Minding them carefully as should you go too low and too long, you'll make extra-crisp meringues not macarons and they'll require a prolonged maturation to become proper macaron cookies. Too low and too brief and your cookies' will have hollow shells since the insides will never dry out enough to set and then collapse while cooling. While testing progressively lower temperatures (towards the 250-275°F range) I also noticed that the cookies were more likely to be hollow.

The higher range of temperatures I attempted resulted in good cookies but the texture inside is a little dry when completely cool--which is fine and will be fixed during maturation. The trick is finding the time/temp spot in your oven where the interior of the cookie sets during baking so it will not collapse when cooling, creating hollows.

I did not test French meringue macs at prolonged high temperatures, only for the hot-then-drop method would I go above 335°F. I'm not certain of the logic of the hot-then drop method, I assume the initial heat is to give the cookies a good rise and foot development and then they drop the temp to gently cook the inside. It does not produce a taller cookie or more impressive foot. It does work, it simply seems to be an alternative method of baking--one that I tend to avoid recommending because depending on the baker's oven it carries an increased risk of browning, burst shells and irregular foot formation.

What is the best method?

Honestly, there is probably a range of times and temps (baking at or dropping down to 275°F-335°F) that will produce good results. I don't think it is possible to pinpoint a universal sweet spot as variations in humidity, altitude, ingredients, meringue, mixing and above all, ovens that prevent me (or anyone) from giving universally applicable advice.

I can simply offer advice in the form of what works for me.

Macaron Fillings:

Clockwise from top:
Mascarpone Cheese, Caramel, White Chocolate Ganache,
Bitter Sweet Chocolate Ganache, Homemade Raspberry Jam.

There are so many ways to fill macarons. Rather than post recipes for specific fillings I'm going to provided a few basic recipes, bits of advice to set you on the path to creating your own macarons.

One always needs to be conscious of the moisture content of whatever filling they are using. Too much moisture and it will eat through the shell. Too little and the macaron cookie may be dry and flavorless. The idea is that during maturation the filling permeates the inside of the cookie both improving the texture and imparting flavor.

Lets start with jams. A very simple, delicious and low-fuss filling. If too watery, gently heat the jam in a sauce pan to evaporate some moisture--for advanced bakers, experiment with adding pectin to thicken.

To make my Bittersweet Raspberry Rosewater Macarons: Add a few drops of rose water to 1/3 cup good quality raspberry jam that has been strained to remove the seeds. Use the rose water sparingly, you're aiming for a raspberry flavor that has a floral note that lingers towards the end. Pipe a ring of bittersweet ganache onto the bottom of a macaron and then spoon a small dollup of the rosewater jam into the center. Top with a second macaron to complete the cookie.

To make ganaches here are a few basic recipes:

Bittersweet Ganache
9 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 oz heavy cream

White Chocolate Ganache
9 oz white chocolate
4 oz heavy cream

Finely chop the chocolate and place into a heat safe bowl. Heat the cream to a simmer over medium heat and then pour over the chocolate. Give the bowl a gentle shake to settle the mixture and allow to stand for one minute. Stir the chocolate slowly until completely melted. Strain through a fine sieve if desired for a perfectly smooth ganache. Allow to stand at room temprature, stiring occasionally until firm enough to pipe.

Store the leftovers in the fridge, bringing to room temperature before using.

One of the ways you can flavor ganache is by infusing the cream. Add coffee granules, tea, vanilla bean, spices, lemon grass, etc (If you're infusing with chunky things you'll need to strain the cream when you add it to the chocolate). Also add any water based flavorings you wish to use now. Chocolate doesn't jive with water, so it is best to add any liquid ingredients to the cream when trying to flavor the ganache.

You can mix non watery ingredients with the ganache after it is set. I like adding a little caramel and crushed praline to my white chocolate ganache to make my White Chocolate Caramel Crunch Macarons. Mix 4 parts white chocolate ganache with 1 part caramel and mix in a sprinkling of crushed praline (I've been using hazelnut praline). Delicious.

I really enjoy fruit fillings in my macarons. I have a freezer full of purees. I buy fruit when it is in season (best flavor and lowest cost, win!) and then puree it (90% fruit 10% granulated sugar) in my blender. I then strain the mixture and freeze it for use in sauces, homemade chocolates, cheesecakes and of course macarons, year round.

Frozen berries, fresh citrus and mango, strawberry and blueberry purees

I add the mixture to butter cream, white chocolate ganache or marscarpone cheese.

Zest is great for infusing cream in ganache or flavoring butter cream. Lemon curd is also lovely mixed with a little mascarpone (try to choose curds that do not have a high moisture content).

My favorite filling for macarons is Swiss meringue butter cream. Maybe it is because I love butter (I keep a supply of butter on hand that would appall even butter-fanatic Paul Dean). It is delicious, not too sweet, can play host to many flavors. It also matures the macarons quickly. (Other butter creams are also useful, I just prefer the swiss meringue style.)

I use either an Ateco #11 or #804 tips to pipe the fillings onto macarons seen on this blog. Unless I use a ziplock baggie... in which case I sandwich the cookie a little closer in the hopes you don't notice my less than perfect results. I tend to be generous when filling macs for the blog as it looks yummy, in reality you'll want to use a bit less. That much filling tends to squish out when bit into....

Things that do not make good macaron fillings: Anything moist, runny or unstable!

You want your filling to stay put and not break down while your cookie matures. Wet fillings will dissolve your cookies. I've seen pastry cream, plain whip cream, and other moist ingredients recommend as fillings. These will result in the sad discovery that your cookies are, or are beginning to become, icky sludge.

If you must use wet filling, skip the maturation and eat them ASAP.


This is really important. Try not to judge the quality of your macarons until they've finished maturation. It fixes a whole host of evils. Small hollows disappear, dry insides can become moist again, the texture improves and of course the flavor, maturation really makes a difference there.

Generally 1-3 days in a loosely covered container in the refrigerator does the trick. The more moisture in the filling, the quicker it will mature. Mascarpone, cream cheese, curd-based, caramels and some butter creams will mature first, followed by white chocolate ganache and then chocolate ganache.

Always bring the macarons to room temperature before serving.

If you're feeling as though your macarons are not turning out "right", give them a chance to mature and then give them a bite. You might be surprised.


It's almost 3am in Seattle now, this post is a monster...I think it is time to wrap up.

I'll be taking a couple days break to recover from all my work these past few weeks. I'm exhausted and I've been neglecting my laundry....

I'll leave you all with this photo because it is awesome.


  1. dear ms humble,
    you are truly the BEST! & this is the BEST post & most DETAILED tutorial i have ever seen.
    i cannot believe how excited i am!!
    need to DIGEST & INGEST this GOOD MONSTER!!
    wish i lived close good turn deserves another...i could have helped w/some household chores!
    have a fitful rest...&...
    I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL for macarons 101!!

  2. Wow. A thorough education on macaroons. Thanks.

    BTW: Twenty years ago I bought a big box of precut parchment at the restaurant supply store. I use it for everything (I don't bake as many desserts as you do, but I bake a lot of bread). I still have about 1/4 of the box.

    Total price: $50. Big outlay for me at the time, but without a doubt the best bargain in parchment paper on the planet. I love the restaurant supply.

  3. Standing ovation.
    You are inspiring for taking on such a challenge. I want to try macarons but I am too frightened. It looks worse than the SAT's. Your turned out beautifully. You should be proud at this feat you accomplished!

  4. AMAZING tutorial. Fantastic post. Might give me the courage to give these a whirl in the near future. Thanks!

  5. awesome post! thanks for taking the time to share. gonna make my second batch of french macs tonight, and your tips are very helpful!

  6. That's it. I'm nominating you for Woman of the Year!


  8. Thank you Ms Humble! This is such a great post! Inspires me to try the French meringue approach again.

    Although...I've always thought it was the ganache fillings that matured before buttercreams...

    PS: LOVE your lemon mascarpone macaron. Made them yesterday. Delicious.

  9. Monster of a post or not, it was appreciated.

    I might just have to spend the weekend making macarons... except that I'm terrified of what my inconsistent crappy apartment oven will do to them. We shall have to see.

  10. Nooblet,

    Depends on the temperature (if butter cream macarons are allowed to mature at room tempature for a while they'll be ready to eat in 8 hours. I often do this for butter cream macs).

    The speed of ganache mac maturation depends on how much cream is used (hard ganache vs medium gamache vs soft ganache) and if there is a little butter added to the ganache. Softer ganaches will mature faster than hard ganaches.

  11. Wow. You made a lot. They look beautiful!! Great job!!

  12. You are my hero for doing all this work. I can't wait to give macarons a go again--hopefully with less dismal results. Thank you!!

  13. I love your scatter plot. Being an engineer that likes to bake I appreciate a little bit of sugar related nerdiness every now and again.

  14. What a great tutorial. Although, I'll admit, I am now completely intimidated and unsure whether or not I'll take this on. But they are beautiful to look at.

  15. This is something that any chef (professional or not) should file away as a tutorial to keep for life. Really, you could probably write a book. Maybe you should? :) I also love Bob's Red Mill Almond flour, and I was really really disappointed when my local store stopped carrying it... In any case, the tips for making it at home are great. Thanks so much for this INSPIRING look at macaron making!

  16. Wonderful tutorial! I've made many successful macarons, but lately a few botched batches. I'll try your ratio next time!

  17. I can't wait to try out your recipe and technique. I've made macarons a few times now and have had success with David Lebovitz's Chocolate Macaron recipe but have been wanting to try other flavor combinations. I tried making vanilla bean macarons once but mistakingly used meringue powder instead of egg white powder in the shells and probably over beat them. They were a chewy, weirdly flavored mess though they did look pretty and perfect. I've been wanting to experiment with more recipes but simply haven't had the time and there are so many recipes and techniques out there, it's hard to know where to start. Your experimentation and wisdom are invaluable to macaron newbies like myself as you've done most of the work for us! Thank you so much for sharing all your hard-earned knowledge!

    By the way, I'm still hoping you'll share your recipe for the Root Beer Float Macarons. I've been drooling over the thought of them since you first posted them back in January.

  18. Thanks a lot. I've had so much trouble with macaroons, i think your scientific approach will really help me to yield good macaroons.
    i hope the fact that i live in a completly different country won't matter.

  19. Oh by the way, I forgot to mention, my favorite part of your post was probably your scatter plot. From one scientist to another, it is great to be nerdy! :D

  20. I'm baking macaron tomorrow for the first time and I really would like to thank you for this amazingly generous post! The pictures are supperb.

  21. This is such a wonderful post--informative, funny, and beautiful. I've been wondering this for a while--what happens to all those "hundreds" of macarons (and other desserts)? Do you sell them, or give them away, or do the three of you (Mr Humble, Ms Humble, and Baby Humble) just eat all of the dessert you make?

  22. wow, thanks for this. I'm a bit scared to try macarons because my oven is so rubbish and uneven but as soon as I'm in a place with a better one I'm definitely going to try them. I love your approach!

  23. I've been wanting to try my hand at macarons for months now, but haven't had the nerve--your post might have just fixed that. Thank you for all of the advice!

  24. synthetique,

    Oh no, we don't eat all the food. The things I bake are often divided and distributed to friends and family. I don't think Mr. Humble or I would have long to live if we actually ate everything I baked.

    Waste in my kitchen is almost entirely limited to experimental macarons and maca-wrongs.

    Amy Kelly,

    You're right about it not being the same as dehydrated whites. I've heard that meringue powder can actually prevent your whites from whipping up properly.

    The root beer macaron filling tends to break down (separate) within a few hours. Once I find a way to produce a stable filling, I'll post the recipe.

  25. Absolutely awesome, awesome post! I have often wondered about the ratios of the sugar/almond/egg white so really appreciate that scatter plot. Also, I do agree that I prefer the French method - it's quicker and less messy. But I'm still working out baking temps/times for my oven, and after reading your post I think I need to go higger and faster. Thanks again!

  26. Ms. Humble, you are fabulous. Just as soon as my new kitchen is finished, I'm going to test out your recipe. I have my flavour combination all picked out!

    Oh, and move over Pierre. There's a new ne plus ultra macaron maker in town, and she does it with science.

  27. Thank you for the 101 and the beautiful photos! I have been making macarons since mid-February and try to make a batch each weekend, experimenting each time. I will use your 101 to get a better result. You mention the I Heart Macaron recipe---which I have tried---what is wrong with it? And how does that change results? Maybe that is what is wrong with my macs. Question about the copper bowl-how do you use it with a stand mixer? I too will look forward to the root beer float recipe. Your blog is the best. I love it!

  28. Linda,

    Thank you!

    Okay, let me clarify my beef with the cookbook...

    I'm really not the sort of person who likes giving negative reviews. Cookbooks are a lot of hard work and I respect the effort that cooks and bakers put into creating them. Generally, if I don't like a cookbook I simply won't bake from it for the blog or give it any mention.

    I have many cookbooks that I feel this way about, I heart macarons being one of them. However with I heart macs, I've had emails telling me that they were so inspired to start baking macs because of my photos, they went out and bought a copy of the I Heart cookbook.

    I really don't want to inspire folks to buy a cookbook I don't approve of. So this is why I singled it out and poo-pooed it in my 101 post.

    While I still think the cookbook is great for inspiration, I firmly believe it is a lousy place for anyone to start baking macarons.

    The French Meringue ratios are poor and I'm not alone is this opinion. The mixture with its addition of vanilla extract and scant amount of almond flour is very, very fluid for macaron batter. The mixing technique prescribed is heavy handed and will get many novice bakers into trouble.

    The Italian Meringue method is even worse. Creating a sugar syrup to a precise temperature using a microwave is both difficult and dangerous. High wattage microwaves will incinerate the mixture at the cooking durations calls for. Lower wattage microwaves will require multiple trips back and forth, testing and retesting, while clutching molten cups of syrup.

    Not good.

    The fillings are okay, being the most useful part of the book in terms of inspiration. However little things like making 'caramel butter cream' with food coloring and no actual caramel bugs me. She also advises putting pastry cream into macarons, which I tried and it ended up dissolving my macarons, wasting an entire days work.

    The book is cute to look at, but not great to bake from.

    As for the copper bowl, I do not use it with my stand mixers. I use hand beaters to make my meringue. I find hand mixers work far better for beating small amounts of whites.

    Hope that clears everything up.


  29. first off...i LOVE everything you do... and this tutorial is amazing, and just what a lot of aspiring macaron makers need... i've made macarons a few times, and each time the results varied... i've gotten pretty good results from "tartelettes" method, but i agree, not so good results from the "i <3 macaron" book...

    but now with this 101, which is so in-depth, hopefully i'll be able to get my macaron baking down to a science as well...

    i always look forward to your posts...thank you for the inspiration!

  30. This was a great look at Macarons! If you keep posting macaron recipes and tips, I might have to try my hand at making some!

    I loved your scatter plot too.

  31. Thank you for your quick and detailed answer to my previous post. It is so much appreciated. Yet another question for you...where did you get the porcelain egg carton? Perfect for displaying the macarons!

  32. Linda,

    They are great for displaying macarons!

    The porcelain egg carton is from a fabric/craft store (JoAnn, I think. Though I imagine places like Target, K-Mart and Fred Meyer would sell them too). They had a ton of them out as part of their Easter decor offerings. They came in a variety of pastel colors and were just a few bucks.

    Since it isn't long past Easter you might still be able to them (probably on clearance too).

  33. I tried to find the egg rack online at JoAnn and they don't seem to have it. Perhaps they may still in stores.

    I did find this Kikkerland Ceramic Egg Rack at Amazon, it isn't identical but it is something to consider if you can't find any in retail.

  34. You are amazing! Thank you so much for the great work you have done! This is the best article about French Meringue macarons that I have ever read, and believe me.. I have read almost everything on the web.

    I wish you all the best and keep the good work!

    Best wishes from Bulgaria,

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Your fortitude amazes me! TROP BON! ")

  37. Brilliant post, and so detailed. I shall be referring to this post of yours when I take the plunge and try making macarons!

  38. I absolutely adore this post! Thanks for putting together a detailed report on your tests. I have been a bit discouraged lately, macs are not an easy thing! So far out of my 5 batches only 1 was successful. And for all the macawrongs I had I feel bad to throw them away or to share with friends and families, so it will take me too long to finish the failed ones myself and stopped me from starting another batch. But this is so thorough! You even compared silpat and parchment paper. That's awesome. I would never thought of the two will give that much of a difference. Personally I like your silpat results better from the top (the ruffles are more pronounced) but the parchment ones resulted with flatter bottoms and a more controlled look. Anyway, Thank you for this long post. I am ready to try it out as soon as I get back to my little kitchen.
    This post alone can be a book on its own and I will definitely by it if it gets published!

  39. Thanks to you for the detailed explanations. May I add that to blend almonds and sugar before sieving makes the difference in my macarons between smooth and grainy shells.
    Anyway, thanks for posting photos of your maca-wrongs, cause that's exactly what I got once and I was really wondering about this "cracked-no feet-but OK inside" aspect...
    I think I'm going to refer to this post next time I'm doing macarons !

  40. WOW. I bow down in your macaron greatness. Not sure if I the, um, eggs to do this but I will sure round up some good girlfriends and give it a try! Thank you for sharing!!

  41. Dear Ms.Humble,
    I was awaiting this scientific macaron post, and as a non-professional french-meringue-macaron-baker I've learned a lot, again.

    I had the same - good - experiences with baking parchment, it worked fine, but sometimes I doubled it to save the macs' bottom.

    I've just started to use 150 C instead of 160-165, and the result was great - it' so amazing to reach better result with 10C minus.
    Living in Europe I can buy powdered sugar without starch, but if I forget it, I use my coffee bean blender (Its absolutely forbidden by the directions for use, but I always ask for the blender's forgiveness.)

    Thanks for the post - and your blog - again

    tomorrow I bake your Mascarpone Brownie :)

    your reader from Hungary

    Piszke alias Bea

  42. *Applause*

    There's not much more I can say....and LOVING that last picture :D

  43. I just got the chance to read this through're bloody hilarious my love!!

    I haz an entertained!

  44. What a great turtorial and what delightful pictures!

  45. Even if I've read all the posts about macarons, I still I have no idea what they taste like. I don't think they're sold here where I live (or if they are, I'm guessing they're mighty expensive) Someone send me some? Please? :D

  46. I recently joined the macaron bandwagon and have tried making macarons at home even if I have never tasted a "real" one.

    Contrary to what you experienced, I had great luck with the Italian method macaron recipe in i ♥ macarons ... and I even made the sugar syrup in my microwave (I've done that before for other things as well, particularly for small amounts of syrup - I do watch it carefully and use an instant-read thermometer, and it ends up being quite quick and painless).

    Here are how my "i ♥ macarons" macarons turned out:

    I guess it all goes back to what you mentioned in your disclaimer - that they require a very individual approach!

  47. By the way, I forgot to mention in my first comment that your pics are fabulous! And thank you also for the very comprehensive guide!

  48. I love your blog, Ms Humble! Your nerdiness really speaks to me as a chemical biomedical engineering student!

  49. Hello Ms. Humble!
    Thanks for the's awesome!
    I've been waiting for this post. French meringue macarons drive me crazy. I've been there with all those maca-wrongs things. I'm going to make some today with (of course) a help from your tutorial :)

  50. You thought you answered all the questions... But I have one more.

    What is the diameter of a quarter?

    I piped and got 19 circles, each about 5cm across. I didn't mean to make them so big, but the batter was runny. I went for the 'beat the hell out of it' approach to folding in.

  51. 2.4cm across.

    Beat the hell... P! Don't mess up, you'll make me look bad.


  52. Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing all of this knowledge with us. I'm giving macarons (well, Parisian macarons) my first try tonight - so far, so good, but we'll see how they bake up. It made me feel a lot more confident to be able to see everything you've learned! And I totally get the scatterplot thing - I'm working on an R script (stats software if you're not familiar) to graph my recipes, too. I'll post it if I ever figure it out!

  53. Seriously, I'm kind of in love with you for graphing the ratios found in other recipes. And I'll tell you a secret--I do it too! In fact, I was just setting out to do the very same today before something told me to check out the impeccable Ms Humble's blog and voila! You, my dear, are angel and a kindred spirit!

  54. Hi!
    firstly I wanted to thank you tremenodously for this detailed post. I've attempted macarons twice now both using the Italian meringue method. Both times ended up with grainy shells and huge hollows under the shell. I'm attempting your French meringue method today. I just ground the almond meal and icing suagr in the blender (a step I didn't do before!) Wow! I think that'll fix my grainy shell problem. As for the hollows? Maybe this method won't produce them. What I wanted to ask you was about liquid flavourings. THe French method doesn't really add any liquid to the batter. Can you advise where and how to add? I want to incorporate a steeped tea flavour (rooibos orange spice) into the shells. Logically, I'm thinking to steep the tea, boil off as much liquid as I can to concentrate the flavour, and add a tiny bit when I fold in the almond/icing sugar mixture. Does that seem okay? I guess the same would apply to any type of flavouring (vanilla, rosewater etc). Again, thanks to much for your detailed scientific approach. Totally appreciate it, being a biologist. :)

  55. Spiraloutxx,

    I don't recommend adding liquids to the batter to flavor it. There is just so much that can go wrong. One can flavor the shells with a little dry flavorings (powders, zests etc), sometimes removing an equal amount of the almond meal to prevent them from becoming chewy.

    Generally the shells are flavored through maturation, when the shells pick up the flavor of the filling. If you fill the macarons with a tea filling, the macarons eventually become tea flavored themselves, etc. You can also flavor the shells by spraying their bottoms with a spritz of orange blossom water or an infused simple syrup (thinned a bit so it can be sprayed). This flavors the shells and speeds up maturation.

    As for grainy shells, yes blending the ingredients thoroughly will fix that (being certain to sift it before adding to your meringue). The hollows are a bit more complicated. I suspect they are mostly related to baking conditions, but I've not ruled out humidity or meringue issues either.

  56. Dear Ms. Humble,
    Do you have a recipe to share for the vanilla bean swiss meringue butter cream? My mouth is watering just imagining it! I found a procelain egg crate at Bellocchio in San Francisco. Perfect for serving macarons!
    Once again, thank you for the beautiful pictures and macaron lessons! It is truly inspiring.

  57. Linda,

    Vanilla bean SMBC is very simple. Just use the buttercream recipe posted here, omit the lemon juice and up the extract to a tablespoon and add the seeds of one vanilla bean.

    Choose a fat, moist good quality bean. Not those lonely, dry mummified beans that some spice purveyors sell (I'm looking at you Spice Island!).

  58. Thank you Ms. Humble! I will be trying out a vanilla/vanilla macaron tonight!

  59. What fabulous information! I have been experimenting with Macarons for a few weeks now and have tried so many 'foolproof' recipes and advice that my head is spinning. At the moment I have another tray of chocolate ones waiting to bake. I read advice from David Lebovitz and tried his friend went home with a container of hard centered Macarons with raspberry and choc filling. I told her to leave them overnight and see what happens but no! they ate them all last night. Thanks for so much great advice. I want my next batch to look like yours!

  60. This is an awesome post, very detail and informative. I'd like to share this with my students. Thank you! :)

  61. You deserve a round of applause for taking such an overwhelming undertaking. I AM SIMPLY IMPRESSED by the results, differences, nuances you have reported here. Plus, I love the graph. I work as a media supervisor at an ad agency during the day and graphs are my life at work. I can't imagine how much eggs you went through and how much time you spent in the kitchen. Very detailed post couple with corresponding photos. Bravo! I agree, macarons can be maca-wrongs more often than not. But don't we love them. Kudos to you for putting this post together. Clap, clap, clap! I dare you to not be humble on this one this time around, you should be PROUD.

  62. Any luck with the root beer float macarons?

  63. Do you have any suggestions for how to alter your basic recipe for chocolate macaron shells?

  64. I've been scouring the blogosphere for macaron recipes/tips for ages and this is hands down the BEST post I've read. I love the scatter plot. As someone who chronically fights the urge to organise her life in spreadsheets, I completely understand the need to graph. Thanks for all your hard work in demystifying the macaron process :)

  65. Thank you thank you thank you! I feel very prepared for my first foray into making macs.

  66. hi ms humble i love ur pics... soo beautiful. wut is the final recipe u have settle on for you french macarons? thanks in advance for any advice

  67. YAY! Congrats on tackling the macaron and thanks for sharing your tips with us :)

  68. Hi, Ms. Humble!

    I love your blog and it is one of my favourite!
    Your article about french meringue macarons is so detailed and I'm sure that you have helped many people with their problems.

    Unfortunately, I haven't found the answer to my question, so I would be very happy if you could help me.

    The problem is that when I bake my macarons, the "feet" is growing edgeways. I mean, there is a feet, but it's not compact, high and elegant, it is wide and make the macarons look really strange. Any ideas?

    The other problem is that they are really, really very fragile - I barely manage to pipe the filling without breaking them. Do you know what I do wrong?

    I would be so thankful if you could help me!

    Best wishes,

  69. Irina,

    Gosh, there are so many possible explanations.

    When you say the break when you pipe them, is that because they're very thin? Are they too soft? Are they brittle?

  70. Yes, they are brittle and soft on the top. But I think that they are baked enough because I can easily lift the off the parchment.
    Yet this is not such a big problem, but the look, oh it's really strange.

    Let me show you - here they are:

    Look how the feet look - they are not high and tidy, they are ugly and frilly :-(

  71. Irina,

    I've not forgotten your question. Just gotten busy with correspondence. Hang in there and I'll get a chance to answer. :)

  72. Irina,

    Okay, these macarons...

    The feet. They're not necessarily bad, as you can see in this photo, protruding feet are well within the norm for these cookies.

    I've found that the shape of the foot is generally determined by what the cookie is baked on and the temperature. Higher temperatures will often result in a quick rise in the cookie and a protruding foot (or a cracked shell).

    This can also be caused by high heat from the bottom of the oven. (Possible fixes: Lower the temperature, stack the pans and place them on a higher rack in the oven)

    The surface you bake them on can also change the look at the foot. Depending on the friction, etc. I've only baked macarons on two surfaces: silicone baking mats and silicone coated parchment paper. Baking mats gives me a ruffled protruding foot like yours. The coated parchment gives me the straight up and down feet. (Possible Fix: Try a few different brands of baking paper, see if that changes the look of your feet)

    Texture. The cookies are brittle and soft on top. Again, this seems like a oven issue. The heat is probably too strong from the bottom of the oven. If the bottoms are dry and brittle they are being overcooked.

    Hope this helps! I'm sorry it took me so long to get back to you. If you want to discuss macarons further, go ahead and email me at I'm usually quicker at handing questions there.


    Ms. H

  73. This is amazing!! You're the best! Thanks so much for sharing.

  74. I've been seeing the macaron phenomenon pop up all over the internet and ever since I first laid eyes on these beautiful cookies I have wanted to make them. But your blog really got me inspired and your great tutorials (and fabulous pictures) have been a fantastic help. I am sad to say that I have yet to make a decent batch of macarons (have given it 3 tries so far) but I refuse to give up. With both the French and the Italian recipes I have made very decent batters (I think...) but when it comes to baking them I am still struggling. I have yet to find the perfect temperature/time combination for my oven.
    The last batch I made was the best so far (but with great big cavities on the inside) so I decided to try and make something of them. I filled some with easy at hand fillings (jam, dulce de leche, white chocolate ganache and even marshmallow fluff) an stuck them in the fridge overnight. And I can only say WOW!!!! Pretty much the yummiest thing I have ever tasted! Can't wait to find out what an actual good macaron will be like :-)
    So thank you for my new addiction and for writing a lovely (and yummy) blog.

  75. one word. GENIUS! I'm making my macarons again using your tips. I'm so glad I found you lady, you ROCK! (=

  76. hello ms. humble,

    I have been reading food blogs for about a year or more and am totally addicted. But i've never commented. So here i am reading your blog about macarons. So in depth, and they are so beautiful. So, using your recipe above, I made my 8th batch of macs. Same as my previous 3 attempts, they turned out like {Irinas} above who had the same problem, wide feet and a soft patchy shell. My attempts are getting worse and worse. It's driving me crazy. Please HELP.

  77. I just finished my first ever try at macaroons based on this post! Made everything so much easier!The only thing is that I found it a bit too sweet. If I lessened the sugar content in them, would I have to change any other measurements for the meringues? (as in extra egg, almond meal or something?)

  78. Hi Ms.Humble!
    The amount of work you've put into this is tremendous! I just made some for the first time and I'm so glad I used your recipe! The only thing is that I found it a bit too sweet. So I was wondering if I took some sugar out, would I have to put something else in to compensate (eg. extra eggs or almond meal etc) and if i do then how much would I have to add in? Thanks

  79. You're welcome to play with the ratios, being careful with how big of an adjustment you make, as the cookies are rather temperamental. As for how much, I really can't say without having testing it myself.

    While macarons are almost universally sweet, they're not so bad if you fill them with something that takes the edge off the cookies and then mature them. Something like a bitter sweet chocolate ganache or Swiss meringue butter cream.

  80. andrea,

    Wide protruding feet and a blotchy or patchy surface on the top of the cookie almost always indicates a problem with the batter. Either over-mixing or incorporating a weak meringue.

    Check out the macaron 101 for Italian meringue, Part 2. If your cookies resemble the batches of over mixed (OM) macarons then that is probably what is happening.

  81. Thank you so much for this post. I was living in France last year when my sister came to visit and became so enamored with French macarons. She does not cook or bake typically but has made about 10 or 11 attempts at French Macarons now. I found your website while looking for a recipe based in grams and not cups and made them with my sister a few wks ago in Mississippi. Surprisingly they were fairly decent for my first try! Your blog post is now mine and my sister's go to post when we prepare to make french macarons. By the way, I hope you do not mind, I posted your recipe on my blog,

  82. thanks a tons for such a detailed explanation and it helped me in making perfect macarons. You can check my post here

  83. Holy freak! This is the MOTHER of all Macaron posts! I also started with the Italian macs and found the French to be more reliable. I've gotten pretty good at making macs but I'm not quite there yet. You've given a tip or two I will try. Thanks for all the time you put into this!

  84. Okay, next time(and there will be a next time!) I am going to refer to this post! I am confident I will benefit from all your diligence and Herculean effort in getting it right! I can see that I have definitely wimped out on doing my homework! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and linking me to yours! I have it bookmarked. First order of business...order a copper bowl:) THANK YOU!

  85. Oops, I guess it was someone else that referred this post to me(and visited my blog). Anyway, I will be back, and DO appreciate all of your hard work in achieving the perfect macaron and passing it on.

  86. I am so excited to try this recipe, I have been thinking of making macarons for such a long time.
    I see you use mmts in grams. What is the best way to do the conversions...especially on something like egg whites.

  87. Help.
    I am now on my second batch of these mac's. The first batch I made with a homemade almond flour. I thought they were ok, and erred on the over done side by your suggestion. But, after one day, they are still a bit crunchy on the outside and a bit chewey on the inside. They didn't have much in the way of feet either. The second batch was worse. This time I used the Red Mills. I sifted them together and towards the end, had little pebbles. I crushed them as much as I could and dumped the rest in....thinking it would dissolve while blending. Not so. I went on. The batter was a bit runny this time and when out of the oven, and cooled a bit, the tops were so brittle. Any little touch and they shattered. And, still they are crunchy. I was going to dump them all, but I made the Martha S. swiss buttercream for filling and it made enough for 100 armies. So, I filled them and they are now in the fridge, "maturing". I also added flavor to the buttercream, post blending since I couldn't possible use it all. It seems to have taken ok, but who knows in the end.
    What could you suggest? I want to make more, but could use some tips.

  88. I have to agree with Rick on this. It looks harder than the SATs. I tried macarons for the first time a few nights ago and I was screaming from frustration. I went through A LOT of eggs.

  89. thank you! The I heart macaron recipe is lousy!

  90. I found this just in time for my Christmas macarons! Thank you thank you!

  91. HI I want to try out the recipe, but I'm not sure attempting to convert grams to cups is a good idea b/c it all depends on what you are weighing....can you help?

  92. Hi, Id like to try out the recipe but I need to convert the grams into cup measurements..and I know that depends on the density of the material you are weighing..can you help me with a "cup translation" for your recipe?

  93. E & Grace,

    Unfortunately measuring by cups/volume just isn't accurate enough for these cookies. A single cup of almond meal can equal a huge range values in grams. Such variations can doom a batch of macarons, as this is one recipe where precision is very important.

    If you want to make macarons I strongly suggest picking up a digital kitchen scale. Scales can even be found for under $10 (less than the cost of the ingredients you're using often), so they don't have to be a big investment.

    If you're really itching to give macarons a go without the scale, Martha Stewart has a recipe posted in volume (one of the few I've ever seen) at this link: I've made them once myself so I can say the recipe does work. However the results were not... shall we say, optimal. :)

  94. I love your blog. I'm reading EVERY single page. This one is my favorite. I'm new to Macaron baking....actually to baking period! .... and I'm finding a lot of your recipes and beautiful pictures are really inspiring. I've used the French Macs recipe for my christmas baking this year and everyone loves it. It took me 4 tries and $400 of new equipment later..... Thank you. You are truly a talented person. From baking, to writing, and I'm sure your family appreciates all the good baking around the house. You should consider opening up a bakery. I would fly out to Seattle just to have a cup of coffee and desserts at your shop any day. :) Take care and happy holidays.

  95. I love your blog. I'm reading EVERY single page you have out there and has recently added you to my bookmark favorite. I'm new to baking macarons....well baking period! .... but I found your website just in time for my Christmas cookies. Every loved it. It took me about 4 tries and $400 of new equipments later (the stand mixer costed me the most). Thanks for your help. What would you say has been your favorite macaron recipe?

  96. I LOVED this post! Not only did I love that you live in my city, but it was so thorough, funny, and yummy. Congrats on a lot of hard work!

  97. My batter was thick, gloppy even, and lumpy. My macarons turned out chewy inside. Any ideas what I could've done wrong?

  98. Lots of things, unfortunately.

    My first thought is that the ingredient ratios were off. This can happen by accident, by using old fashioned spring scales, or when one uses a conversion chart to convert weight to volume. Too much almond to egg white will create a dense batter and a chewy macaron.

    Other possibilities: Under-mixed and poorly sifted batter can be dense and lumpy. As for being chewy, any number of baking, mixing, measuring action can contribute to chewy macarons. However maturation can usually alleviate that issue.

  99. After a visit to Paris this summer, my son fell in love with macarons from Gerard Mulot. We tried your recipe and they were absolutely perfect. Coffee macarons to rival the ones we had in Paris. Thank you for such a detailed tutorial including what can go wrong and how to make it go right!

  100. Ms Humble,

    I love your blog. The pictures are really nice and the macarons look great!

    I am now on my 6th batch of macarons and it still looks aweful and disasterous.

    I have been using a microwave oven because i do not have a conventional oven and they say a microwave oven works the same but i'm not sure why the macarons are not turning out as its supposed to be. My last batches was hollow, feetless and flat. :(

    Plus, i noticed that you made a batch with 5% starched powedered sugar and it turned out with cracks and without feet. I bought a typical powdered sugar from the grocery store and i'm not sure whats the starch content in it. Could this also be the reason of the monster macarons?

    Also, i've been using ground almonds. They were rough and big.. tried pulsing them in a food processor but they turned out sticky. I shall buy almond meals instead and try them again.

    Please help! thanks a lot :D:D

  101. I've made some macarons recently, but compared to those bought outside, the shells weren't as thick. do u happen to have any idea?

  102. ::::::,

    You're using the microwave to cook macarons? Serious? You just can't do that, dear.


    The usual causes for thin shelled macarons are: too short of a resting period, under-baking or baking at too low of a temperature, and the ingredient ratios being a little off (measuring by volume, etc).

  103. Ms Humble,

    Its actually a combination of a microwave and a oven. It has temperature settings and i set it to 150 degress Celcius. Not sure if it works the same as the oven. :(

  104. Ah, in that case then it may work.

    Before today I never knew there was even such a thing as microwave/ovens but I did a little research and actually saw photos of macarons produced in such an oven so it is possible.

    If you grind your almonds, try grinding them with the powdered sugar, that will prevent them from turning into a wet paste. Sift them well to remove the larger pieces and reprocess those until you have a fine meal.

    Powdered sugar is unlikely to be the cause of your troubles since macarons are widely made with both starched and starch-less sugar.

    The most likely source for your macaron troubles are the batter and/or your oven. Over beating, meringue trouble and resting too long can cause hollow, feet-less macaron. However there are plenty of other reasons that the cookies can turn out like that. I would continue to practice with the batter and play with the heat on your oven (increasing it may help the foot formation).

    Best of luck! :)

  105. Thank you so much for this great post! I'm trying to recover from my 4th failed attempt at macarons (thin and some wrinkled shells though feet are there). As I was trying to figure out what went wrong this time, I came across your post which answers a lot of questions that I've been having in my long battle with macarons. I too heard various macaron recipes, tips and tricks, and wondered if they would actually make any difference, but could not dare to test them all out. But wow! You've done them all!! I love this post, especially the scattered plot :D
    Although people say Italian Meringue method is more stable and easier, I insist on suceeding with French Meringue method for the same reason as you (because it's simpler!). Though I failed today, I will not give up and try again with those tips I learned from you. Thank you so much again! I'm a new fan to your blog, and I must read all the previous post as well!

  106. hello, thank you for loving macarons so much. I went to france 2 years ago and stumbled upon a macaron cart in the airport ON MY WAY HOME! boy was I sad when i realized what all of those colorful little shops all over paris were. Anyways they lingered in my mind until the end of last year when I decided to make them for everyone as my christmas gift. Sounds crazy, but i was so obsessed with feet, I had my boyfriend look in the oven for me and when he told me I would be happy I cried!!! they were perfect the first time ever! Thanks to your recipe (foolproof macs). Ive been obsessed ever since. I am currently making some using a different recipe just to see, from the new book macarOn, and I think I under mixed them all and didnt realize it unti they were all piped and the first batch came out with heads instead of feet hahaha. oh well, so dissapointing.

    your recipe 125 almons 225 sugar 100 whites seems a bit moist my cookies look great but im picky now and want a taller cap and tall feet, what should I do?

    thanks so much for being to patient and kind to these wonderful cookies, the french truly know how to do it right dont they!


  107. Jessica,

    I'm happy they came out well for you.

    Tall macarons: They can be created with any of the macaron recipes on my blog. It is just a matter of practice and finesse. Once you master mixing your macarons will likely get taller and more showy.

    Smaller macarons (quarter sized) with just the right amount of meringue-volume left in the batter, baked on parchment are the best for height.

    However, be wary of the seduction of sky high macarons (we've all seen their photos out there on the web), they almost always have a gaping hollow between the interior and the shell. While attractive, the macaron sticklers will point out that it is not a correctly executed cookie.

  108. Hello Ms. Humble! Thanks so much for your awesome super informative blog on macarons. It has inspired me to create some of my own. I've linked this page to my blog as well 0:)

  109. I am planning to make my first batch of macarons and this article will definitely prove helpful. Thank you so much for it! :)

  110. Amazing! I just came back from Paris and we ate the last macarons last night, trying to savour and remember that perfection I can try over and over again to recreate it! Must buy copper bowl NOW!! :-D

  111. Thank you! Thank you! After 4-5 weeks of numerous batches, reading and re-reading your instructions, and eventually following everything to the letter, I have batch after batch of perfect macarons!! We have a new French pastry shop in town (Parisian owners) that specializes in macarons and mine (YOURS) are every bit as good. It has been well worth the effort. And I LOVE my Mauviel bowl!

  112. Ms Humble,

    One more note from my previous post. I grind my almonds slowly, a few at a time, in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the smaller metal plate of the grinder feature. I then run the meal through a mesh sieve and have super fine almond flour. Thank you again for all the time you have put into helping us make those wonderful treats!


  113. Kathleen,

    That's great! Glad to hear it!

    Also, I need a kitchen Aid grinder attachment... Take note Mr. Humble!

  114. Hi! I found your blog to be fantastic and super informative - amazing! But I do have a question. I've had a few batches of fab macarons. But lately the past couple of batches have been hollow. From what I understabnd this is an overbeating issue. But I think I'm failing for one of three reasons: 1) I'm using store bought egg whites 2) The egg white have been aging for 6 days 3)I'm overbeating the meringue. Could you advise if it sounds like an egg white issue or a beating issue? And do you have any photos of what the meringue should look like? Or a time to beat the eggs on high speed? I would love to have more direction, as I'm on the upteenth batch, and though I LOVE making these little treats I'm a little frustrated that they keep ending up hollow. Thanks!

  115. This post is one of the best resources I've written for hollow macarons, so do check it out.

    It isn't always an over beating issue, hollows can form for many reasons. Store bought egg whites should be fine for macarons and aging is almost always a plus. You may be over beating the meringue, it is possible but you might also be having issues with the batter or the baking time/temperature.

    Throughout the macaron posts on the blog there are a few photos of the meringue (photos on this post even), so feel free to check those out. I can't offer a time for beating since it is so variable, nor do I recommend beating meringue on high speed. I beat up the whites on medium speed, it takes longer but prevents over beating and it is gentler on the egg white proteins which trap the air.

    Check out the post linked above, it will likely answer some of your questions about hollows.

  116. Ms Humble,

    I gave my first macarons away today to several people and they were thrilled. HOWEVER, the shells and the butter cream are too sweet, in my opinion. What can I do to cut down on the overkill. The macarons from the Parisian bakery in town do not have that overpowering sicky sweet taste. Any suggestions, please.



  117. Buttercream while being relatively simple to make is probably the sweetest filling you can use in macarons. Usually best reserved for the most confirmed sweet tooth.

    If you're looking for something less sugary overall, I would start by toying with less sweet fillings like a swiss meringue style buttercream, which is markedly less sweet than a standard buttercream. A little more complicated but worth the rewards, are flavored diplomat creams which are light silky and amazing (a base recipe can be found on the blog under the napoleon post), or something similar to the mascarpone cream frosting used here. Both of those recipes can be modified and flavored fairly easily, with extracts, liqueur, fruit purees and curds.

    Ganache is another option. As sweet as chocolate is, it doesn't pack quite the same children's-birthday-cake sweetness that a standard buttercream does.

    I recommend experimenting the lightly sweet, creamy fillings above. They're delicious and in the style of the less common Swiss macarons (which I will admit are my favorite).

  118. Ms Humble,

    I made the Swiss Butter Cream and it was delicious in all flavors, and not overly sweet. It's my macarons that seem way too sweet. The macs at the Parisian Bakery are not too sweet. What are they doing that I'm not? Could I balance this by adding some salt to the batter, even though I'm using my Mauviel copper bowl? Will it destroy the consistency? Thanks for your previous response and any help you can give.


  119. They're probably using less sugar. (Though, I believe maturation mellows the overall sweetness of these cookies too).

    Macarons are generally pretty sweet, though there is some variation. I never pass a macaron without trying it. I've bought them from grocery stores, bakeries and even the buffet at an Indian Casino. They all look pretty much the same, but there is variation in the thickness of the shell, the density and the sweetness.

    If you look at the scatter plot above, you'll notice that there is plenty of variation in the amount of sugar used in french meringue recipes, more so than almond flour which has a narrower ratio to egg whites.

    Once you're comfortable with the technique and turning out successful cookies, DO play with the ratios, see if you can craft a cookie that better suits your tastes. Experimentation is lots of fun, if a bit fattening. I would know... :)

  120. Thank you. I'll try less sugar. I'm never sure of the chemistry that occurs, but I'm finally at the point of knowing what the batter should look like, so this shouldn't prove too daunting. This is a great blog and you are so kind to help us with all our macaron drama.

  121. I have one more important question:

    To flavor Swiss Meringue Butter Cream, is it better to use oils or emulsions?

    I use fruit, jams, etc when I can, but would like to have more of a variety for my macarons.

    Thank you again,

  122. You can flavor butter creams with so many things: liqueurs, puree, chocolate, praline and nut pastes, expresso powder, extracts and emulsions. So long as the flavoring agents are kept in balance with the other ingredients (frosting can still emulsify), you're good to go.

    And yes, concentrated flavorings oils like LorAnn's work great.

  123. Messing with Ms. Humble's Scatter Plot Macaron ratios is a VERY BAD IDEA. The result - a few sad, bad batches of too wet, wavy or thick, puffy macarons. YUCK! Guess I'll adjust my sweetness issues with the fillings.


  124. Yea, experimentation can also lead to some crazy looking macarons, been there. Did I neglect to mention that? :) You might try the bit of salt you mentioned earlier to cut the sweetness. In moderation it shouldn't do anything to the batter's quality, if anything a little salt with the meringue strengthens the egg whites.

    Also, have you tried the newest of my french macaron recipes? I cannot remember how it compares to this one in terms of sweetness, but it is a tad different.

  125. I did try the dehydrated egg white version but got wavy macarons both times and they smelled/tasted like eggs. Am I using inferior dried egg white powder?

    Can I use salt when whipping the whites in my Mauviel bowl? I didn't think that was permissible.

    So, bottom line, Ms. Humble - Which method do you prefer? I tried the Italian method and my shells were hard and crunchy. Your Scatter Plot recipe gives success every time. And thanks for the most comprehensive site on macatons!

  126. Italian method is far sweeter than French, so if you're looking to avoid sugary macarons I would always skip the Italian.

    As for the salt, I forgot you were using a Mauviel bowl. Yes, let's not use salt in a reactive bowl. Salt, lemon juice, etc are great for cleaning copper but I wouldn't want to eat any of the stuff it removes from the surface of those bowls. Blech.

    Go ahead and try adding a pinch of fine salt to the dry ingredients, see how that works. I wouldn't use kosher or other coarse salts since I worry that it may have trouble dissolving in the brief mixing with the wet ingredients.

    As for the egg whites in the newer French recipe, the amount used is so small that it really shouldn't do much more than balance the hydration in the liquid egg whites.

    If the dried whites are smelly or eggy tasting, I would be concerned about the quality. One brand that I really like is Dr. Oetker, which I admit is probably difficult to find in the U.S. Regardless of brand though, the egg whites shouldn't impart an eggy taste to the macarons.

    Certainly stick with the scatter plot recipe if it works well for you. Sweetness can always be tamed with the right fillings and maturation. One of my favorite variations that balances the sweetness is salted caramel macarons with peanuts. Salted peanuts sprinkled on top of the cookies and a lightly salted caramel filling. Delicious.

  127. Great tips! Thank you. Not surprisingly, I have another question. If I add salt to the dry ingredients, do I have to remove the meringue from my Mauviel bowl, put it in a stainless steel bowl, and then add the almond flour mixture to the meringue? I normally add the almond flour mixture to the meringue while it's still in the Mauviel bowl.



  128. Hi!..I am new to this macaron world and I already loved it!!...thanks to your fabulous tutorial I attempted today my first batch. But I dont know if they correct, having never tasted an original. The cookies turned out "nice" but were hollow inside, is that the way it should be? the bottoms were nice and flat.... Should they be shiny or matte? they could lift easily from the parchment papaer and at first where crunchy but after madurations with strawberry buttercream looked "filled".

  129. Kathleen,

    Mixing everything in the copper bowl shouldn't be an issue. I doubt the final mixture would be very reactive and it isn't in there for very long anyway.


    The cookies should have something inside the shells, they shouldn't be completely hollow. However, gaps between the shell and the interior of the cookie is permissible, particularly when just starting out with macarons.

    As for the finish (glossy or matte), on the bottom it depends on what you bake them on. I think cookies baked on silicone are shiner on the bottom. The tops of the shells however, should be smooth and matte.

    If maturation fixed the crunchy texture and small hollows, than you are doing great for your first batch.

    Keep practicing! :)

  130. Ms. Humble,

    My 'trying to add salt to the macaron shell' drama has been put to rest. The feet deflated more than I can bear, so I'll be doing other things to balance the sweetness. Actually, I have been using salted butter in my Swiss Meringue Butter Cream and love the flavor.

    In addition, your fleur de sel caramel recipe received rave reviews from all my friends! Thanks!

  131. This is a great posts, your macarons look beautiful. I love making macarons, too!

    Really a great blog, wonder why I'm not a reader yet, now I am :)

    I think some things are quite interesting.
    After 3 to 4 batches, my macarons came out almost perfect. They always have big feet and never crack up.
    I'm from Switzerland, and we have NO WAY powdered sugar with starch, that just doesn't exist here. And (I hardly heard about that copper-thing, so we don't have one) I always use PLASTIC bowl for whipping my egg whites (hand mixer) as it's the only high bowl we own. I never had any probles, and mostly I just flow it with some water to clean after having some fat in them. And I never let the egg whites age.
    And they always turn out great :)

    Strange things, but, yeah, macarons are REALLY different in every household :)

  132. hi...i'm wondering..can the egg whites b substitute with meringue powder?? i just can't stand to see the wasted egg yolks...
    hope to hear from you soon .. ^_^

  133. Fiefawafa,

    I've never made a meringue from dehydrated egg white powder (it is just too costly for me to do so), however I've been told you can.

    I'm guessing that replicating the same quality of meringue you get with aged egg whites might be a bit difficult though. I have done tests with higher amounts of egg white powder in this recipe and the results were rather poor. The cookies can get chewy and brittle if the ratio of egg white powder is too high so the moisture levels are pretty critical.

    As for the yolks. Must they go to waste? I usually save mine for ice creams, custards, hollandaise and other rich sauces and desserts when I plan a batch of macarons.

  134. Ms Humble,

    Thanks for continuing the blog despite the fact that your new little Humble is getting ready to make an entrance.

    I see a decorative, powdery looking substance in a variety of colors atop many macarons in the photos around the web. It doesn't look like sanding sugar, it's too fine. In some instances it looks like cocoa, but often it is purple, red, blue, etc.

    Also, how do you attach nuts and other decorative toppings that I see on macarons? Do you use a dab of corn syrup or honey to make them stick?

    Thanks as always,


  135. Kathleen,

    You're right, it isn't sugar. Sugar just won't stick to cooked macarons and if it is added to unbaked macarons, it melts in the oven.

    The powdery substance you see is usually dry food coloring powder. Though cocoa, and other flavored powders are used to decorate the shells too.

    When adding things to the top of your macs you want to add it before they're baked (this cements them to the batter). Adding things afterwards with a bit of sticky syrup would likely discolor/damage the egg shell exterior and wouldn't give you the prettiest result.

    Hope this helps :)

    Ms. H

  136. Many thanks, Ms Humble - Kathleen

  137. Hi Ms Humble,

    I have read your blog on macarons for quite sometime. Your macarons look soooo nice but still haven't had a chance to try your recipe.

    I have been using a recipe that has a high ratio of granulated sugar and a low ratio of icing sugar compared to your recipe (almond 1.35 : icing 1.6 : egg 1 : sugar 0.8). It used to work well for me but lately I had to throw away several batches everytime. The bad results were either grainy flat shells or exploding shells. I don't know what happened. I did everything exactly the same verytime but still got different result (french meringue, rest 15- 30 min, bake at 120 c aroud half hour)

    So I think I will try your recipe. Anyway, I need some of your advices.

    First, since you had studied in details about the diffence of each recipe, could you advice me what is the difference between a recipe with a high ratio of granulated sugar I used and a recipe with a high ratio of icing like yours.

    Second, since you have 2 recipes in your blog, the one on this page and another one with powdered egg white. Which one is more suggestable. Anyway, I can't find a powdered egg white at the place where I live. Can i just simply omit the egg white in your recipe, or should I stick with the recipe with no powdered egg white.

    Thank you in advance. I'm sooooo in need of your help :(

    Best regards,


  138. Hello Ms. Humble,

    First of all, I would like to thank you for your amazing tutorial on the French meringue. It is by far the most thorough tutorial I have yet to see on the web.

    I am having some trouble with my macarons, however (as I'm sure we all have). I'm in Germany, and all I can ever really find at the store is either powdered sugar or normal, granulated sugar. However, using my both in the recipe, I ended up with terribly cracked shells. Would you recommend using only powdered sugar in my case?

    Best wishes,

  139. Hi,
    I used parchement paper, my macarons rise tall and beautifully in the oven, however, in the middle of baking, they collapsed a bit and the feet became ruffled skirt. and it seems i need to bake them forever but still stick to the paper. please help! thanks!!

  140. Hi!

    Can i just say...

    And i can totally relate to the dilemmas you demonstrated! (been through several of them myself!)

    Once u suss out ur oven and get the technique and recipe down pat...there's no method switching! Hehe

    Thank u for this brilliant post!

    Please drop by my blog sometime!


  141. Ms. Humble,

    After 7 months of experimening I finally have perfected my macarons. I followed the Scatter Plot recipe to the letter but recently found I needed to change the ingredients a degree more or less, probably because I live in the extremely hot and humid South. That little tweak was the secret.

    2 questions:

    1) Have you ever shipped macarons and if yes, how?

    2) Do you ever freeze your macarons. I tried it and it compromised the shell.

    Thanks for a great blog. Loved Mother Humble's Herbed Halloumi Cheese Rolls. Yummmmm!


  142. I've never shipped them. Some do bakers do mail them but the packing is often tailor-made to hold the cookies. Mail is a bumpy trip and even well packed, I've seen broken shells and oozing fillings. Keeping them cool is also important I believe some ship overnight with icepacks.

    I do freeze them and they tend to handle the process well if carefully packed. I will note that Italian meringue tends freezes a bit better.

    How did the freezing process damage your shells? Breakage? Or did the texture change?

  143. Ms Humble,

    The shells were very damp.

    Should they be wrapped in plastic wrap?

    Do you ever freeze them filled?

    And, do you find that freezing the shells compromises the light, chewy texture?



  144. Have you checked out Bravetart's macaron recipe? She's a baker and makes macarons about 20x per week. The recipe is simple and to the point. You don't need to bother with letting the shells set or slowly incorporating the dry ingredients into the wet. I've had the most consistent results from her recipe. She's even got a list of the 10 Macaron Commandments. I highly suggest checking her out.

  145. There is plenty of advice and approaches out there on the web re: macarons. Ranging from flippant to rigorous in their style. I don't always agree with the advice given, but regardless of the approach if they manage to help others, good on them.

  146. Your advice is sooooo helpful. I had to try twice to get good macarons. I made these osmanthus white peach macarons. delightful! thanks for the base recipe and advice! Your advice made it easier for me.

    Amanda/a teen chef

  147. I'm in Lve with your blog! Thank you for sharing this great talent of yours! You are an inspiration!

  148. Amazing. You've done all the experimenting so I don't have to. Brilliant. Definitely going to keep reading this blog.

  149. I have to say, this blog was probably the single biggest reason why my macarons came out near-perfect the FIRST time I tried making them! After all the horror stories I've heard and read throughout the blogosphere, I was prepared for a perfect disaster. But nope! Pretty little pink macarons, with their pretty little feet in tact were what emerged from my oven (although a tad grainy; apparently sifting my almond flour 3 times wasn't enough!). Probably a little over-done, mind you, but I'm going to leave them alone (after filling them) for the suggested 24-48 hours and I'm sure they'll be just right :)

    Thanks again for the wonderful post .

  150. What a fabulous tutorial! I have searched through comments but did not see where anyone asked the following question: What size Mauviel bowl would you recommend purchasing?

  151. I use either my 10" or a 12" bowl, both work very well (the 10" is perfect the 12" is huge). There is also an 8" bowl made by Mauviel, but that one is a little small for comfort. Workable, but small.

  152. Yay! I just got re-inspired after weeks of macaron fails, or "macawrongs"! Some how my first try (ever) my macarons turned out perfect, and I've never been able to recreate them! Thanks, what an awesome post!

  153. Love your work! Forgive me if I'm wrong, but you haven't said anything about high altitude cities. Have you?I live in Mexico city (7345ft ASL) your recipes will work the same? Specially with macarons. And please do write a column about "the perfect macaron" thank you

  154. Really appreciated your work here! I have tried several recipes, some mentioned here, and have found your recipe has improved the hollow situation greatly, although still there :( Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist. They taste awesome!
    My question: when I piped them they seemed thin-- they maintained their shape but spread out quite a bit and the baked cookie seemed to have much less height than previous recipes tried-- but the hollow was less too. They had nice feet :) So, do I need to beat egg whites a little more (went to soft peaks and glossy, not like cement recommended by some recipes)? Hollow got bigger as cookie cooled, making me think they were probably a tad undercooked, right?
    I'm on my 10th batch and it's getting better.

  155. Thanks for your work here. I have tried about 10 batches of macarons-- mostly macawrongs-- I have used 4 different recipes yours being the last and the best so far. I did keep the beating down to soft peaks and glossy instead of stiff as some other recipes call for and the hollow was definitely less, but the cookie was very flat with good feet and no cracking. They seemed to spread out way more than they should, but I could be wrong. The hollow seemed to worsen as they cooled-- I kept cracking them open to observe what was going on. I'm thinking longer cooking time and maybe just a couple seconds more on the beating. What do you think?

  156. Patmo,

    I think you're spot on. A little more air in the batter and a slightly longer cooking time should put you on the path to perfectionist macarons.


    I don't have any experience with high altitude cooking as my kitchen is roughly 60ft ASL. I have read that meringues are tough at high altitudes and that likely means high altitude bakers are going to have a further level of difficulty to sort out when it comes to making macarons.

  157. So glad I found your blog and post! I always end up with little hollows (except the chocolate ones- they always come out perfect). I have been so frustrated when all I really needed to do was let those suckers mature! Whew! That doesn't mean I haven't made some pretty ugly macs in my day though! Thanks for the incredible amount of time you put into all of this.

  158. Oh- and this is the first tutorial I've read that mentions dried egg whites. I've been using meringue powder because I didn't know. I had to visit 10 stores today but FINALLY found some! WHEW! Egg whites are aging and I'll try this tomorrow. Thanks!

  159. the moment I see statistic and chart..I sold! :)
    love you work!

  160. I can't wait to try this! I own a bakery and it's been my dream to make Macarons to sell at Christmas time.
    BTW, if you want to take a trek down to Cash and Carry or United Grocers, you can buy cases of flat parchment paper for like $35 for 1000 16x24" sheets.
    Thanks for an exhaustive and informative recipe!

  161. This is art, meets science, meets test kitchen. Thorough, and now I can't wait to try this out!

  162. Hi Ms. Humble,

    I like reading all your suggestions in you blog.
    I am having a problem with baking my macaron. I have the best result for the macaron that baked on the top tray in the oven, but the one on the second tray, the macarons created a hollow dome and shrunk after I took them out from the oven.
    Do you have any suggestion?

  163. Dear Ms. Humble
    What do you do with the egg yolks afterwards? I would want to make macarons with a Swiss Meringue Buttercream filling but that leaves a lot of unused egg yolks in a bowl...

  164. Just for that scatter plot, you are my new favourite blogger <3 That's exactly how I approach baking something new.

  165. huge huge huge thank you dear :)
    i'm a cake and cupcake girl, but i tried my first macaroons today, wishing i'd read this then. thankfully they turned out amazing anyway, but these tips are a big help !
    happy baking !

  166. Oh my goodness - found this on pinterest and now I'm dying to try! Thanks for a very thorough analysis :)

  167. I have had epic failures with the Italian meringue method. The French meringue method always gives me good results so I have no idea why I would torture myself (and waste good money on almond meal) but I think it has to do with the fact that the Italian meringue has challenged me to a duel and I intend to win. Someday.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your insight, your tips and techniques, your recipes, and all your GRUELING hours baking little sweets, ugly and hollow or not. And it's especially cool that you're a Seattleite cos that's my home town (cue homesick tears). =)

  168. I had never even tasted a macaron before today, after reading everything you've written about French macarons, aging my egg whites for 2 days, and purchasing almond meal for the first time ever I dove first batch were sad looking and flat, but the second came out all pretty. (though not cooked long enough) You have inspired me to master the macaron! Thank you for taking the time to put this all down!

    Oh! And they taste amazing!! :)

  169. Hi Ms. Humble!
    I actually tried your 1.2/2.35 ratio recipe and actually I am not even quite sure if mine turned out the way its suppose to turn out! it came out flater than my first attempt of a different recipe, but I think it turned out pretty good? if you have the time feel free to pls check it out and give me your suggestion:) what i love from your recipe though is the reduction of sugar could that have contributed as to why it came out flat?:) I know that speak for the rest of us when I say THANK YOU so much for this post of yours!:)

  170. Hello Humble pie:

    I have been making macarons and I tried several recipes and all ends up being hollow shells :(, I wonder how I can solve it?, What could it be?, the "macaronage" or the oven temperature and time? thank you for your attention.Hope you can answer

  171. Thanks so much for all the hard work you put into this!!! I am going to make a platter full of colorful macarons for my daughter's first birthday. I made my first test batch using your method and tips and I think they turned out great! Thanks again for saving me a bunch of time and frustration.
    -fellow Seattle area mama

  172. Ok this post deserves MEGA high fives and lots of hugs!! Thanks so so much!!! Seriously!! You RULE!!!

    I linked to this post in my latest blog post.."For the Love of Macarons"

    Thanks bunches!!!
    xo Jenny Holiday

  173. Hi,
    I finally got to work well. I tried many times, and I think the mistake, I think, was that I was not mixing the dry and wet ingredients enough and I added a minute or so to the beating time of the egg whites.... Anyhow, I think I got it now.

    My question is: if I want to double the recipe, do I just double all the ingredients? I really do not want to make two batches....
    Thanks (your website is a big help)

  174. Wow, I'm in Seattle as well and I wish I knew you and where you're baking these lovely treats all the time! A lovely, thorough post.

  175. I was watching 'The Hairy Bikers' cookery programme and they visited a french pastry chef who was famous for making these. He gave a tip at the end for removing them from the baking paper, he poured a tiny volume of water between the baking tray and paper then tipped the tray up to allow the water to go between both all the way down the tray. He said that the macaroons then come off easily. I thought of you!


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