Master the French Macaron

January 26th, 2011  |  265 Comments

Ahh, the macaron. So beautiful, and fragile, like a Faberge Egg. And so elusive, it is.

Or is it?

The day I learned how to make them, the chef gave me a demonstration, and then I made them on my own. They came out well. No drama. And since they were on our daily petit fours plate, I had to make them every day. Sometimes it was pouring rain outside, and the kitchen was swamp-humid. Sometimes it was the thick of summer, and the temperatures rivaled Death Valley. But still, I made them. Once in a while they didn’t work, but most of the time they did. And on those few occasions they didn’t behave, I wasn’t phased. I just made them again.

For me, the trick to it all was that no one told me how impossible they were, how one false breath could mean failure — one extra stroke of the spatula, and you might as well pack it in. To me, it was just another recipe, and I didn’t have any baggage about it before I even broke out the almond flour. No one psyched me out.

Now, as I read all the talk around the blogosphere, I think that’s exactly what’s happening. The macaron fear has spread far and wide. And there’s no reason for it. Especially when the base recipe has just 4 ingredients. You sift the dry stuff, whip a few egg whites, fold it all together, and pipe it on a sheet tray.

I really, really want everyone to master the macaron, to be swimming in as many as they want. Once you understand the basic recipe, you can modify it to any flavor you can think of. All it takes is a batch or two of practice, and then it’s locked in forever. Like riding a bicycle.

So I started working on a post. I was testing, then testing some more. Before I knew it, the whole project grew, becoming more than just a quickie tutorial. I wanted to include as much helpful stuff as possible  — the basic recipe, some troubleshooting tips, how to make flavor variations, and a few fillings to get started. It became longer — a primer, of sorts. And so I put it all together into one fat pdf format that you can download, totally FREE. I hope you find it helpful.

In Master the Macaron, I cover:

  • The almond macaron — the master recipe
  • Vanilla Buttercream Filling for the Almond Macaron
  • Troubleshooting
  • Chocolate Macaron with Chocolate Ganache Filling
  • Coffee Macaron with Nutella Filling
  • Lemon Macaron with Lemon Curd Filling
  • Coconut Macaron with White Chocolate Raspberry Filling

I hope you enjoy this primer, and have success with your macaron-making. Please let me know what you think. We’d even love to see some pictures if you give it a go. And pass it on!

Get your FREE copy of Master the Macaron:

265 Responses to “Master the French Macaron”

  1. Maria R. says:

    Thank you so much Irina for giving this tutorial to those of us brave and not so brave souls who want to attempt the macaron. I finally got it the second try. I overmixed the first time and I used all three egg whites even though it weighed 108 grams. It bombed. It was hollow, had no “feet”, and splotchy on top. It also almost didn’t dry at all. I can’t wait to try other flavors. Thanks again and I look forward to your new recipes!

  2. Frekne says:

    Laduree uses Italian Meringue method. So does P. Herme. So do most pastry shops. Why do you favor French method ?

  3. Nika says:

    Hello PastryPal!
    I’ve been having a go at macaroons for several weeks now, and I’m enjoying every batch! :)
    Because macaroon fillings do need a certain consistency (not too runny and not too stiff), I’m having trouble to think of new ones (other than chocolate ganache and such).
    Do you have any more filling recipes that you could share with us?

    Thank you!
    Great to have someone to share all this macaroon-wisdom with us :)

  4. Lea says:

    I just used your download to make my macarons, and they were perfect! Wonderful website and content.
    Glad to have found you.

  5. PastryPal says:

    Hi Nika — There are some other filling ideas listed in the primer :)

  6. PastryPal says:

    Frekne — Yes, you are right, but the process is already so intimidating for most, I didn’t want to make the recipe even more complicated. Usually, they work well even with this method. It’s the way we made them in all the restaurants I’ve ever worked in.

  7. Megan says:

    I used this primer for my first time ever making macarons! It was a surprisingly great experience. After reading macaron horror stories this super easy to use tutorial made it easy! Thank you for a great tutorial!

  8. Ivelisse says:

    Hi! I already registered but how I can get the book download?????

  9. Cindy says:

    Oh! I’m late to found you!
    Today I’ve done a failed macarons.
    They’re too sweet and The taste is so different :(

    And, do you separate the yolk, and let them stay for a night?
    Some recipes ask me to.
    And also I have not a food processor to make the almond powder become more smooth, any tips to change this step? Thanks a lot PastryPal!

  10. Mont says:

    Hi. Thanks for the recipe.
    When you bake the macarons, which one of the heat position I should set?
    Thanks a lot.

  11. Jann Mays says:

    Irine, I found your site while looking for the best way to make my own almond flour for making French Macarons. I was delighted by the detail you put into your instructions. When I saw that you were working on a French Macaron tutorial, I got real excited! I have currently been making French Meringue Cookies in different colors and flavors and wanted to branch out into making Macarons. I am a semi-retired French teacher and have just started my own small baking business. I haven’t developed my website just yet, but I do have a facebook page that people order from. I am so happy I have found your pastrypal website! Thank you so much! I will let you know how it goes!
    Funny thing is, I just bought some Lemon Curd made in Scotland this past weekend. Then I noticed Lemon Macarons with Lemon Curd filling in your book that I downloaded earlier today!

  12. Rona Flores says:

    is there any powder i can substitute to almond powder?

  13. Donna says:

    I have tried doing french macarons several times and all ended bad. Thanks for sharing. I’m very sure this will help me a lot. Am now looking forward to having successfully baked french macaron, with the help of your downloaded PDF. Thanks very much.

  14. Francisca Rincon says:

    Thank you Pastry Pal! I can’t believe Ive found so much useful information on a single site! Not only did I find a tutorial on home made almond meal, you also have an entire download on macarons! :D I’ve been dying to try these! Thanks again, wish me luck!

  15. Ani says:

    Dear Irina! Thanks for the macaron tutorial, it answered many of my questions.
    Keep baking :)

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