How to make macaroons

This French patisserie classic is delicate and tricky to master, we show you how to tackle each step with confidence.

Points to remember

  • Draw 2.5 cm circles using a cutter or £2 coin on a piece of baking parchment. They should be well spaced. Turn the parchment over.
  • Blitz the icing sugar and almonds in a food processor, then press through a sieve so the mixture becomes fine and lump free. Mix in the first batch of egg whites to form a thick paste.
  • Dissolve the sugar in water over a medium heat, bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C.
  • Whisk the egg whites until frothy.
  • When the sugar reaches 118C, slowly drizzle it down the side of the bowl avoiding the turning whisk. Continue to whisk until the mixture has cooled and you have a shiny peaked meringue mixture. Whisk in any colouring.
  • Gently fold and work the meringue into the almond paste - it should now have a dropping consistency similar to cake mixture.
  • Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle. Stick the baking paper down with a little mixture so it doesn’t slide around when you pipe. Pipe out small dollops of mixture and press down the peaks with a damp finger.
  • Leave the macaroons for around half an hour to form a skin.
  • Bake the macaroons for the exact time stated in the recipe. This needs to be precise so test one – it should feel firm to the touch and peel easily off the paper. When done, immediately slide the parchment onto the work surface. Cool on the paper.