How to make macaroons

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

Basic method for making macaroons

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in water over a medium heat, bring to a boil and cook until the syrup registers 110C.
  4. Whisk the egg whites until frothy.
  5. 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.
  6. Gently fold and work the meringue into the almond paste - it should now have a dropping consistency similar to cake mixture.
  7. 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.
  8. Leave the macaroons for around half an hour to form a skin.
  9. 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. 

See our recipe for chocolate and raspberry macarons (or French macaroons).