Basic Macaroon Recipe

Try out this basic French macaroon recipe from Jill Colonna’s ‘Mad about Macarons’. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe you can experiment with all sorts of other flavours (see chocolate and pistachio). Arrange them on cupcake stands or create your own macaroon dome birthday cake – a perfect way to dazzle your guests …
Ingredients (makes x 40 medium sized macaroons) 

180g ground almonds
270g icing sugar
150g organic egg whites
100g fine caster sugar

Top tip: Macaroons can keep for up to a week if kept chilled in the fridge. Sealed plastic containers work well as do biscuit tins. You can also freeze them for up to three months. Simply defrost them an hour before serving them at room temperature.

Basic method 

1. Line three flat baking sheets with greaseproof paper and set aside.

2. Whisk the egg whites (at room temperature) to glossy firm peaks adding the caster sugar gradually.  If making coloured macarons, then add a dash of colouring towards the end of mixing.

3. Sift together your ground almonds with the icing sugar using a medium sieve and mix well.

4. Incorporate the beaten egg whites into the dry ingredients using a large spatula.  Mix well.  (There is no need to “fold” the mixture.)

5. Work on the mixture using a plastic scraper.  Press down well with the scraper, going back and forward, to press out the oxygen from the whites.  Do this for no more than 5 minutes until you have a smooth mixture. The result should fall like a “ribbon” off the scraper.

6. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag with a plain 1cm round tip.

7. Pipe out 3cm rounds, leaving a good space between each as they do spread out.

8. Leave for about 30 minutes to set.

9. While they are setting preheat the oven to 160°C fan setting.  If you do not have a fan oven you may need to make the temperature slightly higher.

10. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 10-12 minutes.

11. When ready, leave on the baking tray until cool then scrape them all off carefully with a palette knife.

Dark Chocolate Macaroon Recipe

200g dark chocolate (at least 64% cocoa solids)
1 tsp coffee granules
190g whipping cream
50g unsalted organic butter, softened and cut into cubes

1 Follow the basic macaron recipe, but add 10g cocoa powder (or brown colouring) to the mix.

2 To make the ganache, break the chocolate into small pieces into a bowl.  In a saucepan, heat the cream and coffee until nearly boiling then pour over the chocolate.

3 Stir constantly in the middle with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add the butter to make a beautifully glossy ganache.

4 Leave to cool but be careful not to wait too long as the chocolate hardens quite quickly.  Transfer to a piping bag, arrange the macaron shells in pairs, pipe filling onto one shell of each pair and assemble the macarons.

5 Leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours, preferably 36, before serving.

Pistachio Macaroon Recipe

100g unsalted butter, softened
160ml full milk
2 tbsps pistachio paste
30g ground unsalted pistachios
A few drops almond extract (optional)
1 organic egg
20g sugar
20g custard powder

1 Follow the basic macaroon recipe, adding a dash of green and caramel colouring (3 parts green to 1 part caramel).

2 Cream the butter and set aside.

3 In a saucepan, bring the milk, pistachio paste and ground pistachios to near boiling.  (If you have no pistachio paste, add extra ground pistachios and a few drops of almond extract.)

4 In a bowl, whisk together the egg, sugar and custard powder.

5 Add the pistachio milk to the egg mix and return to the pan, whisking constantly until it thickens, then take off the heat and cool.

6 When cool, gradually mix in the creamed butter and transfer to a piping bag.

7 Arrange the macaron shells in pairs, pipe filling onto one shell of each pair and assemble the macaroons.

8 Chill in the fridge for about 24 hours before serving.

Recipes taken from Jill Colonna’s Mad about Macaroons, all recipes and photographs copyright © Jill Colonna.

25 Responses to “Basic Macaroon Recipe”

  1. I’ve got this book! It’s fun and I’m making macarons like mad, too. Friends actually thought I bought them from La Duree in London.

  2. I just bought this book very recently! I love everything about it – gorgeous pictures, well written recipes, and you feel like Jill is talking you through the recipes herself! I love the variety of flavors and I just cannot wait to get started! I have a feeling my macarons are going to be very popular around here :)

  3. awesome book, awesome recipes, and of course awesome lady!!!

  4. I’ve got this book too, and it enabled me to make professional looking macarons successfully for the first time. Great stuff!

  5. All of Jill’s recipes are amazing. She takes the scariness out of making a macaron. Love her and her recipes!

  6. I bought this book and it is wonderful. I was nervous about making macaroons as they looked hard, but once I got my digital scales and set aside the time, I was amazed at how well they turned out. I have since made them for parties and dinner parties, and once I had mastered the little ‘feet’ and followed all Jill’s tips (her website is amazing by the way)I now have friends asking me to make them for their parties. And I love the Party Times website by the way. It is really useful for children’s parties and for inspiration. Thank you both so much!

  7. Oh, I just wanted to add, if you don’t know, Jill’s website is called: http://madaboutmacarons.com
    She blogs every week and she answers tips there and through facebook. She is very generous with her time on answering tiny questions like the kind of queries I had. I would really encourage people to get the book and make macarons/macaroons as they are much easier than you think, and buy, do they save you money! ~Thank you Jill!

  8. Loving this from Broome, Western Australia. Macaroons are popular in certain houses here! We first discovered them in Paris and Jill’s tips are not only helpful but I like the thought of being connected to Paris! When is the next book coming Jill? Thanks, VB.

  9. I bought this beautiful book for my son who is a doctor by day but an amateur chef in his precious spare time. He has had enormous fun from the recipes.

  10. This is a fab book, I love macarons and the recipes are great. I have turned out perfect macarons every time. Go Buy a copy….

  11. I met Jill at the SEC in Glasgow- BBC Good Food Show I think.(Her daughter had a great MACARONS tee-shirt. Where can I get one?). I fell for macarons that afternoon – melt-in-your-mouth magnificent! Great taste – great book – great gift – which I have especially enjoyed buying as a ‘thank you for having me’
    to dinner party chums who are now pressured into ‘having a go’ for their next one! Well done Jill!

  12. Absolutely love this book, it’s so nice to be able to make a gluten free dessert!!

  13. Gorgeous macarons! What a great party treat! I found this blog through Jill’s and I’m looking forward to checking out your ideas.

  14. I have this fabulous book and the clearly written recipes and variety of flavours (sweet and savoury) make this a must for all lovers of macarons. I am so glad Jill has enabled us to make macarons so professionally.

  15. The Must-Have Cook ! So fun and delicious, cooking Macarons is now a real game with my daugther ^^^

  16. I conducted my study at catering and hotel school in France and despite this, Jill has taught me many things in her book. All budding pastry or confirmed should have that book at home.

    Merci beaucoup Jill!!!!!

  17. I LOVE Jill’s macarons!!! <3 She's fantastic!!!

  18. Jill is simply beyond the best!! With her tutorials I’ve brought these tasty little guys to the San Diego coastline. One day I’m going to enjoy them in France, but until then I can make my own!

  19. Jill’s macrons are the best. I don’t have a copy of the book, but hope that I win one, so I can make her marvelous macrons!

  20. Fantastic recipes and a wonderful book!

  21. We don’t use the Metric system in America and some of the langauge is unfamilar to me so could you help? Thanks .

  22. Thank you for the pistachio!
    I love Jill’s book.
    Rosa, to make proper pastry you need a Metric scale for precise mesurements. Cups and tablespoons will not do – you must weigh your ingredients.
    Bon chance
    Carolg

  23. [...] Credit: PartyPieces.co.uk [...]

  24. hello i want to transfer the following amonts of grams to cups

    180 g ground almonds
    270 g icing sugar
    150 g organic egg whites (how many eggs)
    100 g fine caster suger

  25. Hello! Well I had to use an online conversion tool, here’s what the conversion gave me:
    0.78 cups ground almonds
    1.17 cups icing sugar
    0.65 organic egg whites (how many eggs)
    0.44 fine caster sugar
    http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/cooking-conversions/gram-conversions-general.aspx

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