After tasting my very first macarons while in France, Paris for my Travel for Teens field trip, I was in love! The crisp and crunchy outside with a chewy inside filled with fillings such as ganache, buttercream, or simple jam, these delicate cookies are something to rave about. It takes patience and a careful hand to create the perfect macaron cookie. If this is your first time making macarons, I would recommend researching on the specifics and basics before doing this. Here are a few tips that I recommend when making the perfect macaron cookie:
- Make sure that your egg has been aged overnight or else your cookies will turn out hollow
- Be sure to mise en place and scale/measure out every ingredient before beginning!
- When beating the eggs, make sure that it turns into stiff peaks and careful not to overmix! If you do not have stiff peaks, your cookies will not have those cute little feet at the bottom.
- When mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, make sure to FOLD the batter with a spatula. This causes the batter to not lose too much air when you mix everything together.
- Double check that your batter is not too thick and not too liquidy. It just flow like lava when you tilt the bowl side to side.
Green Tea Matcha Macarons
- 100g aged egg whites (at least 12-24 hours)
- 110g almond meal, at room temperature and well sifted
- 200g icing sugar
- 50g caster sugar
- Optional: 1 tsp powdered egg whites (available from The Essential Ingredient), helps to stabilise egg whites but is not necessary
- To decorate: black food colouring (I used Wilton’s black gel icing colour)
For the matcha buttercream:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioner sugar
- 1 tbsp green tea matcha powder
- 2 tbsp heavy cream (or milk but it will be less fluffier)
- Prepare the macarons first; line two baking sheets with baking paper. Place icing sugar in food processor and pulse for a minute to remove any lumps. Stir in almond meal and pulse for about 30 seconds to combine. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and egg white powder in a medium mixing bowl until the egg white powder dissolves and it reaches soft peaks. With the mixer on high speed, gradually add sugar and beat until it reaches stiff peaks.
- Add meringue and a small amount of black food colouring (to tint the mixture light grey) to your dry mixture and mix, quickly at first to break down the bubbles in the egg white (you really want to beat all the large bubbles out of the mixture, be rough!), then mix carefully as the dry mixture becomes incorporated and it starts to become shiny again. Take care not to overmix, the mixture should flow like lava and a streak of mixture spread over the surface of the rest of the mixture should disappear after about 30 seconds. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a 1cm round tip and pipe 3cm circles, leaving a 1 inch space between each piped macaron.
- Tap baking sheets carefully and firmly on the benchtop a couple times to remove any large bubbles. Leave to dry for at least half an hour, so that when you press the surface of one gently it does not break. This will help prevent any cracking and help the feet to form on the macs.
- Preheat your oven to 140-150°C (285-300°F), depending on your oven. Place on top of an overturned roasting tray or another baking sheet if your sheets are not professional grade, for better heat distribution. Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of your shells. Carefully test if the base of the shell is ready by gently lifting one and if it’s still soft and sticking to the baking paper, then it needs to bake for a few minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool on the tray for a few minutes, then gently remove from the sheet and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Prepare the matcha buttercream while the cookies are cooling. First, in your electric mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, on medium speed, add in your butter until smooth. Then slowly add in your powder sugar and matcha green tea powder on low speed until fully incorporated. If the buttercream is too thick to your liking, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of cream or milk into the mixture to fluff it out. Put the buttercream in a piping bag with a narrow round tip and pipe just inside one side of a macaron. Sandwich macaron with another shell, repeat with remaining shells. Chill in the fridge in an airtight container overnight, serve at room temperature.