Macarons are finicky and delicate desserts but are incredibly delicious. I show you how to make these fantastic French delights, with all the tips and tricks so you ace it the first time!
Place the icing' sugar, cocoa powder and almond flour in a small bowl. If your ingredients seem lumpy - place them in a sieve and sift.
Apply a small amount of vinegar to a sheet of paper towel and wipe down the inside of a large bowl (or stand mixer). Place the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar. Beat together on medium speed for 1 minute (or till the egg whites are slightly frothy). Switch to high speed and gently pour in the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form, about 3-7 minutes (you must really eyeball this stage!). Do NOT overbeat. On low speed, incorporate the food colouring.
Using a spatula, fold in half the dry ingredients. Mix until just Incorporated. Add the remaining half. GENTLY fold your mixture in one direction, ensuring that you get the edges and go "under" that way you evenly mix the ingredients. At this point, it may start out as tough, but eventually, the two substances will combine to reveal a mixture that should be shiny, glossy and run off your spatula in a ribbon/molten lava-like motion. DO NOT OVERMIX. The batter should gently run off your spatula, not rush like liquidy-water.
Fit your piping bag with a round piping tip, fill with batter. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Begin to pipe evenly sized rounds onto the baking sheets (approximately 2 inches wide with 2 inches space between). Hold the bag vertically, squeeze and pull up. Grab the baking sheet and tap the 4 sides of the tray on your counter to get rid of any air bubbles. Add your desired sprinkles on top.
Let the piped rounds sit for least 20 minutes to 1 hour. This is so that the macarons develop its "shell" and become tacky. You can lightly touch one of the shells to check it's tackiness. If you are baking macarons when it is very humid outside, this can impact how long it takes to develop a tacky shell.
Fill one shell and sandwich together with another shell. Be careful not to press too hard or you will break the shells (they are delicate!). Gently place the macarons in a glass container and let them rest in the fridge for 24 hours prior to eating them. If you are like me you will set 5 aside to eat right away, and save the rest for tomorrow. Macarons can be placed in the fridge for 1 week or left in a freezer safe container in the freezer for 6 months. If you want to serve these, let them rest outside for 15 minutes or till they come to room temperature. But I am not judging your impatience if you want to eat it right away - I do the same thing!
* I use Bob's Red Mill Almond Flour because it is already finely milled, which means I do not have to process the flour and icing sugar together. In the event that you use another brand (that may be coarser) or you make your own, I do recommend that you either sift or grind (in a food processor) the flour and icing sugar.
** Yes your egg whites should be aged. Place the egg whites in a glass jar the night before, in your fridge. Take them out 1 hour before you are ready to use them. You can use "un-aged" egg whites, but this will drastically impact the final result. Also, I used 99 g of egg whites as that is what I had. If you are up for the challenge I recommend playing around with 120g and 99g of egg whites. Some recipes only call for 110g. This is a pain I know, but once you find the egg white measurement that works for you, you will be golden!