(2017/09/04 Note: this post does not have my latest thinking on making the best French macarons possible. I encourage you to, instead, follow the instructions in this post where I compare, head-to-head, the macaron recipes of the world’s top pastry chefs.)
This is a tutorial for French macarons (also known as macarons), not for macaroons. Macarons are delicate French pastries that come in hundreds of flavours and colours while macaroons are made from dessicated coconut and come in regular and chocolate, and that’s about it. Macaron is pronounced [MAC-a-ron] while macaroon is pronounced [mac-a-RUNE]. Roll your Rs (and speak with a French accent) for the former. If you want some macaron recipes, please check out my recipe index! Macarons are great for eating by themselves or, if you want to be fancy, make a great decoration for entremets. So, let’s get started!
There are thousands of recipes online for macarons, all slightly different. The problem is a lot of them aren’t very clear. Since macarons are very delicate, it’s important to have excellent technique. That’s hard to do though when recipes tell you to do things like fold the batter until it looks like “magma”. Seriously? Magma? Underground lava? That’s helpful.