Saturday, October 1

The journey of the macaron!

 Mmmm there is nothing like a yummy french macaron!  That first bite into a slight crunch of the shell and that chewy biscuit and then the filling {heaven}

I've always been curious of how a macaron is made and have heard a many stories of the drama and nightmares these little suckers can be!! Because of this I've been reluctant to give them ago.  There are a few of my girlfriends who I would say are obsessed with macarons - myself included.  Anyhow we decided about 2 months ago that we would have a try at making these little beauties!! Come on how hard can they be right? Famous last words.

We booked in a macaron date and were all very excited when the day finally arrived!! Everything was looking great!! The batter looked perfect, piping .... just stunning, now time to put them in the oven.  The anticipation of opening the oven to see those biscuits with their little feet .... 14 minutes and we hear the alarm - open up the oven door and devastation! NO FEET!!! We just didn't know what went wrong?  They tasted delicious but without their feet, well it's just not a macaron.  I just couldn't understand why they didn't work?  Well the battle had just began!
Attempt one: Macaron 1 : Me 0

Next morning I just couldn't stop thinking about why everything when so pear shaped.  I was determine to give them another go!! and that afternoon there I was again, just me and my macaron batter.  2nd attempt was better - some had feet and some didn't.  You can guess by this stage I was just about to give up!! I really thought that these macarons would be the death of me.  That night I did more research and decided I needed to get myself an oven and sugar thermometer.
Attempt two: Macaron 1 :  Me 1/2

Third attempt was a couple days later and this time I felt confident that this was the day that I would become a macaron maker! Armed with alot more knowledge and all the equipment I needed - this was the day I would beat those little suckers!

Piped and waiting for that shell to form

Oh my goodness! I was so happy when I opened those oven doors to see those gorgeous cookies with there lovely feet! I think I almost cried!! Oh happy, happy days!!

And here is the finished product : Salted caramel french macarons

Passionfruit french macarons {hubby's favourite}

Important tips I've learnt from my macaron journey are:

  • It's really important to know your oven!! You may have set your oven to 150 degrees but I can guarantee that it won't be 150 degrees inside your oven.  Get yourself a oven thermometer, they are not expensive and 1 of the best purchases you can get for the quest of the perfect macaron.

  • Sugar thermometer is a another essential - So you can check and make sure your sugar syrup is at the right temperature { this is if you use the italian meringue method - which is what I use }

  • Aging your egg whites.  I didn't do this for my 1st, 2nd or 3r attempt but did for the macarons for my besties babyshower and wow! it makes a big difference.  I aged my egg whites for 24 hours.

  • Do your research!!! The more you know the better prepared you are!!

  • DON'T GIVE UP!!  You will get there and once you do ... It's happiness all the way =)

My macaron journey started out with so much hope and excitement, mid journey was all about learning from my mistakes and to tell myself to keep going and try, try, try again.  It really is an awesome feeling to finally arrive at the end of my journey and feel a real sense of achievement.  I can now happily say that I can made macarons!!

Happy Baking!


  1. Oh Vanessa.... i read this and these are my exact same thoughts although i did 4 attempts and 4 different recipes!! I'd dreamt about them, got angry at them, studied so many recipes but most of all i actually enjoyed the challenge of perfecting the darn things!! Attempt No5 this week and hope to perfect the art. The Oven is a big thing, did you use fan bake or just bake? You are a wonderful photographer and your work is full of intricate masterpieces, have you thought about doing a book? =)

  2. Hi Vanessa, would you possibly be able to post the recipe you used?

  3. Macarons seem to be the next big thing. If you're a reader you should read The Colour of Tea by Hannah Tunnicliffe. It's a novel that's based around macaron-making and it's a really good read.

  4. They look beautiful! I haven't met one person who got macarons right on their first attempt.
    I recommend Secrets of Macarons by Jose Marechal, has great tips and lots of instructions for working the tant pour tant to the right consistency!

  5. Thanks Lovelies =)

    @ Kirsty: I hope you have better luck with your next attempt this week, glad I'm not the only one who struggles with these little things. I use a fan force commercial oven.

    @ Char: Yes, they seem to be the next big thing - I won't be making macaron to sell tho, they are really a labour of love and will only be making them for special people =D I will have to keep the book out, thanks for the recommendation.

    @ Swan-Lynn & Lydia: Yes I also recommend Secrets of Macarons by Jose Marechal. Great book with a lot of good information =)

  6. They look fabulous and delicious, as does everything you make!! I have never made Macarons...but might just have to give it a go at some point or another. Thanks for sharing what you hopefully I won't when I make them!!

  7. see... you're an amazing woman!! Honestly... you're incredible! Not only did you conquer making macaroons... but you managed to make the best looking ones I've ever seen! ♥♥

  8. I have never attempted Macarons but am going to... What is aging eggs? I googled it, as you do, but I only got info on IVF and pregnancy. Not the answer I was after but interesting none the less. Would you consider doing a hands on lesson for a local girl? I live in Torbay. Thanks heaps. Brooke.

  9. Such a wonderful post. Thank you so much!!