Let’s Get It Macaron

Recipe by Adelle from But First Dessert Images by Brydie Thompson

Not to be confused with the French president or the very simple to make coconut-based biscuit, the macaron epitomises French pâtisserie. These deceitfully simple cookies take precision and patience to master and then they require a creative palate to turn them into a taste explosion in one bite.

The history of macarons has been traced back to a French monastery in Cormery in the 8th century, where it was noted they had the shape of monks’ navels. It said they gained popularity in the French Revolution when two nuns, seeking asylum in Nancy, baked and sold the macarons to make a living. At this time the macaron was a simple single biscuit.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that macarons sandwiched together with a flavourful filling, or as they were known the ‘Gerbet’ or ‘Paris macaron’, began to appear. This development of creating different flavours and colours has seen the macaron’s popularity flourish. Now seen around the world, they offer bakers two challenges: making the perfect macaron and nailing the flavour.

We asked Adele from But First Dessert to let us in on their secrets to making the perfect macaron, and she went one better in sharing their recipe along with some great tips.

Adele says, “Macarons can be extremely temperamental – too much humidity, overmixing, undermixing, piping etc can all cause them to come out not quite right. We are yet to see a chef that can make a perfect batch of macarons every single time! Practise and finding a technique that works for you is best and you’ll be making delicious macarons in no time.”

One of the first things we learned when watching Adele make a batch of macarons is she makes them using an Italian meringue instead of a French meringue. Adele says they think this method makes a beautiful soft and chewy macaron.

Macaron Batter

300g almond flour

300g icing sugar

110g egg whites

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour and icing sugar until it’s nice and smooth (or use a food processor).

Italian Meringue

80g water

300g sugar

110g egg white (we recommend using day old egg whites)

Boil water and sugar until 115°C.

Just before the water and sugar reach 115°C, start whisking the egg whites in the mixer.

Take the sugar off the boil and very slowly pour it into the mixing egg whites.

Keep whisking the egg whites until they are almost completely cooled down and come to stiff peaks.

If you’re making coloured macarons, add around 1 teaspoon of food colouring (we recommend oil based) to the remaining egg whites and mix well. Add this to the almond flour/icing sugar mix to form a paste.

Fold the Italian meringue into the almond batter, being careful not to overmix or to aerate the mix too much.

Once the mix is combined and only running very slightly when left to stand, it’s ready to be piped.

At a 90-degree angle pipe each macaron onto a lined baking tray. We recommend using a template under the baking paper to ensure you get perfect macarons every time. When done, simply slip the template out from under the baking paper.

Once all the mixture is piped, leave to sit for 15 minutes. You want each macaron to form a slight shell on the outside.

Once rested and a shell has formed, bake in the oven at 140°C (no fan) for 20 minutes.

When the macarons are completely cooled you can sandwich them together with the filling of your choice. Adele says hands down salted caramel are their absolute best seller and have been from day one.

But First Dessert always have a range of macarons available for you to enjoy with a cup of tea, as part of one of their wonderful desserts or to take away and claim as your own!


  • Use gel-based food colouring. Water based ones will add too much liquid to your mix.
  • Use leftover egg yolks to make mayonnaise or hollandaise sauce, homemade ice cream or as a binder when making meatballs or hamburger patties. The But First Dessert team add them to their waffles.
  • Fold the meringue into the almond batter – do not whisk.
  • Make a template you can use again and again using a cookie cutter to trace around. Adele used a 4.5cm one.
  • Piping the perfect macaron tacks practice. The key to getting a perfect top is to stop squeezing, twirl then lift off.
  • For a great range of gel-based food colourings, piping bags, silicon baking mats and more, go to www.sweetpeaparties.co.nz

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