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At least a dozen gluten-free Linzer heart cookies are displayed as well as small heart cookies
Rose Macarons with rose buttercream icing
&
Chocolate Macarons with vanilla chocolate ganache
* *

Macarons are perfect to enjoy with a chilled glass of champagne for any special occasion, especially on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or engagements.

Making macarons from scratch is not as hard as it appears, in fact, following some basic steps will ensure that you have the perfect macaron.

To give you some inspiration, here are two flavours to choose from.

Rose macarons with rose buttercream icing and Chocolate macarons with vanilla chocolate ganache.

For those who are new to macarons, these are delicate meringue biscuits sandwiched between a flavoured chocolate cream reduction called a ganache, or a flavoured buttercream icing. Both fillings seal these pillowy biscuits and once chilled, they hold together nicely. The meringues taste like nougat and have a pleasantly chewy texture.

Once you have mastered your perfect macaron, experiment with the endless flavours, from pistachio to raspberry. This is when cooking is fun!

Macarons are not the same as Macaroons!

This has caught me out before. Is it a macaron or a macaroon? Pronounced differently for starters, the macaroon is a coconut cookie and completely different in taste and appearance to a macaron.

Are macarons naturally gluten-free?

Yes, but for some reason, many store-bought macarons that I have come across in Europe have some wheat starch or flour added. Annoying considering that macarons are made only with almond flour or meal. Buying ready-made macarons in France is a gluten-free delight as most are made the traditional way as in this recipe.

“Ageing” the egg whites?

Separating the eggs, the day before and setting the egg whites aside 24 hours to chill before making the macarons are said to ensure a stronger crust and shape. If you plan ahead, follow this step, but remember to bring them out to room temperature before whisking.

However, while testing this recipe, I used egg whites without ageing and the macarons turned out fine, perhaps not as perfect as the store-bought ones, but equally delicious!

Steps to make the perfect macaron

A close up of the baked rose macarons showing their crisp

The baked macaroons on the baking tray cooling down

Don’t skip sieving the almond meal and icing sugar. It has to be done twice.

Make sure to bake the almond and icing flour for 6 minutes in a low oven. This releases any moisture and brings out some of the oil from the almond meal.

Prior to separating the eggs, give your whisk and bowl a wipe with some white vinegar to remove any grease. This will ensure that the whites will whisk up nicely.

To avoid ruining your egg whites with the yolks while separating, a handy tip is to have 3 bowls ready. One to separate over and let the whites fall into the bowl. The second bowl is to place the egg yolks in and the third is to gather all the egg whites for whisking.

Whisk until there are snowy stiff peaks but stop whisking before the whites become too dry.

When adding the caster sugar, make sure to add it gradually. Adding it all at once can deflate the air in the whisked whites.

I recommend using disposable piping bags for both the macarons and the fillings as they are less messy and more precise than using a spoon or spatula to spread.

When piping the macarons out, you can either “eyeball” each circle or be more precise and sketch 5 cm circles onto a baking sheet. Use a food pen or a regular pencil but flip the baking paper over so that the pencil residue does not come in contact with the macaron. You should be able to see the pencilled circles from the other side.

Sketched out circles on the baking paper to pipe the macarons easily on

Gently pipe swirls of macaron but stop slightly away from the border of each 5 cm circle as they will spread out a bit.

Once all the macarons have been piped, gently tap the tray several times to release any air bubbles and place the trays in a dry area at room temperature for at least one hour. This step develops a crust on the surface, which is crucial for successful macarons.

Bake one tray at a time on the middle shelf for a minimum of 12 minutes. It is better to overcook the macaron than undercook it.

Test if the macaron is fully cooked by gently touching the feet of the macaron. If they are still sticky, then they need more time.

While the macarons are resting, start making the ganache. Follow the instructions precisely and allow 15 mins for the ganache to chill before adding it to a piping bag.

The rose buttercream icing can be made well ahead of time and brought out to room temperature to soften slightly before adding it to a piping bag.

For both fillings, pipe them on the bottom side of the macaron, stopping 1 cm away from the edge.

Gently press the other half of the macron over the icing which will spread slightly nearer to the edge, without letting it drip down the sides.

Leave to set for 30 minutes, before transferring them to a suitable container and chilling them.

Macarons mature in flavour after 24 hours when chilled, so if you can be patient until then, they are worth the wait for extra tasty macarons.

Gluten-Free Macarons

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
Making macarons from scratch is not as hard as it appears, in fact, following some basic steps will ensure great results. You can then go ahead and flavour your macaron to your liking. To give you some inspiration, here are two flavours to choose from:
Rose macarons with rose buttercream icing.
Chocolate macarons with a vanilla chocolate ganache.
For those who are new to macarons, these are delicate meringue biscuits sandwiched between a flavoured chocolate cream reduction called a ganache, or a flavoured buttercream icing. Both fillings seal these pillowy biscuits and once chilled, they hold together nicely. The meringues taste like nougat and have a pleasantly chewy texture.
Once you have mastered your perfect macaron, experiment with the endless flavours, from pistachio to raspberry. This is when cooking is fun!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Resting & setting time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 28 minutes
Course baking, Festive, Party Food
Cuisine French
Servings 20 filled rose & chocolate macarons

Ingredients
  

GLUTEN-FREE MACARONS

    Rose Macarons

    • 2 eggs, at room temperature
    • 70 g almond meal
    • 110 g icing sugar (also known as confectioners’ or powdered sugar)
    • 20 g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
    • ½ tsp rose extract
    • a few drops of pink food dye or paste

    Chocolate Macarons

    • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
    • 70 g almond meal
    • 110 g icing sugar (also known as confectioners’ or powdered sugar)
    • 20 g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
    • 2 tbsp good-quality cocoa, sieved
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract

    FILLINGS

      Rose Buttercream Icing

      • 25 g butter, at room temperature
      • 50 g icing sugar, sieved
      • 2 tsp rose essence
      • 2 tbsp full-fat cream (36% fat content)
      • pinch of salt

      Vanilla Chocolate Ganache

      • 50 g good-quality dark chocolate, 70% cocoa content
      • 50 g full-fat cream (36% fat content)
      • ½ tsp butter, at room temperature
      • ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean seeds

      Decorations

      • 50 g white chocolate
      • sugared hearts and small balls (optional) to decorate the chocolate macarons

      Instructions
       

      GLUTEN-FREE MACARONS

        Preparation for both macarons:

        • Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
        • Blend the ground almonds and icing sugar until finely processed.
        • Sieve the mixture over a lined baking tray.
          Sieving the almond meal and icing sugar
        • Bake on the middle shelf for 6 mins.
        • Allow to cool on the tray and turn the oven off.
          The baked almond meal and icing sugar on a baking tray
        • If separating eggs, use three clean grease-free bowls: one for separating, one for the egg yolks and the last one for the egg whites. This method reduces any potential yolk from spilling into the egg whites. Put the egg yolks aside in the fridge to make either mayonnaise, custard or Hollandaise sauce.
          Using three bowls to separate eggs effectively
        • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Follow the next step for each flavoured macaron.
          Whisked egg white, stiff but not dry

        ROSE MACARONS

        • Gradually add the caster sugar and rose water, whisking continuously.
        • Add a few drops of pink food dye until you are satisfied with the pink colour of the macaroon, adding more if needed. Note that the colour will be less intense after baking.
          The rose macaron meringue completed
        • Add the cooled almond & icing sugar mixture to the egg whites and gently fold in using a spatula.
          Adding the almond meal mixture to the rose meringue to make rose macarons

        CHOCOLATE MACARONS

        • Gradually add the caster sugar, cocoa and vanilla extract to the stiff egg whites, whisking continuously.
        • Add the cooled almond & sugar mixture to the egg whites and gently fold in using a spatula
          The chocolate meringue to make the macarons

        Piping the macarons

        • Line several baking trays with baking paper.
        • When piping the macarons out, you can either “eyeball” each circle or be more precise and sketch 5 cm circles onto a baking sheet. Use a food pen or a regular pencil but flip the baking paper over so that the pencil residue does not come in contact with the macaron. You should be able to see the pencilled circles from the other side.
          Sketched out circles on the baking paper to pipe the macarons easily on
        • Select a large disposable piping bag. Fill the macaron mixture in the bag and snip the end 1 cm away from the tip.
        • Gently pipe swirls of macaron but stop slightly away from the border of each 5 cm circle as they will spread out a bit.
        • Once all the macarons have been piped, gently tap the tray several times to release any air bubbles and place the trays in a dry area at room temperature for at least one hour. This step develops a crust on the surface, which is crucial for successful macarons.

        Baking

        • Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
        • Bake one tray at a time on the middle shelf for 12 mins.
        • Allow the shells to cool down on the baking tray before removing them with a spatula. Peel the baking sheet away carefully from the base of the shell should they stick slightly.
          A close up of the baked rose macarons showing their crisp "feet" at the base

        Decorating

        • Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and pour it into piping bags.
        • Snip the piping bag 2 mm away from the tip to make a tiny hole.
        • Start drizzling the white chocolate over the rose and chocolate macaroons.
          Adding the melted white chocolate on the chocolate meringue as decoration
        • If using, position some sugar decorations on the drizzled chocolate. Set aside to dry thoroughly before assembling.
          Adding the sugar hearts to the chocolate icing on the macaron

        Rose Buttercream Icing

        • Beat the butter until fluffy and light in colour.
        • Add the sieved icing sugar and beat again, adding the cream and rose extract until well blended.
          Whisking the rose buttercream icing until thick
        • Add slightly more cream if the icing appears too dry, or add more icing sugar if it appears too wet. It should be stiff enough to hold its shape.
        • Cover and chill if making ahead of time.
        • When ready to fill the macarons, transfer the icing to a piping bag and snip the end 1 cm away from the tip.

        Vanilla chocolate ganache

        • Break up the chocolate into small pieces in a heat-proof bowl. Set aside.
        • Heat the cream in a small pan over low heat until small bubbles appear on the sides and some of the steam is visible.
          Heating the cream to a slight simmer until small bubbles appear on the side of the pan to make the ganache
        • Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a minute.
          Adding the warm cream to the chocolate to melt
        • Gently stir the cream and chocolate with a spatula until fully combined and no lumps are visible.
        • Add the butter, mixing and folding in well. It should start to look glossy at this stage.
          The complete chocolate ganache
        • Mix in the vanilla extract.
        • Chill for 10 to 15 mins, or until firm enough to start piping.
        • Stir once more and transfer the ganache to a piping bag and snip the end 1 cm away from the tip.

        Assembling

        • Position the macarons into pairs on a wire mesh.
          Pairing the tops and bottoms of the chocolate macarons
        • Pipe the ganache on the bottom of the chocolate macaron, stopping 1 cm away from the edge.
          Adding the ganache to one half of the paired macaron
        • Do the same with the rose buttercream icing.
          Piping the buttercream icing on the rose macarons
        • Gently press the other half of the macaron over the icing which will spread slightly nearer to the edge, without letting it drip down the sides.
        • Leave to set for 30 minutes, before transferring them to a suitable container and chilling them.
        • Macarons mature and improve in flavour after 24 hours when chilled.

        Notes

        • Keeps for 1 week at room temperature in an airtight tin.
        • Keeps for 2-3 weeks chilled.
        • Suitable to freeze between layers of baking paper. Allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 mins before serving.
        Keyword #glutenfreebiscuits, #glutenfreecookies, #glutenfreemacarons
        Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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