It all started when I noticed some flurries of discussion on eGullet about “French macarons”. The descriptions were enticing (I’m a sucker for recommendations of well-executed patisserie) and I was off to Paris – a lucky coincidence. It was 2004. At Ladurée I bought a massive box of the things. Colourful, beautiful, memorable (and not just because the sales assistant had flirted outrageously). And delicious.

April 28 2010 marked the debut of my own macarons in a shop display case, but problems meant that production had to be suspended. In July 2010 I started making macarons again, this time for Liaison Café in Melbourne, and after a fantastic macaron season, I flopped exhaustedly into my sofa at the end of 2010. There’s a dedicated page for Macarons by Duncan, where you can see how exciting and crazy that season was. Just click on the Macarons by Duncan logo.

My public macaron profile started at the first food bloggers’ banquet in Melbourne. I took along salted caramel macarons (a little runny), and was surprised at how well they were received. I then wrote this series of articles, La Macaronicité, published here in December 2007.

La Macaronicité 1: an introduction to the macaron.
La Macaronicité 2: basic technique and simple macaron recipe.
La Macaronicité 3: the more reliable macaron recipe and a few tips.
La Macaronicité 4: fillings, flavours, frippery.
La Macaronicité 5: Macawrongs and macarights, macarons day and night.

And then there is an explanation of some oven issues in Of Ovens and Baking (and Macarons) published in 2010.

Many further articles have mentioned various aspects of macarons. You can view all by browsing the category macarons here. Or you can start by reading some review articles:

Sydney’s macarons, Adriano Zumbo, and a few other eating observations.
The macarons of Paris — 2008 review.
Melbourne’s not so great macarons, plus rubbish in Epicure.

7 thoughts on “Macarons”

  1. Hi Duncan, my big thanks to you for your ‘La Macaronicite’ from where I mostly learned to bake macarons. After several failures, I was so happy when I find your website last year, full of details and logic explanations on the process and techniques of macarons baking. Those logic explanations are matched with the way my brain works. I can imagine that you have spent a lot of time, efforts, and dedication to produce such brilliant articles. So, thank you so much!

    I have learned a lot from the internet, from so many people who unconditionally shared their passion on cooking and baking in the internet (including you of course).

  2. Hi Duncan,

    After coming across a book dedicated to macarons I had to give it a try. Part of it was a personal challenge and the rest I just could resist those sweet delights. After several failed attempts and trying to figure out what was going on I came across your site. Not only is it extremly informative but you have provided an extremly comprehensive and logical reason and mehod make that perfect macaron. I love the fact hat youhave given a ratio to a recipie! I tried the French method using your steps and recipie and they came out perfect! You were my virtual teacher.

    So yesterday I tried pistachio macarons reverting to the book I bought. And they were a disaster. I suspect it was the recipie. I would appreciate any guidance as to what should my ground pistachio/almond should be? Is it 50/50? I heard that pistachios are very difficult to work wih because of the oil.

  3. @maurina: thanks so much:)

    @Asha: so glad the French method worked for you! If you replace a large part of the almond with pistachio, you need to be careful that the pistachio is fine enough and dry enough to be an acceptable subsitute. I use much less than 50% and make a paste of the pistachio. This achieves colour and some flavour. You’ll still need to have a pistachio ganache if you want to bring out the flavour.

  4. Hi Duncan! Just wanted to say thanks (like many others!) for your inspirational series of posts on macarons! I started making these because my kids love macarons and I was sick of paying a fortune for what are usually awful macarons. I’ve just made my 12th batch of macarons, always using a modified version of your Italian method recipe, and thought that if you have time you might want to see what one of your “virtual pupils” has done! Your suggested proportion of 1:1.35 is like my golden rule, and it ALWAYS works! (The macaron posts with photos can be accessed on the sidebar from the website) Keep up the awesome work!

  5. Hi
    First off, thanks for the great tips and recipe on macarons. Having read your article more than once and using your recipe I have managed to come up with pretty decent batches of macarons. There’s still stuff I need to figure out though. My macarons usually turn out undercooked in the amount of time stated in most recipes. I always have to bake them about 5 mins longer if not more, but then the shells turn out slightly crunchy. I tried different tempretures and double stacking baking sheets so I have no idea why this happens. I would appreciate any tipes. Here are some photo of my latest attempts. (slightly bigger than usual and were baked longer accordingly, but still first batch came out undercooked while the next batch baked for longer turned out crunchy) and

  6. hi duncan! thanks so much for your recipes and tips! after MANY batches of overmixed/undermixed/airy/ugly macarons, i finally had success with chocolate shells.

    but i fail horribly every time i switch to using coloring pastes instead of cocoa powder. they brown very easily. i tried to rectify that problem by baking them for a longer period at about 5/10/15degC lower than usual, but they just dont cook inside! very weak feet forms as well.. and if i were to leave them in the oven any longer, they’d brown. May i ask if its a problem with the coloring pastes? the place i live in is extremely humid, so should i only use gel/powdered coloring instead? i’ve already altered the ratios a bit to incorporate more almond meal and i do it by the italian meringue method.. is there anything else i can do to solve this problem?

    really looking forward to ur advice! thanks a lot!

  7. Hi,
    My mum has been interested in macarons for 6 years and she makes, sells them from home. She enjoys and says making macarons has become an easy task now. Though, she admits that she suffers from cracked macarons each time she makes. She often uses your website if something “unwanted” occurs while cooking. For example, today she made a sheet of shells for her project in pastry course. It’s important for her because her instructor asked mum to make a macaron tower. Now, she’s in the kitchen, complaining about her cracked macarons. She really gets nervous when this happens. We have just searched on your site but I guess, we need your advice: Did she over-bate the batter? Or did the heat come directly from the bottom of the pan?

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