The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.

The Pass. The Judgement day of plates.
Bring the finished plates up to the pass for inspection.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Macarons. The 2 Methods of Making.

When it comes to macarons, there are two methods of making them: the French method and the Italian method. Some chefs will tell you, they swear by the French method, and another will not hear of anything than the other. And knowing how chefs or pastry chefs are, once they have their mind set on their own philosophy, it is then a one way street. Personally, I don't have much of a preference, however if I were to choose to make macarons, I would most likely choose the Italian method over the French. *Only because you have less of a chance to over mix your batter.

In this post, I will explain the differences between the two methods.

Although there are two methods of making the macaron, and each method will require you to do things a bit differently, the general idea is the same. To incorporate your meringue into your mixture of almond flour and confectioner sugar.
1) THE MERINGUE: The French method of making the macaron requires you to start whipping your egg whites with a large amount of sugar into a stiff peak. What you will end up with is classically called, "French Meringue". The Italian method of making the macaron is similar, but instead of making the French meringue, you are now making the "Italian Meringue". And this is done by boiling a mixture of water and sugar to a temperature of 118C - 121C and then adding it to your lightly frothed egg whites.


2) THE MIXING: During the incorporation of meringues into the dry mixture, I find it harder to fold in the French meringue into to dry mix compared to the Italian meringue. Although it is harder to fold in the French meringue into your dry mix, at the same time, the border line between a nicely incorporated and an over mixed is just a matter of 2-3 extra stirs away. Once you have over mixed your batter, you will start to release the water content that was once trapped by the stiff meringue, resulting in a very runny batter that will not hold its dome shape when piped. You will have an easier time folding in the Italian meringue and the chance of over mixing the macaron batter is smaller. Since the egg whites are partially cooked by the hot syrup, therefore making the proteins bonds stronger.


3) THE RESTING: There is also a difference between the period of resting time prior to baking your macarons. Resting time is one of the many important factors for the proper rise of the macarons during baking. Resting will allow a thin layer of skin to form on the surface of your piped macaron, and is also one of the contributors to producing the famous "feet" on the bottom of your baked shells. The French method will contain more moisture content and thus, will require you to rest your piped shells for at least 15-30 minutes depending on the humidity of the room. The Italian method, on the other hand, only requires you to rest your piped macaron batter for approximately 10-15 minutes. The reason for this shorter time of rest is due to the evaporation of moisture already happening when you were adding the hot syrup into your egg whites and whipping it to cool.




  1. Hey Jack, just came across your blog while searching for French Pastry School, I just have to write a big mail to you now, I am so impressed by the way you are pursuing this craft. Keep up the good work, thank you so much for all these observations that you share with the world.

  2. @poorva- Why thank you so much! I will update more once practical exams are over this week. =D

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  4. This is one of the most informative post Ive read about macaroons. Mostly were just procedures on how to make them, but didn't explain much the principle nor the theoreticals behind it. Im not a theoretical person, but when it comes to recipes that needs better understanding and research, I am for it. Like macaroons, I find it intimidating. I know it takes many practice, that you'll waste a lot of ingredients, and you'll learn or you'll be able to figure out as you go, But with the right information, errors may be lessen. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post, differentiating two types of making macaroons, thus giving me the option on how to make them. I felt a lot more confident in making one this time...

  5. Jack, congratulations on graduating. I think it's awesome that you've documented your experience with such care and detail. Bravo, man. I've shared your blog with a friend of mine. I'm sure he'll ravage through your posts!

  6. can you mix meringue during your period??