I have been making and teaching how to make macarons for years now and probably the number one question that I get asked is how do you get those perfect rounds when piping? I think it is a huge reason why most people don't even attempt to make them as they think they will be too fiddly to pipe.
This post is to help to banish that fear by giving you my 10 top tips to help you create flawless macarons.
1) Use a good quality piping bag.
This is so important. You need something that is not going to rip and let you down half way through piping. I use a silicone reusable one that we have available HERE at Mon Dessert and is included in our kits. You can also use a disposable one, but the silicone ones are definitely less waste and are very durable. I personally swear by them.
2) Use a nozzle with a plain tip.
it is not imperative but you can also use a nozzle with your piping bag. The nozzle can help you with extra precision and control. Again we do have these available HERE at Mon Dessert and again they are included in our kits
3) Use a glass to prop up your piping bag
(or tall vessel like a cocktail shaker) This also helps to hold the top end wide open. This is so helpful. The last thing you want is trying to hold a floppy bag with one hand whilst trying to fill the mixture in with the other. Make your life easy by doing it this way. Just make sure you upturn the bottom end so that when you fill it with your batter it doesn't come directly out.
4) Do not overfill your bag
as you will have mixture falling out the top and also it will make it very difficult to control as it will create too much pressure and your mixture will come oozing out before you have got a handle on it! The quantity we have in our kits and mini kits make a batter that fills the silicone piping bags to three quarters full.
5) Use a food storage clip at the top off your bag
again this is not imperative but if you are worried that your mixture will come up of the top of your bag this simple trick will make sure that it doesn't.
6) Use a silicone macaron mat.
When I first started making macarons I used parchment or silpat with a template underneath. Actually we have a FREE TEMPLATE available here if you want to try it this way. But I have been converted. Silicone mats are the way forward to get uniform macarons and it also helps you get a smoother finish. I found that when I was not using the mat I'd tend to undermix as I was scared that the batter would be too runny and my circles out of control. With the mould your batter will stay confined to the circles due to their ridges unless or course you grossly over mix and overfill each circle. We again have the mats in our kits and available HERE at Mon Dessert. They are oven proof and reusable. I actually find they get better with age as they become more non stick. Mine are so well used, I have loads! At the beginning you might find the macarons stick a little and you will have to carefully prize them off. But generally speaking they will come off and need to be left in the oven a little longer.
7) Hold the piping bag towards the bottom with your dominant hand.
This way you will have much better control. Its a bit like a pen. You can use your other hand to hold the top. I recommend twisting the top to stop the mixture falling out or use a clip as in tip 5.
8) Use a sharp twisting motion when you finish piping your circle
rather than come straight up. The best way to see what I mean is to check out the video at the end of the post. It just means that you come away quickly and save you getting messy, so you can move onto the next circle.
9) Do not pipe all the way to the edge of the circle.
This will be way too much batter and it will go all over the place. With the silicone mats I recommend 1-2mm outside of the inner circle.
10) Bang bang bang
You better make sure you have warned your neighbours, mine must often think what a racket I am making. But you need to tap your tray, on which you place your silicone mat several times on your counter top so that the batter goes into the circle ridges and all the air bubbles are gone. Sometimes the macarons do need a little teasing into the ridges gently with your finger.
One for luck..
11) If your macarons need tidying up fear not. Use a slightly damp (not wet) cotton bud to clean up the edges.