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French pâtisserie technique: Macaronage

Homemade traditional French macarons by Le Cordon Bleu Chefs

In this series of videos, our Chefs are sharing some of the classic French techniques we teach to more than 20,000 students on our programmes around the world each year. Second in the series, here's how to create French-style macaronage for macarons. Macaronage is the stage in preparing French macaron shells where the batter is worked until smooth, shiny and flowing.

Macarons, or French macaroons as they are sometimes known, are loved around the world for their simplicity and variety. The shells have a delightful chewy crunch that so many of us can't resist.

Makes 12
Preparation time:


  • 65 g ground almonds
  • 110 g icing sugar
  • 60 g egg whites
  • 20 - 30 g extra egg whites
  • 27 g caster sugar
  • Food colouring of your choice


1. Sieve ground almonds and icing sugar together.

2. Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add caster sugar and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. Using a spatula, fold in the food colouring of your choice.

3. Sprinkle in the almond and icing sugar mix and fold in with a spatula. If you think your batter is too dry, add some more liquid egg whites. It should have a soft consistency which smooths on top when mixed.

4. Place the silicone mat or baking paper onto a baking tray. Fill a piping bag fitted with an 8mm nozzle with your mixture and pipe out into even sized pieces. Gently tap the tray on the counter to smooth out the surface of your macaron shells. Leave to crust for 15-30 minutes or until the shells are not sticky to the touch.

5. Bake at 140 degrees for 12 minutes or until firm enough to peel of the mat. Once cooled, match into equal sized pairs then pipe the filling of your choice and assemble the pairs together.

Chef tips: Your batter should be shiny. If your batter looks dull, add a little more egg whites until your mixture has a glossy shine.

We used powdered food colouring as this makes the finished macaron more vibrant in colour. If you can't find this, you can use liquid food colouring, but be careful of adding too much liquid.

We filled our macarons with jam, but you can also fill yours with flavoured buttercream or ganache.

Using a cookie cutter or bottle lid draw circles evenly spaced out onto the baking paper using a pencil or marker pen, turn this over and use as a guide to ensure your piped macaron shells are the same size.

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