200 mg powdered sugar
120 mg almond flour, sifted before you weigh
pinch of salt
100 g real egg whites at room temperature
50 granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon dried egg whites (not absolutely necessary but helps meringue form)
1. Grind the AF with the PS and salt (if you're using powdered food color you would add this too) in the food processor for 4 second pulses about 8-10 times. I then sift through a fine mesh sieve or tamis. Anything that doesn’t go through that goes back in the food processor for a few more pulses and sift again through the sieve. Anything that doesn’t go through that gets repurposed.
2. Whisk the egg whites with the dried egg whites until the dried egg whites are dissolved and then run the stand mixer at “6” for about 2 minutes until it is frothy like a bubble bath. I then add all the sugar at once and beat again at “6” for about 4-6 minutes until I get a stiff, glossy meringue. If you tip the bowl upside down it will not move and you should get a “bec d’oiseau” or bird’s beak on the whisk when you pull it up. It is basically a needle that just tips over at the very end. Sometimes I add another minute at "8" if I don't think it is stiff enough. Another test I have for correct "stiffness" is if I try to shake the meringue loose from the whisk and it falls easily off the whisk it is not stiff enough. It is stiff enough when I really have to try hard to shake it out.
3. Dump in all the dry ingredients at once. Make “J” folds to fold the batter and mash it against the sides of the bowl at the same time. Don’t be gentle with the mashing — you need to get the air out of the batter. If you are adding flavoring and/or gel paste color the time to do this is toward the end of macaronnage (the last few strokes). You will only need a few drops of gel color and/or 1/4 teaspoon of flavoring. Adding the color toward the end of the macaronnage results in less color fading during baking for me.
4. The best advice I can give you for macaronnage is to drip a little on a plate when you think you’re almost done folding and count how many seconds it takes for the peak to settle in to the rest of the mass. If it’s 10 seconds you’re done. If it’s longer then fold a couple more times and test again.
5. Load half the batter into a 12" piping bag fitted with a 1/2" tip. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and use a template with approx 1" circles (depending on the size macarons you want) to pipe out your macarons. If your macaronnage is correct, the tips on your macarons should fall back into the batter as you finish piping your second row. Only pipe one tray at a time. You only want your macarons to stay out long enough for them to dry so if your only going to put one tray in the oven at a time then keep the rest of your batter in a piping bag clipped at the top.
6. Once I pipe out the first tray I set the oven to convection 300F. (Convection is totally necessary for my oven). Once you've piped out the entire tray take your tray and slam it hard on your counter about 4 times to get rid of air pockets. I let them dry on the bench until I can poke a finger in one of them and leave a small dent (about 20 minutes, sometimes an hour). Note: Recently I have to raise the temperature to 315F in order to avoid hollows. If you are confident in your technique and are still getting hollows try raising the temperature by 5-10 degrees at a time.
7. Place the macarons on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 16-18 minutes or until you can just barely peel one off the mat. I rotate once in the middle. My oven gets hotter with time so I keep the oven open for a few minutes between trays to cool it down a little. I also put another baking sheet on my top rack to block my top heating element which tends to brown my macarons.
8. After 3-4 minutes out of the oven, move the silicone mat to a cooling rack and cool completely. I peel back the mat (not the macaron) to get the macarons off once cooled.
9. Fill with your desired filling eg ganache, buttercream, curd, jam and allow to mature in the fridge for at least 24 hours before serving.