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How to Get Macaron Feet

It's been quite a while since I've had footless macarons but I still remember as clear as day the pain of having gone through the whole process only to be so very disappointed with flat footless macaron shells. It was my mission to banish them and I will explain how to do so in this post. 

What are macaron "feet"?

It's the all-important delicate frill along the base of each almond-meringue cookie/shell. It's what makes them so pretty with just a touch of an

Perfect Macaron Feet Recipe

extra dimension, a little contrast in texture to complement the smooth domed top of the shell.

How do you get macaron feet?

Find a good recipe (like ours, here), practice, tweak, practice, tweak. Sadly there are no short-cuts (hence they are some of the more expensive items in any patisserie per gram). The crucial steps in any good recipe are at these following stages:


1. Meringue: This stage of the macaron making process has the biggest contribution towards pretty frills. Under-beaten egg whites? Shells won't rise evenly. Over-beaten egg whites? Shells will be hollow/sink/spread out drowning out any frills or feet.

So how do you know if it's beaten enough? If using the Italian meringue method (which I recommend over any others) make sure the egg whites beaten are at soft peaks and the sugar syrup is between 16-18 degrees Celsius before adding swiftly to the beaten whites.

Italian Meringue Macaron Recipe

Once added, continue beating on medium till the meringue is light, glossy and holds a stiff 'beak' on the whisk. If it's too dense it's been over beaten or the syrup was too hot. If it's too runny it's under beaten or the syrup wasn't boiled enough. At this stage it's best to abandon the meringue and start again (saving on your expensive almonds!).

Macaron Recipe

2. Resting: Once macarons are piped the next crucial is leaving it alone and letting the piped trays rest for at least 20-30 minutes. This allows the shells to form a 'skin' that holds the batter inside while rising during baking. You'll know it's ready to bake as soon as it's no longer sticky to a light touch on the surface.
Macaron Recipe
[Image credit: Anneli Marinovich]
3. Baking: Each oven is same-same-but-different. You'll have to take the baking temperature in your recipe as a guideline as opposed to a rule and tweak it for your oven. The ideal is to bake for anywhere between 155-180 degrees depending on the oven type for 12-14 minutes. By about the 7th minute you'll know whether things have gone on the right track or not. If the temperature is too low the shells won't rise quick enough and the frill won't form, and if it's too high then the cookies will rise too quickly causing the batter to spread out and collapse. There are of course a few other important steps in macaron-making success such as folding the meringue into the batter and preparing the ingredients themselves but the steps above are the key trigger points when it comes to achieving pretty feet or frills for macaron shells. I hope this helps anyone on their quest to macaron perfection. Let me know if you have any queries in the comments below and I'll be happy to trouble-shoot!

7 Responses

Kate Osborne

Kate Osborne

July 22, 2019

Think you need to amend the baking temperature to one hundred and whatever! Cheers

Ginny

Ginny

July 16, 2019

Hello,

I’m struggling to get that lovely shine on top.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

Simone

Simone

September 29, 2018

Hi,
What are your thoughts about using a swiss meringue instead of italian? i only have a hand mixer.

NE

NE

August 31, 2018

The test Ann Reardon carried out was unfair. The ratio of items iin her batter may have been the same to each other I bet they are not the same compared to yours and mine. More importantly the humidty in Ann’s home in Australia is not the same elsewhere and that does play a big part.

Theresa

Theresa

June 29, 2018

The temperature doesn’t matter, it is based on the freshness, Ann readon from how to cook that tested it out and she used room temp egg and cold eggs with the same freshness date and they whipped up the same.

katherine

katherine

May 01, 2018

It should be at room temperature. Don’t use eggs that are straight out the fridge, because eggs whip up to a greater volume when they’ve had a chance to warm up a bit, 20 to 30 minutes.

Daniel

Daniel

January 02, 2018

Hope you can answer me this question please : what should be the temperature of the egg or egg white before we use it to beat for making macarons ? Thank you very much in advance.

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