Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Revolutionising Macarons - My Exciting New Secret !

Lemon macarons with lemony white chocolate ganache filling

I've been itching to share news on this for a while.... and I guarantee it will be new to all of you.

Macarons are the most wonderful little almondy meringue cookies with a chewy centre - often recognised in leading patisseries for their little ruffled feet and being displayed in a wide range of often lurid colours. They are notorious for being hard to make (which actually is not true). Macaroons on the other hand are normally little coconut cookie moulds.... which I really must get round to making again soon.

The real problems in making macarons lie in the mixing - mixing too much, not mixing long enough and also in the baking times. I was very lucky and my first ever batch turned out really well. Since then, I've had many successes and a few failed batches which have taught me valuable lessons in baking macarons along the way. 

One thing that really irritated me was the fact that I did not have enough oven space to bake an entire batch of macarons at one time. My big bug bear was getting them all exactly the same diameter. The OCD in me (obsessive compulsive disorder) was finding a way to get ALL my macarons exactly the same size !

The accepted way for pastry chefs to do this is by drawing circles out on a piece of baking paper, turning it over and then piping on the reverse. You need to leave about 2" / 50mm between the macarons as once the mix is piped it will spread. It's a darn good idea and most macarons will be near enough the same size once you get the hang of it. However, me being me, I had my digital calipers out measuring every macaron to make sure they were absolutely the same size to within quarter of a mm before pairing them together.

I found that the perfect size for macarons (in my opinion) is 50mm..... but I also like teeny weeny ones too !
Don't worry - I'll share my various macaron recipes very soon.


 (This product is patented to us and these will be available for sale from early next month.) At the moment, I have the only two in existence and have been using them LOTS with superb results every time.

Dr Tim Kinnaird of Macarons and More has kindly assisted me in initial testings before product development. He'll be getting the very first one available as soon as they arrive, and we'll be launching them at the SPRING FAIR trade show at the NEC in Birmingham next month.

I've designed a DOUBLE SIDED MACARON MAT. The mat is 300mm x 300mm and fits on a standard cookie sheet. Cookie sheets are widely available from all baking shops and most supermarkets at a low price - generally around £2.99 in the UK. If you want to splash out, I can personally recommend the slightly bigger (about 14" square) Bakingenius vegetable roasting tray from Lakeland (as shown below) which is far more robust.

This is what it looks like on a baking tray. What you do is pipe your macaronage (macaron batter) into the centre of each cell until about 3/4 full (leaving a gap of about 5mm right round the mix).  The cells have a very tiny marked rim. As the macaronage spreads after piping, it should just get to the edges of each cell and give your macaron a perfect shape and size. It does take a batch or two practise piping and get it perfect every time.

This is what they looked like piped. The little ringed cells mean you can pipe more macarons on one baking sheet. On top of that, it's reusable too !

The large side makes 25 x 50mm / 2" macaron shells. See the picture below for a close up view, before they go in the oven. 


Here is what they look like baked - ok - a couple of slightly wonky ones, but it WAS my first attempt !

These ones were peppermint and I filled them with white chocolate ganache

I so wanted to share these photos and this recipe at Christmas - but I've had to wait. It's impossible to explain how hard it's been to keep a secret !

As if that is not enough, don't forget, our mats are double sided.

YES ! Flip it over, and you can use the other side to make little mini macs.

The other side lets you make SIXTY FOUR mini macaron shells ! This picture shows the mat on a 12" square cookie sheet.

I've found that one batch of macaron mix lets me make two sheets worth of macarons. Even better - make two batches and flip your sheets over to use the other side too before you bother washing up.

This is what 64 mini shells look like.... almost the same size as a two pence piece.

These were chocolate with dark chocolate orange ganache filling. Oh - and if you spotted an EDIBLE GIFT TAG..... you might have a clue at what else is coming very soon !

The double sided macaron mats will also be available in double size - ie 600 x 300mm (50 shell one side, 128 shell on the other) to suit larger commercial ovens.

All comments and shares are very welcome. I'm really excited about my new product design and will be giving a few away on arrival to some bloggers for product testing and reviews.

Happy Baking !

Sarah-Jane Nash, January 2012


  1. I like the idea of the double sided usage. Sorry to burst your bubble but I recently bought a similar mat by Mastrad, Paris. Similar but for 53 small macs. It's only usable on one side tho, unlike yours. Love the edible gift tags!

  2. I've been considering buying lakelands macaron mat as I too am ocd about the sizes. I love that this reversable unlike lakeland. Not normally a fan of silicone but would like to see how it works.

  3. What a great idea. It's the fiddlyness of piping them evenly that has put me off attempting macarons. Now I feel like ordering one of these mats and having a go !!

  4. hello Ping. Thanks for your message. After this was already in product development, I came across Mastrad's mat. It's a very different size and layout from ours (as you also say, not double sided either) and does not fit in standard UK ovens or on UK size baking trays.

    Rachel - I need to do a guide soon on how to use them. Of course, every oven is a little different. I've been experimenting with both Italian method and French method macarons

    Jean - macarons do take a bit of practice to get the cooking times and batter right for your oven. Once you've got the hang of it though, this makes life SO much easier. They should be available in approx 2 weeks time

  5. Thats such a good idea! I hate having spare macarons that are either too big or too small and as I normally bake mine on teflon sheets, I cant draw circles on them. The mini shells look so cute!

  6. That is so cool! I am like you in perfect measurement OCD terms, so this would be perfect for me :)

  7. They look absolutely gorgeous - well done!

  8. Oh, I am in sooo much trouble! They all look amazing!

  9. I want it, I want it...!!!
    The first time I tried to make macarons I failed, ok, the taste was good, but the macarons had different sized and not perfect rounds, no, I didn't draw the circles because I was using a Silpat. Next time it came better, I just found how to make correct press each time (again, no circles), but I was stressed because of it. What I need to try again is you mat...!!!

  10. This looks like an amazing product! Wow!I would love to own one of those for sure!

  11. I own a similar one but like the double sided idea. Are these available to buy now? Will you ship to Canada.

  12. Brilliant! I'd love one of these! Can't wait till they're available!

  13. Oh my Sarah, you've been busy like a bee. all those macarons look amazing! I'd love a few with a cup of tea!

  14. What a brilliant idea! I love the double sided macaron mat and the edible gift tag. Cant wait to get my hands on these. One of my 2012 resolutions is to make macarons, I've always been too scared to try. I'll wait till your mats are available :)

  15. Wow - sorry - totally missed all these comments until now.

    Hannah - with practise, piping macarons fairly evenly is not so bad. The beauty of this is that you can get as many on one tray and it takes most of the guesswork out of the equation.

    Kiri - I love the pleasure of being able to instantly match my macs together :-)

    Linda - I've been VERY excited about these. Hopefully others won't have too long to wait to own one too/

    Mrs Thomas - thanks !

    Love for Food - you can't be in trouble yet - you haven't eaten any !

    Mividaenundulche - not too long to wait.... we're on the count down to their arrival.

    Sharon - we ship worldwide. The double sided mats are not yet available - but it's only a matter of time. They should be arriving in approx 10days.

    Cake Ball Love - not too long. 10 days we hope. SO EXCITING !

    Roxana - it's been macarons and macarons and macarons and more macarons. Guess what ? Loads of macaron recipes to come ...

    BakingAddict - macarons really aren't so hard. As long as you mix until the ribbon of macaronage starts to disappear into the rest of the bowl at abotu 30 seconds, they're ready to pipe. Might take a batch or two to get your timing and oven temperature spot on - but other than that, it's really not as scary as it sounds

  16. Hello,

    Gosh!! It looks terribly gorgeous with that mat!

    How much does it cost to ship the double-sided mat to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia anyway? WOuld love to have one! :)

    I am sooooo crazy about macs now! :D

  17. Thanks for the tips and letting us know about that mat! What a great invention. Your macaroons are just gorgeous!!!!

  18. Thank you Christine. If you look under the categories drop down at the top right of my blog, you'll find loads more macarons baked on the mat - and some macaroons too :-)


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