Vegan French Meringue Macarons

Here's your quintessential guide to making vegan macarons!

Ingredients

75g Almond flour
40g Icing sugar
30g Cornstarch
50ml Aquafaba
1/8 teaspoon Cream of tartar
50g Granulated sugar
Blue gel colouring

Filling

50ml Aquafaba
115g Granulated sugar
60ml Water
1/4 teaspoon Cream of tartar
160g Vegan butter

Instructions

Meringue

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl, add 50ml of aquafaba and ⅛ tsp of cream of tartar. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. It will go from bubbly, to foamy, to a glossy foam.

Next slowly pour the granulated sugar into the whipped aquafaba as you continue to whip it. Continue to whisk on high speed for another 2-3 minutes. You will see the aquafaba become really glossy and start to thicken a bit as it gets mixed. This is the French meringue.

Macaron Batter

Sift the almond flour, icing sugar and cornstarch together using a fine mesh sieve. Do this twice. It's fine if there are some larger almond chunks that don't make it through. Add half of the almond flour mixture into the French meringue. Fold the almond flour mixture in gently until fully incorporated. That means instead of mixing the bowl vigorously, you mix by scooping from underneath and then over several times.

Now add in the rest of the almond flour mixture. Fold the mixture until it is fully incorporated and the consistency of the batter runs off the spatula in ribbons. Don't mix too much or you will remove too much air from the batter. But you also don't want to mix too little. We want to mix some of the air out of the batter. If you want to colour your shells, you can add in gel food colouring now.

Add your mixture to a piping bag with about a ¼ inch opening. You can tie off the end of the bag by the tip and place it into a tall glass or container to help you fill it. Holding the piping bag vertical to the baking tray, gently squeeze the bag to allow the batter to run out and form circles about 1 to 1.5 inches wide.

Carefully smack the tray down several times onto a flat surface to allow any air bubbles to come to the surface and escape. If there are any still remaining that won't budge, you can pop them with a small sewing needle. Big bubbles in your macarons could cause the shells to have an uneven appearance after baking.

Allow the macarons to rest until a skin forms on them and you can touch them without getting any batter on your finger. The amount of time this takes will depend on the temperature and humidity of your space. For us, it took about an hour. Preheat your oven to 150C around the final minutes of your macarons drying.

Place the macarons on the middle rack of your oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops should be firm. The shells will have risen a bit and you will see what are called "feet". This is the bumpy or frilly part underneath the smooth top of the shell.

Allow the macarons to cool for at least 30 minutes. If you try to remove them from the baking tray too early, the sugar will still be sticky and warm. The macarons will rip as you pull them from the tray. Always wait until they are fully cooled. If there are any shells that you don't like the appearance of, you can test to see if the macarons are ready by pulling those off first.

Filling

Add the granulated sugar and water to a small sauce pan on low heat. We want to heat the sugar to 115-120C. It will be syrup-like, but not caramelized. While it is heating, whip up the aquafaba. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl, add 50ml of aquafaba and ¼ tsp of cream of tartar.

Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form. It will go from bubbly, to foamy, to a glossy foam. Once the sugar reaches 115°, turn off the heat. Slowly and carefully stream in the sugar down the side of the mixing bowl while the aquafaba continues to whisk on high speed. Try to avoid pouring over the whisk because it will send more of the sugar flying to the sides of the bowl rather than into the aquafaba. The sugar will also be extremely hot and any splashes could burn you. It's okay for there to be some sugar that remains in the pot that can't be poured out. Don't worry about the specks and drops of sugar on the sides of the mixing bowl either.

Continue to whisk on high speed until the bowl of the mixer is cool to the touch. It will be extremely hot when you first pour in the sugar. Our bowl cooled down between 2-3 minutes. You will see the aquafaba become really glossy and start to thicken as it gets mixed. This is the Italian meringue.

Next, using room temperature butter, add about a tablespoon at a time to the Italian meringue. We just estimated it–sometimes we added more and sometimes we added less. Allow each addition of butter to fully incorporate into the meringue. Once all the butter is added, you should have a smooth and fluffy mixture. This is the Italian meringue buttercream. You can add in the flavourings or colours you would like at this point.

Place the buttercream into a piping bag with a star-shaped tip and then pipe the buttercream onto the bottom of a macaron shell. Finish the sandwich with a second shell on top.

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