Essential equipment

Hello!

Here is my run down of the what I consider to be the essential ingredients required when making macarons.

Essential equipment
1. Electronic scales
These are a must, you have to be so precise with measurements, it's impossible to weigh out egg whites with a non-electronic scale!

2. Food processor
This is important for grinding the almonds even further and a good way to thoroughly mix the icing sugar and almonds together

3. Oven thermometer 
This is one of the things you cannot make macarons without. Macarons are so sensitive to small alterations in oven temperature. Incorrect oven temperature can make the difference between macaron success and macaron misery! It is also good to bear in mind that in some fan ovens, the temperature can run 20 degrees hotter than and oven with no fan.

4. Stainless steel bowl 
This encourages the egg whites to fluff up when beaten. A plastic bowl should not be used as the plastic can absorb oils which will prevent the egg whites from becoming fluffy.

5. Electric whisk/standalone mixer
You'll be whisking for quite a while so any whisking equipment you don't have to power yourself will be preferable!

6. A silicon spatula/spoon
This is needed for knocking the air out of the meringue when incorporating the almonds and icing sugar.

7. Piping bag with a 1 cm piping nozzle
Used for piping the macaron mixture into nice neat rounds. I use the disposable piping bags, I find that they can be reused a few times as the non-greasy macaron mixture is really easy to clean out of the bags.

8. Good quality baking trays 
It's very important to have good solid baking trays, thin trays that buckle will distort the macarons.

9. Baking paper
This should be silicon coated, DO NOT use greaseproof paper, the macarons will stick (I learnt that the hard way). I see from other recipes you can also use silpat, but silpat isn't readily available in the UK so I use baking paper and the macarons pop off nicely.

10. Macaron template
I use the 3.5 cm macaron template from the Food Nouveau website. You can use these too or make your own custom template. After several dozen macarons, you'll probably find yourself being able to pipe freehand, without the need for a template. I know some people really rate the silicon macaron moulds but I wouldn't recommend them, they're good for forcing your macarons to be of equal size but it seems to be at the detriment of the overall attractiveness of the macaron. The silicon moulds tend to ruin the nice little feet and I don't think the macarons look as good.

For the Italian Meringue method you will also need:

11. Sugar thermometer
This is absolutely imperative, the sugar syrup has to be a specific temperature in order to cook the eggs and result in a really stable italian meringue. As you can tell, my sugar thermometer is a bit oversized for the amount of syrup to be made, but I make do by tilting the pan, and it works fine.

12. Small saucepan

You only need a small amount of sugar syrup so try and find a smallish saucepan.



Equipment


Happy macaron making!