French macarons are a favorite treat by so many. From flavors and colors, to fillings and feet, they are simply a dessert dream come true! The appeal of macarons has much to do with their shape, and color variations. For those reasons and more, they are the perfect cookie to serve at parties and events!
While, macarons look chic stacked atop a cake stand, served on small canapé plates, or lined in rows, one of the prettiest ways to display them is on a tower and oday I’m excited to you show how to make a DIY Macaron Tower of your own!
DIY MACARON TOWER
You can create a macaron tower that looks just like the ones you’ve seen in the windows of French Patisseries, and you’ll be surprised how easy they are to assemble!
Just a few supplies is all you’ll need to create an elegant macaron tower of your own, complete with fresh blooms in colors of your choice.
FRENCH MACARON RECIPE
In addition to the DIY tower, today I’m sharing my easy to follow macaron recipe using the Italian meringue method and tips that will make the baking process a breeze and the finished result of the homemade macarons and decorated tower will be worthy of a reward! You can also find the recipe here.
I recommend serving and tasting the macarons with a fun beverage like a glass of bubbles. And as a little added bonus, the macaron recipe is naturally dairy and gluten free, so you’ll feel a little less guilty while eating them.
- For the French Macaron Shells:
- 212 grams of almond meal
- 212 grams powdered sugar
- 82 and 90 grams of egg whites divided
- 230 grams of granulated sugar
- 158 grams of water
- dash of cream of tartar or lemon juice for stabilizing
- For the Vanilla Frosting:
- 1 cups organic shortening or vegan butter (you can also use regular butter)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- dash of vanilla and a splash of non dairy milk.
For the macarons:
First things first! Wipe down the mixing bowl and whisk attachment with vinegar to remove any built up residue. This will ensure that the egg whites whisk up properly!
Prep and measure all of the ingredients using a kitchen scale.
Prep a piping bag with a round tip. I use Wilton tip 10.
Line 2 baking sheets with silpat (or parchment).
Combine measured almond meal & powdered sugar together in a bowl. Sift one time to remove any lumps, discarding of them, then mix together to break up clumps.
Make a well in the center of the dry mix and pour the 82 grams of measured egg whites into the center of the dry mixture. Fold together until blended. The finished mix will be paste-like. Set aside.
For the sugar syrup:
To make the sugar syrup, heat granulated sugar and water in a pot on medium heat with a candy thermometer attached to the side. **Be careful to make sure the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pot**.
Once the thermometer's temperature reaches approximately 200 degrees F, place the 90 grams of measured egg whites in the stand mixer and whisk on medium speed, to soft peaks.
Add a drop of lemon juice or dash of cream of tartar to stabilize, THEN continue whisking.
If the egg whites are at soft peaks before the syrup reaches 248 F, turn the mixer down to low speed to keep the egg whites moving.
Watch the sugar syrup closely!
As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, remove from heat.
Quickly increase mixer speed to medium and begin slowly pouring the sugar syrup down the side of your mixing bowl into the meringue until thoroughly combined.
THEN increase the mixing speed to high and whisk sugar and meringue together until glossy and stiff peaks form and the meringue has cooled. (The meringue should keep its form.)
Gently transfer finished meringue into the almond/powdered sugar mixture in thirds, making sure that it's fully incorporated before adding the additional 3rd of meringue.
Continue to fold the batter in a circular motion, going around the edges of the bowl, then once through the center. Repeat these steps until smooth and thick ribbons of batter run off the spatula.
**Be careful not to over-mix**
You want the batter to be slightly thick, but not so thin that it does not hold the ribbon shape. Err on the side of caution.
Transfer batter to the prepped piping bag(s).
Pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds about one inch apart on the lined baking sheet.
Be sure to hold the piping bag about 1/2 inch directly above the baking sheet when piping the rounds. Continue to pipe until you've filled an entire baking sheet.
*Tap the macarons on the counter three times to release air bubbles.
*Pop any air bubbles that might've come to the surface, using a scribe or even a toothpick!
Before placing the macs in the oven, allow them to rest until a proper skin has formed on the outside of the shell. This can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes. Test by touching the piped rounds to make sure they're dry to touch and that no batter comes off on fingers.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Once dry to touch, place the macarons in the middle rack of the oven.
Feet will form halfway through the baking process.
Bake for 12-14 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow 15-20 minutes to cool before attempting to remove the shells from the silpat/parchment paper.
Once macarons are completely cool, gently remove from parchment paper/silpat.
Repeat same steps to bake the remaining macaron batter.
They're ready to fill.
For the Vanilla Frosting: Mix shortening/butter, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla seeds and vanilla in a stand mixer until incorporated.
Transfer filling to piping bag with tip of choice.
Evenly pipe rounds of ganache into the center of the bottom of each macaron shell. Top with second shell to create a sandwich.
Transfer the finished macarons into the fridge and allow at least two hours to mature. 12 hours or overnight preferred.
Attach to the macaron tower and enjoy!
Place macarons in an airtight container until filled. They will keep for 3 days in the fridge and 6 months in the freezer.
HOW TO MAKE A MACARON TOWER
Start by wrapping a foam cone in tissue paper. You will need, 62 toothpicks and 50 french macarons 1.5″ in size that are homemade or store-bought.
Simply insert the toothpicks in an even row along the bottom of the cone, then attach a french macaron to each toothpick. Fill the entire cone, one toothpick and macaron at a time, then finish by decorating with flowers!
- FOR THE MACARON TOWER
- 1. One 11 7/8 x 4 7/8 Foam Cone with 3 inches cut off the top
- 2. 1 sheet of 20 x 24 inch white tissue paper
- 3. Scotch Tape
- 4. 62 toothpicks (12 for flowers)
- 5. 50 1.5 inch French Macarons (bakery or homemade)
- 6. 12 Fresh blooms of choice with the stems removed. (I used roses and ranunculus)
- 7. Edible Gold luster dust or Wilton gold spray. (Optional)
1.Cut 3 inches off the top of the foam cone. (This will provide a flat surface for topping the tower with flowers).
2.Wrap the foam cone tightly in the sheet of tissue paper, taping the edges. The tissue will act as a barrier between the foam and the macarons.
3.Insert a toothpick one inch from the bottom of the foam cone, leaving half inch of the toothpick exposed/sticking out. (You want the toothpick to be long enough to hold each macaron.
4.Attach the first macaron to the tower by gently pushing the center of it into the exposed toothpick.
5.Insert the second toothpick into the foam, one inch from the first macaron, AND THEN attach the second macaron.
6.Continue to insert the toothpicks and attach the macarons until the entire bottom row of the tower is full. 11 macarons fit on the bottom row of my tower. You’ll want each row of macarons to be snug or almost touching.
7.FOR ROW TWO: NOTE: I left off one macaron (an open space) to be filled with a flower upon completion.
8.Insert the first toothpick directly above the center of two macarons on row one.
9.Attach the macaron and repeat these steps until row two is full, then move onto row three.
10.NOTE: I added flowers to every other row of the tower, leaving an open space on row two, four and six. The tower has 6 rows total.
11.Continue to insert the toothpicks and attach the macarons until each of the six rows are full.
12.Don’t forget to leave an open space on every other row for flowers starting with row 2.
13.Once the tower is full, insert a toothpick in the head of each flower bloom and arrange them on the tower next to the macarons, in the open spaces. I chose one large bloom for the top of the macaron tower to finish it off.
14.Once the tower is complete, paint the macarons with a little edible gold spray, using a paintbrush.
This tower is made with 1.5-inch macarons. If using larger, the number of macarons you’ll need to fill the tower will be less.
You can make the tower a few days in advance as long as it’s kept in the fridge and sealed with plastic wrap or a cover. Just be aware that macarons can go stale easily if they’re not sealed properly. I recommend waiting until the day of, or the night before to attach the flowers so that they’ll stay fresh and look beautiful for the duration of the your celebration.
Here’s how the DIY mac tower looks upon completion.
An instant stand-alone centerpiece that will look beautiful presented on dessert tables, at weddings, or birthday parties.
It can also be made with $20.00 or less and is such a timeless and suitable edible decoration for any occasion.
Be sure to put the tower on display where it can be admired and devoured!
There’s much more on the way, including my daughter’s Macaron 6th Birthday post, where the DIY Macaron Tower makes an appearance.
This post titled DIY Macaron Tower was seen first by Posh Little Designs. All Rights Reserved. 2018