Use blanched almonds to make your own homemade almond flour for baking macarons to save money and get more consistent results.
Save Money and Get Better Results
Making your own almond flour for baking macarons can be one of the best ways to save money and get consistent results when making this sweet treat. A good finely ground almond flour is one of my top tips for baking round and smooth macarons. Commercially produced almond flour are made for a variety of uses like tarts, breads and cookies. Almond flour for use in baking macarons should ideally be less oily but the grinding up of almonds into a fine flour can sometimes release these oils, making the flour less desirable for macarons. Making almond flour at home is a good way to control the results and it can be considerably cost savings too. Here is a guide on how to make your own homemade almond flour for baking macarons.
Almond Flour Vs. Almond Meal Vs. Blanched
Almond flour is one of the main ingredients in macarons. Anytime you read a macaron recipe, you will see that almond flour or almond meal will be required. The two are commonly used interchangeably. However, you still need to judge for yourself which one its referring to in context of the particular recipe you are using since almond flour can also mean a more finer ground almond vs. a coarser almond meal (used for breading). There are also blanched and non-blanched almond flours/meals. Blanched almonds basically mean that the brown skin has been removed.
For making macarons, you always want to use blanched almond flour. When I first started making macarons, I found myself driving all around the city to find almond flour available only in specialty stores. On the other hand, blanched almonds in its raw form was available in almost every common grocery store. Being that I love convenience and did not prefer to visit a specialty store to get almond flour every time I wanted to bake these babies, I decided to try making my own almond flour. I found it to be quite easy and could be considerably cost saving too. But the best part about making your own almond flour is the consistent quality of your almond flour. There have been some almond flour that I've used before which were extremely oily and caused my macarons to become blotchy or "sweaty". I highly recommend making your own macaron flour to save money and achieve better results.
There's a video after the instructions below. I hope all of it helps you in your macaron making journey.
Start pulsing, stopping intermittently to bring up the sugar that have sunken to the bottom with a spoon.
Discard the big almond pieces that cannot be sifted.
Weigh out the amount of discarded amount.
Take some fresh almonds to compensate for the discarded amounts and pulse it again along with some of the sifted mixture.
Sift. The almond flour is now ready to use.
Weigh Out a Little More Almond than What the Recipe Calls For
Another tip is to weigh out a bit more almonds that what the recipe calls for. I have a pretty reliable food processor from Braun that grinds almonds to a pretty fine consistency. I find that I usually discard about 10 grams (from a total of 60 grams) of almonds that cannot be sifted so I compensate for that by weighing out an extra 10 grams of blanched almonds for grinding. You may need to adjust this amount depending on your own situation.
"My almonds feel wet and clumpy! Why?"
Grinding the almonds by itself without the powdered sugar will release the oil inside the nut and soon you will find that your almonds have become almond butter! So don't forget to grind your almonds with the powdered sugar that's needed in the recipe
"Should I double sift my almond flour?"
I usually only sift mine once. It's so tedious that I don't have the patience for any more than that and my macaron shells never turn out bumpy. If your sifter is fine enough and you seem to be getting good results from one sift, then by all means, save your time and your energy!
I use an open faced sifter or a fine mesh strainer like this one. These types of sifters make it so much easier to use a spoon to push the almond mixture through the mesh. I find the sifters with a lever very clumsy for use with almonds. The almonds that are not finely ground tend to clog up those systems and it's hard to extract afterwards.
Where to buy almonds and almond flour in Vancouver? (list compiled in 2015)
Here is a list of the places that I know of for buying almonds and almond flour. It's not exhaustive so if you happen to know of any other places, please drop me a note below. By far the lowest price I've found for almond flour is at Costco and the lowest price for slivered/whole almonds is at Superstore. For those who do not have those stores in their city, try Amazon, I looked around at many brands and this one seems to have a lot of positive reviews, even from macaron makers.
Almond Flour Prices
Blanched Almond Prices
- Costco - Golden Boy Sliced Almonds $13.99/1.2 kg = $1.16/100 grams
- T&T supermarket - bulk section
- Whole Foods - bulk section
For Almond Flour
- Blanched Almonds
- Icing Sugar/Powdered Sugar
- Digital scale
- Food processor
- 2 Big mixing bowls
- Weigh out the amount of blanched almonds and powdered sugar you will need in your recipe. (In my Best Macaron Recipe, that is equal to 65 grams almonds and 65 grams powdered sugar.)
- Place the almonds into the food processor along with some of the powdered sugar. Start pulsing, stopping intermittently to bring up the sugar that have sunken to the bottom with a spoon. DO NOT grind almonds by itself without the sugar. Without it, your almonds will become too oily and turn into almond butter.
- Sift the mixture into a big bowl and discard the big pieces that cannot be sifted.
- Weigh out the amount of discarded amount. Take some fresh almonds to compensate for the discarded amounts and pulse it again along with some of the sifted mixture. (We need the icing sugar in the mixture to prevent the oils from coming out of the almonds.)
- Pulse the almonds again & sift. The almond flour is now ready to use.
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Organic Blanched Sliced Almonds, 12 Ounces - Non-GMO, Raw, Unpasteurized, Unsalted, Keto, Paleo, Kosher, Bulk, High in Protein, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin E, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, and Riboflavin
C&h Powdered Sugar 4 Lbs (1)
Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers
Braun MQ777 Multiquick 7 Hand Blender, Black
This post was originally published on October 1st, 2014