i have had allot of fails at making french macarons, but i was determined not to be beaten and now i think i have the hang of it, i think i have had 7 attempts and only twice did they resemble macarons the other batches they where either cracked, hollow or saggy.
i would recommend looking on pinterest for tips and watching video tutorials on you tube so you can see the method of making them before you start.
Italian macarons are allot easier but i kept at it.
the recipe i found worked best for me was
1 cup powdered sugar
3 1/4 cup ground almonds
2 egg whites
5 table spoons granulated sugar
there are so many tips and recipes but i think its a case of trial and error and what works for you.
to start you need to mix the powdered sugar and ground almonds and sift it in to a bowl, if you have a food processor then put it in that for a minute, in another bowl whisk the egg whites until frothy then start adding one table spoon of sugar at a time while whisking it with an electric whisk i added a bit of lemon juice to strengthen it. continue whisking until you get stiff peaks and add your food colouring and whisk it in ( i always turn the bowl upside down and if if stays in the bowl its done if it starts to slide whisk it a bit more) now you are done with the whisk.
add the sugar and powdered almond mixture a quarter at a time and use a spatula to fold it in once combined add the next quarter. once all of it is fully combined put the mixture into a piping bag with a round nozzle and pipe on to either a parchment paper lined baking sheet or a silicone macaron mat, which it what i used, you can get one from wholeport.com
then once you have piped out your macarons pop any air bubbles that you can see, tap the tray onto the surface to bring any to the top and make sure they are all popped.
leave the tray on the side so the macarons can form a skin, this can take 15 mins to an hour i think it depends on the weather i always leave mine to rest for ages. once your macarons have a skin preheat the oven at 150c (i always wait for my macarons to have a skin before i preheat the oven to save electric) and place them in and after 8 mins take them out and turn the tray around then put them back in for another 8 minutes. once cooked leave them to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour and then take them off the paper or mat. then you need to fill them. for these i used a strawberry butter cream, i just mixed 2 parts powdered sugar to one part butter and added flavouring and colouring and piped it on, i make the flowers with sugar paste