Best Silicone Pastry Mat

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The best silicone pastry mat is the Silpat silicone pastry mat. They are one of the most durable and long-lasting silicone pastry mats.

Silpat silicone pastry mats are able to be used 2000-3000 times before needing to be replaced. You should only need new pastry mats every 10 years, depending on how often you bake.

Silpat silicone pastry mats have one of the highest tolerances for heat in the oven. Usually silicone pastry mats are only good up to about 420°F before they start to deteriorate. Silpat pastry mats can be used up to 500°F in the oven.

Silpat silicone pastry mats come in a variety of sizes that fit perfectly in a baking sheet.

best silicone pastry mat

Silpat baking mat sizes

  • Full Sheet Size, 16-1/2″ x 24-1/2″
  • Countertop Workstation Mat, 15-1/8″ x 23″
  • Half Sheet Size, 11-5/8 x 16-1/2
  • Toaster Oven Baking Mat – 7 7/8″ x 10 7/8″
  • Octagonal Microwave Size Baking Mat – 10 1/4″
  • Round, 12″
  • Cake Liner Round 9″

Silpat temperature range

Silpat’s can be used in the freezer and up to 500°F in the oven.

What to use Silicone Pastry Mats for

Silicone pastry mats are special because they can be used to create fancy chocolate decorations in the freezer, and be used in the oven to bake macarons.

Silpat silicone mats allow macarons to spread wider, which produces more of a rounder and flatter macaron. Silpat silicone pastry mats are commercial grade, and are used in bakeries worldwide. Since the Silpat produces the ideal macaron that is round and flat, this gives macarons a more professional look to them.

Silpat pastry mats can be used in the freezer to create unique chocolate decorations. You can pipe chocolate directly on the Silpat and then place it in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Gently peel the chocolate decoration off of the Silpat mat and it’s ready to use.

Silpat pastry mats fit perfectly in a baking sheet. Instead of using parchment paper to line your baking sheet, you can use a Silpat pastry mat. Silpat pastry mats work very well when baking foods like croissants and scones.

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Silpat silicone pastry mats can be used to line a baking sheet to prevent the baking pan from getting quite dirty and difficult to clean.

How to clean a Silpat silicone baking mat

The silicone has a non-stick coating to it, which makes it very easy to clean. Wipe the Silpat mat clean with a cloth soaked in soap and water. Rinse the Silpat with hot water.

Silpat silicone mats need to be perfectly clean without any oil residue on them to be used for macarons. If you silicone mat has an oily film to it, use hot water to remove the oil effectively from your silicone mat.

Best Almond Flour for Macarons

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The best almond flour for macarons is Blue Diamond Almond Flour.

  • finely sifted
  • blanched almonds
  • gluten free
  • 3 lbs

Blue Diamond sifts their almond flour before placing it in their packaging, so you can be sure you’re getting the finest ground of almond flour possible.

Since the almond flour comes already sifted, this makes sifting it again for your macarons much easier than if it isn’t pre-sifted.

Typically if an almond flour isn’t already sifted the almond flour clumps together. You need to place it in the food processor to grind the almond flour more finely in order to sift it for macarons.

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Macarons always need to have almond flour sifted right before using. Sifting almond flour adds air to it, which gives the macaron that velvety, chewy texture when you bite into them.

It’s best to use a sifter with a medium mesh instead of a fine mesh. Use a colander to sift your almond flour over a fine mesh sifter.

Almond flour is too large to fit through a fine mesh sieve. Use a strainer or colander to sift your almond flour for your macarons.

how does a sifter work with almond flour

What type of almond flour is needed for macarons

Almond flour for macarons needs to use blanched almonds.

Blanched almonds have their skins removed. The skins contain oil. If you were to blend almonds together with their skins on, the oil leaches out of the skins and creates an almond paste.

If you blend blanched almonds together you get an almond flour. The almond flour made by using blanched almonds is a crumbly and fine texture.

Is almond flour the same as ground almond?

Almond flour is made with blanched almonds, whereas ground almonds have their skins on them still. Ground almonds contain oil making it an almond meal. Almond flour has the almond skins removed when they are blended, therefore it’s more of a dry, crumbly texture.

How to Sift Almond Flour Faster

Why are macarons made with almond flour?

Macarons are made with almond flour because it creates a smooth, velvet, chewy texture for the macaron shells. The almond flour texture creates the melt in your mouth feel to it when you bite into them. Almond flour combines well with the meringue making the macaron batter smooth and thick, ideal for piping.

best almond flour for macarons

How to make almond flour for macarons

  1. Take approximately 1 cup of blanched almonds and place them in a food processor.
  2. Blend on high until finely grounded.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  4. Blend on high again until completely ground into a fine, crumbly texture.
  5. Sift your almond flour and measure for your macarons.

Best Almond Flour Sifter for Macarons

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What is the best almond flour sifter to use for macarons?

ExcelSteel Heavy Mesh Colander

  • Medium sized mesh for easily sifting almond flour
  • Handles on both sides – easy to hold steady while sifting
  • Ergonomically friendly
  • Made so it can rest on the top of a bowl
  • Stainless steel – strong, resists wear and tear, dishwasher safe
How to Sift Almond Flour Faster

The best almond flour sifter for macarons is a sifter with a bit larger holes than your regular flour sifter. Using a colander or strainer is your best choice for sifting almond flour.

It will make it a lot easier to break up the clumps. Otherwise, you’ll spend hours sifting the almond flour. Your hands will get tired and frustrated because you won’t be able to get all of your almond flour sifted. When you don’t sift your almond flour for your macarons, the shell will be lumpy and may not necessarily turn out. The shell needs to be perfectly smooth, and melts in your mouth when you take that first bite.

When baking macarons, the almond flour is especially crumbly and clumpy. If your almond flour is especially clumpy, blend it in a food processor for a couple of minutes until it’s a bit finer of a grind. This will make it much easier to sift the almond flour.

Another option is to try selecting an almond flour that has been sifted or is labelled superfine for your macarons. Be sure to sift the almond flour again when you go to make macarons, just in case they clump up again by the time you use them.

You can also sift your icing sugar with the same sifter. Icing sugar is always in balls of sugar. You want your icing sugar to be like powder, aerated, and feel like dust when you mix your macaron batter together.

Are there other reasons to use a sifter?

A sifter increases the surface area available for mixing to the liquid ingredients. This means the ingredients will be more evenly spread throughout the mixing process, creating a balance of flavors and textures.

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What is a sifter used for?

A sifter is a kitchen accessory that usually has a handle and metal basket. The basket has metal criss crosses creating a bowl shape that allows small pieces of food to pass through. This breaks up chunks of food into tiny pieces. The process of sifting adds air and lightens the food (flour, icing sugar). This is especially important when making a cake. This allows the cake to cook with small air bubbles throughout the cake. The cake has a bouncy feeling when you push your finger into it. You can feel and taste the difference of a cake that has had the flour sifted.

macaron before baking

When do you measure your ingredients, before or after sifting?

Measure your ingredients for baking always after sifting. Sifting aerates the food, making it lighter. If you measure beforehand, you could be putting too much of the ingredient in your recipe.

Why do you measure your ingredients after sifting?

This is the accurate measurement. Spoon the sifted ingredients into a bowl on your scale to get the weighted measurement. 

Even when baking a cake where you are using your measuring cups, you need to spoon the sifted ingredients into your measuring cup. Then level off the excess with the back of a knife (flat edge). This way, you will not be packing your flour into the cup and may inadvertently over-measure the amount of flour and then have your recipe not turn out how you want it to. Too much flour or not aerating your flour will result in a dense cake which will be difficult to chew. It wont give you that light, spongy texture that you picture when you’re eating cake. 

How much should you sift at once?

  • Only ⅓-½ full basket

Otherwise, your flour or icing sugar will go over the sides and make a huge mess. 

how does a sifter work with almond flour

How do you use a sifter?

  1. Fill your basket ⅓ – ½ full of your first ingredient.
  2. Move the sifter side to side using your hands.
  3. Tap the edge of the sifter gently to let the food fall into the bowl.
  4. For excess food that isn’t coming through the sifter – the dregs of the last bit – discard this. Don’t try to force it through.
  5. Spoon and measure your ingredient – either with a scale, or with a measuring cup and level off with a knife. 
best almond flour sifter for macarons

How to clean a sifter?

  • Bang the excess into a sink or into the garbage can
  • If it’s very dirty, wash it with soap and water. Allow to dry fully before using. Never use a sifter when it’s still wet.

Tips

  • Only sift and measure one ingredient at a time
  • Use your sifter over a larger bowl than you think you need
  • Don’t overfill the sifter – this will take more time than if you only sift a little at a time
  • Use a spoon to gently measure out your sifted ingredient

Think about your own ergonomics when selecting a sifter

  • Do you want an extending handle
  • Do you want handles on the side
  • How big are the holes for what you’re sifting – do you need small or large holes
  • How large of a sifter do you want
  • The larger the sifter, the bigger the bowl needed to catch the sifted food
How to Sift Almond Flour Faster

What foods can you use with a sifter?

  • Flour (almond flour, all purpose flour, bread flour)
  • Icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • Cocoa powder

A sifter is one of the tools you need in the kitchen at certain times – making a cake, macarons, etc. Select a sifter for your kitchen that you know will work for the desserts you will be baking, and that will last a long time. You will have your sifter for years to come.

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