French Macarons 101 (some tips & tricks)!

oreos

 

Macaron tips:  I am by no means an expert, but I have been making them for about a year with many failed attempts and many successful attempts as well.  With that said, I’m just going to share what I have noted and what works for me:

1.  Eggs – Measuring egg whites in grams is important.  Even though I tend to use cups here in the USA, I always weigh the egg whites (the recipe I use is 60 grams of egg whites).  Another important thing I found is to leave them out so they reach room temperature.  This makes a huge difference.  I usually leave them out for a full day in a bowl covered with saran wrap with a few holes poked in it.  If you’re in a hurry or don’t have time, you can put the whites in the microwave in a bowl for a few seconds.  I have tried this before and it worked.  But I can say that I yield better results when I let them sit out for a full day or overnight. Room temp whites is a must for me.

2. Make sure to tap the macaron tray against the table after you have piped your circles.  This will remove air bubbles.

3.  Let the macs stand/sit for at least 15 minutes and I usually do so for 30 minutes because I noticed that works best for me.  Things like humidity and heat can affect them so I feel more comfortable letting them sit longer.  If I make characters, I let each layer dry for about ten minutes, and then I add the details, and so on.  Again, total resting time for me is at least 30 minutes. This will help feet develop.

4. If you want to add color, use gel coloring because liquid is too runny and will affect your macarons negatively.  Add the color after your egg white and sugar mix have formed fairly stiff peaks.  Add extract at this time as well. Then finish mixing on high speed to get stiff peaks.

5.  I find that folding the macs to the right consistency (lava like consistency) takes about 50-80 strokes

6. I sometimes watch my macs as they bake.  I don’t trust them alone. 😉  They are tricky little things.  Now, if the batch is going to be a fail, I’m sure staring them down won’t help, but it’s just a habit :p  Plus, I can change the oven temp if need be.

7. Oven temperature is the hardest variable for me because I found that it changes if I’m making characters versus plain circles.  Other times, it has just randomly changed!  I can’t tell you how much times I have had to deal with oven temp. mishaps.  After so many tests, I find that 300F for about 15 minutes works best for me.  Sometimes I even go down to 275 F if I’m working with characters and then I just bake them longer.   I have read that baking at 325F for less time works great and best for no hollow macs. Many recipes call for that.  Testing it out for yourself is the best bet.  Make sure to also get an oven thermometer to ensure that your oven is properly calibrated.

8. Before removing your macs from the parchment paper or silicone mat, make sure they are cool enough so they don’t stick.

9. Be patient and realize everyone, even skilled mac makers, get hollows and botched batches at times.  It’s not easy.  But try not to get discouraged.  They may not look they way they should, but they are tasty and you can always eat the fails! Plus, when you actually get them right, you will feel like you have overcome such an amazing feat!

I hope this helps you! xo

-Christina

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