Why do I do I continue to bake macarons? It isn’t because I don’t want to enjoy my weekends, I assure you. I am on a quest for the perfect macaron, glossy dome, ruffly feet and a non-hollow inside, and until I achieve it, I shall persevere! Today, I am aiming for macs that don’t collapse. Most of my macarons have turned out pretty and tasted fantastic, but are delicate and often have a hollow middle. Unacceptable.
So far, I have come to understand that this finicky “cookie” requires a few things to be perfect. First, the egg whites must be aged, there is no getting around it. I have read that a teaspoon of the powdered version added during the making of the meringue also helps to stabilize it but until Saipan stores carry that I am bound to the aging process. When in a bind, I also will microwave my egg whites for ten seconds to allow the water to evaporate, mimicking the aging process and it seems to work just fine.
The shiny tops are, in my experience achieved by mixing the meringue and dry ingredients thoroughly until a molten lava consistency is reached. This is a tedious and sometimes physically tiring process.
The ruffly feet can be accomplished by ensuring that the macs rest until they are hard to the touch. That is, you can put your finger on them and feel that they are dry. This will allow air to push them up in the oven, thus forming the pretty feet.
The last part, a cookie with enough substance that it doesn’t collapse on you, is what I have yet to learn to bake successfully. So, today I am rolling up my sleeves to do just that and crossing my fingers that it’s a good baking day. Unlike previous times …
I just wanna punch your face macaron!
The first thing I changed was the time I spent mixing the meringue. Instead of waiting for a nice stiff peak, which is important, I mixed for a couple minutes less and added my sugar earlier than I usually do. I want to experiment with the oven temperature and baking time to see if it will help. Instead of baking them at 380 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes, I am going to attempt two strategies:
#1 Bake at 370 degrees for 15 minutes, a lower temp and a longer baking time.
#2 Bake at 300 degree for 13 minutes. This will hopefully give them time to fill out inside.
Here, you can see that I’ve piped the batter on Silpats. They are my mat of choice because I rarely have problems with them sticking. Parchment paper is ok, but it shifts too much and the macs tend to brown on them. Fancy silicone mats made just for macarons are okay but I have to bake the cookies longer or they’ll stick to the mats. I like Silpats because they are easy to clean and the macarons peel off easily when cooled. I have a couple of Silpats with circles already drawn on them so that I have a guide when piping the batter. They have shiny tops with no nipples, which make me very happy. In a few minutes they’ll go into the oven for the big test. Wish me luck!
Chai latte macarons
The recipe for macarons and other favorites can be found here.