Mastering the Macaron

So I have been doing macarons for quite some time now and admit that even though they looked great, I was still not 100% satisfied with them. I had Googled for tips and tricks to get them absolutely perfect but it still didn’t really help.

So when I came across a book for sale (secondhand for $5 – bargain!) called “Secrets of Macarons“,  I just had to get it to give it a read.

I studied it and then gave it another whirl, hoping that the hollow I had been experiencing would go away and I would get that perfect texture. You know what I’m referring to – the slight crunch on the outside as you bite into it but still soft and chewy on the inside. Bliss!

And I couldn’t believe it when I pulled out the macarons and set them on the counter to cool – they looked amazing! Even better than that, I took one to take a bite, looked inside and NO HOLLOW! Now it may have been a fluke.. I guess I’ll just have to keep doing them to confirm 😉

In the meantime, I do highly recommend this book. And here is a snap of the macarons I did:

Bubblegum macarons with fairyfloss

Bubblegum macarons with fairyfloss

So what are the secrets of macarons? There’s so many really, but here are probably the biggest ones:

Separate the egg whites in advance and let them age 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. However, ensure the egg whites are at room temperature before you begin making the macarons

Beat the egg whites at medium speed to gradually build the foam and air bubbles. Too fast and you’ll trap big air pockets which is a no-no.

When doing the macaronage stage (combining the egg whites with the dry ingredients), you want to fold the mixture until it gets to the stage where if you drip some off the spatula into the mix it should take about 30 seconds before to meld back in (not completely just the edges.. If that makes sense?) 

When piping the shells use a template to make your life easier!

Drop the tray on a countertop a few times to bring out any bubbles. Use a toothpick to smooth them out.

Let the shells rest for about 30 minutes before lightly brushing one with your fingertip to check if they’ve formed a skin. This is important: you need it to babe formed a skin, but as soon as it does it’s time to cook! 

The oven temperature should be preheated to 150°C fan-forced. Cook for 7 minutes before reducing the temperature to 130°C fan-forced and cook for a further 5 minutes. When done, take out of the oven and immediately place the baking sheet with the macarons onto a cool countertop.

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