July 19, 2016

Macaron Tutorial




You might know these little beauties as a very temperamental cookie. They are very unreliable, no matter how many times you have made them before, they can still cause trouble. Sometimes will you have no clue what went wrong. However, they are quite easy to get the hang of once you know all the tips and tricks of making Macarons! That's why I'm here to help with this snazzy Macaron Tutorial!

Ingredients & Utensils:


-Almonds
-Icing Sugar
-Egg whites
-Granulated Sugar
-Sieve
-Parchment Paper
-Weigh Scale
-Baking Sheets
-Bowls
-Spatula
-Piping Bag
-Piping Tip
-Stand/ Hand Mixer

Recipe:


100g                      ground almonds
200g                      icing sugar
100g                      egg whites
4 tbsp                    sugar
1-5 drops               food colouring (optional)

Tutorial:



Sift the ground almonds into a medium sized bowl. Dispose of any large lumps. Measure them out again, add more if needed, sift again with the icing sugar. Set aside.
  • Blanched almonds, almond meal or almond flour works best for this. 
  • As well, some people say that it matters if your icing sugar has cornstarch: it doesn't. 



In a large bowl whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and whip until it holds stiff peaks.
  • There is absolutely no need to age the egg whites, it makes no difference, trust me. Use aged or freshly cracked, either way it will leave you with great macarons
  • Use a stainless steel bowl, and make sure it's spotless. Wipe the bowl clean with a small squeeze of lemon juice and a paper towel. Any oil could wreck the whipping of the egg whites.
  • Make sure you don't whip the egg whites too much, this can cause hollow shells. 
  • This is the point in which you can add food colouring (powdered or gel). Adding it later may cause you to over-mix the finished batter. 


Dump 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the egg whites. Fold from top to bottom scraping down the sides. Add the second 1/3 and repeat. Add the last 1/3 and fold until it forms slight ribbons. When dropped from a spoon it should take 15 seconds to flatten out. Don't over mix!
  • This is the most crucial part of the entire macaron making process, there is quite a bit that can go wrong, it's surprising. The batter should be able to drop in very slight ribbons from the spatula, it should take about 20 seconds for the batter to flatten out. If it runs too quickly, that means you have over-folded. If it doesn't flatten out, you have to fold a bit more.


Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Don't pipe too big, 1" is enough. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Let your cookies sit at room temperature until they form a dry "skin", this will help form "feet". When you tap with your finger, it shouldn't be sticky.
  • Use parchment paper or a silpat for this. Please don't use aluminum foil or wax paper.
  • Pop any bubbles you see in the batter by slamming the baking sheets on the counter! This should bring any extra bubbles to the top so you can pop them with a toothpick.
  • Letting your cookies sit a room temperature to form a skin helps them form feet better. Not doing this can cause a warped shell, which you obviously don't want! I would also recommend not attempting this on a humid day because it's a lot harder to dry-out your shells.


Bake for 6-8 minutes. You can test by touching the sides, if they wobble they are not done. Let the shells cool before removing from the sheet.
  • Baking can also be a hassle. If your oven is too hot, it can cause your shells to crack, or brown. Using an oven thermometer is the best choice. If you find they are browning too fast, move them to a lower rack or even decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees.  
  • Use a test tray! Having a few macaron shells on a separate tray can help you get a feel for how hot your oven is and how long you should bake your bigger batch for. This is great for beginners. 


 Lastly, take your filling of choice and pipe it onto one side of the macaron. Then, take another and place it on top, sandwiching the two together to create the perfect macaron!
  • Make Sure you choose shells that are about the same size to pair with. It will make them look more neat. 
  • Don't pipe too much filling onto your macarons! It should be visible once sandwiched, but not over flowing.

 

Common Mistakes & Causes: 

Cracked Shells
  • Oven temperature may be too high, try lowering it a couple degrees. Usually bakes differently for everyone, the common range in degrees is 350-300 degrees. Try using an oven thermometer.
  • You didn't let the macarons rest. Once fully set, the batter shouldn't stick to your finger when touched. 
  •  Batter could have been over mixed or under mixed.
Bumpy Shells
  • You didn't pop any air bubbles with a toothpick before baking.
  • Sift the almonds very well to avoid bumps.
Hollow Shells
  • Over beaten egg whites, made too much air in the batter.
  • Oven temperature was too high, not allowing the inside to set causing it to collapse when taken out of the oven.
No Feet
  • Batter was over mixed, or too thin.
  • Batter could have been folded too forcefully, too much air may have been taken out of it.
  • You didn't let the macarons rest. Once fully set, the batter shouldn't stick to your finger when touched. 
  • Oven temperature was too low, not allowing it to build up enough heat to rise and bake.
Browned Shells
  • Oven temperature may be too high, try lowering it a couple degrees. Usually bakes differently for everyone, the common range in degrees is 350-300 degrees. Try using an oven thermometer.
  • Lower the oven rack, could have been too close to the broiler. 
  • Baked for too long.


I think that is all I have to share with you guys! I hope that this tutorial was very informative and not too confusing. Please take this recipe and these tips and apply them to your macaron making skills. Once you know the basics, it's easy to troubleshoot later on when you stumble on a problem. It does get easier trust me, you just need to keep trying. They seem very intimidating at first, but they really aren't that bad of a cookie.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask! Happy macaron making!
Elanne Boake

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