5 Common Problems When Making French Macarons
Macarons are perhaps one of the most treasured desserts in France. Small, delicate, and lightweight, these have become a staple at fancy parties and gatherings. The dome-shaped outer shell of macarons is smooth and crunchy, while the inside is chewy. Most macarons are made by mixing almond meal, icing sugar, and egg whites. What makes these cookies awesome is the customization factor. They can be made in hundreds of different colors of flavors.
Read on to find out some common problems faced in baking these French macarons.
While preparing the macarons, there is a process called 'macronage.' Here, you have to mix the batter adequately, but not too much. If done in excess, the shells can have bubbles which may also cause them to burst and crack during the baking process. You can address these bubbles by gently tapping the sheet pan down the counter a few times before placing them in the oven. You can also use a toothpick for popping any air bubbles.
Shells easily develop cracks
If there is excessive air trapped inside the shells, they can easily break. If you are taking an incorrect measurement of each ingredient, cracks can happen. A stiff batter can also make the shell too ‘heavy’ to rise during the baking, leading to pressure build-up inside the shells which can cause them to crack. The batter should have a proper consistency so that when you drop ribbons, it takes a few seconds to disappear into the batter. You can also dry the macarons out overnight, before baking.
Macarons don't have feet or frill
A well-baked macaron has proper feet or frill. These little ruffles around the shell should be unbroken. If you under mix or over-mix the batter, it can result in the shells not forming feet. Ensure that the batter is not too wet. Your macarons may form underdeveloped feet because they did not develop a skin before baking. The skin gives a shiny finish to the dome and helps prevent spreading. To develop a skin, leave the macarons out at room temperature after piping for 20 to 30 minutes. Underbeating the egg whites may also cause the macarons to become feetless.
Shells are wrinkled and flat
If the batter is overmixed, it will spread out during the baking process and will become flat. The hot oven temperature also causes the shells to crisp up. You should fold the batter until it flows effortlessly off the spatula. If it flows too quickly, you would have probably overmixed the batter. Using too much food coloring may also add moisture to the batter. Make sure that you use gel or powder food coloring. If the temperature of the oven is too hot, it may cause the macarons to explode, causing them to deflate. Use an oven thermometer to know what is the right temperature to bake your macarons. Be careful with what ingredients you add to the shells.
The delicate frill along the base of the shells gives a little contrast to the texture. If the feet spread more than the top shell, they look ruffled. If you overmix the batter, it may cause the feet to spread. While preparing the batter, make sure that the batter has a smooth consistency. The shells may develop tall feet, if the oven temperature is too high. Ensure that you have an oven thermometer, and experiment with lower temperatures.
About Macaron Queen
We make dozens of delectable popular macaron flavors, including red velvet, key lime, champagne, and french raspberry. Our macarons are often said to taste better than the originals from France. What started as a personal passion for making delectable, edible treasures for close friends and family quickly became a fast-growing business. We now make these treats for private parties, celebrities, fashion spreads, music videos, and movie sets.
You can reach out to us at (908) 867-8336. You can also fill our online contact form here.