A colleague of mine had been trying to bake macarons to no avail.
So she asked me, how long do you need to freeze the egg whites for? Thing is, I don’t freeze my egg whites.
You might have heard a lot of taboos about these fickle little things. But honestly, as long as you keep to some simple rules, it’s really not that hard to master.
I’m sharing a couple of my know-hows here, some which probably’d be especially helpful for those who lives in sunny Singapore. 🙂
It’s important to get an oven with fairly even top-bottom heating.
Most small ovens tend to be overly hot on the top, causing your macarons to brown too quickly on the surface before it’s fully cooked. Know your oven and adjust accordingly.
Follow a good recipe.
This might sound oxymoron but I really think a decent recipe makes a lot of difference. The one that I constantly turn to when making basic macaron shells is from ochikeron. I don’t follow her macronage technique though (ie. punching down of the batter).
Measure your ingredients precisely.
To the grams, that is. A small digital weighing machine doesn’t cost much and takes a lot of stress off your baking so why not? I got mine at about $30.
And finally, my personal “trick” to making successful pretty macarons is this:
Fold batter & dry your macarons in an air-conditioned room.
I found this out accidentally one time when I was making macarons during the night. It was hot and humid and I took my mixing bowls into the room and turned on the air-con. Prior to this, I’ve had limited success with my macarons, most of them cracking on the top 5 minutes into baking.
Amazingly, that batch came out so perfect I think I cried a little. *jk.
A few more attempts after, I realized it’s a fail-proof way of making nice, smooth macarons. Thinking about the mechanics, I fathomed it’s got something to do with the humidity.
Singapore has a high humidity, resulting in longer dry time for the macaron shells. It’s something like how, in some blogs, people claim it’s difficult to bake macarons during rainy days.
An air-conditioned room makes for drier air, plus with the help of a fan, it speeds up the drying process. From experience, if your macronage is correct, the shells shouldn’t take more than 15 mins to dry.
I’ll try to do an additional post on how to beat the meringue and my folding method next time, but for now, here’s some Hazelnut chocolate macarons from last week!
I was lazy so I got some ready made hazelnut butter from The Marketplace and mixed them into the chocolate ganache. :p
Keep calm and bake!