My recent macaron challenge with Samantha of Sweet Remedy has sent me on a macaron whirlwind, and like so many other food bloggers, I have officially caught the macaron bug. I’m so glad I decided to finally make macarons, after months and months of being too intimidated by this tiny French treat to barely even think twice about making them.
One week after my first ever macarons, the coffee and Nutella ones, I was already setting out egg whites that had been aged in the refrigerator for my next batch, which were matcha macarons with white chocolate ganache filling. I had higher hopes for this batch. I had even bought a digital kitchen scale especially for my macaron baking. This is a brand new Breville one that I bought on eBay for $30 under retail price.
And so came the day for matcha macarons. My new digital scale made everything so easy to measure. I mixed one tablespoon of matcha in with the powdered sugar and almonds in the food processor. Later, after I had tasted the macarons, I decided that one tablespoon was way too much for my liking. I followed the matcha macaron shell recipe from Tartelette, and if I were to do it again, I would definitely use less matcha, perhaps only about one teaspoon.
I was sure to not over-beat the egg whites and I may have added the sugar just a touch too soon, as you’re supposed to add it after the egg whites turn foamy, like a bubble bath. But of course, I’m so worried about adding it too late, that I may have added it too soon!
What I believe that I mainly did wrong was over-beat the almond/powdered sugar mixture into the egg whites. The batter seemed to be thicker than it was with the coffee macarons and I lost count of how many strokes I had done (it’s supposed to be under 50). The reason I think that I over-beat it is because I had read later that if you have sunken macaron shells after baking, it was probably over-beaten, and I did have sunken macaron shells.
I let the macaron batter sit out on the baking sheet in little circles for 30 minutes. Once in the oven, the feet appeared after about 5 minutes, but as with the coffee macarons, the tops started to wrinkle and some cracked. And, as with the coffee macarons, the feet started to collapse by the end of the baking time. I was so discouraged that I took them out of the oven before they were even done!
That was just my first batch though, I had another tray of batter waiting to go into the oven (I only let this one sit out about 5-10 minutes). I did some quick research online about the shells wrinkling and the feet collapsing. I found some tips that I hadn’t found previously, which included baking the shells at a lower temperature. I was baking my macarons at 150C, but for the next batch I baked them at about 135C. I watched them bake and by the end of the baking time I noted that some had just minor wrinkling and most of the feet had not collapsed.
What I did definitely have were sunken tops on some of the shells, which could prove that I over-beat the batter. But I was very happy to see some better feet this time! I was so happy that I used some leftover Lindt 70% chocolate to melt and coat one of the macarons, and this ended up being my favorite one!
If you’re researching macarons in order to prepare yourself for baking them, then I hope my macaron posts can help you. The best tip I can give you though is just to be prepared and read as much as you can. Although you can get to a point where it may just be overwhelming to read so many differing tips and hints, you just have to go into it head first, do it, and don’t be discouraged if you fail the first time. Take everything you learned in the failed experiment, research some more if you have to, and do it again. My main point is that I know so many of you want to make macarons yourself, but are also as scared as I was – I just want to say, give it a go! You’ve got nothing to lose, and even if you do fail, I bet they’ll still taste good!
I’ve already got egg whites aging in the refrigerator for my next batch, coming up soon! 🙂