I've so far made 5 batches of French macarons (not the coconut macaroons we have in the U.S.) and while I am learning each time, I still can't seem to find the best way to get these to come out right! I want to scream! I've been reading blogs and forums posts for help, but I just don't get why mine are not turning out. This last batch got closer... They had the nice feet and a smooth top but they seemed hollow and they stuck to the bottom of the silpat. They are also much flatter than most I've seen and not as thick.
Does anyone have any tips for making these?
Here's what I've been doing-
I measure my almonds and then use a food processor and grind them up. I add the powdered sugar and pulse it with the almonds. I beat the (aged for at least 24 hours) egg whites in my kitchenaid mixer with the wisk attachment until foamy then add the granulated sugar slowly and then beat until stiff peaks form. Then I fold the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture until no white streaks appear. I use a pastry bag with a wide tip to pipe my circles onto a silpat that is on a shiny airbake sheet. I bake at 300 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
Does this sound like I am using the proper procedure? I cannot for the life of me figure out why they are basically hollow inside. Although I haven't read anything about that particular issue and I've never actually HAD a macaron, so I really don't know what the proper texture is anyway! ugh! And the bottoms always stick to the silpat. I've tried using parchment which resulted in not as much sticking, but non-circular macarons that were not as attractive. SIGHHHHHHHH.............
You didn't say anything about sifting.
In school we started with almond flour, which is already pretty fine, then put it in the food processor to grind it even smaller. Then we sifted it to remove all the pieces that were too big to fit through the sifter grate.
I tried macarons, too. They looked BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT from the outside....but hollow on the inside. I haven't had the guts to try them again - but it sure ticked me off! Good luck!!!
Macarons ARE kind of hollow on the inside! They're essentially the consistency of meringues. A little chewy on the inside, and almost brittle on the outside. The pop of flavor usually comes from the filling sandwiched in between. They're a bear to do because they are very susceptible to humidity, atmospheric pressure.
It sounds to me like your technique is right. It helps to use very fresh eggs and to have them at room temperature when you start. I have trouble with them sticking also -- I count on losing some of them. Try lowering oven temp to 275 -- they may be less likely to stick if the sugar doesn't caramelize on the bottoms. HTH
But I thought the meringue-y-ness was supposed to go from top to bottom on the inside of the cookies? Mine were literally HOLLOW. It was outer shell, air and then feet. That's not right, RIGHT?
I've read you should sit them out on the counter uncovered for 30 minutes after piping them onto your cookie sheet and before baking....did you do that?
I've only tried them a couple of times with mediocre results...I plan to try them again as Christmas experiments.
I wish you the best!
I did let them sit out - 30 mins EXACTLY. They got nice feet and looked very pretty - I suppose if no one knew the difference they would be okay! I'm gonna try them again - eventually - not soon though. They just irritated me!
I'm not a quitter though, so I definitely have to try again sometime!
Thanks for the comments! I actually did sift the 5th time I made them and let them sit out for 45 minutes before baking. Maybe my technique is ok then? I'm going to keep trying them. They're so darn cute! Failure = learning I suppose!