Macaron Advice

Decorating By goforbroke510 Updated 3 Mar 2014 , 1:38pm by liz at sugar

goforbroke510 Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 5:27am
post #1 of 11

I've been making macarons for months now. I do the same thing every time with the same measurements of ingredients. Lately, my macarons have been coming out of the oven and cooling with a "blotchy" surface. They don't come out of the oven like that, but it is as if the blotchiness appears as they continue to cool down. They have the feet, they have smooth shells, they are HOLLOW...and why is this blotchiness happening?! I attached a picture.. Any advice would be helpful!

 

I'm baking at 315 F (I tried baking at 290 and 300 and both resulted in very thin, soft, and easily broken shells, one batch even cracked the shells at 300.. so 315 works for me). I'm using the French Meringue method (110g almond flour, 200g powdered sugar, sifted together). Sometimes I age my egg whites, sometimes I don't, but I haven't seen a difference at all. I tried whipping the egg whites until the meringue had stiff peaks (ball formed inside whisk) and I tried whipped with soft peaks (just enough so that the meringue doesn't fall out the bowl when tipped upside down). During the macaronage stage, I incorporate 1/3 of the dry ingredients at a time until it looks like thick SLOW moving lava (no longer whipped curdle look). When I pipe my macarons, they look beautiful, they SLOWLY spread, no peaks, and I bang the tray to remove air bubbles. By the time they form a skin, they look like they'll come out BEAUTIFUL, but then I end up with these bad boys.....

10 replies
Vancouvercakes Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 10:05am
post #2 of 11

AI first off would definitely recommend making a macaron using an Italian meringue method instead as it yields a much more stable meringue. Blotchiness occurs typically when the meringue is Inadequately beaten or over mixing the batter. Also, aging the whites is very important as this yields a much stronger and stable meringue as well. You can create the aging effect quickly by microwaving for a couple minutes in the microwave (in 15 second intervals). Hope this helps :)

mfeagan Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 11:50am
post #3 of 11

Try watching this video. It's a great tutorial and may help you troubleshoot what you are doing wrong. 

 


MBalaska Posted 9 Nov 2013 , 11:03pm
post #4 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by mfeagan 
 

Try watching this video. It's a great tutorial and may help you troubleshoot what you are doing wrong.

 


mfeagan:  that's a really nice tutorial. Thanks for posting it.

Wish I'd seen it when I made my first macaroons.  I borrowed a couple of macaroon books at the local library for recipes and instruction.

mfeagan Posted 10 Nov 2013 , 2:19am
post #5 of 11

I just happened upon her YouTube channel a few weeks ago when I was looking for something and got hooked! She has a few other recipes and really neat ideas to do with your macaron shells. She makes them polkadot! Too cute!  

ibeeflower Posted 14 Nov 2013 , 6:41pm
post #6 of 11

I add all of my flour/sugar mixture to the egg whites at once. Then I beat it down the first couple of times to get rid of the excess air. I mix until right before it resembles lava since the air continues to escape while I pipe the shells. You may not be incorporating all of the mixture if you are getting streaks.

goforbroke510 Posted 14 Nov 2013 , 8:56pm
post #7 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vancouvercakes 

I first off would definitely recommend making a macaron using an Italian meringue method instead as it yields a much more stable meringue. Blotchiness occurs typically when the meringue is Inadequately beaten or over mixing the batter. Also, aging the whites is very important as this yields a much stronger and stable meringue as well. You can create the aging effect quickly by microwaving for a couple minutes in the microwave (in 15 second intervals). Hope this helps icon_smile.gif

 

Thanks for the recommendation. I ended up trying the Italian Meringue way (I tried it once before and it was a disaster and I told myself I would never try the Italian meringue way again) again and they turned out WAY better. They produced harder shells so they weren't so brittle and they didn't have the "splotchyness" as bad as the ones in the picture (made the French way). I don't have a microwave (hubby is 100% against microwaving food) so I won't be able to microwave eggs "/

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mfeagan 
 

Try watching this video. It's a great tutorial and may help you troubleshoot what you are doing wrong. 

 


 

Tried the Italian meringue way and it worked! Thx!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ibeeflower 
 

I add all of my flour/sugar mixture to the egg whites at once. Then I beat it down the first couple of times to get rid of the excess air. I mix until right before it resembles lava since the air continues to escape while I pipe the shells. You may not be incorporating all of the mixture if you are getting streaks.

 

Possibly. I was also thinking maybe humidity? I had been baking Macarons for the last 2-3 hours and figured it was the heat? I have no clue, my oven is finicky. it's a wall over (gas) and pretty small. I fit half sheet trays in but I can't place them in sideways and only one tray fits per rack (2 racks in oven). I can't even fit a regular roasting pan in there, I hate my oven! Haha. I did try the Italian way and it worked out great!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 14 Nov 2013 , 9:09pm
post #8 of 11

ASounds like you have it fixed, but your issues are from mixing. I always do the Italian method, simply because that's what I was taught, and have always had consistent results. sorry to be the nitpicker, but aging egg whites is just another but of macaron lore. I don't know a single pastry chef who produces perfect macarons that does it. I used to whip out hundreds every week when I worked as a pastry chef, never once was an egg left out on my counter.

goforbroke510 Posted 14 Nov 2013 , 10:48pm
post #9 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

Sounds like you have it fixed, but your issues are from mixing.
I always do the Italian method, simply because that's what I was taught, and have always had consistent results.
sorry to be the nitpicker, but aging egg whites is just another but of macaron lore. I don't know a single pastry chef who produces perfect macarons that does it.
I used to whip out hundreds every week when I worked as a pastry chef, never once was an egg left out on my counter.

Could be my folding technique. I don't count my folds, but here's what I do in the italian way: add in 1/2 meringue mixture and fold it in until incorporated with almond flour/powdered sugar paste then add in remaining half of meringue and fold (J-fold) until the mixture drips slowly (not heavily and fast) from my spatula and I watch it slowly go back into mixture (about 25-30 seconds). The french way: add in 1/3 of almond flour mixture into meringue and fold (j-fold) then add in another third and fold again until all of the almond flour is almost incorporated (still looks like an airy spongy curdle mix), then add in remaining almond flour mixture and fold until the batter is able to slowly run down off my spatula and takes about 25-30 seconds to incorporate back into the rest of the batter. I find that when the batter "flows" off my spatula, this is the point it has been overmixed right? When I pipe the batter, it spreads fast versus spreading slow like the Italian method, so I pipe smaller circles to get decent sized Macarons.

 

Macarons PISS me off.. Haha.

evangeline05 Posted 3 Mar 2014 , 1:18pm
post #10 of 11

AI've also been obsessed with macarons and mine come out blotchy and have a very thin top that breaks very easily. Unlike those crunchy types you get outside. I've adjusted the measurements of each ingredients, the oven temperature and the baking time, but to no avail. Sometimes it comes out hollow, sometimes it's full. But the top is always thin and the center is a little too wet. If I bake it any longer, it will start browning. Does anyone know what causes this?

liz at sugar Posted 3 Mar 2014 , 1:38pm
post #11 of 11

I agree it is the mixing step.  I was in a big hurry on my last batch, and they came out lumpy.  Just didn't get my almond meal and powdered sugar mixed together well enough.  Usually mine are very smooth.

 

Liz

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