I don’t know what it is about these finicky cookies but I have an absolute obsession with macarons. Macaron apron, macaron oven mits, macaron lipbalm, macaron phone case…I’m telling ya, I am literally OBSESSED. It’s been a long time since I’ve made (successful) macarons- 1.5 years to be exact. Back in 2014-2015 I was on a macaron kick and after 3 failed attempts, I was able to perfect the process and often made cute macarons to share with friends and co-workers.
Anyway, since I had attempted the Bouchon Bakery recipe of macaron using the Italian meringue method and failed miserably, I wanted to make sure I was still able to make macarons using the French meringue method. One of the only recipes I have used that resulted in successful macaron shells is from a blog called Not So Humble Pie. This blogger shares all her troubleshooting tips for making macarons, which is incredibly helpful. Another recipe I used (specifically for the Biscoff macarons) is from Picky Palate.
The recipe calls for powdered egg whites, but since I didn’t have any on hand I decided to omit them (maybe this was my first mistake?). I also didn’t bother to age the egg whites like you’re supposed to but instead zapped them in the microwave for 10 seconds. I’ve used this microwave method before and it worked like a charm, however, I’ve moved into a new place and the microwave is so damn strong (is that the right word??) that I ended up “cooking” a little bit of the egg whites and had to start over with the separating, weighing, etc. such a pain in the butt.
I guess I should have known from the start that I would end up with a complete mess again. I’m pretty sure I overwhipped my meringue but I didn’t want to give up OR use any more eggs than I already had so I just kept trucking on. After mixing in my sifted almond flour and powdered sugar mix, I mixed until I reached what I THOUGHT was the “lava texture” needed for macaron batter. I piped them out on my brand new macaron silicone mat and waited about 30 minutes to let the shells dry before putting one baking sheet in the oven.
I sat in front of the oven to see if I had succeeded this time and was heartbroken when I saw that the macarons were completely flat with no feet. I opened the oven and added my second baking sheet to the lower oven rack. After waiting a few minutes, I was SO excited to finally see feet forming on the 1st baking sheet but that excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized the 2nd baking sheet’s macarons had turned WRINKLY!! I have never had this happen to me before so I started furiously researching to see what I could have possibly done to mess up the macarons again.
After a lot of research, I think these were all my mistakes:
- Not aging the egg whites. I used pretty fresh eggs so I think I was already doomed at this point.
- Overwhipping the meringue. I KNEW I had overwhipped the meringue as soon as I pulled up the stand mixer’s head and saw the texture of the egg whites. It looked more chunky and had no gloss to it. The most frustrating part of this is that I had actually stopped the mixer at one point and the meringue was glossy and stiff but being the doofus that I am, I just kept on mixing. DAMMIT!
- Overmixing the batter. Again, I had stopped mixing at one point and was debating whether I should start piping, but I decided to keep mixing instead. Such an idiot. I later looked up a video of what “lava texture” was and it was actually A LOT thicker than I had thought. I need to keep in mind that I should stop mixing even when I think the batter is too thick.
I really wish I could have made successful macarons, especially since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. I’m going to try to redeem myself by attempting to make some eclairs tonight filled with custard cream since I have so many egg yolks left over. I’m really disappointed in my failed macarons but I suppose that’s all part of the learning process. I reeeeally hope my eclairs turn out ok tonight. Fingers crossed!!
The macarons looked awful but they ended up tasting really good!! Chewy and a bit creamy from the almond flour. Definitely not a typical macaron taste or texture but I liked it!
1 thought on “Baking Day 5: Macarons (French Meringue Method)”
Thanks for the great post… I think we’ve all been there with macaron baking! Also, don’t you just hate the “lava” description of how the batter should look? I mean who has close experience with lava to really know what that means 🙂 !!!???!