These chewy, bite-sized French meringues have become quite popular of late, capturing the hearts, and sweet tooth, of Latin America. The main ingredients are egg whites and finely ground almond flour, and it’s probably a safe bet to say that many have tried to make them at home…. and many have failed miserably!
If this has been your experience, try not to worry, because it is one of the most difficult recipes to successfully execute, causing even professional chefs and pastry chefs hesitation. Because of the whipped egg whites, the mixture becomes extremely sensitive to many environmental elements such as temperature, humidity, or the state of the materials used to make it. However, we have a few tips that could bring you closer to making the perfect macaron, the one we all dream of.
Both the bowl and the whipping utensil (be it a whisk or an electric mixer) must be free from water and grease. Any fat residue will prevent the egg whites from stiffening. Glass or stainless steel bowls are best.
The oven should be preheated for at least 20 minutes before putting the macaron shells in, as these little meringues need a good amount of heat to rise. And remember the golden rule: do NOT open the oven for anything in the world until your macarons are done.
A fine flour
If your mixture looks uneven, it is likely that the almond flour is not fine enough. If this is the case, pulse it first in the food processor for 30 seconds to get a smoother, more powder-like texture.
Egg whites should always be whipped at room temperature, otherwise they won’t absorb as many air bubbles. Remember to always whip them in one direction using a circular motion until they form peaks.
Tap, pop, rest
Once you have the shells arranged on your tray, tap the tray a few times on the counter to release any air bubbles in the batter. If you see any bubbles remaining, you can use a toothpick to pop them. Then let them rest for at least 30 minutes so they form a skin. The top should be dry before putting them in the oven in order to avoid cracking.A fine flour
Keep a safe distance
Each macaron shell should have a space of at least 2 centimeters from its neighbor. This is to prevent them from sticking together so that they bake properly.