macarons baking troubleshooting 

macarons baking troubleshooting

crack macarons

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The macarons shells contains few ingredients, but these cookies are the trickiest cookies to make, especially if you're making the meringue with the french method.
Even pinch of water that enters the macarons batter, can ruin the whole macarons.
I've tried so many times ’til I manage to make good macarons constantly.

The secret to success? don't  give up.

There are some rules that you MUST follow correctly. It takes some experience to make good macarons.

Before we review the mistakes and problems in preparation –  If you are working according to the French method and the macarons don't turnout right, look at the following trouble-shooting questions to see what went wrong:

Did you whip the egg whites long enough? If you don't whip the egg whites until they look like stiff shaving cream, the macarons will not come out well. It is also very important not to over-beat so the meringue doesn't crack.

Did you sift the almond powder and sugar very well? Large chunks of almond/sugar powder may destroy the macarons. You have to sift the powders at least twice.

Did you fold the powdered ingredients into the egg whites correctly?  The folding is a critical step in preparing macarons. If you fold too little, the macarons break, and if you fold too much, the macarons break or will not have "feets". Folding in correctly means that you pick up some of the batter with a spatula, and the batter cascades down in the shape of a ribbon, to the right and to the left, like the letter Z.

Were you careful not to let even one drop of water into the macaron batter?  This is a critical mistake and often people don't pay enough attention to it. Liquids destroy macarons. That is why you must not use liquid food coloring.

Did you put the macarons in the oven after they were thoroughly dried? Macarons that are not totally dry will break during baking. You can use a hair dryer to blow-dry them.

Is the weather outside humid?  Excessive humidity like there is in July-August, or humidity on rainy days is the "enemy" of macarons. Humidity is an external factor that we cannot control. On days when humidity is high, it is recommended to dry the macarons in an air-conditioned room, and not in  a room with high humidity. Excessive moisture also prevents macarons from drying quickly before they are baked.

Troubleshooting the process of preparing macarons:

The egg whites do not stiffen when beaten

– Apparently the egg whites have too much moisture or drops of water fell into the batter.

– You may also have added the food coloring too early. Do not use liquid food coloring.

If after a few minutes the egg whites do not form stiff peaks, they cannot be used for making macarons.

It is recommended to use aged egg whites or egg whites at room temperature.

Aged egg whites are those that have been separated from the egg yolks at least one day in advance.

If you do add food coloring, then add it just before the last round of beating.

The batter is too runny when folding it in with powdered sugar and almonds /

The  macarons are too runny  after piping the batter onto the  baking pan and even run into each other.

– Too much liquid food coloring or other liquid got into the batter.

– There may have been too much folding.

– The egg whites may not have been  beaten enough.

– You may have left the beaten egg whites standing too much time  before folding into the powdered sugar and almonds.

If after folding, the batter is too liquidy, the macarons  will probably not turn out well.

Macarons  take a long time to dry before baking

– Moisture. The weather may be too wet outside and the macarons refuse to dry. When there is high humidity, the macarons  should be left to "rest" in an air-conditioned place so they can dry out before baking. Humidity is an external factor over which we have no control.

– If the ground almonds are not "fresh" or have dried out and lost their natural oiliness. Oiliness contributes to speeding up drying before baking. So, keep the almonds in packaging that will keep them fresh in the refrigerator.

Macaron  shell is damaged / not smooth

– There may be too much ground almond in the batter or unsifted pieces of almond.

– It is most likely that there was not enough folding of the meringue into the almond powder and sugar. You should fold the powdered sugar and almonds with the meringue until the batter falls from the spatula like a ribbon in the shape of a Z.

The ground almonds and sugar should be sifted twice in the sieve. Large pieces should be sifted out.

The  macaron has no  "feet"

– This is a problem of excessive moisture: the batter is too runny.

– There may have been excessive folding.
– Macarons  may not have dried sufficiently before being placed in the oven.

The macaron shell breaks during baking

– You might not have folded the meringue enough when adding the almonds and powdered sugar.

– You might have over-folded the meringue and powders.

– The problem of moisture: If the weather is too humid, it could ruin the macarons. The macarons also may not have dried sufficiently before placing in the oven. If before baking, the macarons haven't dried even after an hour or more of waiting – there is a problem of excessive moisture in the batter.

You can use a hair dryer to dry the macarons, or alternatively, let the macarons dry in an air-conditioned room. The shell of the macarons should be dry before placing in the oven. Drying time is also affected by weather and humidity.

After baking, the macarons stick to the pan

Probably the bottom has not baked enough. Put the pan back in the oven and check every half minute to see if ready.

The macarons bake well and grow "feet" but these flatten out when removed from oven

– The macarons were probably taken out of the oven before they were ready.

– They may also been over-folded when blending egg whites and powders.

The macarons looks good, but hollow inside

  • too much air is trapped inside the macaron batter. you need to tap  the pan on a smooth, stable surface for at least 4 times. This  process releases the air bubbles.
  • make sure you fold the powdered sugar and almonds evenly with the meringue, uneven batter can produce hollow macarons.
  • the temperture in your oven might be too high.

I make macarons with the french meringue method, this method is very delicate so the chances to fail are pretty high. If you don't get along  with this method, you can change the method of the meringue making. Italian meringue take more step and time, but the chance to make good macarons is high. there's more room for mistakes in this method.

By using the french meringue method you have to beware that no dirt or drop of water can enter th batter. These tiny things can ruin the whole batch.

I highly recommend all the beginners to watch macarons video recipes in Youtube. I add some of them in this page.

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