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Hollow macaron shells...please help!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've been using this macaron recipe for the French Meringue method (which I believe is the Laduree recipe cut down to 1/4) and I keep getting hollow shells unless I over mix, then I get thin and wrinkled caps.  I've tried baking in temperatures between 280-325F and I still get hollow shells. These little cookies are driving me crazy and I'm not sure what else to do.  Can someone please give some advice?  Thanks!

 

70g almond flour
60g powdered sugar
52g egg whites 
52g granulated sugar

post #2 of 5

Oven temperature is inaccurate.....suggest you get an oven thermometer and your incorporating too much air into your batter when mixing. You need to make sure you are getting macaronage so I would suggest looking up "macaronage technique" up so that you can see how it is done properly. 

 

You can also give the Italian Macaron method a try as it is a more forgiving way of making macaron. I have made all three ways of making macaron and I am a die-hard French method type of person however, if I do not have the proper atmosphere or time to make the French way then I make it the Italian way. Both produce good results. ;)

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fablesable View Post
 

Oven temperature is inaccurate.....suggest you get an oven thermometer and your incorporating too much air into your batter when mixing. You need to make sure you are getting macaronage so I would suggest looking up "macaronage technique" up so that you can see how it is done properly. 

 

You can also give the Italian Macaron method a try as it is a more forgiving way of making macaron. I have made all three ways of making macaron and I am a die-hard French method type of person however, if I do not have the proper atmosphere or time to make the French way then I make it the Italian way. Both produce good results. ;)


Fablesable, 

 

Thanks for your reply.  I have an oven thermometer and although my oven may be a little off, I still go off of what the thermometer says.  Do you recommend baking at lower or higher temperature?  I've read some say higher and some say lower.  I've also looked up the "macaronage technique" and I'm sure I've got the right consistency.  However, at one point I thought maybe there was too much air in the batter so I over mixed a little and ended up with flat, thin, and wrinkled caps.

 

I've tried the Italian Method with success, but I would like to try the French Method since the texture of the cookie is softer and it's less sweet. :p 

post #4 of 5

Okay then, let us narrow it down a wee bit more. Since you have an oven thermo and it is reading accurate then we need to look at macaronage and possibly atmosphere. If you are in a humid environment, the french method macaron is going to be a bit of a "b" for you. That being said, let us start with the macaronage first. 

 

Try a batch again using the macaronage technique to the right consistency (look at youtube site videos), pipe out the macaron, tap sheet on the countertop firmly, let sit and rest until they are firm to the touch. Not slightly firm, FIRM. Then put them in a 300-ish oven to bake. See how they turn out. You do not want to go lower than 300 degrees as that is when the hollow action occurs. This is because they are baking too slowly. 

 

You can always give a higher oven temp as well however, you want to make sure your macaronage technique is perfected first as well as waiting for the macaron to firm up BEFORE putting into oven. These two steps are crucial to the French method way.

 

Let me know how it goes! ;)

post #5 of 5

proper mixing is 90% of the struggle of macarons. you want to fold the meringue and almond flour/10x mix till it becomes shiny again, like your meringue should be. I fold 3 or 4 times after everything is combined and check and adjust the consistency. Some people say it should flow like lava...great. I like to mix till it ribbons off the spatula. not big fluffy globs dripping off, but a 'flat' batter when it comes off the spatula.

 

do not overmix the meringue. I shoot for a 'bec d'oiseau', or 'birds beak'

 

If you whip too much air into the meringue, you need to get it back out. That results in over mixing. Tapping the trays on the countertop helps to eliminate any extra air inside the shells before they dry. dried shells that are ready for the oven should not stick to your fingers, should not be tacky.

 

It is important to note that I am at high altitude as well. I bake around 350 to get good oven spring in a larger commercial oven. 5 minutes, rotate, 5 more and pull them. at home i will go down to 300, and bake 8, turn then bake an additional 3. 

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