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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello Everyone!

I would like to share my recipe for perfect Macaron Shells using the Italian Meringue Method. Enjoy!

MACARON SHELLS USING THE ITALIAN MERINGUE METHOD

AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK "MACARON MASTERCLASS" BY JOEY E. PRATS

FORMULA

YIELD: MAKES 120 MACARON SHELLS (4.5 CM DIAMETER), GOOD FOR 60 MACARONS

INGREDIENTS

SPECIFICATION

WEIGHT

BAKER'S %

TRUE %

ALMOND MEAL

BLANCHED

250 GRAMS

100.00 %

24.39 %

CONFECTIONER'S SUGAR

10 X

250 GRAMS

100.00 %

24.39 %

EGG WHITES 1

AGED 5 DAYS¹

100 GRAMS

40.00 %

9.76 %

CASTER SUGAR

N/A

250 GRAMS

100.00 %

24.39 %

DISTILLED WATER

N/A

75 GRAMS

30.00 %²

7.31 %

EGG WHITES 2

AGED 5 TO 7 DAYS

100 GRAMS

40.00 %

9.76 %

FOOD COLORING

SOFT GEL PASTE

AS NEEDED

N/A

N/A

BATCH TOTALS

1,025 GRAMS

410.00 %

100.00 %
NOTES ON THE FORMULA

· ALL INGREDIENTS AT 20 DEGREES CELSIUS (ROOM TEMPERATURE) UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED

· GROUND ALMONDS AT 100.00 % (BAKER'S %)

· FORMULA WAS TESTED AT A RELATIVE HUMIDITY RANGE OF 35 % TO 45 %

¹ TO AGE THE EGG WHITES, PLACE THEM IN A CLEAN AND SANITIZED CONTAINER; COVER WITH CLING WRAP. PUNCH SEVERAL HOLES THROUGH THE CLING WRAP. REFRIGERATE THE EGG WHITES FOR 5 DAYS. THIS PROCESS ALLOWS SOME OF THE EGG WHITES' WATER CONTENT TO EVAPORATE, THEREBY PRODUCING A MORE "CONCENTRATED" FORM OF EGG WHITES VIS-À-VIS ITS PROTEIN CONTENT. IT ALSO RELAXES THE COILED PROTEINS IN THE ALBUMEN, WHICH CONSEQUENTLY PRODUCES A MORE STABLE MERINGUE, AND ELIMINATES THE NEED TO ADD AN ACID SUCH AS CREAM OF TARTAR, TO BRING ABOUT THE SAME EFFECT.

² THE WEIGHT (AND BAKER'S %) OF DISTILLED WATER IS BASED ON THE QUANTITY OF CASTER SUGAR. WHEN PREPARING SUPERSATURATED SUGAR SOLUTIONS SUCH AS SYRUP FOR ITALIAN MERINGUE, ADDING THE SUGAR IN WATER 30 % ITS WEIGHT ENSURES THAT ALL THE CRYSTALS DISSOLVE COMPLETELY, PREVENTING THE OCCURRENCE OF INVERSION OR RECRYSTALLIZATION DURING THE COOKING PROCESS.

PROCEDURE

1. PREPARE THE TANT-POUR-TANT. COMBINE THE ALMOND MEAL AND CONFECTIONER'S SUGAR IN THE BOWL OF A FOOD PROCESSOR WITH THE METAL BLADE ATTACHED. PROCESS FOR 3 MINUTES. TRANSFER TO A CLEAN AND SANITIZED STAINLESS STEEL BOWL.

2. MAKE THE ALMOND PASTE. ADD THE EGG WHITES 1 TO THE TANT-POUR-TANT AND MIX WELL, CREATING A HOMOGENOUS PASTE. SET ASIDE.

3. PREPARE THE SUGAR SYRUP FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE. COMBINE THE CASTER SUGAR AND DISTILLED WATER IN A SAUCEPAN. PLACE OVER MEDIUM HEAT AND BRING TO A BOIL. AS YOU COOK THE SUGAR SYRUP, WASH DOWN THE SIDES OF THE SAUCEPAN WITH A PASTRY BRUSH DIPPED IN WATER. DO NOT LET THE BRUSH TOUCH THE SYRUP; RATHER, LET WATER FROM THE BRUSH RUN DOWN THE SIDES OF THE SAUCEPAN. THIS REMOVES CRYSTALS THAT MAY "SEED" THE WHOLE BATCH AND CAUSE RECRYSTALLIZATION. AT NO POINT DURING THE COOKING PROCESS IS THE SUGAR SYRUP TO BE STIRRED.

THE GOAL IS TO COOK THE SYRUP TO 118°C. AS SOON AS THE SUGAR THERMOMETER REACHES 115°C, BEGIN THE NEXT STEP…THE WHIPPING OF THE EGG WHITES FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE.

4. WHIP THE EGG WHITES FOR THE ITALIAN MERINGUE: PLACE THE EGG WHITES 2 IN A MIXER BOWL. USING THE WIRE WHIP ATTACHMENT, WHIP EGG WHITES ON MEDIUM SPEED (SPEED 6 ON A KITCHENAID) TO SOFT PEAK STAGE. AS SOON AS THE SUGAR SYRUP REACHES 118°C, REMOVE THE SAUCEPAN FROM THE HEAT AND POUR THE SYRUP IN A THIN, STEADY STREAM INTO THE WHIPPING EGG WHITES. IT IS CRUCIAL THAT THE EGG WHITES DO NOT GO BEYOND THE SOFT PEAK STAGE WHEN THE SYRUP IS ADDED TO IT, LEST YOU END UP WITH AN ITALIAN MERINGUE SO STIFF THAT IT BECOMES DIFFICULT TO INCORPORATE IT PROPERLY WITH THE ALMOND PASTE DURING THE MACARONAGE STAGE.

CONTINUE WHIPPING THE ITALIAN MERINGUE ON MEDIUM SPEED UNTIL THE TEMPERATURE DROPS TO 50°C. IF FOOD COLORING IS TO BE USED, ADD IT AT THIS STAGE.

5. THE MACARONAGE: THE MACARONAGE IS SIMPLY PUT, THE PROCESS OF INCORPORATING THE ITALIAN MERINGUE INTO THE ALMOND PASTE. THIS IS WITHOUT DOUBT, THE MOST DIFFICULT STEP IN MACARON MAKING AS IT WILL RELY ON YOUR JUDGEMENT IN DETERMINING THE CORRECT CONSISTENCY OF THE MACARON SHELL BATTER. UNDERFOLDING AND OVERFOLDING WILL BOTH PRODUCE UNDESIRABLE RESULTS.

BEGIN THE MACARONAGE BY GENTLY INCORPORATING THE ITALIAN MERINGUE INTO THE ALMOND PASTE. ONCE INCORPORATED, WORK THE BATTER A LITTLE MORE BRISKLY BY FOLDING AND "SCRATCHING" THE SURFACE UNTIL THE CORRECT CONSISTENCY IS ACHIEVED. WHEN THE BATTER IS JUST STARTING TO TURN GLOSSY, IT IS AT THE RIGHT STAGE FOR PIPING. THE BATTER SHOULD FLOW IN VERY THICK RIBBONS WHEN THE SPATULA IS LIFTED. OTHERS DESCRIBE THE BATTER AS BEING LIKE "MOLTEN LAVA."

6. PIPE THE MACARON SHELLS: LINE FIVE (5) HALF-SIZE SHEET PANS (46 CM X 33 CM) WITH THE ATTACHED MACARON TEMPLATES³, LAYING TWO SHEETS SIDE BY SIDE ON EACH SHEET PAN. COVER TEMPLATES WITH NON-STICK BAKING PAPER.

FILL A LARGE PASTRY BAG FITTED WITH PASTRY TIP #804 (ROUND TIP, 1 CM DIAMETER) WITH THE MACARON SHELL BATTER. PIPE THE BATTER ONTO PREPARED SHEET PANS INTO 3.5-CM DISCS. THIS IS MADE EASY BY THE TEMPLATES. EACH CIRCLE ON THE TEMPLATE IS COMPOSED OF TWO CONCENTRIC CIRCLES. THE INNER CIRCLE MEASURES 3.5 CM, AND THE OUTER CIRCLE MEASURES 4.5 CM. PIPE THE BATTER WITHIN THE INNER CIRCLES. IF YOUR BATTER IS AT THE CORRECT CONSISTENCY, IT SHOULD SPREAD OUT SLIGHTLY WITHOUT REACHING THE OUTER CIRCLE. ONCE YOU'RE DONE PIPING, TAP EACH SHEET PAN UNTIL THE MACARON SHELLS SPREAD TO REACH THE OUTER CIRCLES. YOU NOW HAVE UNIFORMLY-SIZED MACARONS, EACH MEASURING 4.5 CM IN DIAMETER.

ALLOW THE MACARON SHELLS TO SIT FOR 30 MINUTES (THE SITTING TIME HIGHLY DEPENDS ON THE ROOM'S HUMIDITY) UNTIL THE SURFACE FEELS DRY TO THE TOUCH. MEANWHILE, PREHEAT THE OVEN TO THE FOLLOWING TEMPERATURE:

· CONVENTIONAL / DECK OVEN : 180°C

· CONVECTION OVEN: 160°C

7. BAKE THE MACARON SHELLS: BAKE THE MACARON SHELLS FOR APPROXIMATELY 12 TO 14 MINUTES, DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF OVEN YOU ARE USING. THE MACARON SHELLS SHOULD NOT CHANGE COLOR DURING THE BAKING PROCESS.

COOL THE MACARON SHELLS ON THE SHEET PANS. CAREFULLY REMOVE THE SHELLS FROM THE BAKING PAPER. THE SHELLS ARE NOW READY TO BE FILLED.

³ WHEN PRINTING OUT THE MACARON TEMPLATES, BE SURE TO USE A4 SIZE PAPER, AND THAT PRINTER PAPER SETTING IS PROGRAMMED TO PRINT ON A4 SIZE PAPER. THIS ENSURES THAT THE CIRCLES ON THE TEMPLATE MEASURE EXACTLY 3.5 CM FOR THE INNER CIRCLES AND 4.5 CM FOR THE OUTER CIRCLES.



IF YOU ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS OR IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO MESSAGE ME. HAPPY BAKING!

Joey Prats

Patissier

Joey Prats Signature Desserts

Manila, Philippines
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I've been hiding in a "bat cave" the past few months creating and perfecting several recipes, but mainly the macarons. Sounds like you have too much bottom heat. I suggest double panning the tray on the lower shelf of your oven. Macarons are the most moody cookies I have ever encountered, but with practice and a good recipe, you'll be an expert in no time. the recipe I posted here uses the Italian meringue approach...a little more tedious than the French Meringue method, but yields more consistent results. Let me know how I can help you. I'm just a message, email, or Facebook comment away. Best regards!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Hi there! your macarons are gorgeous! Ive attended macaron making classes but am not getting the results like yours. Theyre either lopsided, under cooked, major air pockets. Its been a frustrating road! I have tossed many macarons, Im talking in the hundreds because theyre not to my standard. What am I doing wrong. The chef who taught me gave me a very similar recipe as yours except, 225g sugar with 55 water, 160g of egg whites verses your 200. tpt is the same, 250/250. Can you give me any suggestions? Thank You so much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello mcakes,

Don't despair! I shall do everything in my humble power to help you in your quest for the perfect macaron. What chefs don't usually reveal about macarons using the Italian meringue method are the following:
  • There really is only one universal formula in terms of the almond - powdered sugar - granulated sugar ratio. It is 1 : 1 : 1.
  • The only variable is the egg white content. It can go as low as 60 % the weight of the almonds to as high as 90 % the weight of the almonds.
A formula with a low egg white content (60 % to 70 %) results in a very crumbly finished product that stales quickly. the macarons may look fantastic but it is the eating quality and shelf life that is compromised. The only advantage of a low egg white content is that it allows the macarons to be baked without the drying process since there is very little moisture in the batch. But this hardly makes up for the inferior outcome.

A formula with a medium egg white content (71 % to 80 %) produces, in my opinion, the perfect consistency of the finished product....with a thin, egg shell-like crust and a really chewy interior.

A formula with a high egg white content (81 % to 90 %) produces too soft a final product. Once the shells absorb moisture from the filling, they turn almost soggy, which destroys the eating experience.

Looking at your formula, I can see that your egg whites are at 64 %, which is quite low.

However, egg white content is not the only basis for a successful macaron. The procedure has a lot to do with it. Here are some pointers.
  • Always use aged egg whites. In my experience, I used to get the lopsided macarons back in the days when I used fresh egg whites. My post above has the procedure for ageing egg whites.
  • Always cook the syrup to 118 degrees Celsius. Cooking at a lower temperature does not stabilize the meringue enough.
  • After adding the syrup to the egg whites, cool the meringue to 50 degrees Celsius. Never cool it completely. There is a reason for this. Folding the very warm meringue to the TPT does something to the powdered sugar's crystalline structure. It allows the piped macarons to form really nice thin skins that dry up fast and produce magnificent feet. Professional chefs here in Manila always compliment me for my macarons' high feet. A simple way to illustrate this principle is in a simple doughnut glaze recipe. Try making doughnut glaze (powdered sugar and water) using room temperature water and warm water. You will see that the warm water formula produces a better glaze...firm on the outside but nice and soft inside. Same is true when making fondant glaze for Eclairs.
  • In the macaronage step, agitate the mixture just until it forms a nice thick ribbon when you lift your spatula. In my observation, a lot of chefs over-agitate their macaronage to get to that "LAVA" consistency.
  • Bake your macarons at 180 degrees Celsius (conventional oven) or 165 degrees Celsius (convection oven). This might be a little high compared to most recipes out there but your need a hot oven to make your macarons literally jump up and form those coveted feet.
I wish I could do a demonstration for you to help you visualize everything I just said. I invite you to check my facebook page from time to time for updates on macaron techniques. Just search JOEY PRATS SIGNATURE DESSERTS.

I hop I was able to shed some light on your dillema. If you have any more questions, just let me know.

Sincerely,

Joey
 

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Chef Joey!!! This is absolutely great advice! Thank you so much for taking the time to show me the correct way in making italian macarons. You're amazing!!!

I typically age my whites for at least 3 days but will try 5 like you mentioned. I will also try using egg content of 71-80% and see if this percentage will work. I believe I am over agitating the macaronage step. Possibly, too much folding may be causing the air pockets. I am somewhat fearful in baking the macarons at 180 c but will try this step. I am baking the macarons with your added expertise! Wish me luck!

Again, thank you so much!
 
 

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Joey! I was able to make roughly 100 macarons with your amazing recipe! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experiences!!! They came out almost perfect! I believe my candy thermometer was off towards the end which ultimately ruined a few batches. But Im thrilled to know macarons are possible now!!! 

Thank you!!!!

Rita
 

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Thank you so much for such a wonderful explanation  of making macaron. I just have a one question, when making chocolate macaron using this recipe, how much of coco powder do you need to use as well as how much almond flour do you have to take out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello jykdaily!

To be honest, I don't add cocoa powder to my chocolate macarons. I simply color the shells a deep brown like the photo above. The reason I don't like adding cocoa powder to my shells is that I feel the mild chocolate flavor you get is not enough to justify the change in texture. In all my tests, I find that adding cocoa powder produces slightly drier shells that are slightly denser and heavier than shells with no cocoa powder. This also translates to shells that are crumbly, especially after a few days. For my bestselling Ultimate Chocolate Macarons, I focus on the filling to give my customers a sensational and intense chocolate experience. It's so funny because when I ask them how the shells taste like, 10 out of 10 says they're very chocolatey! I guess it's a psychological response given there's no cocoa in the shells. But I believe the intense flavor of the chocolate ganache filling carries over to the shells. Here's a quick trick to intensify your chocolate ganache filling: Use dark chocolate couverture that is between 65 to 72% cocoa content, and add 10 grams (2-1/2 tablespoons) of instant coffee powder for every 1 kg (2.2 lbs) of chocolate used (dissolve the coffee in the cream when making your ganache). The coffee will not be prominent but will accentuate and intensify the chocolate experience. Happy baking!!!

Joey
 

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Thank you so much for your explanation! I can't wait to try your recipe. There are so many different kinds of recipes out there, but nobody so far explained their recipes as clear as yours.

I will let you know how the macarons turn out. Again, thank you.

Sincerely,

JiYoung
 

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Hi, I halfed the recipe due to the quantity,, and followed the rest of the instructions.  I find it hard during the part where I have to watch the temperature then start on beating the egg white.

I also found the sugar syrup settled somewhat at the bottom of the egg white bowl, and hard to beat.   I waited about an hour almost to dry the macarons,, then baked at 325.

The look is ok, round, smooth, have feet, but not as high as the pictures and are some what hollow and crunchy.

What did i do wrong and improve on?

Thanks.

Anne
 

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One more thing, the egg white didn't quite reach the stiff peak, it's like smooth lava like.  I think it has to do with the temperature of the sugar syrup, the timing in starting to beat the egg white, than adding the syrup.
 

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Hi chef,
Thank you for sharing the recipe with us. I have tried making macs so many times but failed and tried recipe in macs recipe books. I experienced macs with wrinkly surface after baking. I am not sure why. Would you be able to explain what I did wrong. When baking the macs, which rack should i put the tray?. I am using ariston home oven where tray 14" tray can fit in. I didnot aged the white eggs and didnot add the white egg into almond. I am using a different recipe. What is the purpose of them both?After reading above, I stirred my sugar syrup while waiting it to reach the temp.

FYI, I have successfully making macs using french method but i think there arent stable. Sometimes, i have also failed macs day using this method. And that is why I want to try italian method. Grateful for your help. Thank you.

Regards,
Amarizah
 

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Hi chef,
Your explanation is awesome. Thank you. i'll be trying this next week

My only doubt is in which part or level of my conventional oven should I put the macarons (Highest, middle or in the lowest ) ? Thank you
 

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Those look EXACTLY like how I want mine to come out.

BTW, I order macarroons today at a famous chain bakery near by my house and they were WAY worse than my failed macarroon recipe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hello everyone! It is difficult for me to diagnose and correct the individual problems you are experiencing without me seeing how you guys are executing your macaron recipes. What I can do is prepare a video for all of you to watch so you can see exactly how I do my macs. To be honest, 2 years ago I could not even make macarons, but I developed and obsession to create the perfect macaron and after many sleepless nights and countless kilograms of almonds, I have perfected the technique. In fact, a lot of the hotels here have hired my services to train their staff on the production of macarons. Please be patient as I prepare the video. Meanwhile, I strongly suggest to give the French Meringue method a try. To get the recipe, please email me at [email protected]. It is more basic compared to the Italian Meringue method and yield gorgeous macs woth high feet. Thank you all for your passion!

Joey
 
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