1. Aged Egg Whites
You will find plenty of articles that say no need to age your egg whites. However it does make a difference in the amount of liquid in your batter. Head over to Food Noveau to learn more about why you SHOULD age your egg whites and possible shortcuts.
2. Proper Consistency
The proper consistency in my opinion begins with your egg whites. Your egg whites should be a nice stiff peak, but not dry. If you can turn the bowl over your head and nothing comes out there are stiff! You want them stiff and glossy not dry. If they fold over like a birds beak when you lift out the whisk they are not stiff enough and you will have a runny batter.
The next step in having the proper lava flowing consistency is to fold the almond mixture into the egg whites and push out the air without creating a loose soupy mixture. If not enough air is pushed out you will have “nipples” if too much air is pushed out you will have tasty wafer cookies. Gwens Kitchen Creations has even more tips on the magma consistent batter.
3. Drying Time
After you pipe out your macarons touch the center of the macaron. Feel how sticky they are? You don’t want to bake your macaron when they are sticky. You will not get the pretty frills on the bottom, but you will get tasty wafer cookies. I call them macaron whoopie pies when they fail. Patience is a virtue when it comes to the perfect. Too much time is just as bad as too little time. If there is a lot of humidity in the air it will take longer for your macarons to dry. Check them in about 20 minutes and if the centers are still wet check them every 10 minutes until the shells have crusted over and dried. Julia and Tania have some great tips and thoughts on the drying method.
Not every macaron day is ever the same and neither are our ovens. When you find the perfect macaron recipe be sure to adjust your bake time and temperature to your oven. My oven runs hot so I bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 325 degrees is ideal and if you bake higher be sure to put an additional tray underneath so you won’t burn the bottoms of your macarons. Most importantly don’t use the convection setting on your oven and DO turn the macarons halfway through baking. Check Out Bakerette’s tip #4
I journal every time I make macarons to know what worked and what didn’t. I make sure I note the weather and humidity, my mood, did any ingredients change, how long did the oven preheat, etc. etc. By doing this you will quickly find what works for you and baking macarons!
The Sugar Peddler