Armed with everything I’ve learned this week, I decided to throw all caution to the wind. I broke numerous macaron “rules”, like the one that dictates you have to incorporate your sugar and almonds by hand; like the one that says to allow your macarons to dry slightly; like the one that says you need to age your eggs or use room temperature whites. Yup, I broke those. So, what are the results you ask? Mixed, I’d say.
As for using room temperature, aged egg whites, I really don’t think it matters all that much. My egg whites beat up just fine (forgot to add a pinch of salt), as I was pretty sure they would (see here). I took it slowly, working my way up to full speed, adding colour before I got to the peak stage (I used FD&C powdered colour as that’s what I have in house). Then, I used the mixer to incorporate (just barely) the icing sugar/almond mixture. I stopped as soon as everything was mixed. I finished up by hand and may have gone a touch too far. I also made this batch larger than I have so far, just cuz.
Then I baked. They cracked. Boy, did they crack! The first batch I baked didn’t get any feet; they also hadn’t rested to develop a skin.
The second batch has feet but also has cracks. At this point, they’d rested for about 15-20 minutes and were tacky to the touch.
The third tray looks the best of the three, less cracking, nice looking feet. These had rested approximately 30 -35 minutes and were almost dry to the touch.
So what have I learned? Some things are important. From here on in, I will let them dry, to develop that skin. It definitely seems to help. I think I will blend the sugar/almond mixture by hand. There’s a level of satisfaction in the mixing. It isn’t a chore; it’s almost therapeutic. As for the egg whites, I really don’t think it matters whether they’re cold or room temperature, fresh or aged. I think the amount of the egg whites is more important than the age. As I said earlier, in a previous blog post, if you’re going to err with the weight of the egg whites, err on the side of less rather than more.
I’m still on a quest to make the perfect macaron; I’ll keep posting about it, at least until I’m comfortable with what I’m doing. Some times, though, you just have to throw caution to the wind. It’s part of the learning.
My takeaway, at this point in the process, is not to worry too much about perfection. Sure, try for it but, you know what? Even though they don’t look perfect, they sure do taste good!
P.S. These will be filled with a White Chocolate Raspberry Ganache… at this point, it’s still firming up.