I am about to go on a two-week sabbatical from macaroning, but before I do, let’s answer some more FAQs.
So, after all this time, why are your shells still hollow?
Too much whipping: The writer of the eatlivetravelwrite.com blog says to cut back the amount of time spent whipping the egg whites, since the problem is too much air. Zumbobaking.com says much the same thing – that whipping the egg whites for more than 4 minutes is excessive. The author also says that the oven temperature may be too high.
Frankly, I have never gotten my egg whites to stiff peaks in less than 4 minutes, and it usually takes much longer, so I don’t know how they came up with that number.
Why do your shells have tails?
How many macaron blogs are there, for god’s sake?
A lot. We’re all crazy.
But back to the question at hand: why, after 15 attempts, are my macarons still coming out with tails and hollows? Clearly, I am over-beating the egg whites but under-mixing the batter. Sort of like when you see an old man with his pants pulled up to his armpits: the overall height is normal, but the proportions are all wrong.
Sort of like that.
And with that image in mind, let’s continue with the Italian method and make coffee macarons with chocolate ganache!
I put together the ingredients as usual. This time, however, I make sure to whip the egg whites only to the minimal time required, and then I stir the meringue into the dry ingredient mixture over and over, getting it to as ribbon-like a texture as possible without actually liquifying it.
|Clearly, the problem all along is that I have been taking the photo from the wrong angle.||Adding the sugar syrup.|
|Beaten to a ribbon-like texture.||Piped out pretty nicely!|
And out they come … disastrously.
Wrinkled on top, cracked, flat – in fact, they deflated after I took them out of the oven (compare the batch in the oven to the batch resting on top!), and spread out. This inspires a whole new set of questions: namely, why are your macarons wrinkled on top? Why are they cracked? Why are they flat and deflated? Why did the shells spread out?
So, back to the internet, and it turns out that, according to the experts, if the shells are wrinkled, cracked, flat and too spread out, it means the meringue was not beaten stiff enough, while the batter was beaten too vigorously. OH FOR FUCK’S SAKE, ARE YOU SHITTING ME? After cutting back on whipping the meringue and then beating down the batter until my arm fell off because I kept having too much air in the shells, now I don’t have enough.
You know what? Screw it. I’m going on vacation.