Do you really need to age egg whites for macarons? What egg whites are best for macarons? So, you want to make macarons and you have heard the macaron needs only four basic ingredients:
- caster sugar
- confectioners sugar
- almond flour (almond meal)
- egg white
Only four ingredients or three if you want to get really technical so what can go wrong. Yet, many bakers and even experienced patisserie masters get flops or macawrongs instead of macarons! What seems to be the problem? Macaron success starts with quality ingredients. Today, I want to hopefully give you some tips on the egg white. After all, being able to work with, whip and combine the egg white is important.
So, let’s answer the first question for you very quickly. Do you really need to age egg whites for macarons? Well, no. Our macarons recipe covers a fantastic way that helps you ‘age’ the egg white much, much faster than the traditional ‘kitchen-counter’ method. And, it’s safer too! But you can still get away without aging the egg white as long as you handle it correctly. This is probably not ‘breaking news’ to someone with some baking experience but it’s not all that common sense either since I have seen experienced bakers mishandle the egg white in many frightening ways. That won’t make much of a difference in other recipes but macarons … well, you need to be a bit more thorough here. So, on with the egg white…
If you happen to wash the eggs before use then make sure you dry them thoroughly before separating. Washing the eggs makes sense since you might worry about hygiene and bug issues. You don’t want to poison anyone with your food! However, unless you buy your eggs from a farm then they should be fine. Most eggs are properly rinsed and washed to remove any trace of farm life. But, if you still worry… give them a rinse then make sure they are completely dry before cracking the shell–macarons don’t take moisture too kindly!
Next, have two clean bowls. Tap one egg against the lip of the bowl to break its shell. Then very, very carefully half the shell leaving one shell half empty. Give it a quick sniff test to make sure you don’t smell anything funny, if you do – throw it in the bin.
Next, shift the contents between the shell halves over a clean bowl to let the egg white fall into the bowl. You might consider having three bowls one for the egg white, one for the yolk and the last one for the shifting exercise. Egg yolks don’t always separate nice and clean as you would like!
Remember, not to mix any egg white with the yolk since even a tiny speck of egg yolk might alter and even ruin your macarons. The egg yolk has a high level of fat in it and eggs won’t whip well with fat–often, they won’t whip at all! If some egg yolk happens to fall in the bowl of egg white then scoop it out with a clean fork or spoon. Some recommend using a bit of broken shell but I prefer a clean utensil instead.
Hopefully, this helps a bit with your macaron efforts! Just remember, the egg white whips best in clean and sterile utensils – try not to touch it with your hands and makes sure it contains absolutely no egg yolk. Sorry, no compromise here unless you want macawrongs!