Macaron success starts with whipping the egg white to the right consistency. In other words, bad meringue creates bad macarons. The Macaron Master covers this in detail. What I hope to share with you today is a few useful ‘meringue tips’ that should help you produce better macarons.
You probably know that meringue and fat and oil don’t mix. That’s why you use clean bowl and utensils – I wipe mine with a bit of vinegar before use.
There are two main types of meringue – soft meringue and hard meringue. The latter uses about two parts sugar to whites. Soft meringue, on the other hand, uses equal or less weight of sugar and egg white.
Both meringues vary in consistency. While hard meringue is more stable it is also denser than soft meringue. You can test mixing different proportions of sugar to see which one produces best macaron domes for you. The Macaron Master teaches how to achieve the right consistency for smooth, bakery-quality macarons.
If you find that your macarons ‘weep’ it may be because the sugar in the meringue didn’t dissolve completely. What can help is using superfine sugar and making sure that you add it slowly to the egg white. Adding sugar too quickly can collapse the foam and even prevent the egg white from whipping. I have also found that sometimes sifting the sugar before mixing it with the meringue helps.
On a humid day… okay, it’s best not to make macarons when humidity is high. But if you don’t have a choice, then you need to stabilise the meringue with some acid like cream of tarter. Cream of tartar stabilizes the meringue by lowering its pH – it makes is more acidic. Of course, lemon juice of vinegar will do just the same but it may also alter the taste of the meringue = undesirable! When adding cream of tarter you need to add it early but not too early.
Egg whites at room temperature whip best.
Once again, these little tips are probably not important if you’re not too fussy with how your macarons turns out. However, if you want them really perfect every little detail is important.