Macarons: Experimenting with Oven Temperature and Bright Colors

Since my last post I’ve been trying darker colors and different flavors.  I’ve run into problems with hollows when I go very dark like a dark red.  I did attain a beautiful Ohio State (my husband’s perspective) red by adding 2 teaspoons of chefmaster red powder to my dry ingredients but when I baked them at my normal temp of 300F the macarons would end up completely hollow.  This also occurred if I baked them a minute or two longer.  Some air pockets also occurred when I tried to make Earl Grey macarons. So I tried experimenting again.
I stuck in one dark pink tray at 315F for 18 minutes and there was definite improvement although still with air pockets.

315F for 18 minutes

I stuck in another tray at 330F for 15 minutes and they were beautiful inside but the feet were more skirt like, meaning protruding feet rather than level with the tops.  Like bottlecaps, I guess you could say.

330F for 15 minutes; notice how they started sliding off their feet a little?
Macarons from both trays for comparison. 315F on the left and 330F on the right

I got somewhat less of the bottlecap effect at 325F but not as full inside as the ones baked at 330 — and then ran out of trays.  So next time maybe I’ll try lowering the tray since my heating element is at the top but baking them at 330F. Interesting that when I was using Les Petits Macarons recipe/instructions they were always great on the inside but they would slide off the feet a little because of the high heat.

Mind you this is always with the convection fan on.  There is absolutely no good that comes out of my oven if the convection fan is not on.

PS By the way, I recently took a class on Craftsy called “Miniature French Desserts” by Colette Christian in which I picked up some new tips about macarons.  If you’ve never taken a Craftsy class you don’t know what you’re missing.  I was able to message Colette about some of the troubles I was having baking the darker macarons and she responded immediately.  Anyway, based on her approach, I also dropped the dried egg whites with this batch and just used a pinch of cream of tartar instead. No noticeable difference. OH, AND ONE MORE THING I CHANGED! I stopped sifting the almond flour before I weighed it. I just sifted once after I ground the PS and the almond flour together. Again, no noticeable difference. Thank goodness I can dispense with most of the sifting now.

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