I have returned to making macarons recently after a 3 month hiatus. DH is quick to remind me that it was not meant to be a hiatus but, rather, an end to all macaron-making. Regardless, I was reviewing my notes and realized they needed more organization and set about compiling a chart. DH used the word “obsessed” a lot last night. He may be right. But I figured if this is going to be a long journey I might as well approach it in a scientific manner.
I thought this information might be helpful to other obsessed macaronites as I have tried many recipes and modifications. Please ignore and don’t judge if you are not equally obsessed.
What I have learned from my journey so far:
1. Recipes that are heavy in meringue such as Bravetart’s are more susceptible to cracked macarons because your macaronnage has to be absolutely perfect each and every time. They are, however, less susceptible to hollows.
2. If you have a good grasp of proper macaronnage and your meringue is a stiff one you will not solve the hollow macaron problem with one more/less stroke during macaronnage or one more/less minute of beating the egg whites. It is up to your oven temperature/baking time. I have discovered this by increasing temps/baking time within the same batch of macarons. I have also discovered this by making several batches in one day and just minimally tweaking the beating or the macaronnage. Its up to the oven in the end.
3. Anything less than 300°F will make a meringue not a macaron.
4. Recipes that use tant pour tant quantities of almond flour and PS (such as Kathryn Gordon’s) are least susceptible to hollows but a devil to figure out the right temp/time for achieving nice shapes.
5. For some reason, pink and red color gel fare better in the oven– whether its powder or gel. Yellow fares pretty well. Purples are ok. Green and blue is just terrible. I’m still trying to figure out if this is just my problem or a universal one.