Original article at Shape.com
I have purchased macarons ranging from $1.95 to $3.50 each, and would say some were definitely worth the price, while others were quite underwhelming. The price alone inspired me to try my hand at making macarons.
After my first three attempts, I began to think the same two thoughts, “Never again, I’ll just buy them!” or, “These came out well, and were worth the mess my poor “Sous Chef” has to help me clean up!”
Here are some factors in achieving a perfect macaron:
Aged egg whites
The egg whites used to make the shells should be aged for up to five days in the refrigerator
The dry ingredients must be refined several times. The sugar and ground almonds are further ground and passed through a sieve to ensure the smoothest shells
After aging the egg whites, timing the steps, and a piping marathon, many bakers watch the clock before putting the cookie sheets in the oven. A 30 – 60 minute resting period helps achieve the signature “foot,” the ruffled ridge around the inner rim of the cookie
Even the slightest slant of the pastry bag could cause inconsistent circles and two mismatched halves
Waiting on the weather
The weather has a lot to do with the final results of a perfect macaron. Humidity is the enemy because too much moisture in the air will cause devastating results such as flattened or cracked shells instead of shiny, perfect domes.
I’m craving macarons right now, how about you?