Macarons are cookies made of meringue that are sandwiched together with a filling that is just as tasty as the meringue. They are a typical food item in France, but you can now get them ready in the United States, and you can even make them on your own at home!
If there’s one thing you need to know before attempting to make macarons at home, it’s that you’ll need patience, practice, and accuracy to do it well. When it comes to producing macarons at home, one of the most frequent problems that home chefs run into is that the dough becomes too thick.
How can you adjust the consistency of macaron batter that is overly thick? If the macaron batter is excessively thick, the easiest approach to repair it is to mix it with force, which will drive some of the air out of the batter. In the event that this does not work, the problem is most likely caused by an incorrect ratio of dry to wet components, greasy almond flour, or an overbeaten meringue.
Continue reading to learn more about macarons, the many solutions available for dealing with macaron batter that is too thick, the procedures that should be adhered to while creating macarons at home, and a lot more!
What Exactly Is a Macaron?
The French delicacy known as macarons (pronounced “mak-uh-rohns”) is composed of two cookies based on meringue that is sandwiched together with a delectable filling. The tiny cookies are often colored with food coloring and are offered in a variety of taste profiles.
An excellent macaron will have a flat top and ruffled bottoms; it will also be airy and light, and it will have a sweet crunch that is not overpowering.
The mixture is folded together very gently, piped, and then baked. It is made with egg whites that have been beaten until they form firm peaks, fine almond flour, powdered sugar, and the flavoring of your choosing added to it.
What Should The Ideal Consistency Of Macaron Batter Be?
Macaronage refers to the act of manipulating the batter until it reaches the ideal consistency, and it is an incredibly critical step in the process of producing excellent macarons.
The mixture for macarons should be stirred until it thickens to a consistency comparable to that of pancake batter. It shouldn’t be too thin, but it also shouldn’t be too thick to pour easily. It should be smooth, sparkly, and have a flowing consistency so that it can be piped into macaron shells with ease.
To determine if the batter is the right consistency, drop it off your spatula into the shape of a “figure 8.” In an ideal situation, the batter should slide off the spatula without any difficulty, and it shouldn’t take more than ten seconds for figure 8 to completely sink back into the batter.
In the event that it takes less than ten seconds, the batter is overly watery and was most likely overmixed. In the event that it takes longer, continue folding the batter in order to deflate additional air and make it thinner.
After the batter has been brought to the appropriate consistency, it is placed in a pastry bag and piped onto a silicone mat in the form of flat, round circles. The macaron shells are then baked until they achieve the desired level of doneness.
Meringue cookies, after they have been cooked and allowed to cool, are coupled with fillings such as buttercream, jam, or chocolate ganache. Other filling options include raspberry preserves.
Why Does Macaron Batter Have Such a Thick Consistency?
When you add dry components to your meringue, such as almond flour and sugar, the meringue will often become rather thick. However, as you fold the mixture, the consistency of the meringue should begin to loosen, thin out, and become runnier.
In rare cases, the batter may never get runnier and might remain consistently thick throughout. During the folding process, it could potentially get much thicker.
It’s possible that this is due to an incorrect ratio of dry to wet components, greasy almond flour, or overbeaten meringue, but the most likely culprit is an inaccurate ratio.
If you try to make macarons with a mixture that is too thick, you can end up with small peaks on each cookie that won’t settle down, which is a sign that the macaronage process is not finished.
What You Should Do If Your Macaron Batter Is Too Thick
It is recommended to avoid having thick macaron batter rather than attempt to rectify it since it is quite difficult to fix properly.
As a potential remedial solution, some individuals add more beaten egg whites; nevertheless, the effectiveness of this strategy is not guaranteed. It is strictly forbidden to include water in the combination, thus doing so is just not an option.
How to Keep the Macaron Batter from Turning Out to Be Too Dense
There are a few simple things you can do to avoid the macaron batter being overly thick, such as the following:
- Utilizing the scale in the kitchen, accurately weigh each of the components.
- Use almond flour that has been freshly ground, sifted, and finely ground; do not process the almonds in a food processor.
- It is important to refrain from beating the meringue for too long as this might lead it to become dry and throw off the ratio.
- It is essential that the sugar be incorporated into the egg whites at the appropriate moment.
- Make sure you use food coloring that hasn’t gone bad.
- Here are a few more pointers to keep in mind to ensure that you get the batter to the appropriate consistency!
First and foremost, make the batter in as few batches as possible.
Instead of placing all of the ingredients in one bowl and attempting to mix and fold them in the correct manner, it could be easier to prepare the macarons in separate batches if you are going to be producing a large quantity of them.
Having separate, smaller batches will make it much simpler to mix the macaron batter, which will ultimately lead to better outcomes. This is because the batter for the macarons will initially be thick and difficult to combine.
The second tip is to count the folds.
During the macaronage process, the number of times you fold the batter is quite important since it will decide whether the batter will be thick or thin.
It is recommended to do between 50 and 60 folds in order to guarantee that the batter is neither undermixed nor overmixed. You may count out loud if doing so would assist you in maintaining awareness of the number of folds in the paper.
Third and last piece of advice: do not undermix or overmix the batter.
It is quite simple to overmix the mixture for your macarons, which may result in a messy disaster that is difficult, if not impossible, to correct.
Undermixing the batter may result in a thick batter with lumpy or hollow macarons, whilst overmixing the batter will result in the batter being thinner and will yield broken macarons. You definitely want to avoid undermixing or overmixing the mixture.
Additional Suggestions and Advice for Producing the Finest Macarons
The following are some extra suggestions for piping and baking the greatest macarons, which have the ideal form, consistency, and flavor:
- If you want your macarons to have the ideal round form, you should pipe them using a round tip.
- Employing a silicone mat will prevent the macarons from turning brown as quickly and will help them keep their form better.
- Tap the baking sheet before you put it in the oven to get rid of any air bubbles; this will guarantee that your small shells do not have any dents in them.
- Before you bake the macarons, you should give them some time to rest so that they don’t crack in the oven. Wait until the batter is completely dry, has lost its gloss, and is no longer sticky to the touch before proceeding.
- Because the displays on ovens aren’t always accurate, baking macarons requires the use of an oven thermometer.
- Before removing the macaron shells from the mat, you should let them for at least 15 to 20 minutes for them to cool down.
- Before delighting in the macarons, be sure to place them in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours so that they may develop a chewy consistency on the interior.
The Most Frequent Problems With Macarons and the Reasons Behind Them
A flawless macaron will have a smooth and sparkly top, feet with ruffles, and complete shells on the interior. They should not only have the ideal consistency, but also an outstanding taste!
When you make macarons at home, you run the risk of encountering a number of problems, such as broken shells and a gritty texture.
The following is a list of some of the most typical problems that individuals have while preparing macarons, along with the reasons why these problems occur, so that you may prevent them the next time:
If All Else Fails
If despite your best efforts, you are unable to manufacture delicious macarons and wind up with shells that are cracked, hollow, or porous, you have two options: either enjoy them as they are or come up with a creative method to utilize them so that you don’t have to throw them away.
Put the broken and flat macaron shells into a food processor, and pulse them until they become a powder of the desired consistency, whether that be a fine or a coarse powder. When you do this, you should check to see that the shells are not sticky. If that’s the case, give them a few more minutes in the oven and then get to blending!
The end product will be a flavorful meringue cookie powder that can be included in a wide range of sweet treats.
Macaron dust is a great way to make a dish look and taste better. You can add it to a custard, use it as a topping for chocolate-dipped strawberries, or sprinkle it on cakes, cupcakes, doughnuts, and ice cream.
A Few Parting Thoughts
Macarons are a delectable French treat that is based on the meringue and can be created at home by following a few simple instructions and pointers.
It may take some time for you to master it, but when you do, the results will make all of your hard work worthwhile! Who wouldn’t want to be able to boast that they can cook a French delicacy in their own kitchen, right?
It is essential to avoid undermixing or overmixing the mixture in order to prevent the macaron batter from becoming excessively thick. This may be accomplished by being aware while combining the components and by limiting the number of times the dough is folded.
An excellent number to aim for when trying to attain the ideal batter consistency for making macarons that are glossy, smooth, and attractive is between 50 and 60 folds on average.