This post is here to help completely troubleshoot your macarons! I think I worked all the problems I see into it, but if I happened to miss something please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to answer your question as well as add it here!
Wrinkled or Fragile Tops:
- First, your meringue wasn’t made correctly or wasn’t at the right stage. Make sure your sugar syrup was between 118-120 degrees C (244-248 degrees F). I aim for right at 118 degrees C, but never go over 120 degrees.
- Don’t over mix your egg whites before you add the sugar syrup. You want to just get them foamy. You don’t want to take them to any type of a peak at all.
- When adding your sugar syrup have your mixer running at a medium-low speed. Once most of it is in, turn the mixer to medium. Once the sugar syrup is completely added, turn your mixer to a medium-high. We want to develop the meringue.
- Don’t over beat the meringue! You do not want stiff peaks. Your meringue should be thick, smooth, and glossy. The peak should still be able to flip back and forth when you remove the whisk. You’re going for what looks like a birds beak.
- Second, your almond flour is oily. I recently got an oily batch of almond flour that’s usually dependable (Blue Diamond). It very quickly and had me scratching my head trying to figure out why all the sudden my shells were extremely fragile, the feet were frilling out, and they were sticking to the mats. I switched back to my favorite almond flour (Anthony’s) and it solved the problem. I won’t ever change almond flour brands again! Anthony’s never lets me down. It’s never oily, I don’t have to sift or process it (I use it straight out of the bag), and it’s an amazing quality! Why did I buy something else in the first place? Well, lol, I ran out and needed some more right then so I ran to the store and bought a bag of Blue Diamond. It happens, but now I know that I just can’t run out of Anthony’s because I don’t want to go through that again!
Lopsided or Exploding tops or feet:
- Exploding tops or feet is usually due to your oven temperature being too high.
- Make sure you’re letting your oven completely preheat before baking. I’m not talking about when it beeps and says it’s ready, but when your extra oven thermometer (that you absolutely should always be using) shows that it’s at the temperature that you need it to be.
- Make sure your meringue was prepared correctly.
- Let your macarons rest and form a shell before baking. I know a select few (lucky) bakers that use my recipe and can bake right after piping them out. I have to let mine form a skin or they all volcano on me. The time it takes to form a skin will depend on your area and environment. Mine take anywhere between 15-40 minutes depending on the time of year.
- With that said, it is possible to over-dry them. I find that if I leave them resting for an hour or longer, they bake up lopsided.
- If your feet are always coming out frilly and your oven temp is correct, try flipping your pan over and bake on the bottom. I noticed recently that my feet were getting frilly. I figured it was the humidity messing with me but I went ahead and flipped the pan. It worked and my feet are back to being straight! Why does this work? It helps the air flow to move better around the macarons without the lip (edge) of the pan being in the way.
- When you’re folding your batter, work with different consistencies until you find what works best for you. In general, I know most people go to the “figure 8” stage (where the batter flows and you can drop it into a figure 8 pattern). For me, that doesn’t work at all. If I let my batter get that loose I always get hollows. I have to keep my batter pretty thick. I know 90% of us have never actually seen lava in person, but that’s the consistency I stick with. It’s thick and moves slow. It will even break off instead of flowing freely, but that’s just right.
- The tips above will also help with hollows.
That’s pretty much the 3 main questions I receive, but again, if you have another that I need to add let me know! I also have 2 other posts (listed below) that are very informative if you’d like to check those out 🙂