Do you hate fragile, thin shells that shatter the moment you pick one up to eat?
Do you feel your soul shriveling at the sight of hollow shells?
Me me me, I do. I told one of my readers,
“I used to pick up my macarons ever so gently with my thumb and index finger and very carefully, slowly lift it to my mouth to try and take a bite only to accidentally crush the feeble shell to smithereens a centimeter away from my mouth, finding it despairingly hollow, and ending up with macaron shell bits scattered all over my lap, completely ruining the experience.”
Well I’ve finally discovered the not-so-secret way to prevent it from happening ever again with this new recipe.
Before I used this new recipe, I made over a hundred batches of macarons using the same basic macaron recipe, while making a few slight changes here and there in hopes to get it right but to no avail. I’d always have a different problem with each batch that I made. If I had smooth, beautiful shells with feet, they’d be hollow with anorexically thin shells. If the shells were wonderfully full, they’d have wrinkled/cracked shells. And etc. Well actually, I did get perfect results about 3 out of 100 times but obviously, that’s not a ratio of wins I’d like to see.
I’ve been steadfast in my belief that I could make this recipe work because I trusted the source implicitly. But after my zillionth fail to get everything I look for in a macaron, I took a step back and had the thought to try another recipe. THANK GOD, because I created a beautiful, hollow-free macaron with a sturdy shell on my first try. To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I made another batch. SUCCESS!! For some reason, I could just tell from the first batch alone that this new recipe was going to work out.
I was filled with mixed emotions; I was dismayed and had a dull aching in my heart at the thought of all the ingredients I wasted while stubbornly trying to make the previous recipe work while utterly ECSTATIC that I could now work with a reliable recipe. Ugh it still hurts to think I could have saved so much time and money if I weren’t so stubborn. I will take this as a lesson to be more flexible in the future.
Anyway, so what’s the difference between the two recipes?
Well first of all, let me post both recipes here so you can see the ingredient changes:
Old Recipe (OR)
105g powdered sugar
60g almond flour
50g egg whites
15g granulated sugar
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1/8tsp cream of tartar or 2g dehydrated egg white powder
New Recipe (NR) I divided the original Laduree recipe to make a smaller batch
69g almond flour
63g powdered sugar
53g granulated sugar
53g egg whites
Then I added:
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8tsp cream of tartar
The results from the NR
- much thicker shells
- a more stable and glossy meringue
- tasted just as good, if not better
- less airy and more dense of a cookie
- had to make sure I didn’t rest the cookies for too long (over 30 min.) whereas with the OR I didn’t have to worry about how long I rested it for. Resting it too long resulted in it drying too firmly and the side of the shells would get stuck to the bottom preventing it from creating a foot so some of my shells came out lopsided.
4/6 edit– Okay so after a more extensive, critical taste-testing session all throughout the day yesterday, I have to admit that the less reliable OR recipe produced macarons with the preferred texture. sigh. I think I ate around 16 macarons…..I don’t want to talk about it. I was desperately trying to love the NR macaron but in the end, the OR’s thin shell’s crackle that gives way into an airy, soft interior won over the denseness of the NR. Mahaaha …I’m cry-laughing in frustration.
I originally posted my own new & improved recipe here but I’m not satisfied with it anymore so I’ll be continuing to test new recipes until it’s close enough to the texture of the OR yet is more reliable.
If you need an illustrated, detailed guide on how to make macarons check out my tutorial here.