Macarons! Macarons! We were in a love-hate relationship. It took me so long to be able to make them well! Mastering the macaron technique is more difficult than taking a law exam. Seriously.
Failed 3 times, frustrated, persisted, searched the web, and realized that macarons had been harsh on others too! The macaron shell is the source of all troubles, the common problems include, no "feet" (the tiny ruffles along the circumference), soggy crust, cracks on crust, or they just turn out to be extremely sweet almond cookies.
The first time I had macarons was very unpleasant (that patisserie makes really bad macarons). I was so turned off by its excessive sweetness and hard crust which stuck to my teeth that I stayed away from it for a number of years. Macarons and I finally crossed paths again when my sister made me try one from the Island Shangri-la, telling me that it's really good. So I tried, very unwillingly, and then taking another bite, willingly this time, admitted that the macaron did taste great!
The perfect macaron shell should have two layers, a very thin, smooth, egg shell-like crust and beneath it is the soft, slightly chewy, meringue-like texture. It took me three failing attempts to finally get the macaron technique and make decent, "legit" macarons. I will share with you all the "secrets" to making macarons, however, it is inevitable to experience some flops before you truly grasp the technique. Meanwhile, you may also read "Demystifying Macarons" by Helene Dujardin for inspiration. Have fun experimenting!
Tips for making nice macaron shells:
1. Use aged egg whites (48-72 hours).
2. Beat the egg whites until they stand.
3. Mix in the dry ingredients (almond power and sugar and any other flavouring e.g. matcha powder) into the beaten egg whites with a few very quick strokes and then slow down for a few more strokes until all the ingredients are well combined and form a slightly runny but also a little thick batter. Do not over mix.
4. When you're done piping out the small rounds on the baking paper, leave it there for 45-60 minutes before shoving it into the oven. This process and the aged egg whites are crucial for creating the "feet".
Please click read more for the recipe.