Common Questions About Macarons
Making macarons is not the easiest thing as we all know as it requires a lot of time and patience to make them perfect. There are many little details that can make or break the final product.
I am sure that everyone who has ever baked macarons has had some questions about these delicate sweets. I will give my best to answer the most popular questions about macarons.
Why are my macaron shells not round?
The macarons can not round for several reasons:
- Because of the improper piping technique
- Too thin low quality parchment paper is used
- The batter is over-mixed
- Too much food coloring has been used
- The piping technique is not correct
What does the perfect macaron batter look like?
The batter should flow from the spatula slowly like a ribbon and you should be able to write the number 8 without the batter breaking.
I have made a detailed blog post on how to correctly fold the batter, and how can you control if it’s ready for piping, or not.
Can I put undercooked macarons back in the oven?
Yes, you can put undercooked macarons back in the oven. But you have to be sure they really are undercooked. Sometimes the macarons are stuck to the silicone mat just because they are not cooled yet. Be careful not to over-bake them.
Can I use a hair dryer to dry my macarons?
This is one very funny question as you can see the macarons are so tricky that they make you come up with extraordinary ideas. The answer is yes! Yes, you can use a hair dryer to dry your macarons. Be sure you are using the cool air setting, not a hot heat. Do not put the hair dryer too close to the macarons.
What can cause wet macaron batter?
There can be a lot of reasons why your macaron batter is too wet. Always ensure your baking equipment is well-cleaned before using as it can affect the meringue.
The meringue should be well made – under-whipped meringue can cause wet macaron batter.
Be sure you always weigh all the ingredients with a kitchen scale – punctuality is the key when making macarons.
Why are my macaron shells wet?
Apparently, it is caused by the humid weather or the ingredients themselves having too much moisture. Sometimes the almond flour can be too oily for macarons.
You can easily check it before baking – touch the flour and rub it between your fingers. If you see and feel your fingers oily then you should dry the almond flour in the oven before making macarons. Drying it in the oven makes it less oily.
Too much food coloring can cause too wet batter. Do not use liquid food coloring and do not overdose on the gel food coloring as well.
If your almond flour is too oily, the weather is too humid, or you are using too much food coloring, your macarons can turn out speckled. In that case, they are very fragile and break easily.
Why did my macarons not rise?
Macarons can not rise properly when the oven temperature is too low, the batter is too runny or the oven mode is not correct. Try raising the temperature and see what happens! If it doesn’t help, try to not over-mix the macaron batter next time.
How do you make macarons fluffy?
Well-made macarons are nice and fluffy inside. To make perfect fluffy macarons, you need to follow the recipe and be very accurate. Do not miss any steps following the recipe. I have written a very detailed recipe for baking macarons with the Italian method.
Why are my macarons chewy?
Macarons can be chewy when they have too much moisture in them. Also, the macaron shells can just be under-baked. Try baking them a little longer next time or raise the oven temperature.
Why are my macarons not forming skin?
Your macarons should form a skin in at least 30 minutes after piping. If it does not happen, it can be too humid in your kitchen. Turn on the kitchen hood, dehumidifier, or why not use the hair dryer (cool air)
What consistency should macaron batter be?
The batter should flow from the spatula slowly like a ribbon and you should be able to write the number 8 without the batter breaking. Read more about What is Macaronage? (Secret Macaron Batter Folding Technique)
What happens when you over-mix macaron batter?
Over-mixing the macaron batter can ruin your macarons – if the batter is too runny, your macarons can turn out cracked, with no feet, hollow inside, or lopsided. Do not over-mix the batter. Once you feel it is ready, stop folding it immediately. You can not fix the overmixed batter.
What happens when you under-mix macaron batter?
The under-mixed batter can cause bumpy-lumpy macarons with nipples and points. Macarons can be hollow inside and just not look as good as they should. Fold a little longer next time to get the slowly flowing ribbon effect.
How to fix hollow macarons?
You can fix the hollow macarons by putting the filling between the shells and letting them mature in the air-tight container in the fridge for about 24 hours. Sometimes it helps and the filling presses to the shell’s bottoms and the hollows will “disappear”.
You can also just gently push the bottom of the macaron with your finger to fill the hollow. You can get off the hollows but it is not solving the problem.
Read more about hollow macarons here: Hollow Macarons Reasons and Fixes.
What are macarons’ feet?
A beautiful even macaron’s feet is a sign of a well-baked macaron. It is a little ruffled layer around the edge of the macaron’s shell. The feet are growing on the macaron shells in the oven. There is a strict look of a perfect macaron’s feet, it can not be too tall, too short, unevenly spread, and lopsided.
What can I do to make my macaron batter runnier?
To make your macaron batter runnier – keep folding the batter slowly until it gets the slowly flowing magma consistency.
Why is my macaron batter too runny?
Your macaron batter is too runny when you have not measured the ingredients properly, or the batter is over-mixed. Over-mixing the batter is the most common mistake that beginners make.
You need to fold the batter slowly and stop immediately when you are able to write the number 8 with the batter without it breaking.
How to fix too runny macaron batter?
Sadly, you can not fix the macaron batter once it is too runny. Try to avoid over-mixing next time and weigh all the ingredients correctly. You can still bake the macarons even when the batter is runny – your macarons probably won’t look perfect but they still taste good.
Why is my macaron batter too lumpy?
To prevent the lumpy batter you should start folding the dry ingredients with just a ⅓ of the meringue. Once even, add the second part of the meringue and gently fold until nice and smooth. Make sure you scrape the edges of the bowl to get the whole batter.
Lastly, add the third part of the meringue and fold slowly. Be careful because in this part there is a huge chance to over-mix.
The batter can get lumpy when you add all the meringue to the dry ingredients at once. By doing that, it is hard to prevent lumps because before you can get the batter nice and smooth, it probably will already start to get too runny, and you need to stop mixing even when there are lumps in it.
What to do with ruined macarons?
Do not be sad when your macarons don’t turn out perfect. There are so many ways to hide the little imperfections. Drizzle them over with chocolate, stick the mini marshmallows into the chocolate, sprinkle them over with crushed dried berries, etc.
When your macarons are in very bad shape and completely ruined or cracked – you still can use them. For example, you can crush the macarons and make macaron dust to sprinkle on the desserts.
Can I add water to my macaron batter?
The quick answer is no. You definitely can not add water to your macaron batter. Even the liquid water-based food colors can ruin your macarons so please stay away from them.
How do you tell macarons are underbaked?
Your macarons are underbaked when they stick to the parchment paper/silicone mat, they are chewy and sticky inside.
How do you tell macarons are overbaked?
You can tell your macarons are overbaked once they change color and have a brownish shade on them. Even if your macarons look nice and don’t look overbaked but are very crispy – they are overbaked and left in the oven for too long.
Do I have to rest my macarons?
It depends on what recipe you are using. Some recipes require resting the macarons, and others don’t. I personally use this recipe and can’t see the difference. As I only have one oven and some batches are resting while waiting to get to the oven – they don’t look or taste any different than the others that are not resting.
Can you rest macarons for too long?
Yes, you can rest macarons for too long. I recommend not leaving your macarons to rest for over two hours. Too long a resting time can cause flat and lopsided macarons.
How do you know macarons are done resting?
If resting is needed in the recipe you are using, you can control it with your finger. Gently touch the macaron and if it is not sticking to your finger then it is ready for the oven. You can also see that the macarons are not that shiny anymore – they look matte, and they have thin skin over them.
How do dry macarons in humid weather?
It is definitely harder to dry your macarons in humid weather. I recommend using the dehumidifier, kitchen hood, or fan to help to dry your macarons.
Can you rest macarons in the fridge?
You should not rest your macarons in the fridge as the atmosphere there is humid, and you want to avoid humidity.
Do I need to use silicone mats for making macarons?
No, you don’t have to use silicone mats. You can use parchment paper as well and still get the perfect macarons. It is recommended to use high-quality parchment paper sheets. Read more about using silicone mats in my other post.
Why do macarons from the same batch look different?
Sometimes poor oven circulation, wrong macaronage techniques, different resting times, and under-beaten egg whites can cause different results from one batter and even from one batch.
Can I store the macaron batter?
You can not store the macaron batter. Once the batter is ready, you should pipe it out as quickly as you can. Why? Because it changes its consistency and gets thicker. The more you wait, the thicker it gets, which can lead to many problems. Your macarons can turn out cracked, wrinkled, too soft, fragile, and hollow inside.
Enjoy your macarons!