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Macarons - The rights and maca-wrongs

Posted on: October 19, 2017     |     0 comments

The search for perfection in today's afternoon tea staple.

Macarons are everywhere at the moment. Once the exclusive property of high end French restaurants & patisseries. Now, they are key to any afternoon tea, which themselves have rocketed in popularity.

These dainty treats have some chefs absolutely flummoxed, but they are a simple enough thing to make when you get the hang of it. I've had all the disasters myself, too runny, burnt, no rise, cracked shells and nightmares with what colourings to use.

Fillings for macarons should always be stable enough and thick enough to hold their shape at room temperature. When making any ganache for filling, it's recommended to use more chocolate than cream to get a firmer consistency. There is no point in mastering the art of making making macarons if the fillings are going to leak out & ruin the effect.

Making a successful batch of macarons is all down to controlling the variables to allow for a consistent product.

Most of the mistakes made in the production of macarons occur in the preparation stage. As with anything, all equipment should be clean and dry.

Macarons can be affected by the humidity of the kitchen fairly easily. If there are lots of things going on on the stove and there's a lot of heat and steam, this can cause the macarons to lose shape after being piped or whilst being mixed. It is generally better to get them made either first thing in the morning or last thing at night and away from heat sources if possible.

Using parchment paper actually inhibits the rise of the macarons as the mix can sink further into parchment paper than it can to a silicon mat, the French masters for the 1800's may disagree, but there aren't many of them on LinkedIn.

When using colourings, I've found that liquid products can vary wildly in concentration. This can amount to an inconsistent finish, but it does depend on the finish you're looking for. Vivid, bright colours will obviously require a lot of colour for effect, whereas more muted, pastel tones won't require as much. I found that a gel based colouring works well, as the gel is closer to the consistency of the mix, it doesn't need to interfere with the structure as much as a water based product.

For a great recipe for macarons, check out our recipe page 

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