Why Are My Macaron Shells Cracking?
The perfectly smooth dome of the Macarons & More macaron does not happen by accident. We perfected our recipe when the company was young and we were using second-hand uncalibrated ovens that we had brought off E-bay. One of them had a replacement thermostat knob from a completely different oven.
Our macaron method is robust and we recommend you try it if your attempts are consistently producing cracked shells.
Mixing the Batter
Macarons aren’t a bake for beginners – you’ll need to make an Italian Meringue and then add precise amounts of ground almonds, icing sugar, egg white and food-colouring. Beat this combination for too long or too short a time and you will wind up with cracked shells. We recommend a 20-second blast in an electric mixer, a scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then another 10-20 seconds.
The Standard Advice
If the mixing process has gone smoothly and you have piped the perfect circles of batter onto your baking paper, the standard advice is to let your macarons rest and form a dull crust before baking. The idea is that this slight film formed by resting will prevent the evaporating moisture from escaping through (and cracking) the skin of your macaron as the shell rises into its characteristic dome shape.
The Macarons & More Method
We find that ‘resting’ your piped macaron batter is too hit and miss. The length of time they need to rest is dependent on factors such as the heat and humidity of your kitchen. Our method is to place the shells directly into an oven pre-heated to 150°C, but immediately to reduce the temperature to 0°C and bake for 11 minutes. This process will form the required smooth film. Then we fire the heat back up to 135°C for 13 minutes to achieve the perfect rise and bake on the shells.
We hope that this helps you achieve smooth macaron shells! Still having trouble, why not sign up for one of our macaron-making classes? Of course, if life is too short to make your own macarons – you can always order a box from our bakery!