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Lam

Help! Wrinkled/hollow macarons!

22 posts in this topic

I have been experiementing with macarons these last few months, and I have yet to make perfect macarons. Most of the macarons I have made are hollow on the inside. They're so hollow, if I nudge them a bit, the top crust just comes right off. They still taste decent but not what a successful macaron should be like. I don't think I am overbeating my meringue at all. They are always firm and stiff. I have tried whipping a little less than I usually do but still get hollows. I did some research and saw a few people recommend adding a bit of cornstarch to the dry mix. Yep. Cornstarch.  This really perplexed me because I always see people saying not to use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch, so how could adding cornstarch prevent hollow macs? I also saw one person use tapioca starch to prevent hollows as well. This time around, I whipped the meringue at a much longer time, but no higher than speed 7 (kitchenaid), which gave me a super stable meringue. I also added cornstarch. I piped the batter out, and they looked super perfect the first few minutes in the oven. Sadly, they came out very wrinkled. The first batch was super wrinkled, but the second batch was less wrinkled, or bumpy even. Not sure if this is because of the silpat for the first batch and the parchment pper for the second hmm. Does anyone know what I did wrong to get these wrinkled macs and how to troubleshoot? Also some help on hollow macs would be appreciated! Thanks

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7 hours ago, Lam said:

I have been experiementing with macarons these last few months, and I have yet to make perfect macarons. Most of the macarons I have made are hollow on the inside. They're so hollow, if I nudge them a bit, the top crust just comes right off. They still taste decent but not what a successful macaron should be like. I don't think I am overbeating my meringue at all. They are always firm and stiff. I have tried whipping a little less than I usually do but still get hollows. I did some research and saw a few people recommend adding a bit of cornstarch to the dry mix. Yep. Cornstarch.  This really perplexed me because I always see people saying not to use powdered sugar that contains cornstarch, so how could adding cornstarch prevent hollow macs? I also saw one person use tapioca starch to prevent hollows as well. This time around, I whipped the meringue at a much longer time, but no higher than speed 7 (kitchenaid), which gave me a super stable meringue. I also added cornstarch. I piped the batter out, and they looked super perfect the first few minutes in the oven. Sadly, they came out very wrinkled. The first batch was super wrinkled, but the second batch was less wrinkled, or bumpy even. Not sure if this is because of the silpat for the first batch and the parchment pper for the second hmm. Does anyone know what I did wrong to get these wrinkled macs and how to troubleshoot? Also some help on hollow macs would be appreciated! Thanks

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This macaron topic here on EG might be helpful.

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I think the wrinkled ones are underbaked. 

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11 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

Are you letting your macaron cure for a while prior to baking?

Yes, I always make sure to let them sit out before I bake them 

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4 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

I think the wrinkled ones are underbaked. 

They're actually not underbaked. I have had a batch of wrinkled macarons before and they all have a soft texture when warm, but after they cool they become extremely chewy. 

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I've had wrinkly tops happen when I mixed a bit too much and the batter is a little too liquidy. Sometimes it will happen only with the last bit of macaron batter in the bag, because that batter has been handled a bit too much already. But it's always hard to tell why macarons behave badly sometimes, and other times not.

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Are you being too gentle when you fold the meringue and almond flour together?  I used to have a host of problems until I finally realized I was folding the two together carefully like you would do with any other folding technique.  Macarons do not need the air from the meringue left in them.  They need to be smashed against the bowl when folding together.  Since I discovered that I rarely ever have a bad batch.  

 

Also, when you cure it, are you sure they are not sticky anymore?  I have had to wait up to two hours before until they dried out enough.  It is always dependent upon kitchen and humidity conditions.  

 

And what kind of coloring agent are you using?  I find some gel colors cause the macarons to get too wet.  I typically only use the Americolor if you are familiar with it.

 

Hope some of that helps.  If not, then I have a few other things for you to try.

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Haha. I hated hearing that in school.  What exactly is magma consistency?  I mean, I have seen plenty of nature documentaries that show flowing lava, but I would never exactly know how it should like when compared to macaron batter.  I teach my students to move their bowl side to side (if it slowly oozes over you're good) and to check how fast it flows off the spatula.  Again, when I was in school, I would fold it too many times and it would be like piping water.  Now I understand it needs to barely flow off the spatula onto itself and should sink together within 30 seconds.

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16 minutes ago, Merry Berry said:

Haha. I hated hearing that in school.  What exactly is magma consistency?  I mean, I have seen plenty of nature documentaries that show flowing lava, but I would never exactly know how it should like when compared to macaron batter.  I teach my students to move their bowl side to side (if it slowly oozes over you're good) and to check how fast it flows off the spatula.  Again, when I was in school, I would fold it too many times and it would be like piping water.  Now I understand it needs to barely flow off the spatula onto itself and should sink together within 30 seconds.

True that - but it made sense to me.

 

By the way - welcom Merry Berry!

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Someone just asked this exact same question in another forum I'm on and the answer they were given was too much moisture in the oven as they baked - perhaps try cracking the door open whilst they bake with a wooden spoon?

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Thank you for the welcome KB.  I have lurked for a long time and even signed up about a year or two ago.  I teach culinary school and hope to one day (soon? haha) to have my own chocolate shop.

 

As to the macarons, I always feel people make them way harder than they need to be.  Mostly because there is so much whodoo and misinformation out there.  They have been making them for a few hundred years now without fancy equipment although granted they might not have been as pretty as they are today.  Over Christmas I showed my niece how to make them and she had it down after one demo.  I have a demo video and beginner recipe I can share if anyone is interested although the video is pretty low budget haha. 

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10 hours ago, Merry Berry said:

Are you being too gentle when you fold the meringue and almond flour together?  I used to have a host of problems until I finally realized I was folding the two together carefully like you would do with any other folding technique.  Macarons do not need the air from the meringue left in them.  They need to be smashed against the bowl when folding together.  Since I discovered that I rarely ever have a bad batch.  

 

Also, when you cure it, are you sure they are not sticky anymore?  I have had to wait up to two hours before until they dried out enough.  It is always dependent upon kitchen and humidity conditions.  

 

And what kind of coloring agent are you using?  I find some gel colors cause the macarons to get too wet.  I typically only use the Americolor if you are familiar with it.

 

Hope some of that helps.  If not, then I have a few other things for you to try.

Yes, I always make sure to press the batter against the sides of the bowl to delfate the meringue. Depends on the recipe I use, but usually I find they dry within 15-30 minutes. I use a tiny bit of gel coloring or sometimes powdered. I haven't tried Americolor yet, do you know where I can find it besides online? Thanks for the reply! 

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7 hours ago, keychris said:

Someone just asked this exact same question in another forum I'm on and the answer they were given was too much moisture in the oven as they baked - perhaps try cracking the door open whilst they bake with a wooden spoon?

Thank you! I have seen a few people do this, I myself, have only done it for meringue cookies. Guess I will have to try this with macarons next time. 

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5 hours ago, Merry Berry said:

Thank you for the welcome KB.  I have lurked for a long time and even signed up about a year or two ago.  I teach culinary school and hope to one day (soon? haha) to have my own chocolate shop.

 

As to the macarons, I always feel people make them way harder than they need to be.  Mostly because there is so much whodoo and misinformation out there.  They have been making them for a few hundred years now without fancy equipment although granted they might not have been as pretty as they are today.  Over Christmas I showed my niece how to make them and she had it down after one demo.  I have a demo video and beginner recipe I can share if anyone is interested although the video is pretty low budget haha. 

Yes, if you can, a link to the video would be helpful! :) 

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I have tried making macarons again after this, but with a bit of tapioca starch like a certain recipe suggested. :( The tapioca starch didn't change anything. I got my usual result- hollow macarons. Has probably been my 14/15th attempt at macarons, and my hopes of getting full and perfect macarons are looking quite bleak. Has anyone gotten hollow macs and have been able to solve the issue? 

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On 4/9/2017 at 2:22 PM, Lam said:

They're actually not underbaked. I have had a batch of wrinkled macarons before and they all have a soft texture when warm, but after they cool they become extremely chewy. 

 

So then how do you determine the baking time and when they are "done"?  If the interior of the cookie is too moist, of course that moisture will soften the crisp outer shell. Seriously, another minute or two in the oven might be all you need. 

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Sorry it took so long to post this.  I had to upload it to youtube.  Hope it is all right to link things here.  If not, I will take it down. Hope it helps.

 

 

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Making macarons via the French method always has a random component to it in my view.  Sometimes the stars just don't align and you can never figure out why a batch did something odd.   COuld be the humidity in the air or the peculiarities of a batch of egg whites or inconsistency in the grind of the almond flour or variations in oven temperatures or over or under mixing....you get the idea.  

I switched to the Italian method (meringue made using a hot sugar syrup) and get much more consistent results. It is not any more difficult and is much more forgiving.  The texture of the cookie is slightly cakier perhaps, but after a night in the fridge, it has the perfect moist chewiness that people expect.

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Yes, I understand, to each their own.  I tell my students all the time, many times, there is more than one way to get to your final result and sometimes no one way is the "right" way as long as it works for you and you can make money on it.  

 

I personally do not like the extra steps involved with the Italian method since time is precious in the kitchen.  But if it works, why mess with it?  Although I am always trying to tinker with my techniques and recipes trying to find a better and faster way.  Who knows, one day I might convert to the Italian meringue method haha.

 

MB

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