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Almond Flour and Macarons


filipe
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I'm having a problem and I guess it has to do with "almond flour".

I've tried to make chocolate macarons twice, using both a normal meringue and the italian meringue version. Those made with the normal meringue cracked and had no foot. Those with the italian meringue didn«t crack but had no foot either.

I thought (but I'm not sure about it) that the problem might be related to the almond i added. The recipe talks about "almound flour" but here in Portugal I just can't find it. So I've used gratted almond, with a grain just like sand. How is it compared with the almond flour you use?

Do you think this is the problem or I AM the problem? eheh It's so frustrating getting my macarons that way :( they're just cookies...

Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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The almond flour probably was not the problem. Did you let the cookies sit out to dry before you put them in the oven?

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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The almond flour probably was not the problem. Did you let the cookies sit out to dry before you put them in the oven?

Italian Meringue :

I've baked the first baking sheet just after pipping them.

The second one I've used a regular tray covered with baking paper and let them sit for about 30-45 min.

The second one was better than the first one. But no foot at all.

Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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It may also have been your egg whites. I have been told that the pros prefer 'old' egg whites as opposed to fresh ones. You can keep egg whites in the refrigerator (clean jar, tight lid) for a surprisingly long time. You might start collecting them as your recipe calls for yolks, and try a batch with some with a little 'age'.

eGullet member #80.

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The almond flour probably was not the problem. Did you let the cookies sit out to dry before you put them in the oven?

Italian Meringue :

I've baked the first baking sheet just after pipping them.

The second one I've used a regular tray covered with baking paper and let them sit for about 30-45 min.

The second one was better than the first one. But no foot at all.

Hmm. Ok, second and third questions: did you bring the whites to at least room temp before you beat them, and did you beat them to firm peaks?

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I agree that the problem is probably not your almond flour. In making macarons, there are two critical points in the technique that you must get right.

1. You must beat your eggwhites to very stiff peaks, but not overbeat them. They must be highly aerated, and also retain some elasticity.

2. When folding the almond sugar mixture into the eggwhites, you must fold only until the foam collapses and the batter turns into a shiny magma-like stuff. Don't go more than 3 or 4 folds further once you hit this point.

Those are the two keys to getting good feet to form as far as I've figured... Every time I hit those two right on, my macs are beautiful. When either misses, they're just cookies.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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My egg whites were at room temperature, but they were fresh, didn't have any age at all.

Stiff peaks, yeah, no moisture forming under nor anything similar.

The problem might have been with the folding. I've read somewhere that you should fold the almond+sugar+cocoa with the egg whites until you get a "magma". That could be checked if you stick your finger on it and in less than 10 seconds it would reshape for its initial shape. Is that it? Or is it too much? Should one get a uniform mix - one colour, one same texture ? Or should one be able to still see the almond?

Filipe A S

pastry student, food lover & food blogger

there's allways room for some more weight

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You're aiming for a uniform mix at the time the foam collapses. When it starts to collapse, your next couple of folds should go all the way down to the bottom of the bowl to make sure there is no almond dust still there. As the foam collapses, the mixture will stiffen a bit, which you should be able to feel when you're doing the folding. Once you feel it begin to stiffen, only fold 2 or 3 more times. Then put it into the piping bag and pipe it out. If you fold it too much, it will loosen up again and be more difficult to pipe out precisely.

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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  • 3 years later...

Was heading across the border last weekend to pick up my copy of Pierre Herme's Macaron and to play in the kitchen with patris and she asked if I could find some fine almond meal as the Bpb's Red Mill stuff is too course.

A little research led me to this company in Toronto who contracts to mill their own flour and I picked up 12.5 lbs.

Wonderful stuff - perfectly fine - just what you want for macarons.

It can be found in 600 grams packages in a lot of Canadian whole food stores - and apparently they will ship to the US.

I paid about $100 for 12.5 lbs.

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Thanks Kerry. They look to have a good price. I have ordered from L'epicurie in NY, and they do sell a "fine" almond flour. It works fine for my macs, but comes out to be about $8.75 per lb, not including shipping.

I'm going to check them out next time I need to order. These are ones I made from the pistachio flour I ordered from l'epicurie. I wish I could find a good source for that, it's so expensive.

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If I'm not mistaken, this becomes Tant pour Tant? I have had success buzzing the coarser ones with the sugar called for in a food processor, then sifting. I like the quality and color of the pistachio flour from American Almond, but it is slightly coarse. HTH.

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Kerry, where did you get your copy of Pierre Herme's Macaron from? Everywhere that I have checked says that it is temporarily out of print.

I got lucky. I contacted a bookseller who it said online had two copies. Unfortunately they had none when I e-mailed. A month or so later she e-mailed and said she'd found a copy while she was in France - and did I want it!

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