What is Aged Egg Whites?
A lot of macaron problems derive from a poor meringue so it’s very important to start baking with a strong and healthy one. “Aging” the egg whites is the first step in acheiving this.
How to Age Egg Whites?
To age egg whites, start by separating the whites from the yolk and keeping it in a container for a minimum of 24 hours. This process helps to dehydrate it and relax the proteins inside the whites, thereby, preventing over whipping while creating a strong meringue with stiff peaks.
Do I really need to age my egg whites?
Some bakers do not believe in aging the egg whites and claim it’s one of those myths surrounding macaron baking. Yes, you can definitely bake macarons with fresh egg whites. I have done so on many occasions. However, I still always leave aged egg whites in the fridge every few days because I want to make sure I have them on hand whenever I need to bake macarons. World renowned macaron pastry chef, Pierre Herme, recommends the aging process in his Macarons book and this is also what I’ve seen done at the bakeries. I find aged egg whites do whip up easily and have a “drier” consistency. When it whips up more readily, you are also less apt to over whip them. I know how frustrating it is when macarons don’t work out and you feel like you’ve wasted several hours and your ingredients. If you age your egg whites, it will act as extra insurance and that never hurts. If things still don’t work out, then at least you can rule out the fact that aged egg whites were not used. Once you are able to make macarons successfully, you can skip the aging process and go from there.
- 50 grams of egg whites
- small non-plastic bowl for cracking eggs
- non-plastic measuring cup
- egg separator
- lemon juice or vinegar
- plastic wrap
- container for holding yolks
- Wipe down mixing bowls with some vinegar to remove leftover oils. Meringues cannot whip up properly in the presence of yolk, oil and water.
- Cold eggs are easier to separate than warm eggs.
- Crack the cold egg into a small non-plastic bowl. Separate egg whites, making sure that you leave no traces of egg yolks. Cracking the egg into the extra bowl on the side will ensure that if you make a mistake, your entire portion of egg whites will not be compromised.
- Place the yolk in the yolk container and then pour the egg whites into the measuring cup. Do this for each egg.
- Make sure to measure the exact amount of egg whites the recipe calls for. You’ll find that egg whites can weigh a little less after a few days of dehydration in the fridge. So, in my best macaron recipe, measure out the egg whites BEFORE aging it.
- If yolks do get into the egg whites, just scoop it out with the egg shell. you’ll find that the yolk is easily attracted to the shell.
- Place plastic wrap over the the measuring cup and then poke a few large holes in it. Place it in the fridge for a minimum of 24 hours. You can keep the egg whites in the fridge for up to 2-4 days.
- Set it out at room temperature for 20 minutes before you start baking.
- Follow the next step to Making Perfect Meringues for Macarons
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