Bet you didn’t know this but I too have problems with my home oven. I always tell all of you to know your own oven well because every oven is different. What works for one baker might not work for another so it’s actually quite fruitless to ask what temperature someone else is using and hope to get the same results. It all depends on a combination of conditions like your baking time, the mats you’re using, how big your shells are etc… One thing I can tell you today is that you need a consistently high temperature to get those #nohollow shells you’ve been seeing all over instagram.
For me, I had just purchased a double oven for macarons two months ago and I have been giving this little thing a LOT of love and respect. I knew that our partnership together would either result in the creation of countless whimsical and beautiful macarons or – not. Although I was excited to have two completely separate compartments to bake two trays of macarons at one time, I was also a little fearful of my new friend. Would I be able to bake just like how I used to? In the beginning, it was definitely a big learning curve which I am still working on. After two full months of running through countless baking experiments, I came to the conclusion that the temperature in my oven seemed to be all over the place and that can be the death of macs!
Because if you want fluffy, fully set shells like this one, you will need to ensure that your batter is strong and that you’re using the right temperature. It needs to be high and it needs to be consistent! The meringue requires a strong heat for it to rise properly. I recommend starting off with 320F and then adjust according to your needs.
I use an external thermometer to monitor my oven temperature and I’ve found that there could be variances of up to 50 degrees! This really got me worried so after lots of experiments, I decided to have my oven serviced sooner rather than later since I still had warranty.
Here is what I learned from the technician today (your oven may be different):
The temperature in the oven during the first 30 min. can be quite unstable. The oven will pre-heat to a higher temperature than the one that was set and it will drop and then increase again to reach the initially set temperature. After that point, it begins to level off and cycles more stably with a 5 to 15 degree variance.
If you’re having problems with maintaining your temperatures, try running your oven for 1.5 hours without opening the door. Then watch the external thermometer every 5 min. to see if there is a point at which it becomes stable. Next time, you will want to put your tray in at that point. Hope that helps the next time you struggle to control the temperature in your oven. If you need more help, read this other post I wrote on how to use your home oven correctly to bake macarons.
And last but not least Ta-da! Here are my little lambs straight out of the oven.
Happy Baking to You