The Trouble with Hollow Macarons
When most bakers begin baking macarons, they are most likely trying to overcome common hurdles like cracked tops and bumpy shells. As a result, they tend to covet smooth non-cracked shells and frilly macaron feet above all else. But as their macarons start looking better (on the outside anyways), they realize there’s a hidden issue that lies deep within their macarons – hollow shells.
Do Hollow Macarons Go Away with Maturation?
Severely hollow macarons cannot be fixed with maturation. If most of the body has burst out of the shell into the feet or sank down to the bottom causing a huge gaping hole, no amount of maturation will really help these types of macarons. Pressing into the back of the shells in order to push the body back up to the top – which some bakers do to hide hollows – may be a temporary solution. But, ultimately, you might want to fix the root causes of your hollow macarons since there is something inherently wrong with your technique.
A truly non-hollow macaron is not hollow even BEFORE filling and maturation as shown in the video above. If you’re dealing with just small gaps in your shells, these do benefit from filling and maturation. You’ll find that they can completely go away after 24 hours of maturation.
Should You Fix Hollow Macarons?
Having said of all that, it’s important to remember that hollow macarons are not a problem for most people who eat your macarons unless they’re macaron snobs and to which I say, why are you sharing your precious babies with those people anyways 🙂 All kidding aside, although hollow macarons may taste the same as non-hollow ones, severely hollow macarons are more fragile and lack the distinctly chewy texture of a full and fluffy macaron. Those are two of the reasons why you might want to work on your hollow macarons. But if you’re obsessed with non-hollows for the glory, save yourself the frustration. It’s important to remember that no matter what they look like, macarons are for eating!
For those who are keen on fixing this problem. Here are a few issues to look out for:
Magic Ingredient for Non-Hollows?
Although, technically, you should be able to overcome hollow macarons with the right technique, there is one special ingredient you can consider. There’s a lot of buzz around adding egg white powder to the dry ingredients to help combat hollows. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s something that some bakers have discovered worked for them. If all the above fixes don’t work for you, you might want to try it.
Egg white powder is NOT the same as meringue powder. Meringue powder contains a mixture of sugar, acids and flavorings while egg white power is just purely egg albumen.
My Secret for Testing Macaron Doneness
If you lower the oven temperature as per above, it’s important that you bake for a longer amount of time, otherwise, the meringue will collapse after it cools. How to test the macaron for doneness? I’ll cover it in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!
I hope you found this post useful and let me know below if you have any further questions.
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November 2nd, 2016