Q: Is it pronounced macar-oon or macar-ohn?
A: In French, it is pronounced macar-ohn but with a slight silent N. You can look it up if you want, the French do not pronounce it like "Macaroon". God that word annoys me. LOL. Macaroons are the coconut meringue cookies, not the pretty colorful almond meringue cookies.
Q: Do you use Italian or French Meringue method?
A: I use the Italian method, it produces much better results and is more reliable. However, if French suits you, do what you like.
Q: Do you have to age your egg whites?
A: No, I do not at all. I notice no difference at all if I age them or not. They don't turn out more fluffy, they don't fail if I use new egg whites. I don't need to microwave them to age them. The purpose of "aging" is to make the egg whites more liquidy, easier to beat. But that doesn't mean you have to age them for them to be beaten. If that was true, bakeries would have ridiculous amounts of egg whites laying around the kitchens.
Q: Can I use wax paper?
A: NO, do NOT use wax paper. This is not the same thing as parchment paper. Wax is lined with wax, which is for making things such as chocolate covered strawberries or things that don't stick easily. Macarons are very sticky when baked, so they will definitely stick to the paper. I learned the hard way. Parchment on the other hand is lined with Teflon, the stuff that coats your frying pans.
Q: How do I store macarons?
A: When you first make them, put them in the fridge in an airtight container so that way the shells can absorb the filling and become softer for at least 24 hours. They will stay good for about 3-4 days at most. After that they begin to get crumbly.
Q: Can I freeze macarons?
A: Yes you can, they withstand freezing very well! They taste just as fresh as when you first made them. Just let them defrost for about 20 minutes or so. They will also last about 3 months in the freezer (but I'm sure people will eat them before that).
Q: What are some good fillings for macarons?
A: I love swiss meringue buttercream!! It's the best. Fluffy, light, not too sweet. Ganaches are good too, but I have problems with making them not too sweet. You can also try French Buttercream, which is egg yolks beaten until pale, and a sugar syrup is drizzled into them to be cooked and butter is added (a great way to get rid of yolks).
Q: Can I use less sugar to make macarons?
A: No, you can't because sugar is the basis and structure for the macaron shells. So unfortunately not...I am planning to do a test batch of powdered sugar substitute made of stevia.
Q: Do you have to rest the macaron shells?
A: YES, you must. At least let them rest enough so that it gets dry and dull, since this creates the "foot" and prevents cracking. Use a fan to speed up the drying process.
Q: Why did my macarons crack?
A: If your macarons cracked from the top, then it is because you didn't rest them long enough. The foot is actually a crack on the bottom of the macaron. So the foot formed on top instead of on the bottom.
Q: Why did my macarons turn hollow?
A: You did not beat enough air out of the macarons, you did not fold correctly, you overmixed the batter, you overbeat the egg whites, the almond meal was too grainy and tore through the meringue, or you underbeat the egg whites.
Q: Can I add flavorings to the shells?
A: Yes you can, as long as it is powder, an extract, or freeze dried fruit that is finely ground in a food processor.
Q: When do you add food coloring?
A: You should add food coloring to the mass as soon as possible so that way you don't accidentally overmix the batter.
Q: Why did the macaron feet start detaching from the shell?
A: I have no idea. I'm still trying to figure that out. Only happens sometimes though.
Q: Parchment or Silpat?
A: SILPAT! Good for the environment because you don't have to throw it away. Also I like how the feet come out on Silpat.
Q: Why did my macarons brown?
A: Your oven temperature was too hot, turn it down a little. Ovens are all different, so 300 degrees F for me might be different for you.
Q: How long do you beat the Italian Meringue before you can use it?
A: Until it becomes shiny, thick, and doesn't droop too much when you pull up the whisk. Don't let it get lumpy like this:
Q: Why did my macarons come out with no feet and porous?
A: You did not rest them long enough because the French Meringue method takes FOREVER to dry. Don't do the French method.
Q: How long does it take to make a batch of macarons?
A: Well at first, it took me 5 hours. LOL But now I have more experience and it only takes me about an hour and a half to make the shells and filling.
Q: What brand of almond flour do you use?
A: I don't. I grind my own almonds, it's cheaper. Buy them from trader joes!
Q: I don't have a scale, can you convert the measurements?
A: I really recommend that you get a scale, it's more accurate than cups measurements. Most of the world uses scales anyway. Lol if not, go look up the conversions. GOOGLE, guys.
Q: How do you get your macarons to look so perfect?!
A: Practice makes perfect. Even mine aren't perfect still. :P
Q: How can you get the macarons to be all the same size?
A: Unfortunately, I can't even get all of them to be the same size. It's just human error. However to minimize the risk of different shaped macarons, I suggest you draw circles on a piece of parchment and use that as a guide under your Silpat/parchment.
Q: Why are my macarons lopsided?
A: You either rested the macarons too long (this would be like 2 hours) or your macarons are hollow and the insides are spewing out of the shell.
Q: Why are the macarons feet ugly and spreading and frilly?
A: You overmixed the batter :(
Q: Can I bake two trays at a time?
A: If your oven is a commercial oven that has even heat, go ahead. If not, I recommend you don't. Macarons need even heat or else they will not turn out right.
Q: Can I have the recipe?!
A: Yes, go look on my blog. I don't mind as long as you remember to credit me :)
Well that's all I have for now, just let me know if you have any more questions that can be added to this list. :)