Lately I have been on a macaron craze, and trying out various macaron recipes!
I find that there would be some desserts, which if we do not make frequently, we may lose touch on. For me, it would be chiffon cakes and macarons.
Is it supposed to be like that, or am I strange?! Haha.
Well.. If you’re new to making macarons, and would really want to take on this adventure, check out this post for a relatively fail-proof recipe.
Once you’ve sort of master the making of macarons, try out these tips to improve the macarons’ appearance!
1. Use a macaron template
Well… I guess there’s no shame in not piping the shells on freehand! Using a template ensures that we try to pipe as uniformly as possible, and you would have less probability of ending up with a macaron that has a smaller shell on top or at the bottom.
2. Use superfine almond powder
I have tried grinding the usual almond powder, but I guess I lack the patience to do it properly lol… I always get the superfine almond powder (unless out of stock, like these chocolate macarons I have made), and it ensured a smooth surface to the macarons I have baked.
You would also need to sieve the icing sugar, so that it’s fine and powdery – which will also contribute to a smooth surface, that looks professional.
3. Let your shells dry well
I have tried and experimented on baking macaron shells without drying. It does work, but sometimes it doesn’t, especially if your oven’s temperature is not stable or uniform throughout.
Let the shells dry for 1 hour to 1 hour 30 mins in our Singapore’s climate. When you touch the shells, it should not feel tacky at all. You should also be able to run your finger on the top of the shell without breaking it.
The shells need to dry, so that it forms a thin “skin” on top. When we put the shells into the oven for baking, this thin “skin” ensures that the macaron do not crack on top, and would develop the ruffly feet.
I like to add finishing touches to my bakes, so they look “neater” and nicer. So usually for my white shells, I may add sprinkles or cocoa powder. For chocolate shells, you can also dust on some cocoa powder. I also like making Oreo macarons by sprinkling some crushed Oreo cookies on top.
This is quite useful for me, as I rarely tint my macarons for self-consumption. Also, if you are not using superfine almond powder, the sprinkles may also help to cover up the bumps.
5. Practice, practice, practice!
For me, most of my bakes are self-learnt. In fact, I didn’t quite believe that I could make macarons on my own – if not for my husband’s encouragement!
And I do get better with each practice, especially such a finicky little cookie like the macaron.
So yes, practice, practice, practice and you could get nice looking macarons as well!