Macarons are tasty treats that many people like to make for dessert on special occasions. They’re definitely a bit fancier than many standard desserts, and they can also be a bit tricky to make if you’re not experienced.
If you’re just trying to make macarons for the first time, you might be encountering a few issues. One issue that leaves people scratching their heads involves them not drying properly.
Why aren’t your macarons drying and what can be done to prevent this? Keep reading to learn about why this might be happening so that you can solve the problem.
You Made a Mistake with the Recipe
One of the first potential issues that you’ll want to check for involves the recipe. Did you get everything right with the recipe or did you make a mistake somewhere?
It’s very easy to make small mistakes when you’re trying out a recipe for the first time. Sometimes you might be a little tired or you might just want to get things done fast.
This can lead to you not measuring out an ingredient properly or skipping a crucial step. If you didn’t follow the instructions that the recipe gave you to the letter, you might make a critical error.
Try to walk through the steps in your head to determine if you missed something. You’re most likely going to have to throw out the batch of macarons that you already made, but you can try to get it right the next time you make them.
You might even want to try out a different recipe if you find that the one you’ve been using isn’t working for you. It’s possible that you might have better luck with another one, and there are plenty of macaron recipes out there for you to try.
You Gave up on Drying Too Early
Some people are surprised at just how long it takes to dry macarons. Macaron recipes will vary quite a bit, and some of them call for some really long drying times.
Certain macaron recipes will recommend drying times between two and six hours. Some recipes even recommend aging the macarons in the refrigerator for up to three days before serving them.
If you’re trying to eat them before they’ve finished drying and before they’re ready, they might not turn out right. You might feel like they aren’t drying because you simply gave up on the drying process before it was time.
Check your recipe again and see how long it’s supposed to take for things to dry. If the recipe recommends aging the macarons in the refrigerator, you should prepare the macarons well in advance so that you can serve them on the day that you actually wish to eat them.
Your Oven Might Not Be Ideal
Many people who’ve encountered issues while making macarons don’t have access to a fan-forced oven. If you’re using another type of oven, making macarons will be more difficult than usual.
The heat might not be distributed the right way when you’re using another type of oven. This can cause the macarons to turn out differently, and several things can go wrong.
You might even notice issues with your macarons aside from just having problems getting them to dry. For example, you might have issues with getting them to form feet.
The best thing to do when you’re baking them in an oven that doesn’t have fan-forced heat is to use lower temperatures. It’ll take longer to bake them than usual, but you can get better results since you’ll be able to control the heat better.
You Made the Batter Too Runny
You might have made a mistake when making the batter as well. Often, when macarons aren’t drying as easily as you’d like them to, it’ll be because the batter is runny.
Batter can turn out too runny when you don’t beat the egg whites properly. You want to beat them thoroughly, but you don’t want to beat them too much.
It’s also possible to make mistakes when you’re folding the batter, and this can contribute to having the batter turn out runny. Watching a video on making macarons might give you a better idea of how it’s supposed to be done so that you can replicate it.
You wouldn’t think that small mistakes such as beating egg whites a little less than normal would make a huge difference, but it changes things a lot. If you can get things right the next time you decide to make macarons, things will likely turn out way better.
Beating egg whites properly isn’t all that tough, but it will take a bit of effort. Essentially, you want to beat them until they start to get foamy, and then you’re going to add your sugar.
Once the sugar is added in, the egg whites and sugar mixture should be beaten until it is stiff. It should be stiff enough to hold the bowl upside down without it sliding out.
If you’re able to get this right, your batter is going to turn out a lot better. You’ll be far less likely to encounter problems with drying, and the macrons that you’re making should be tasty.
Remember That the Drying Process Changes Based on Humidity
People often forget that the area that they live in will have an impact on the drying process. If you’re living in a particularly humid area, the drying process might take a good bit longer than usual.
You might need to monitor the macaron batter to ensure that it is drying properly. Sometimes it’s just best to give it a bit more time to dry, but this can be tricky because drying too much will lead to issues.
When you dry macarons more than you should, it’s possible that they will start to crack. Surface cracks will make them look far less pretty than normal, but they might still be fine to eat if everything else seems good.
It can be tough to get things just right, but you should have better luck if you know about potential problems ahead of time. You know that you want to get drying just right, and this allows you to be as vigilant as possible while monitoring the macarons.
Using the Wrong Icing Mixture
This might sound unusual at first, but using the wrong icing mixture can cause problems. Some people choose to use something such as a generic icing mixture when they should be using pure icing sugar for macarons.
Why does this make such a huge difference? Well, it comes down to the fact that pure icing sugar is simply made of powdered sugar, and this works great for macarons.
Icing mixture is powdered sugar mixed with cornstarch, and this creates various issues that will throw things off. If your macarons aren’t forming feet and if they aren’t drying right, using icing mixture could be to blame.
Making the switch to pure icing sugar might be just what you need to get things right. If you’re lucky, making this simple change will help your macarons to turn out brilliantly.
Consider Using Older Egg Whites
Another idea that might help your macarons to turn out better is to use old egg whites. This might seem odd, but it’s actually something that many macaron enthusiasts choose to do.
Egg whites that are a few days old are said to produce better macarons than completely fresh egg whites. If you have access to egg whites that are a few days old, you can use them to make things better.
The reason this seems to work so well is that it still gives you the protein bond that you need, but it also reduces the moisture a bit. This could help with the drying and some people even say that it makes the texture of macarons a bit better.
This isn’t necessary to get your macarons to dry, but it could be something that you can try if you want them to turn out amazingly. It’s said that you can use egg whites that are up to five days old to make macarons if you want to.
Enjoy Your Macarons
You’ve learned a lot about what can potentially cause macarons not to dry properly. Although there are many things to consider, it shouldn’t be too tough for you to figure out what to do.
As long as you’re paying attention, it should be easy to get the tasty macarons that you desire. These treats are fantastic, and they’re well worth the effort that it takes to make them.
The next time you decide to make them, it should be easier to follow the advice above. You’ll know some of the pitfalls to look out for, and you’ll be able to get better results.
Even if you’ve tried and failed to make macarons a few times, that doesn’t mean that you should give up. This is a bit of a tricky dessert to get right, but you can definitely do it with a little practice.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.