With the first episode of The Great South African Bake Off on 6 October, we thought to give you our Top Tips for Perfect Macaroons.
If you ever attempted these French delicacies, you will know that mastering them can be tricky, so we have compiled a list of hacks that will (hopefully) ensure perfect macaroons every time.
- Humidity is the death of the macaroon – avoid baking them when it’s humid or raining.
- Buy a piping bag with a round nozzle – it gives better control and shape.
- Use gel food colouring instead of liquid colouring – liquids can alter the consistency.
- Adding the colour while beating the egg whites will ensure even distribution of colour.
- The egg whites have to be very stiff – no movement whatsoever.
- Invest in a good mixer. Hand mixing doesn’t yield the same results unless you’re a macaroon aficionado like Chef Lianne Holt (www.petitebouchee.co.za)
- Never use liquid egg whites – the preservatives will alter the macaroon’s consistency.
- The equipment used to beat the egg whites with must be spotless and free from any grease or oil.
- Use a flexible spatula to fold the egg whites with almond and sugar by scraping the bowl and moving to the centre. More than 50 times is generally too much.
- Use parchment paper instead of a silicon baking mat – the batter sticks better to parchment and won’t spread as much.
- Let the piped macaroons sit for about 15 minutes or until the shell has lost its shine and hardened slightly.
- Rotate the pan halfway through baking to ensure even distribution of heat.
- It’s better to overbake than underbake your shells – they will soften with filling in the fridge.
- Precision in this regard is everything, use a kitchen scale to measure volume and weight.
- Macaroons taste better when they’ve ‘rested‘ for 1-2 days.