Macaron Troubleshooting

If you are having some trouble with making the macarons, below is a list of possible problems you may experience and can avoid.

Problems during batter preparation

Problems After Baking


Problems During Batter Preparation.

Meringue won't beat to stiff peaks / take too long to achieve stiff peaks.
  • Fat or oil residue on bowl, beaters or measuring cup.

    Before starting, clean equipment with warm soapy water, rinse and dry with clean paper towel. Avoid plastic bowls as they trap oil.

  • Bowl size too big.

    Use a bowl with a narrow base and straight sides. If the only bowl available has a wide base, mixing time to achieve stiff peaks may be significantly longer.

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Macaron batter is too runny.
Macaron shells are rough and remain peaky.
  • Batter is too stiff.

    The pulsing stage of the batter preparation aims to give the macaron a "lava-like" consistency. Batter than is too stiff will not smooth out during the resting period. Pulsing one extra time is usually enough to achieve the desired consistency.

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Problems After Baking.

Cracked Shells
  • Batter was not homogenous/uniform.

    Almond meal was not incorporated fully and evenly distributed. As the meringue has a very stiff consistency, the almond meal can be mixed through quite vigorously before pulsing. After pulsing, fold batter until it is uniform before transferring to the piping bag.

  • Too much water added to meringue.

    Make sure measures are level. You may need to check the accuracy of your measuring cup. Alternatively, weigh out 62g of water with kitchen scales.

  • Oven temperature too high.

    It's best to bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time so that the shells rise slowly but consistently.

  • Using grease proof paper as opposed to baking paper.

    This will cause the edges of the shells to stick to the paper and crack across the middle.

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No feet / very small feet
  • Too much water added to meringue.

    Make sure measures are level. You may need to check the accuracy of your measuring cup. Alternatively, weigh out 62g of water with kitchen scales.

  • Meringue was not beaten stiff enough.

    Increase whipping time. (Also see Meringue won’t beat to stiff peaks / take too long to achieve stiff peaks)

  • Not long enough / no resting time.

    If the weather is rainy or very humid, the resting period may take longer.

  • Oven temperature too low.

    If shells take more than 18 minute for the feet to set, try raising your oven temperature by 5-10°C.

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Uneven feet / Feet bursting
  • Not enough water added.

    Make sure measures are level. You may need to check the accuracy of your measuring cup. Alternatively, weigh out 62g of water with kitchen scales.

  • Rough handling of the unbaked shells.

    Transferring baking paper onto the baking tray after the batter has been piped onto it or bumping trays can lead to shells that tilt when they rise. Place baking paper on the baking tray before piping shells on. Avoid bumping trays or slamming the oven door.

  • Oven temperature too high.

    It's best to bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time so that the shells rise slowly but consistently.

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Hollow shells

Note: some hollowness in shells is desirable as it keeps the shell dome crisp

  • Oven temperature too high.

    If macarons cook too fast, the feet can set before the insides are cooked. This will cause the insides to collapse when the shells are taken out of the oven. It’s best to bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time so that the shells cook slowly but consistently. Additionally, cooling the macaron shells on the tray for 2 minutes before transferring to the bench can help.

  • Overbeaten egg whites.

    Mixers vary and for some bench top mixers whipping the meringue for 4 minutes is excessive. Reduce whipping time by 30 seconds if you believe this is the case.

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Thin shells / feet spread too wide.
Bumpy / lumpy shells
  • Batter was too stiff.

    The pulsing stage of the batter preparation aims to give the macaron a "lava-like" consistency. Batter than is too stiff will not smooth out during the resting period. Pulsing one extra time is usually enough to achieve the desired consistency.

  • Batter was not homogenous/uniform.

    Almond meal was not incorporated fully and evenly distributed. As the meringue has a very stiff consistency, the almond meal can be mixed through quite vigorously before pulsing. After pulsing, fold batter until it is uniform before transferring to the piping bag.

  • Too many bubble incorporated in the mixing.

    Tap the tray against the countertop before resting to help burst bubbles.

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Shells are too soft
  • Shells are undercooked.

    Bake longer, checking every minute for doneness. Properly cooked macarons are firm on their feet when you tap lightly on the shell. If you see them budge even slightly, they are not cooked enough.

  • Oven temperature too low.

    If shells take more than 18 minute for the feet to set, try raising your oven temperature by 5-10°C.

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Shells seem too dry or crunchy
  • Shells are over baked.

    Oven maybe too hot or they may have baked for too long. Reduce temperature or time.

    Note: Properly baked macaron shells can feel a little too dry at first. Resting the filled macarons in an airtight container for 24 hours will result in softer more delicate eat. (Don’t forget to take them out for at least 30 minute so that they come back to room temperature before you eat them).

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Browning or dark shells
  • Shells are over baked.

    Oven maybe too hot or they may have baked for too long. Reduce temperature or time.

  • Uneven heat in the oven.

    Ovens with poor circulation can burn shells on the edges while those in the middle of the tray are undercooked. This is especially true for gas fired ovens. When available, use the fan forced function

  • Baked on oven's top rack.

    Always place the baking sheet(s) on the middle rack.

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Sticky on the bottom / sticking to baking paper
  • Shells are undercooked.

    Bake longer, checking every minute for doneness. Properly cooked macarons are firm on their feet when you tap lightly on the shell. If you see them budge even slightly, they are not cooked enough.

  • Shells still warm.

    Let them cool completely before lifting. If you feel shells are cooked enough but they are still sticky, chill the sheet in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes before removing.

  • Using grease proof paper as opposed to baking paper.

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Uncooked insides
  • Oven temperature too high.

    If macarons cook too fast, the feet can set before the insides are cooked. It's best to bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time so that the shells cook slowly but consistently. Additionally, cooling the macaron shells on the tray for 2 minutes before transferring to the bench can help.

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Inconsistent batch (some are perfect, others are not)
  • Batter was not homogenous/uniform.

    Almond meal was not incorporated fully and evenly distributed. Mix almond meal through more thoroughly before pulsing and then fold batter until uniform after pulsing.

  • Rough handling of the unbaked shells.

    Avoid bumping trays or slamming the oven door. Transferring baking paper onto the baking tray after the batter has been piped onto it or bumping trays can lead to shells that tilt when they rise. Place baking paper on the baking tray before piping shells on.

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Preserving Macarons

Macarons should always be stored in an airtight container and they should be eaten within 4 to 5 days. If storing for more than one day, store in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before eating so they come back to room temperature; that way, their flavor will be at its best.

Our Range

Hand selected by Adriano, these classics desserts are inspired by the treats sold in his stores.