A few years ago, my obsession with French Macarons made me insane. I was on a college budget. Ingredients were not cheap (I'm looking at you, almonds), and I lacked patience and finesse. I made a lot of maca-wrongs in 2010 (.. well from 2010 - now I have made so many macawrongs it's really sad). I've been making them on and off since... but nothing serious and with very little success (DAMN YOU HOLLOWS).
Recently, this obsession has been rekindled. Especially after seeing all these macaron shops pop up and seeing them all over the fricken internet. Now I've got all the tools that should make macaron-baking easier (Kitchenaid, silpats, piping bags, ingredients).
If there's one thing that I wished was easier, it was quickly calculating how much almond flour and powdered sugar I would need depending on how much egg whites I had.
I noticed that 2 eggs whites from various brands and sizes of eggs could vary from weighing approx. 50 grams total, up to 80 grams. That's quite a bit difference, and will drastically affect the turnout of your recipe if you do not alter the amount of your dry ingredients in turn.
So.... I made a public Google sheet :)
Depending on how much egg white you have on hand, the other amounts for the almond flour, powdered and granulated sugar will self populate. I honestly don't know why I didn't think of this sooner!
Give it a try, and feel free to share the crap out of it! CLICK ME AND SHARE ME LOTS
If anything is broken/doesn't work or you just have a comment, don't be shy to email me: lisaHQCD@gmail.com
A good macaron will be smooth on top, with little feet (not too tall, not overly protruding), and most importantly, NOT HOLLOW.
Ahem. Pix of recent batches of non-hollow, fluffy macs. What a mac should look like on the inside. #success
There are NUMEROUS macarons from professionals and hobbiests alike that look GREAT when photographed, but are hollow. Hollowness completely takes all the macaron awesomness out of a macaron.
Like this one. This mac looks pretty decent. Was hollow (not entirely hollow, but enough to suck). Fail.
I am now a firm believer in that if you are going to share mac recipe, provide mac tips, sell macs, you better be able to produce a non-hollow mac. One can dream.
Troubleshooting your hollows is, unfortunately, a battle you will have to fight on your own because no one, over the internet, can definitively (with 100% confidence) tell you what you're doing wrong. For me, it was a combination of underfolding the batter, underbaking and too low of a baking temperature. I would sometimes get overly ambitious, try to flavor my shells too heavily with things like dehydrated strawberries, excess cocao powder... so stick with gel/powdered food coloring for color and depend on your filling and aging the macs for full flavor. With experience and through trial and error, you'll begin to discover what is making YOUR macarons, macawrongs.
You will need quite a bit of time, patience, $$ (for wasted ingredients.. and your valuable time, sorry) and someone who will hopefully not be too shallow to eat your failed macs.
As of June 2014: Am I selling my macarons?
Short answer: Yes. .. HOWEVER --
I'm located in the Sacramento, California area and would be happy to make some macarons for you to pick up, if you are local. Follow me on INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK for some flash sales of batches that I have extra of/randoms. If you have a special order request (i.e. party favors or whatever), reach out (lisaHQCD@gmail.com) and we'll see if I can help-- I'm doing this on my down time outside of my day job and currently it's a passion and for fun. If you get macs from me, you'll be getting macs born of genuine obsession and passion. (bonus: they will also look adorable and come in a cute clear tube such as the ones picture below)
Peace! Hopes the calculator helps ya'll out a bit.