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What Causes Hollow Macaron Shells

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When most bakers begin baking macarons, they are most likely trying to overcome common hurdles like cracked tops and bumpy shells. As a result, they tend to covet smooth non-cracked shells and frilly macaron feet above all else. But as their macarons start looking better (on the outside anyways), they realize there’s a hidden issue that lies deep within their macarons – hollow shells.

Severely hollow macarons cannot be fixed with maturation. If most of the body has burst out of the shell into the feet or sank down to the bottom causing a huge gaping hole, no amount of maturation will really help these types of macarons. Pressing into the back of the shells in order to push the body back up to the top – which some bakers do to hide hollows – may be a temporary solution. But, ultimately, you might want to fix the root causes of your hollow macarons since there is something inherently wrong with your technique.

Having said of all that, it’s important to remember that hollow macarons are not a problem for most people who eat your macarons unless they’re macaron snobs and to which I say, why are you sharing your precious babies with those people anyways 🙂 All kidding aside, although hollow macarons may taste the same as non-hollow ones, severely hollow macarons are more fragile and lack the distinctly chewy texture of a full and fluffy macaron. Those are two of the reasons why you might want to work on your hollow macarons. But if you’re obsessed with non-hollows for the glory, save yourself the frustration. It’s important to remember that no matter what they look like, macarons are for eating!


Bake Time & Temperature
Meringues and by extension, macarons, love heat! Give it as much oven love as you can and you’ll see less hollow macarons in your kitchen. You can do this by either using a:

a.) higher temperature OR
b.) lower temperature with a longer bake time

325F for 12-14 minutes is a great place to start. (I know of a baker who likes to go even higher at 350F for 10 minutes.) Most readers have found 325F or higher can cause their shells to become browned so another temperature/time combo I can recommend is 275F for 18 minutes. You can play with the time/temperature combinations. For every 25F, compensate with a 2-3 minutes change in the inverse direction.

Some Recommended Baking Temperature and Times:
350F for 10 minutes – suitable for spacious large ovens
325F for 12-14 minutes – standard starting point for my recipe
300F for 16-18 minutes
275F for 18-20 minutes – suitable for smaller ovens with small compartments

READ: HOW TO USE YOUR HOME OVEN PROPERLY TO BAKE MACARONS

The fully set shell was baked with oven cyclying between 300-325 F for 14 min. The hollow one didn’t reach its full potential as the temp. hovered between 275-300 for the same amount of time. Every oven is different, so set your own oven accordingly.

Silpats VS. Parchment
Some bakers complain about hollows when using Silpat mats and have given up on them completely even though Silpats produce much better results in terms of preserving the macaron’s shape. Sometimes Silpats don’t perform as well for fully fluffy shells because of the related issue discussed in the last section: heat. The mats are thicker than parchment paper and don’t conduct heat nearly as well.

You can adjust a few things to compensate for this.

Use better heat conducting pans.
Put it closer to the heat source if your heating coils are on the bottom.
Keep a pizza stone underneath the baking tray.
Here is the pan I use for baking my macarons.
Disclosure: affiliate link

This is the cookie sheet I use. It’s constructed of aluminized steel, the material of choice for commercial bakeries. It is also heavy duty so it won’t buckle while baking . It is also rimless allowing even air flow to the macarons.

A pizza stone in the oven can help stabilize oven temperature and provide heat from the bottom.

Convection VS. Non Convection
You don’t have to get too hung up over this point. If your batter is at the right consistency, it can bake with no hollows in both a convection or non-convection oven granted that you have found an optimal temperature and bake time.

My Secret for Testing Macaron Doneness
If you lower the oven temperature as per above, it’s important that you bake for a longer amount of time, otherwise, the meringue will collapse after it cools. How to test the macaron for doneness? I’ll cover it in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!

I hope you found this post useful and let me know below if you have any further questions.

Thanks done share recipes to : https://www.indulgewithmimi.com/what-causes-hollow-macaron-shells/
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