Why Are My Macarons Hollow? How to Fix It?

Why Are My Macarons Hollow? How to Fix It?

Find out how to fix macaron shells that hollow. Learn what causes hollow macaron shells and how to avoid macarons with air holes by using this troubleshooting guide.

It is inevitable that you will occasionally make hollow macarons, regardless of how long you have been baking macarons or whether you are a beginner. When you crack open a macaron, an air pocket is present in the shell, and this is referred to as a hollow macaron.

You should be able to start moving in the right direction after reading this article. It will give you the most likely explanations for your hollow cookies.

Why Are My Macarons Hollow?

Several factors can cause your macarons to be hollow. I’m sorry, but I’m unable to give you a specific diagnosis. To pinpoint the precise cause, you’ll likely need to judge a few different factors. Let’s go over a few potential causes for your macarons being hollow.

Oven Temperature is Too Hot/too Cool

Oven temperature is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll use for baking macarons. A small change in temperature, even by just 5°F (3°C), can make a big difference in your macaron shells.

A hot oven will quickly cook the shells’ exterior without giving the interior enough time to cook and rise properly. While a cold oven won’t allow the macarons to dry completely or bake long enough for them to fully rise.

Why Are My Macarons Hollow? How to Fix It?

Under Or over Macaronaged Batter

The macaron procedure is another important step that needs to be done correctly. Almond flour and confectioners’ sugar are the dry ingredients for macarons, and the process of folding them into meringue is known as macaronage. This process evens out the mixture and aids in the proper structure and baking of the macarons.

Overwhipping the meringue frequently results in unde-rmacaronaged batter. It’s thick and never seems to get thinner, which frequently produces pointy or bumpy shells. However, batter that has been over-macaronaged is incredibly thin and runny.

Not Banging the Baking Sheet to Remove Air Bubbles

Your spooky macarons might be the result of air bubbles. There will inevitably be air bubbles that get trapped in the macaron batter as you prepare the meringue, macaronage, and pipe the macarons.

Slam the baking sheet containing the macaron shells you’ve piped onto the counter to let the air bubbles out. This will let the air bubbles rise to the top of the shells, where you can pop them with a toothpick.

Underbaked Shells

Your macaron shells may not be rising to their full potential if you underbake them, which will cause hollow macarons.

Finding a good oven temperature is crucial, but it’s also crucial to make sure your macarons are baked. Here are some ways to check for doneness:

  • When you gently touch the macarons, their feet and edge feel sturdy.
  • If necessary, you could probably force the macaron shell to be lifted off the parchment paper (do not try this, just use it as a test).
  • You can tell the macarons need more time to bake if you touch the shell and it wiggles, is still sticky, or is wet.
Why Are My Macarons Hollow? How to Fix It?

Macarons Haven’t Matured in the Refrigerator

The majority of macaron bakers advise maturing the macarons with their filling for 24 hours in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to meld and the macaron shell to slightly soften. Occasionally, this method can help hollow shells with a few minor issues.

Matured macaron shells won’t help if you have very large air pockets. Minor air holes, though, frequently close up after some maturation time in the refrigerator.

Too Much Egg White

You need to pay close attention to the egg whites whether you create your own recipe or use one that has been tried and true. Water makes up the bulk of egg white composition. In actuality, water makes up 90% of egg whites, with protein making up 10%.

If you’re creating a recipe and are confident that you have addressed every other issue mentioned in this article, you’re probably having trouble with too much liquid coming from your egg whites.

How Do I Fix Hollow Macarons?

Hollow macarons can be fixed by whipping the meringue to the correct stiffness, folding the batter to the ideal consistency during the macaronage stage, rapping the tray after piping, using the correct tools, baking at the optimal temperature and possibly the addition of a “secret” ingredient.

Meringue Stiffness

If the meringue is overworked, the macaron shells may deflate during baking and become hollow. For my best recipe, a good stiff meringue is necessary, but overbeating the meringue can have a negative effect and result in hollow macarons. This is particularly true if your macaron appears to be nearly flawless in all respects other than a tiny gap inside the shell.

This fix is for you if your macarons already have dainty feet and smooth tops and look fantastic in every way. Beat the meringue up to the stiff peaks stage and stop immediately once it has been reached.

Folding During Macaronage

In order to avoid hollows, the macaron batter must be properly deflated. This will assist you in preventing overbeating the meringue. We were warned not to deflate the batter too much at the start of our macaron baking journey.

“It’s better to under-fold than overfold,”…etc. But that’s where a lot of hollow macaron problems begin – from an under-deflated batter. When you’re folding the batter, you don’t need to baby it as much as you think. Here is a video on how to fold properly to avoid hollows:

Proper Macaron Batter Consistency

Why Are My Macarons Hollow? How to Fix It?

On the other hand, excessive folding can result in hollow macarons and feet that are far apart. Use the Figure-8 test shown in the video above to check the batter frequently as you fold during the macaronage stage. The batter shouldn’t be too runny but should flow smoothly without breaking either. Aim for a thick honey-like consistency. Here is what to look for in terms of consistency during and after piping:

Rap Tray

Rapping the tray after piping will further eliminate the small gaps in the shells that lead to hollows. Make sure you’re tapping it against a solid surface with enough force. The instructor in the macaron class I attended literally threw the baking trays from waist height to the ground.

It’s quite a violent action and sometimes the shape of the shells does change after rapping. I advise piping on Silpat mats for this since they are excellent at keeping the macaron’s shape. Pop any remaining bubbles with a toothpick.

Silpat Mats

The shape of the macaron can be maintained very well with Silpat silicone mats. In spite of the fact that there are many less expensive silicone mat alternatives available, I suggest using the Silpat model. The highest level of food safety is something I can rely on them for. Additionally, they can reliably transfer heat deep enough into the macaron shells to lessen hollows.

Bake Time & Temperature

Heat is a favorite of meringues and, consequently, macarons! Give your oven as much attention as you can, and your kitchen will have fewer hollow macarons. You can do this by using a:

Why Are My Macarons Hollow? How to Fix It?
  • higher temperature OR
  • lower temperature with a longer bake time

325 Starting at F for 12–14 minute is a great idea. (I am aware of a baker who prefers to bake at an even higher temperature for 10 minutes at 350 F.) I have to admit that this temperature is quite high.

Most readers have found that 325 F or higher can cause their shells to become browned so another temperature/time combo I can recommend is 275 F for 18 minutes. The time and temperature pairings are up for experimentation. Add a 2-3 minute change in the opposite direction to make up for every 25 F.

Expert Tips

  • One of the most frequent causes of failed macarons is the oven temperature. I’d suggest investing in an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is properly heating.
  • Only bake one tray of macarons at a time. This can also assist you in identifying any oven temperature-related problems you might be experiencing.
  • Remember to let your macarons mature in the fridge for 24 hours with the filling in them to help with any minor air pockets (hollows). If you’re using ganache or buttercream as your filling, I’d only advise doing this.
  • Use a different type of meringue for your macarons if you’re having issues with under or overwhipped meringue. Swiss and Italian meringue macarons are known for being more stable.
  • Do not be tempted to discard hollow macarons. These macarons are still perfectly edible and should be enjoyed!

Conclusion: Making Perfect Macarons

You shouldn’t give up trying to make the ideal macaron because it’s one of the hardest types of cookies to make correctly. It’s crucial to baking for a longer period of time if you lower the oven temperature as described above; otherwise, the meringue will collapse once it cools.

You can make macarons that aren’t hollow and still turn out well. Patience and determination are the most important aspects of creating macarons.

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