2 Questions 1. How thick should the batter be when piping (mine seemed a bit runny). 2. Any suggestions for getting stiff peaks without using ta...

...rtar or vinegar? Mine just seem to get peaks that seem a little.. foamy and never get to the same consistency as when there is acid involved

Meyer Lemon Macarons
Recipe question for: Meyer Lemon Macarons


mensaque May 25, 2012
I use a pinch of salt and/or baking powder on my egg whites.It's like Viagra to them.But if you don't want to use any ingredient other than those listed on the recipe,you should use a metal bowl and an eletric mixer on full speed.And be ready...egg whites don't like to be left hanging and waiting on us.They're proud little things.
BurgeoningBaker May 25, 2012
No aversion to tartar. Just not mentioned in recipe.
ChefJune May 24, 2012
Sounds like you are fairly experienced at working with egg whites. You've ticked off just about all the boxes of things I teach in my eggs workshop. Curious what your aversion to a pinch of cream of tartar is?

The other thing I didn't see in any of the previous posts is the difficulty of folding eggwhites into a much heavier base. I prefer to fold the eggwhites into the mixture, rather than vice versa. I stir about 1/4 the egg whites in to lighten the base, then fold in the remaining 3/4 of the egg whites.
BurgeoningBaker May 22, 2012
So I did age the egg whites for 24 hrs on countertop and added sugar gradually as I would for merengues or angelfood cake. Mixer and bowl were thoroughly cleaned and dried beforehand. What speed should a KA mixer be on? In the video, it seems pretty high. The egg whites didn't move when turned upside down. How should the almond be incorporated post beginning or am I misreading. Will try this again tomorrow. Thank you for your encouragement. Luckily having just made ice cream I have plenty of egg whites.
Darlene C. May 18, 2012
After re-reading the recipe, I noticed that DolcettoConfections does not have you "age" the egg whites. (storing the egg whites in an airtight container and store on the counter or in the fridge for 24-48 hours and having them come completely to room temp. before use).

Many macaron recipes have you age the egg whites to increase the egg whites elasticity and also evaporate some of the moisture. Skipping the aging process may result in a runny batter, regardless of the addition of cream of tartar or vinegar.

A simple test that I use to gauge when to stop beating the egg whites....turn the mixing bowl upside down The egg whites should hold it's place and not run down the bowl.

Also, when incorporating the almond meal to the egg whites (macaronage), it is safest to be aggressive with the folding at the beginning. The more you fold, the thinner the batter becomes. I have found that with 100 grams of egg whites (2-3 whites), you are at your ideal batter thickness after 50 folds. Anything more, and the batter tends to be runny.

Reiney May 16, 2012
Runny batter can happen, it's not necessarily a disaster (but the product won't be as good and the shape won't be as nice). Ideally you want the batter to stay in the bag until you pipe it out.

Tips on egg whites:
- Make sure they're warm: use room temp egg whites and then warm gently over a hot water bath as you whisk them to break up the albumen. Then transfer to your electric mixer (or if you're really keen, by hand).
- "Rain in" the sugar gradually - don't overwhelm the egg whites by dumping in all the sugar at once. Sprinkle about 1/3 in, whisk to below soft peaks, put another 1/3 in and continue, then add the next 1/3.
- Get to know when something is at medium peaks and when it's at stiff peaks - if it's stiff you've gone too far and risk getting a cottage cheese-like mix.

After you get the whites in good shape, the key to macarons is in the folding - in addition to not having stiff enough whites, this is also what can deflate your mix and cause a runny batter. My guess is that this is your problem, because folding is a very difficult technique to master. Be very gentle and don't over mix. Turn the bowl with your spatula along the side, then move the spatula through the middle of the bowl and lift the centre up to fold over on itself.
BurgeoningBaker May 24, 2012
Funny enough when I learned to fold (and I continue to do this) I keep say 'down' as I cut through the middle 'and around' as I turn the bowl 1/4 to guide the spatula along the side.
Nozlee S. May 16, 2012
Your batter shouldn't be runny -- that was likely caused by your egg whites' lack of stiffness. Here are some tips for getting good results when whipping egg whites:

- Make sure your whisk and bowl are 100% grease free
- If at all possible, use an electric mixer!
- Copper mixing bowls are said to be better for whipping egg whites
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