Monday, March 21, 2011

Macarons on a rainy day

I refuse to be a victim of humidity.
It was a rainy day in Singapore (read: 100% relative humidity), and I wanted to test my theory that heating egg whites in the swiss macron method causes them to lose moisture, and so has the same effect of aging them. My last batch of successful macarons were made with whites that were aged over 2 nights under my air-con, resulting in 5% loss in weight. So theoretically, if the heating process in the swiss method leads to at least 5% loss in weight of the whites, then I should be able to make a successful batch using fresh whites.

An experiment ensues. 
Setting a bowl of freshly cracked egg white atop a pot of water, and swirling it periodically to distribute heat evenly, I measured the difference in weight before heating vs. at 50 deg c (the stipulated temperature  in the swiss method). The weight loss was 5%! 

So if you want to make macarons without the wait involved in aging the whites, use the swiss method. I consider this batch a double success because fresh whites were used, and it was a very humid day. So humid that 1h 50 min of sitting, with fans blowing, was still not long enough for a crust to form, leading to cracks in the first batch. The second batch, which I let sit for 3h 15 min, were successful. 

Fan speed = 3

Tops not fully crusted even after sitting for 1h 15 min, so cracked upon baking

Patience was the order of the day. These sat for 3h 15 min and formed a stronger crust

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