I’ve been making macarons professionally for 5 years now, and I feel accomplished to have made it through such a sustained period of macaron production with my mental health (mostly) intact. That’s not to say that it hasn’t been shredded to bits during times of extreme frustration, because there have been tears shed and many shells thrown away.
I began the process of tweaking the macaron recipe/procedure at my current workplace around 3 years ago, and needless to say it has been a journey full of challenges. I spent a lot of time scouring macaron troubleshooting articles, trying to find ways to fix the cracks, unevenness, hollows, browning, explosions, and wrinkles. Yes, I have had ALL of these things happen to my macarons. It’s a wonder that they haven’t just spontaneously combusted at some point, given how prone they are to completely going to crap.
I want to commend you, my reader, for showing up at this post despite the fact I didn’t try to lure you in with the promise of things being done the easy way. I do have some bad news for you though: there is no easy way to make macarons, and anyone that tells you otherwise is full of it. I’ve made enough batches to know that despite having made the macarons in what seems to be the same way over and over, inevitably there will be one tiny thing you unknowingly change. As frustrating as it might be, this minute change can cause a horrific disaster to sweep over your poor macarons.
There are so many things that have to go right, and if just one is off, then you have already invited misfortune to visit your macarons. You must whip the eggs whites perfectly, stir the macaron batter just so, pipe them evenly, and bake them at the ideal temperature. I won’t even begin to get into the details, as that would create an out of control post that could drag on for numerous lengthy paragraphs. If you are set on attempting these devious confections, I would recommend thoroughly doing your research beforehand to garner as much advice as you can.
I will tell you, that should you experience the elusive success of a flawless batch, the feeling of achievement is a glorious reward for all of your hard work. Macarons are a beautiful dessert when they are done right, and they are sure to garner praise for your skills and baking bravery. But before you start on your great macaron odyssey, let me tell you this: you may have visions of grandeur involving smooth-topped, round macarons, but please, keep in mind that not every batch will be great. In fact, they will probably be quite scary. But since you know that failure is inevitable, you can take it in stride and keep trying for that perfect batch.