Row of colorful French macarons with powdered sugar, lying on black background
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How To Fix Macaron Batter That’s Too Thick

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Macarons are delicious meringue cookies sandwiched together with an equally flavorful filling. A common item in France, they are now easily available in the United States and can also be made at home!

If there’s one thing you need to know about making macarons at home, it’s that they require patience, practice, and precision. One of the most common issues that home cooks face when making macarons is the batter turning too thick.

So, how to fix macaron batter that’s too thick? The best way to fix macaron batter that is too thick is to mix it with force to deflate some of the air. If this doesn’t work, the issue is probably due to an improper ratio of dry to wet ingredients, oily almond flour, or an overbeaten meringue.

Read on to find out more about macarons, the multiple methods you can use to fix macaron batter that’s too thick, best practices to follow when making macarons at home, and much more!

What Are Macarons?

Macarons (“mak-uh-rohns”) are a French dessert made with two meringue-based cookies sandwiched together with a delicious filling. The delicate cookies are often tinted with food coloring and come in several flavors.

A good macaron has a smooth top and ruffled skirts and is light and airy with a delicate, sugary crunch.

Made with egg whites beaten to stiff peaks and fine almond flour, powdered sugar, and your choice of flavoring added to it, the mixture is folded carefully, piped, and then baked.

What Is The Perfect Consistency For Macaron Batter?

The process of working the batter to the right consistency is called “macaronage” and is extremely important in making perfect macarons.

Macaron batter should be mixed until it gets a thick consistency similar to pancake batter. It shouldn’t be runny, and neither should it be too thick. It should have a shiny, flowy consistency that easily pipes into smooth macaron shells.

To check the consistency, drop the batter off of your spatula to form a “figure-8” figure. Ideally, the batter should drop off the spatula easily and the figure 8 should take no longer than 10 seconds to sink back into the batter.

If it takes less than 10 seconds, the batter is too thin and is probably overmixed. If it takes longer, continue folding the batter to deflate more air and make it thinner.

Once the right consistency is reached, the batter is transferred into a pastry bag and piped on a silicone mat into flat, round circles, after which the macaron shells are baked to perfection.

Once they are baked and cooled down, the meringue cookies are paired with fillings such as buttercream, jam, or chocolate ganache.

What Causes Thick Macaron Batter?

Usually, when you add dry ingredients (such as almond flour and sugar) to your meringue, it starts out pretty thick but should begin to loosen, thin out, and become runnier as you fold the batter.

In some instances, the batter may never loosen and will stay thick throughout. It may even get thicker while folding.

The reason for this may be the improper ratio of dry to wet ingredients, oily almond flour, or an overbeaten meringue.

Making macarons with a batter that is too thick may form little peaks on each cookie that will not settle, indicating an incomplete macaronage process.

How To Fix Macaron Batter That Is Too Thick

Thick macaron batter is best prevented rather than fixed — it is nearly impossible to fix perfectly.

Some people add some extra whipped egg whites as a corrective measure, but it may or may not work. Adding water to the mixture is a big no-no and simply out of the question.

How To Prevent Macaron Batter From Becoming Too Thick

A few easy ways to prevent your macaron batter from getting too thick are to:

  • Weigh the ingredients properly using a kitchen scale.
  • Make sure to use fresh, fine, and sifted almond flour — avoid blitzing it in a food processor.
  • Avoid overbeating the meringue as it may cause it to get dry and throw off the ratio.
  • Make sure the sugar is added to the egg whites at the right time.
  • Use food coloring that is not expired.

Here are a few extra tips to follow to make sure you get the right batter consistency!

Tip 1: Make The Batter In Small Batches

If you are making a lot of macarons, it may be helpful to make them in batches instead of piling all the ingredients in one bowl and being unable to properly mix and fold them.

Since the macaron batter will be thick and difficult to mix at the beginning, having separate, smaller batches will make mixing much easier and will yield better results.

Tip 2: Count The Folds

The number of times you fold the batter during macaronage is crucial as it will determine how thick or thin the batter will be.

50-60 folds is a good number to ensure that the batter is neither undermixed nor overmixed. You can count out loud if that helps you keep track of the number of folds!

Tip 3: Avoid Undermixing Or Overmixing The Batter

It is incredibly easy to overmix your macaron batter and end up with a runny mess that is almost impossible to fix.

You really want to avoid undermixing or overmixing the batter — undermixing may result in a thick batter with lumpy or hollow macarons, whereas overmixing will thin out the batter and produce cracked macarons.

Additional Tips For Making The Best Macarons

Here are a few additional tips for piping and baking the best macarons that are the perfect shape, texture, and flavor:

  • Use a round piping tip for creating the perfect round macaron shape.
  • Use a silicone mat so the macarons don’t brown as easily and retain their shape better.
  • Tap the baking sheet before baking to get rid of any air bubbles — this ensures there are no dents in your little shells.
  • Allow the macarons to rest before baking so that they don’t crack in the oven. Wait for the batter to dry out, lose its shine, and no longer be sticky to the touch.
  • Use an oven thermometer to bake the macarons as oven displays are not always accurate.
  • Allow the macaron shells to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before removing them from the mat.
  • Refrigerate the macarons for at least 24 hours before indulging so that they can mature and get a chewy texture on the inside.

Common Issues With Macarons And Their Causes

A perfect macaron has a smooth shiny top, ruffled feet, and full shells inside. Not only should they have the perfect texture, but also an incredible flavor!

When making macarons at home, you may run into several issues such as cracked shells and grainy texture.

Here are some of the most common issues people encounter when making macarons, along with their causes for you to avoid next time:

Hollow shellsUnderwhipped egg whites, broken meringue, underbaking, improper macaronage technique
Lopsided shellsImproper piping technique, warped baking pan, convection oven fan is too strong
Unsightly points or “nipples”Undermixed batter, didn’t tap the bottom of the pan before baking
Lumpy and bumpy shellsImproperly mixed batter, dry ingredients not sifted properly
Flat shellsOvermixed batter, wet batter
Cracked shellsMeringue not stiff enough, hot spots in the oven, didn’t tap the bottom of the pan before baking
Hard and dry shellsOverbaking
Sticky shellsUnderbaking, macaron shell too wet, improper macaronage technique
Porous shellsMeringue too soft or broken, wet batter
Browning shellsToo high oven temperature, too close to the heat source
No feetMacaron shell too wet, inadequate resting time, baking temperature too low
Inconsistent results within the same batchPoor oven circulation, improper macaronage technique, inadequate or different resting times, underbeaten egg whites

If All Else Fails

If despite your sincerest efforts you are unable to make good macarons and end up with cracked, hollow, or porous shells, you can either enjoy them as is or use them in an inventive way to avoid throwing them out.

Place your cracked and flat macaron shells in a food processor and blitz them into a fine or coarse powder — whichever you prefer. Just make sure the shells aren’t gooey when you do so. If they are, bake them for a while longer and blitz away!

The result will be delicious meringue cookie powder that you can use in a variety of desserts.

Macaron dust adds a great texture and flavor when sprinkled on top of cakes, cupcakes, donuts, and ice cream, mixed into a custard, or used as a crumb for chocolate-dipped strawberries.

Final Thoughts

Macarons are a delicious, meringue-based French dessert that can be made at home following a few simple tips and tricks.

It may take you some time to perfect, but when you do, it’ll all be worth the effort! Who doesn’t want to brag about being able to make this French delicacy at home, right?

To avoid making your macaron batter too thick, you need to be mindful when incorporating the ingredients as well as how many times you fold the batter — you must avoid undermixing or overmixing the batter!

An average of 50-60 folds is a good number to achieve the perfect batter consistency to make smooth, glossy, and beautiful macarons.

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