You just spent hours making macs. They’re baked and filled, and you’re excited to see all your hard work paid off. You try one.. and it’s hollow! There’s probably not a more disappointing sight in the world than hollow macarons.
Before we get started, full disclosure. I don’t mind a small hollow in my macarons! I like to have a little extra room to stuff lots of buttercream and crumble. But let me tell you all about hollow macarons, and their causes and fixes.
What Makes a Good Macaron?
For me, a good macaron has four characteristics:
- Tops are sturdy and solid, not cracked
- Feet are nice and raised, not spread out or too tall
- Bottoms are shiny and solid, not concave or sticky
- Full middle
Like I said before, I don’t mind a small hollow at the top of my shell. I do mind a totally hollow shell!
Why Are My Macarons Hollow?
Your macarons can be hollow for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly what’s wrong! You will probably have to judge a few things to find out the exact cause. Let’s go through a few reasons why your macarons could be hollow.
Your oven temperature might be too high or too low. Get an oven thermometer to find out if your oven runs hot or cold.
Your macs might not be getting enough airflow. I like to flip my pans upside down and bake them rim side down. Sometimes the rim blocks the air from passing over your macs evenly.
Your pan might be what’s causing your hollow macarons. Different metals conduct different heat and affect the bake of your mac. For example, aluminum pans heat up really quickly and cool down really quickly. Conversely, steel pans sustain heat really well! If you’re using aluminum pans and have hollow macs, consider trying out steel pans instead.
How to Combat Hollow Macarons
If you’ve gone through all the above suggestions, and you’re still getting hollow macs, do not fear! I get them all the time and I have made thousands of batches of macarons. Thankfully, I’ve found a very effective way to combat hollow macs: the maturing process!
The Maturing Process
Macaron maturing refers to the time that a macaron sits after being baked and filled. I recommend that you let your macs mature for at least 24 hours before you eat them.
The maturing process is so amazing for combating hollows. When you let your macarons sit with the filling, the macaron shell absorbs the moisture from the buttercream and expands, filling any hollow spaces with delicious mac and buttercream.
One thing that I recommend is indenting your macs. Before I fill them, I make a slight indent in the bottom of my mac. I know! People think I’m crazy, but it works. Breaking that barrier helps moisture get into your shell and expand your mac to fill that hollow.
More Macaron Help
For more explanation on this topic, watch my Live on hollows on Instagram. If you still need help with your macarons, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram and I’ll try to get back to you!