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"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Baking Sheets Dark Vs Light

author
Paul Gonzalez
• Friday, 09 October, 2020
• 11 min read

You just needed something to put cookies on, so they can bake. A dark baking sheet will absorb more heat than a light colored pan.

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Contents

This means that the sides and bottoms of your quick breads will bake more quickly. You can lower the oven temperature by about 25 degrees.

Then you want to reach for the dark-colored pan and not make any adjustments. Of macaron-related questions over the years, I thought writing a macaron troubleshooting guide was in order.

The information presented on this page comes from years of macaron-making experience and from teaching how to make macaroni to thousands of students, both online and in real life. If you still have questions after reading this macaron troubleshooting guide, please send me a line or write a comment below.

The class is divided into 15 short lessons that show you the essential equipment you need, the important steps to follow, the techniques to master, and the potential pitfalls to avoid. You can watch the videos on your own time, start practicing, share with other budding macaron makers, and ask me questions if you encounter difficulties along the way.

Demonstration is the best way to learn how to make macaroni because you can see exactly the techniques, textures, and results you should aim for. I’m confident that this video class will enable you to create perfect macaroni.

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You can see both these pressure points explained and demonstrated in my French Macaron Video Class. It’s hard to replicate the exact same standards at home, but it doesn’t mean your homemade macaroni can’t be every bit as delicious as the ones you’ll find at renowned pastry shops.

Your macaroni sure won’t always look perfect, but they’re made by you, which is what makes them extra special. With practice, you’ll get better and better at folding the batter just so, piping the shells, and coming up with creative flavors.

Some food coloring are made to be used in icings and won’t withstand the heat, changing the texture of your macaron shells, or browning them too quickly. Cream of tartar is added to egg whites to help stabilize them and give them volume and strength.

This article explains the mystical union of sugar and egg whites. Use a popular brand, but not one without cornstarch as a little of it is good to help balance moisture and ensure sturdy shells.

Yes you can, but, says Helene Darwin of Bartlett, who regularly teaches macaron classes, “Try to keep a 50% ratio of almonds to other nuts. Almonds are the least oily of all nuts, and they will keep the batter to the right consistency.” Try hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, or even peanuts for different and tasty results.

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For the best flavor, make sure to toast the nuts (and let them cool completely to room temperature) before using them in macaroni. To grind the almonds/nuts, weigh them whole, then add them to a food processor along with the powdered sugar (which will prevent your nuts turning into butter).

If you’re concerned about waste, you should know that you can reuse the same parchment paper sheets many times before throwing them away. Any brand of parchment paper works, but I favor using parchment paper sheets because they lay perfectly flat in standard half-sheet baking pans, which guarantees macaron shells won’t warp because of curled sheets.

Because of the delicate nature of macaron shells, you’ll need to be able to gently lift off them the parchment paper (or silicon mat). Wax paper is not oven-proof, and macaron shells would stick to aluminum foil.

As stated above, I recommend using a surface that allows you to peel the macaron shells right off without having to grease it. I favor using disposable pastry bags because they are flexible thus easier to handle.

Plus, they’re cheap and convenient: no cleanup required, although you can give disposable pastry bags a good rinse and reuse them a few times before throwing them away. Also, make sure to use reusable pastry bags that are lined with plastic, so they don’t get stained by the food coloring.

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Says Stephanie Wazowski of Joy of Baking : “Stainless steel (…) does a good job of whipping and stabilizing the egg whites. Plastic and glass are not good surfaces either as the whites tend to slip down the sides of the bowl and plastic attracts grease because of its porous surface.” If your bowl is just slightly greasy (which isn’t always noticeable to the eye or touch), it will prevent your egg whites from rising properly.

A classic stainless steel cul-de-poule is super versatile in the kitchen and will last you a lifetime. You don’t need a whole set, just one large bowl will be fine to handle most kitchen tasks.

Although it’s true that, with use, it will show a slight patina, it won’t scratch per se, meaning nothing can penetrate stainless steel deeply. First, you’ll always line the baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone mats, so the finish of the baking sheet isn’t important.

Also, nonstick baking sheets are dark, and darkbakingsheets attract more heat, browning what’s on them more quickly. Macaroni bake at a low temperature, and what you don’t want at any cost, is browning.

Therefore, basic aluminum half sheet pans (13 × 18 inch / 33 × 45 cm) are the best choice for making macaroni. Because you’ll always cover the baking sheets with parchment paper, you don’t need top-notch nonstick surfaces.

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Some say doubling the baking sheets prevent the bottom of the shells to bake too quickly, which would make it too hard by “macaron standards”. It can also favor the formation of the infamous feet (or crown), which is another macaron standard that can be frustratingly hard to get.

I personally don’t believe doubling baking sheets is necessary, but it’s one thing you can try if you have trouble getting feet. After a quick research online, I’d estimate that one average 1¼-inch macaroni contains about 200 calories.

Macaron master Pierre Here also says that the aging process increases the whites’ elasticity. If you skip this step, you might end up with a runny or watery batter, which will not yield great results.

So please age your egg whites, and take them out of the fridge a few hours before making macaroni to bring them to room temperature before beating. It mimics the aging process close enough to save the day.” I’ve never tried this tip, but if she says it works, I believe it does.

The batter will look duller and it shouldn’t stick to your finger if you carefully touch it. Skipping this step could yield inconsistent results and cause all sorts of problems (no feet, warped shell, etc.).

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According to French baking authority, Doris Greenspan, who had the chance to work alongside Pierre Here, “Even though macaroni come in a Candy land palette, they all taste pretty much the same because they’re all made from the same ingredients: egg whites, granulated sugar, powdered sugar and ground almonds. To get the full measure of a macaron, you have to make sure that each bite includes cookies and filling.

With experience, you’ll get much faster to the point where you’re able to whip up a batch in no time. The egg whites are beaten enough when they form a stiff peak when you lift your beaters out.

Properly beaten egg whites should defy gravity and remain in the bowl if you turn it upside down. Some methods will tell you to fold an exact number of times, but I believe it’s all about the end result.

You should add food coloring or flavorings (such as lemon peel, pistachio extract or match powder) to the egg whites before incorporating the almond/sugar mixture. According to Helene Darwin, “It should form a thick ribbon that seems to flatten a bit when spooned but with a sturdy consistency.” Many compare the right batter consistency to molten lava.

If you overheat from the get go, you’ll end up with cracked or feetless macaroni. We usually all get to know our own oven to deal with the discrepancy and, to be honest, many dishes that can withstand temperature variations.

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Macaroni are particularly sensitive to heat, so it’s crucial that you adjust cooking times according to your oven’s power. This may mean that your first batches will be overcooked or take lots longer to bake, but in the end, you’ll figure out your magic number, which should be between 285 and 315 °F .

It’s best to bake macaroni for a longer period of time so that the shells rise slowly but consistently. Some ovens have poor air circulation, making the temperature rise excessively, so it may help to keep the oven door slightly open (with the help of a wooden spoon) throughout the cooking process.

Try to work quickly when piping the shells as your hands will warm the batter inside the pastry bag. Try to work quickly when piping the shells as your hands will warm the batter inside the pastry bag.

Make sure you use clean Silent mats or parchment paper, and that your baking sheets are straight and not warped. Some people have told me they skip the resting period and manage to get good-looking macaroni anyway, with feet and all.

Says Helene Darwin, “The rest period creates a slight air dried crust on the shells that traps in the heat at the base and pushes the edges upward, creating those little feet.” So yes, resting the shells before baking is necessary. Unless you have access to a commercial size oven, you’ll have to cook your shells in batches, so most of your macaroni will get the chance to rest anyway.

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If your shells remain pointy, just use a small pastry spatula to carefully smooth them out (see this technique in my How-To video, at 4:20). Try to work quickly when piping the shells as your hands will warm the batter inside the pastry bag.

The batter should have lost its shine and it shouldn’t stick to your finger when it’s ready to bake. It’s best to bake at a lower temperature (285 to 315 °F , depending on your oven) for a longer period of time so that the shells rise slowly but consistently.

Some ovens have poor air circulation, making the temperature rise excessively, so it may help to keep the oven door slightly open (with the help of a wooden spoon) throughout the cooking process. It’s best to bake at a lower temperature (285 to 315 °F , depending on your oven) for a longer period of time so that the shells cook slowly but consistently.

It’s best to bake at a lower temperature (285 to 315 °F , depending on your oven) for a longer period of time so that the shells rise slowly but consistently. Some ovens have poor air circulation, making the temperature rise excessively, so it may help to keep the oven door slightly open (with the help of a wooden spoon) throughout the cooking process.

The batter should have lost its shine and it shouldn’t stick to your finger when it’s ready to bake. If the batter is not mixed enough, too much air remains in the macaroni, and the meringue dries out and cracks during the baking process.

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It’ll deflate the shells and no amount of additional cooking can fix this. Forgot to tap the pan against the countertop before resting (air bubbles stayed in).

Properly cooked macaroni are firm on their feet when you tap lightly on the shell. The magic happens when macaroni are filled, assembled and then left to mature for 24 hours.

When freshly baked, the shell is hard and crisp, but it absorbs some humidity from the filling and its insides become tender while the crust on the surface remains intact.” Just be patient, store your assembled macaroni in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours, and you’ll see, your macaroni will be fine (don’t forget to take them out early so that they come back to room temperature before you eat them). Properly cooked macaroni are firm on their feet when you tap lightly on the shell.

It’s best to bake at a lower temperature (285 to 315 °F , depending on your oven) for a longer period of time to ensure the shells will keep their nice color and won’t brown. Some ovens have poor air circulation, making the temperature rise excessively, so it may help to keep the oven door slightly open (with the help of a wooden spoon) throughout the cooking process.

Properly cooked macaroni are firm on their feet when you tap lightly on the shell. Let them cool completely before lifting. If you feel shells are cooked enough, but they are still sticky, try to dampen the bottom of the parchment paper (if that’s what you’re using) and let rest for a couple of minutes.

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The moisture from the water should help the shells come off, but don’t let them sit on wet paper too long, or they will become soggy. It’s best to bake at a lower temperature (285 to 315 °F , depending on your oven) for a longer period of time to ensure the shells cook through.

It’s best to bake at a lower temperature for a longer period of time so that the shells rise slowly but consistently. Freshly made macaroni are ready to be enjoyed after 24h of resting time (see explanation under ‘’), and they should be eaten within 4 to 5 days.

Take them out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before eating, so they come back to room temperature; that way, their flavor will be at its best. If you plan on giving macaroni as a gift, don’t forget to write a “best before” date on the packaging to make sure they will be enjoyed at their prime.

Store assembled macaroni in an airtight container, then freeze for up to one month. Once the macaroni are frozen, you can take out the exact quantity you need and keep the other at their freshest.

Simply let the macaroni rest at room temperature for an hour, and they’ll be ready to eat. Fillings that are more humid, such as jams, can excessively moisten the shells, making them lose their crunch completely.

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Mr. Here uses the Italian meringue method for making macaroni, but the books still provides endless inspiration as well as great insight into his process. Les Petite Macaroni: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home, by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride: A well-rated and beautiful book with lots of great recipes, including many for savory macaroni.

Make Macaroni Like the French, by Jill Colonia: An excellent, no-nonsense book with lots of great tips and recipe variations. Originally published in Japanese, instructions in English are incomplete and often lead to failure.

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