Monday 16 May 2011





I threw caution to the wind today. 

Lately, I have been wondering if all the fussing with the whites is worth it: the separating, then the aging (I do my aging in the fridge) and the waiting until the whites are at room temp.

I purchased at Costco a 3-pack carton of “Simply Egg Whites”, intending to try them in a macaron recipe.  The only ingredient on the carton: egg whites.  There are no additives.  However, the whites are pasteurized.  Ordinarily, I make my macarons with aged egg whites from organic eggs.  I have a handy-dandy tried-and-true macaron recipe I go to that satisfies me immensely.  However, I wanted to try my hand at creating a new recipe using pasteurized whites.  This requires a good kitchen scale and so I advise you to weigh carefully if you intend to make macarons with my recipe.


Initially, I had the intention of making Blue, Green and White macarons in honour of the Canucks’ drive for the Stanley Cup (these colours are in their jersey).  I continue to turn that oven on every game and bake something just so that I don’t jinx it.    The other night it was pizza.   I’m getting tired of cookies.  A colleague waxed on about my macarons the other day and put the seed in my mind that I ought to make macarons again.  I haven’t made them since Christmas!


Unfortunately, mid-way through making these, I lost interest in decorating the macaron shells with the green macaron batter.  I wanted to go for a run on the treadmill so I ditched my ambitious decorating plans.  Going on the treadmill allowed me some caloric leeway I figured--to enable me to sample the macarons to my heart’s content. 

I had intended to pipe green batter onto the blue shells.  This didn’t work out and I ended up eating the partially decorated baked shells unfilled because they didn’t look anything  like the team colours anyway.  They were delicious, btw.


Fortunately, the blue macarons were quite pretty and though the green is missing, the major team colours are blue and white anyway. The green is just used as trim.  I think this will have to do. 


As you can see, using pasteurized egg whites worked.  Because I didn’t want to risk failure I did a few things to ensure my macarons had feet.  I added 1 teaspoon of meringue powder (dried egg white powder) and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to stabilize the whites while I was whisking them.  I whisked the whites a total of 10 minutes in my KitchenAid mixer.  I did not use room temperature whites.  I did not age the whites.  I did microwave them for 10 seconds in the microwave oven.  I touched the whites coming out of the microwave and they weren’t even room temperature.  I figured I’d use them anyway.  Guess what?  It's all okay!  The aging step was a bother, the separating of whole eggs was a waste of time and energy and now I know I don’t have to figure out what to do with all those egg yolks!  I know I can make pastry cream, custards and all sorts of things with yolks, folks.  However, I just want macarons!  I don’t have the time or inclination to make other stuff with the yolks.  This pasteurized egg whites idea is great for instant gratification!

So I dedicate my experimental recipe to the Canucks.  It’s a winner! I hope they are too!


300 g  confectioner’s sugar
225 g  finely ground almonds
150 g  pasteurized egg whites [I used “Simply Egg Whites”]
1/2 tsp  cream of tartar
1 tsp  meringue powder [I used Wilton brand]
150 g   granulated sugar
5 ml  vanilla paste
Teal or baby blue food colouring [I used Wilton food colouring paste]

  1. Preheat oven to 310 F.
  2. Put the icing sugar and ground almonds in a food processor.  Pulse until finely ground and combined well.
  3. Sift the icing sugar and almond mixture into a bowl.  Discard large chunks of almond.
  4. Microwave pasteurized egg whites and meringue powder for 10 seconds in a microwave safe measuring cup.
  5. Using a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until foamy.  Add cream of tartar.  Gradually add sugar. Whites will become shiny.
  6. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks form. [It took me 10 minutes.]
  7. Manually fold almond and icing sugar mixture into egg whites.  Add food colouring.
  8. The batter should flow “like magma”.  It should not be spongy and it should not hold a peak.   It should spread very slowly.  Fill a piping bag that has a large round tip with batter.
  9. Pipe small rounds onto parchment-lined tray and let air dry for 10 minutes.
  10. Bake 10-12 minutes or before the macaron shells start to turn brown.
6 oz (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon clear almond extract
  1. Place the softened butter in bowl of mixer.
  2. Gradually add the sugar by sifting a small amount over the butter and stirring to incorporate. Continue until all the sugar is blended in.
  3. Beat in the milk until smooth.
  4. Beat in the electric mixer until the icing is pale and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.


Unknown said...

These look great!!

Are these as difficult to make as some say and they seem?

I've have been wanting to try them for a long time, but I stress enough about my baking as is (I probably shouldn't it should flow naturally but yeah I still do) and I've read the instructions on making the macarons and the tales people tell about following everything to the "T" and with any slight misstep (like walking on a high wire tight rope) it's ALL OVER!!

cocoa and coconut said...

These are so beautiful! I love the baby blue colour! Your pictures are so inspiring. Well done for dealing with all the trobule that macarons bring! I agree - waiting for egg whites to separate or be the right temperature is sort of a pain ;(

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the tips and pointers using pasterized egg whites. I made an angel food cake with them and it was gorgeous! Pasterized egg whites are my new best friend. I'm going to try your macaron recipe. When you whisked the egg whites for 10 minutes to stiff peaks with your whisk attachment, did you do it on high?

Cakebrain said...

thank you for the kind words! Sometimes, they can be difficult to make...especially for some individuals who do not have experience with identifying the stiff peak stage of whipped egg whites or the "magma stage" of the macaron batter.
Once you know how to identify that and how to troubleshoot a recipe (lowering or raising oven temperature if the first batch didn't turn out) then you're good to go in the future. I still rarely have mishaps like lopsided macarons but I'll adjust accordingly. Many variables where you can go wrong in technique though.
That being said, macarons with no feet or cracked tops are still delicious and it's a great feeling when they do turn out well consistently. Kind of like getting a pic accepted at Tastespotting or Foodgawker...sometimes it's infuriating and sometimes you jump up and down when everything works out (even though you don't know what you did right).

I didn't use that much food colouring so they won't leave a blue streak on your tongue. Thanks for the comment about the pics too...sometimes I struggle with the photography for my blog! I have never had a lesson in photography and sometimes have no idea what I'm doing it seems. I just go by instinct and feel. I'm all for demystifying baking and photography!

I used speed 8 on my KitchenAid. The whites were shiny and held stiff peaks. The mixer wasn't going full speed (10), but it was pretty close.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try your recipe! Just wondering if you use gels or powders for colouring your macarons.

Go Canucks Go! You make us proud!

Cakebrain said...

Anonymous Canucks fan,
I used the Wilton gel. Use your Michaels 40%off coupon to buy it!

amlamonte said...

you are so brave to experiment with macarons! the other day i tried making them with italian syrup instead of plain sugar, and it was a disaster. these look gorgeous though, and i love the blue color!

Connie the cookie monster said...

cakebrain, these look lovely! good job!

Unknown said...

Wow this just made making macarons so much easier. Now I think it's high time I tried some!

Unknown said...

Hi! I would love for you to join my linky party. It's called a Themed Baker's Sunday where this week's theme is cakes! But you only have until tomorrow night to enter in! Then next week's theme is cupcakes!
Hope to see you there!
Cupcake Apothecary

Unknown said...

Hi! I would love for you to join my linky party. It's called a Themed Baker's Sunday where this week's theme is cakes! But you only have until tomorrow night to enter in! Then next week's theme is cupcakes!
Hope to see you there!
Cupcake Apothecary

Ducky said...

These look amazing, do you think they would work without the cream of tartar and meringue powder? I think I might give it a try.

Cakebrain said...

Tell me how it goes!

LL said...

Hi There!
Happy New Year!
I've just finished my run of making macarons for the very first time this past holiday season. Needless to say it had many highs and lows, luckily more highs as I was able to pull of my best ones in time for a cookie swap! Phwew! Haha! This is the first time I came across your posts on your "war", although I've been on your blog previously for some yummy recipes. Reading through all your notes, I had many of the same experiences that you did.
(Your black sesame ones look amazing and I want to attempt those next :)).

I want to add that I did try the carton egg whites without meringue powder and cream of tarter, they turned out really well (through 2 cartons). However, I tried another carton last week, and it was a massive fail, 2 batches! I would say it was due to the use of carton egg whites. Everything else remained the same: temperature of the oven, weather, waiting until the 'skin' formed...
I later tried a final experiment, used fresh egg whites, perfection!
I did believe that carton egg whites were the best idea until my botched batches, oh well.

So my battle continues...

Sorry for the long winded comment, I wish you all the best for 2012 & thanks for an amazing blog!


Marsha V said...

I tried this over the weekend -- pasteurized egg whites from a carton, aged for 2 days -- epic failure. I'll try again, with your instructions. There are only so many things you can do with egg yolks.

Mel B. said...

These look wonderful!

I had my first modest succes with macarons two nights ago, and i also used egg whites from the carton! They were not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (this is only my third time attempting macarons) but I was happy with the improvement:

I have a question, though. With the pasteurized egg whites, what did your meringue look like? Did it have less volume than traditional egg whites? Did it look different or was it less glossy?

Cakebrain said...

Hey Mel,
The main difference from eggs in cartons to fresh out of the egg is the fact that the carton ones are runnier. Make sure you shake the carton thoroughly before measuring. I also add some eggwhite powder to the carton whites to make sure there's sufficient protein content to maintain a stronger meringue (like an insurance policy). It'll def take longer to whip up...but I've realized success with the pasteurized egg whites despite slightly less initial volume. I just keep beating until the meringue looks stiff and holds its peaks. Keep trying and tweaking because indeed it can be oven temperature, your pan thickness or the humidity of your room. Once you get it, you'll be able to do it over and over again. Fun variations! good luck!

Sara said...

Hi Cake on the Brain :)
Your macarons (all of them) look beautiful, but I have a little problem
Here the ground almond is super expensive, and I wondered if could replace part of the almonds with flour; would them turn out ok or would them be a waste of money and time?
None of my friends are sure about it, and because you have way more experience than me, I wondered if you could help me
Have a nice day! :)

Cakebrain said...

a macaron is only a macaron if you use nuts/seeds in my opinion. Don't use wheat flour or you'll get a plain ol' cookie! :)

To make things more economical, buy blanched sliced almonds. I buy mine bulk or at Costco. Then keep them in the freezer because they can go rancid quickly. Use a food processor to grind them along with the confectioners' sugar...don't make almond butter! I use a high speed bullet (you can use a clean spice grinder) and pulse in small batches too. If you were meaning almond "flour", then of course that would be okay to use but it is the most expensive way of making macarons. You can replace the ground almonds with pecans, walnuts...just about any other nut you can think of. Some people use seeds like pumpkin seeds too.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I will have to try making macs with pasteurized egg whites once again, but with your recipe and tips ... I have tried it a couple times before with the recipe I have but I would only get a few good macs from them .... the recipe works beautifully when I use eggs and the original method of cracking, aging, room temp etc. though.

These look beautiful btw, love the baby blue!

/wave from a fellow Vancouverite (well sort of, farther east here, in Chilliwack!)


Cakebrain said...

Hi Hurleylife!
yah...I hear you. Sometimes the carton eggwhites don't work out for me too I admit; especially if it's very humid. Which is often her in Vancouver. When the carton whites do work, I feel elated though! I do try to compensate if I think it is particularly humid outside. Make sure you shake the carton well to evenly distribute the contents. Some brands might act differently. I have tried 2 different brands. The one I pictured above works well for me. I also ramp up the meringue powder to help give it a boost.
You have a lovely blog, gorgeous pics of macs and gorgeous kids too!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I found your recipe!!! I tried again using the pasteurized egg whites and my macarons turned out beautifully :D I am so excited!!! Thanks for posting your recipe, this makes it so much easier when I'm craving to bake up some macarons!!!

Here is my post and how they turned out ....

Yay! /jumping for joy

Pharmadaddy said...

You said you have a tried and true recipe you usually use. Do you have a link you could provide? Thanks.

Cakebrain said...

Hi Pharmadaddy,
Not exactly sure which comment you're referring to? Tried and true recipe for what? for regular egg whites from the egg macarons? or macarons using pasteurized egg whites? My pistachio macarons have never failed me and they used separated eggs. The desperately real strawberry macarons also work really well for me.

Unknown said...

I tried making these last night. The macarronnage totally failed. It stayed pretty stiff despite a lot of folding and piping through the bag twice. Any ideas what went wrong? I've made macarons before and never had this problem(other problems but not this).

Cakebrain said...

@Krista Sorry for the late reply! Been busy with work! It's hard to say what went wrong. You can try adding meringue powder? Did you test the batter? It should run like lava. If not and it's too thick it might not be mixed enough?

Silvia said...

Hi Cakebrain thank you much for your recipe and for encourage us to make macaron without following all that drama of the aged egg whites. i did it! and the results were pretty good considering my first time making this recipe, and third time making macarons with other recipes. I grind my toasted almonds just in the food processor and i make the macaronage in the mixer! i am so happy. thank you again
i wish i can send you a picture but idk how. :(


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