There are a lot of macaron recipes that call for aged egg whites ( including the one i will be posting soon) and you may be like I was and ask what the heck an aged egg is.
Well, aging egg whites basically means separating your egg whites and yolks, and storing your egg whites in a loosely covered container in a cool dry place for 24 – 48 hours. Thereafter you can put it in a fridge in an airtight container.
So why do you have to do this?
The reasoning behind it is to dehydrate the egg whites as much as possible. This causes the egg whites to lose elasticity and helps you gets a stiffer meringue and the right consistency of batter for the perfect macarons. Just remember, that if you have had the egg whites in the fridge, you need to take them out and let them come to room temperature before using them.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself that there must be a shortcut, because really, who has 2 days to wait for your egg whites to dehydrate when the macaron craving calls.
Luckily, there is! After a bit of research I found out that if you haven’t had time to leave your egg whites out to age you can pop them into the microwave for about 10 seconds. This mimics the aging process to a degree, but you have to be careful not to put them in for too long. You want dehydrated eggs, not cooked.
I’ve used this method more times than I can count and I have to say that my macarons have actually, on many occasions, turned out better than with just traditionally aged egg whites. There are also a lot of sites that say you don’t have to age your eggs at all. In the end it’s all up to you to try it out and see what works best for you.
So that’s the low down on aging eggs.