The White Vinegar Hack To Perfect Your Next Batch Of Macarons

If you're struggling to make show-stopping macarons even after trying every trick in the book to improve their taste and texture, we've got a hack to perfect your next batch. Luckily, it doesn't involve working through the usual list of troubleshooting solutions, such as rapping your tray of French treats on the counter before baking to remove the air bubbles, monitoring the temperature of the oven, or unclogging your piping bag. Instead, the unlikely hero ready to rescue you from making another batch of lousy macarons is a dash of white vinegar to clean your bowl and mixer.

A stiff meringue made of egg whites and sugar is the key to making macarons that rise well and don't crack while baking. To make the fluffiest meringue, you need to eliminate all traces of grease in your mixing bowl, which would otherwise prevent the egg whites from foaming to their full potential during the all-important whisking stage. A simple way to remove the oily residue from your mixing bowl is to apply a thin smear of white vinegar to the surface. You can do this by upending your bottle of vinegar onto a paper towel before rubbing the towel over the bowl. Do the same to the whisk or strip beater attachments on your mixer and any other tools that you'll be using while preparing your macarons to guarantee every element is clean.

What does the vinegar do to the macarons?

Wiping your mixing bowl and baking tools with vinegar does two things: First, it helps to catch and remove the greasy spots that prevent egg whites from whipping as well as they can. Second, the acid in the vinegar acts as a stabilizing agent, which makes the protein in the egg whites firmer. It's a definite plus if a smidgen of vinegar gets into the meringue mixture as it's whisked. The small amount won't affect the flavor of the meringue but will encourage it to whip up nicely and produce macarons that have a smooth, round top, crispy shell, and fluffy middle. 

If you don't have any white vinegar to wipe down your tools, other acids (such as lemon juice or cream of tartar) can perform the same oil-removing and stabilizing functions. So, the next time you're making these colorful almond treats, be sure to lightly coat your equipment with an acid to give yourself the best chance of whipping up a premium meringue and achieving a scrumptious serving of monumental macarons.