The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
First off I must say how happy I am to be able to participate in the October challenge, for a while I didn’t think I was going to be able to, as I had no oven for almost 3 weeks. Luck has it that I got my oven just in time and I was able to squeak theses out just before the buzzer.
Making macarons? Really? That’s not a challenge, or so I thought. When I think of macaroons I instantly think of lots of chocolate and coconut, they are one of my favourites! Not these ones! When I saw the picture I was totally confused, these are not macarons, they are just fancy cookies. I had never heard of macarons like this before. To be honest I was terrified to take on the task or making something I had never heard of, never mind seen or tasted before, but that’s why were are there right, it’s a Challenge!
* Sorry for the lack of photos, I was so concerned about making these work that I forgot to take pictures
-Make Claudia Fleming’s recipe for macaroons
-Fill and sandwich the macaroons
-Flavor variations and decoration
-If you have a nut allergy, find a good nutless meringue cookie recipe but you must make them into cookie sandwiches with some kind of filling
Confectioners’ (Icing) sugar: 2 ¼ cups (225 g, 8 oz.)
Almond flour: 2 cups (190 g, 6.7 oz.)
Granulated sugar: 2 tablespoons (25 g , .88 oz.)
Egg whites: 5 (Have at room temperature)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C). Combine the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour in a medium bowl. If grinding your own nuts, combine nuts and a cup of confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until nuts are very fine and powdery.
2. Beat the egg whites in the clean dry bowl of a stand mixer until they hold soft peaks. Slowly add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks.
3. Sift a third of the almond flour mixture into the meringue and fold gently to combine. If you are planning on adding zest or other flavorings to the batter, now is the time. Sift in the remaining almond flour in two batches. Be gentle! Don’t over fold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806). You can also use a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off. It’s easiest to fill your bag if you stand it up in a tall glass and fold the top down before spooning in the batter.
5. Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).
6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F (190°C). Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or lightly colored.
(notice how they are flat and dull, no feet!)
7. Cool on a rack before filling. I filled mine with a home made butter cream, it was delicious!
Mine were quite a disaster. They looked nothing like they were suppose to. (To see what they are suppose to look like take a peruse through some other Daring Bakers on the Blogroll http://thedaringkitchen.com/blogroll/bakers) They did not have “feet”, they were chewy, thin and just yucky. Had a hard time getting them off of the baking sheet, so they are not even round. The only part I liked was the Chocolate filling I made. If you put enough of it in the middle you can kill the flavour and texture of the cookie.
Not sure what I did wrong but I will definitely not be making these again. Though If I ever see one in a bakery I would buy it just to see what they are suppose to taste like, because Im sure if they tasted like mine no one would buy them.
Looking forward to Novembers Challenge!