Tuesday, October 27, 2009

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Daring Bakers: Macaroons

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.

The title of the post that contained this month's Daring Bakers challenge said "Practice Your French Kissing." I don't think any amount of practicing my French kissing would have helped me conquer the difficulty that is making macaroons. I went into making the dessert confident and came out feeling defeated. I expected defeat. This is after all a dessert that I had been terrified of making because of it's reputation. It's a deliciously fickle cookie. Everything has to be absolutely perfect, from the temperature of the eggs to the temperature of the oven. My cookies came out flat and chewy. I filled the cookies with a chocolate ganache and they honestly tasted more like chocolate chip cookies than anything else.
Make sure to check out the Daring Bakers blogroll. Not everyone had as much trouble as I did and, in fact, some bakers created the most gorgeous macaroons.


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 overfold, 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.
7. Cool on a rack before filling.


Engineer Baker said...

Chewy is good though! It looks like the recipe is the culprit though - try out Julia @ Melanger's or Helen @ Tartelette's recipes - they're winners for me!

Johanna said...

looks so yummy! thx for the recipe. nice blog!

pinkstripes said...

They kinda look like Milanos. :P