It was really difficult for me to do this challenge. I so wanted to do the recipe the way I have been doing it. The way that has been successful for me. I fought this recipe the whole way, technique and all. So silly. I finally decided, especially when the first batch of macarons came out of the oven virtually footless, to treat this as an experiment.
Macarons ARE very temperamental. They like a little heat, certain baking trays, certain ways of folding, certain age of egg whites, certain temperatures of ingredients, certain this and certain that. Really. The best way to approach macarons is like an experiment. Don't think of it as pass or fail. Think of it strictly as a process. Take notes. Because your notes may be so different than my notes. Your pans may be thicker or your oven hotter. But the great thing, yah know, is that even if they flop, have no feet, or crack- they still taste good. No beauty contests will be won but they will still taste good.
See- they may not be pretty but these little hands kept coming back for more.
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.
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.
Yield: 10 dozen.
Here are some of my past macarons:
Dulce de Leche as the picture implies.
Mint Macarons with chocolate ganache.
Pink Macarons with White Chocolate Cranberry Ganache
Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Buttercream