Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers: French Macarons

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.

Macaron
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.

Ingredients
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)

Directions:

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.
Peachy macarons

Pink Macarons with White Chocolate Cranberry Ganache
Chocolate Macarons with Salted Caramel Buttercream

26 comments:

stephchows said...

thanks for the congrats! I can't believe how many kinds of macaroons you made here!! I'd happily help eat them LOL

kat said...

You have much more patience than I do. I decided macarons just aren't my thing. You've done some really beautiful ones.

Mary said...

I think you did a fine job with the challenge. I've read that many folks had problems with this one. You created a macaron rainbow for us.

Grace said...

i'm all about the mint-chocolate and chocolate-caramel. does that make me boring? nicely done!

Katy ~ said...

This is not even something I would attempt, LOL. You have done wonderfully!

Lucy said...

Kudos, you jumped in and succeeded!! I have yet to try this, their on the list!! ;-)

Barbara Bakes said...

Good for you for trying the DB recipe even though you had one that you love. I used Dulce de Leche to fill mine. Yours may have been my inspiration!

Murasaki Shikibu said...

I won't even try. This is one thing I'd rather leave to Gerard Mulot or someone like that.

Yours look nice though. :)

pinkstripes said...

I love the shot of the macaron in your daughter's hand. I think they look great!

Heather B said...

Great job on your challenge this month! I love all of the flavors that you have done!

Me! said...

Great job! I am getting your macaron recipe. Hopefully it will work better for me than this one did

Simon said...

Shame these ones didn't work out but it looks like you're quite versed with the making of macarons.

LittleRed said...

Your macaroons look gorgeous. I think you need to invite me over for tea:) I'd be happy to sample both recipes!

Donna-FFW said...

Lori-- I think they look fabulous. So many kinds..where to begin. Nice job!

Robin Sue said...

I have seen this challenge all over and yours turned out beautifully Lori! I love all of the flavors you made and I don't think I could ever turn down a pink macaroon- those are so pretty!

The Blonde Duck said...

I know it's blasphemy, but I've never had a macaroon.

Ingrid said...

I'm really not surprised that you had already mastered this and that it was using your own method.

Love that shot of your sweet babygirl grabbing a macaron!

Go Yankees!
~ingrid

Lauren said...

Well I think they're very pretty & most of all - they're yummy! Love all of the kinds of macarons you've made =D.

Audax said...

Well said I wish everybody had your attitude when baking macarons and in baking in general there would be so much less angst. Well I think they look lovely (just a few lumps) but this recipe is so strange I found I had to relearn the whole process again. Wonderful and I love that picture of the hand reaching for more delicious macarons - kids love mac's. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Those past mac's look marvellous.

Audax said...

Well said I wish everybody had your attitude when baking macarons and in baking in general there would be so much less angst. Well I think they look lovely (just a few lumps) but this recipe is so strange I found I had to relearn the whole process again. Wonderful and I love that picture of the hand reaching for more delicious macarons - kids love mac's. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Those past mac's look marvellous.

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

You're a macaron queen! I've never tried proper macarons like this, too nervous...too scared the kitchen will get covered in egg white! they look amazingly good though...Nice way to think about it, as a scientific experiment :)

vibi said...

What are you taking about!? Those are absolutely gorgeous! And what an impressive variety! I'm floored...

lisamichele said...

LOri..I think they're beautiful because they look so delicious, and I love love love the peachy one!! Kudos to you for sticking with the original recipe! I had to eventually revert to Helen's..lol

Cakebrain said...

wow! you have a lot of experience with macarons! looks yummy!

Lynn said...

You have outdone yourself, Lori, with all your delicious recipes lately! These cookies, the onion soup, the pomegranate drinks and other recipes -- yum! They look so appealing.

Now I have a question for you: Can you tell me more about the balsamic reduction you mentioned in a recent comment, that you drizzle over roasted squash? Maybe do a post on it, if you haven't already, or direct me to one if you've already explained it? I'd love to try this on my many, many pumpkins. Thank you so much!! :)

Lori said...

Lynn- thank you so much. That was a lovely compliment.

THe balsamic reduction is here on my blog. You can look on my recipe page or just do a search on my blog. It is here.

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