Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers - Macarons

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.
Of all the Daring Bakers' challenges I would have to say this is the first one that didn't come out as good as I hoped. Most of my macarons cracked during baking which meant the didn't have that crispy outside. They were pretty close though so I'm sure if I played with the recipe a bit I could get it right but I realized I'm just really not that big a fan of macarons.
Since the recipe claimed to make 10 dozen I sized it way down & got about 10 sandwiches total (this might be part of the reason the weren't perfect.) I decided to make my own nut flour for the recipe & went with hazelnuts instead of almonds because that's what I had on hand. They were roasted so moisture wasn't a problem. I felt like they gave a nice flavor to the cookies. I also added a little ground cinnamon to the dough.

For the filling I did a very simple buttercream (butter & powdered sugar) flavored with jelly, but the jelly I chose to use was Port Wine Jelly. The flavor just wasn't as good as I had hoped. I really should have gone with my first instinct & used the Green Tomato Jam instead.

from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern

Actual baking time: 12 minutes total, plus a few minutes to get your oven from 200°F to 375°F.

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. Ami's note: My yield was much smaller than this. I produced about two dozen filled macaroons.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski


Tangled Noodle said...

They still look so good (though I'm intrigued by the idea of green tomato jam-flavored filling). Successful macarons seem to be the Holy Grail of baking - someday, I'll gather the necessary gumption to try it myself.

maybelle's mom said...

i love the green tomato idea--next time. Though port wine is kind of exciting too.

Olga said...

I made my own flour too, but from almonds. Mine did not turn out too hot either :)

Better luck next time!

Stacey Snacks said...

You ARE a daring baker!
They look good to me!

Zita said...

A daring baker never give up, love your filling flavor :)

grace said...

this girl? not a fan of the macaron. i do enjoy tomato jam, however. don't ignore your instincts!

George Gaston said...

kat... Your macarons look might tasty, especially with the jam-butter cream. I remember having the macarons while dining at the Gramercy Tavern and yours match-up theirs, if not better. Well done!

Kristin said...

They look delicious!! How did they taste?

Carter @ The Kitchenette said...

ooooo the green tomato jam sounds amazing! Too bad tomatoes are nowhere to be found in Colorado anymore...

And as we say in the South, "chil' please!" your macarons look awesome to me. You can't be perfect all the time =)

Fresh Local and Best said...

Bravo for doing the challenge, macaroons are difficult to make. I think you did a great job!

Eva said...

Wow those look great. They have very nice feet. My attempt seems so sad and pathetic compared to yours.

Elle said...

They look good, though! I don't think I'll ever try making macarons, since they seem so hard to master.

Jen said...

Hi Kat-- I'm sorry yours didn't really work out either.

Deborah said...

I still have yet to make macarons. I've actually seen quite a few posts where this recipe didn't turn out very well.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to come across another Daring Baker from the Twin Cities. The macaroons were my first challenge with the group.

Lori said...

They look great Kat. I like the addition of cinnamon.

PG said...

I haven't actually ever tried a macaron (or does the singular version still take an "s"?). I think I need to figure out whether I actually like them before I try to make them. I have a feeling that I'd screw them up.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I'm sorry you weren't so happy with these! I love macaroons - there is a patisserie chain in London that makes lovely ones, and I can never decide if the coffee flavour or the pistachio ones are my favourites.

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