Tuesday, October 27, 2009

French Macaroons

I waited until the last minute, but somehow managed to complete another Daring Bakers' challenge. The challenge was to make French macaroons, which as I learned, are completely different than the coconut macaroons that are common in America. This was probably my least successful challenge so far. The macaroons were delicious, but they did not turn out to have "feet" (which as I have learned are a distinguishing characteristic of a French macaroon). I will have to try to figure out what may have caused my lack of feet, although it may remain a mystery forever. I chose to fill my macaroons with chocolate ganache, but they would also be delicous filled with jam.

The 2009 October Daring Bakers' challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macaroons from Claudia Fleming's The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
The Process:
The confectioners sugar and almond flour are combined.
The egg whites are beaten to stiff peaks.
The almond flour and sugar are sifted and folded into the egg whites.
The batter is piped onto parchment-lined pans...
...and baked until just golden.
The ganache filling.
The final product, a ganache-filled macaroon.
From Claudia Fleming's The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern

2 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 egg whites, room temperature

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. 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 the 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 mixture in two batches. Be gentle. Do not overfold, but fully incorporate your ingredients.
4. Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip or a zipper bag with a corner cut off.

5. Pipe one-inch sized mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

6. Bake the macaroon for 5 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and rasie the temperature to 375 degrees F. Once the oven is up to temperature, put the pans back in the oven and bake for an additional 7 to 8 minutes, or until lightly colored.

7. Cool on a rack before filling.

1 comment:

  1. At least they tasted great and not worry feet are only for the French bakeries if you liked them then that's all that matters. OBTW in MHO I can see that the meringue wasn't whipped enough it needs to be firmer for this recipe. Go to Tartelette's blog and use her recipe is it more reliable. Great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Australia.