Sunday, November 1, 2009

The October Daring Bakers Challenge: Macaroons

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.




Here is the 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. I made a half recipe. For 2.5 egg whites you can guesstimate or use a food scale, 2.5 ounces of egg whites.

My variation for this Daring Bakers Challenge is Almond Macaroon with Amaretto Ganache. To make Amaretto Ganache, boil 1 cup heavy cream, remove from heat and stir in 4 oz finely chopped bittersweet* or semisweet chocolate until smooth. Add a few teaspoons of Amaretto to taste. Put the ganache in the freezer for 10 mins, stir, and spread on the cookies. If the ganache is still too runny simply return it to the freezer for another 5 or so minutes.


*Since these cookies are very sweet I recommend bittersweet chocolate.

11 comments:

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Joy said...

Hi! I have just done the Daring Bakers Challenge and thought I would check out the +5 / -5 to see who else is part of the group. I wasn't around for the Macaron challenge but yours looks awesome!! Congrats :)

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