Well, I made macaroons, sort of.
I’m not sure what happened. No lovely rise? No perfect little feet?
Some of them didn’t even make it at all.
What I did make was not unpalatable, but oddly enough seemed also to be Brussels Cookies, which I have made by mistake before.
I seemed to have all of the right elements together.
I had lovely little candied violets that I crushed with a mortar and pestle.
I ground my own nuts into flour in my shiny new food processor, combined with lots and lots of sugar.
I aged my egg whites, brought them to a perfect temperature, and beat them till they were so lovely…they made you want to sing arias.
But things started to go down from there. Gently, gently I folded. But the lovely egg whites lost their song.
I thought it would be okay. The batter seemed a little dense, but I’d never made these before, and what do I know what the batter should look like?
My pulse got a little quicker, though. It will be alright. It will be alright.
But I forgot one thing. I was going to need to use the dreaded pastry bag.
I guess I need to say one more time… whoops.
Whatever air was left in that batter, I somehow lost in the massacre that I committed with the pastry bag. No rise. No feet.
I filled them with chocolate ganache, and now they’re over there, on the table. I figure that when the family gets home, they’ll never know that they’re not macaroons. After all, we’re simple country folk. We don’t eat many pink cookies around here.
But do I still get to be in the club? I’ve been a daring baker for a whole year now, but have I failed a true food blogger test?
Will you forgive me if I can’t make macaroons?
What if I promise to try again… someday?
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 Ami’s recipe… I added crushed candied violets to the batter, and filled the cookies with a basic dark chocolate ganache.
Give it a try. I bet that you’ll succeed! Just don’t hold it over my head.
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.