Thursday, October 29, 2009

daring bakers: macaron fail

These are not my macarons. My macarons did not even make it to the oven.

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.

I was really excited for this one. I've always wanted to try making macarons. Actually, I've always wanted to try macarons period. I can't believe I've never had one! So I was excited. I was expecting to fail, but part of me was dreaming of perfectly dainty macarons in pretty colours and yummy flavours.

I attempted to make macarons flavoured with cinnamon and filled with pumpkin cream cheese filling to serve at my Halloween party.

Alas, the batter (the two batches I attempted) was far too liquidy, and as I piped them out on the sheet I knew there was no point in baking them. After a second attempt, I couldn't afford to buy more almond flour nor could I spare the time to try again. I'm sad grad school is obviously getting in the way in my being able to complete these challenges. So far I've only been successful with 2/4! Hopefully next month!

Sorry no pictures. I was too distraught and distracted.

I'm of course completely distracted and was thinking of essay proposals not macarons as I fuddled up the measurements - twice. I tried to get the recipe back under control, and though I knew they wouldn't turn out perfect but it still didn't make sense that they were SO liquidy. However, I did use carton egg whites - would this be a problem? I've always just seen them as already cracked egg whites, but perhaps there is some structural or chemical difference that created problems.

My batter simply looked like really really overbeaten batter. But I had just barely incorporated the dry ingredients! However, I am an amateur so perhaps my beating skills need work.

Anyway, I was sad that I couldn't at least get an edible macaron out this time, but I will certainly achieve this lifelong goal of mine some day!


Claudia Fleming's Macaron Recipe

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.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

springspiration for halloween

Any guesses as to what I'm being? Probably not too tricky to figure out.

Hopefully thrift shopping tomorrow will yield some promising results.

Friday, October 23, 2009

from scratch.

Back soon.