Macarons with the Daring Bakers
The last time I ate Macarons was from Laduree in Paris in June, I vowed to make them on a regular basis once I got home because I adore them so much but every time I think of making them I get nervous. For something that looks so simple to make it is amazing how quickly they can go wrong, unless of course your are Helen from Tartelette who seems to make perfect ones every time…. sigh. I’m sure she whips them up as effortlessly as I do scones but I know would prefer to eat Helen’s macarons over scones any day.
This is my second attempt at macarons which were ok, they even go little feet but were too sticky in the centre I felt and really difficult to remove from the paper. I managed to pry them off though and once filled with a chocolate ganache they were quite delicious. I sprinkled finely chopped hazelnuts over the top of them before baking.
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
Please visit the other Daring Bakers and hear about their adventure making macarons and the various flavours they chose!
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.