Oct 27, 2009

Challenging myself: Daring Bakers' Challenge Macaroons


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. 

If I would tell you that I had fun with this Challenge I would lie. This Month’s task fast became a traumatic experience for me. One more time I have to confess I don’t like them. Not that they would taste bad it’s just not something we would eat.
So I from the start had to work a little harder to come into the mood.

To bad that the mood and I were not able to make some decent Macaroons.
Yes I failed. A lot. I tried it 9 times, that means a lot of wasted eggs, to be honest 48 eggs. 
This clearly shows that there is something wrong with me. No I am not talking about me being unable to make some little Macaroons. I talk about my obsession to get it right. 
On the pictures you can see different stages of different batches. Please be kind with me.


48 little harmless free range eggs later we have a little batch of Black Forest Macaroon. 
Some of you might know I am a Swabian and proud of it. I bake 6-8 Black Forest Cakes each year. The original one, with Cherries from the garden, Black Forest kirsch from the Black Forest ( I only have to drive half an hour to get there). This is the reason I had the idea to come up with Black Forest Macaroons. The Cake part of the Torte is made with Eggs, Cacao and Almonds, just like my Macaroons. Instead of the fresh cream, I used an cooked sugar buttercream that had cherries in it. And let me tell you this Cherries have a little kick to them. I soaked them half an hour in Kirsch.

They look not nearly as nice as the things my fellow daring Bakers came up with, you should take a look at the smooth and delicious looking Macaroons they baked. 
So go take a look and bake some yourself I wish you luck.

Claudia Fleming’s Macaroons

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. 


41 comments:

Jenny said...

You call it obsession, I say it's dedication and I'm very impressed by all your attempts to get the macarons right! Black forest macarons sounds so so delicous and don't be so hard on yourself - I see feet! Your macarons look really nice and you should be proud of what you have accomplished!

Ellie said...

Great job! Your blackforest macarons look lovely!

George@CulinaryTravels said...

They look beautiful to me. I love the idea of Black Forest macarons.

sweetakery said...

Your black forest macarons look really good! im impressed with your dedication! great work! and thank you for the comments and stopping by. =)

shaz said...

Hats off to you Wic! 9 attempts - you really showed thos macarons who's boss :) Love Black Forest gateau and they sound like a perfect flavour for the macaron. Very well done indeed

Nadia said...

wow blackforest macaroons, nice idea

Esther said...

I really like yours I think you are being rather hard on yourself! That is a lot of eggs though! What did you do with the yolks?

Romy said...

Even if the shells didn't turn out quite the way you want, I admire your dedication! 9 batches, wow! And the flavor idea is very creative!

Thanks also for the kind comment on my blog!

Löu said...

Hi, First thanks for your comment !
As I said in my reply, your macaroons seems very savoury, and I notice that both of us have used red fruits for our fillings.

tonic said...

9 batches and 48 eggs!! Wow, talk about perseverance! I applaud you for that alone, but your finished result looks fabulous as well! I would love to taste them!

Olga said...

9 attempts??? That's some incredible determination.

Mine weeren't totally successful, but at least I liked the flavor.

Let's hope the next challenge would be more manageable.

Ahmad said...

Hehe you have such dedication! Your flavour idea is very good too.

perhaps next time cook your macarons at a lower temperature and skip the first stage. 7-10 minutes at 170 celsius on 3 baking trays works wonders for me.

i wish you luck!

Also, see this guide, it's super awesome.

http://www.syrupandtang.com/200712/la-macaronicite-1-an-introduction-to-the-macaron/

Evelyne@Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Wow, 9 attempts...you are persistent and you final result is gorgeous. hang in there, I am praying for an easy one to for the next challenge!

C said...

These little things really do make you want to get them right. I admire that you made so many attempts! The flavor combo sounds so delicious.

Ahmad said...

I thought I'd let you know I've "given" you a Shout-Out this month for being the most dedicated and and hardest working! Check it out on the forum! :)

sweetandsaucy said...

I think your end result looks fantastic - great feet!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

We must be mac sistahs...I went through similar trials & tribulations with macs the first time I made them too. Love the 'black forest' idea! FABULOUS!!

Rose said...

I agree with you, not something I really like to eat! Great job on the challenge though! 48 eggs! LOL! Some busy chickens nearby ;) Love those cherries though!

Lauren said...

Oh my! I admire your persistance (very Daring of you!), and the macarons look fabulous!!

Audax said...

Obsession bordering on dedication wonderous effort and the black forest flavour is superb. I dub you Daring Baker for this challenge well done. You are an inspiration to us all. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

Parita said...

OMG delicious flavor there, love the filling!!!

smmarts said...

After all the attempts, I think your end result looks great! It's a shame that we just didn't like the taste of them, right? All that hard work and no goodies in the end....

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

bcswerit said...

wow - what commitment to getting it right! 48 eggs! perseverance indeed!

kokomama said...

Thanks for the comment on my DB post. Your black forest macarons look very yummy - totally worth the 48 eggs. I'm jealous that you live so close to the Black Forest.

Peggy Bourjaily said...

Sorry it was traumatic!!!! But your pictures look gorgeous and I love the idea of black forest macarons.

Mine were far from perfect, but still tasty;)

Marianevans said...

Yummy! I'm actually also in Germany at the moment (for a year of studies in Heidelberg). Nice to know another Daring Baker here :)

Hilda said...

9 attempts... which just goes to show that macs are just a question of persistence and figuring out the little hiccups. Your black forest macs looked like little cakes to me with whipped cream down the center. I like that, like an optical illusion. =)

Memória said...

Well, I think they look great and inviting. I love the Black Forest idea. Great flavor choice. I'm sorry you had to waste so many eggs. I'm very protective about my eggs haha. I told myself that if I didn't get the challenge right after 5 eggs, I was going to stop there. :D I admire your determination.

rachel said...

Wow 9 times.however I love the end result..

Simon said...

48 eggs? I think that's a little more than what I used for my eight batches of macarons.

Though the macarons may not have worked out to perfection I bet the flavours would have been utterly devine! :)

anna said...

Wow - I can't believe you tried NINE TIMES. That's dedication! They look delicious.

A Table For Two said...

9 times! Kudos to the dedication! Now u have all the yolks to make ice cream, custard, creme brulee... oh so good :P Your macarons looks nice and big, my kinda macarons :)

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

What a great idea for the flavor!! MMMM!

QueenForOneDay said...

Na das sieht doch sehr sehr lecker aus! Schwarzwaelder Kirsch - tolle Idee!

Andreas said...

Black Forest macarons are a nice twist on the original recipe.

Jenni said...

Great job on your macarons! I think they look great. These things were a big challenge, huh? I think every single one of us earned the title "Daring Baker" this month! Great job! And I decided to save my free-range eggs for other uses and went with the egg whites in a carton. Not sure if it mattered in my macarons or not, but it saved my pocketbook!!

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

I think you did a beautiful job on your macarons. The Kirsch flavored cherries are driving me crazy!

I had trouble with my first batch of macarons. The 2nd did much better. I think for a couple of reasons. First, I had put the batter in the fridge between batches. Second, I piped them smaller (i.e. 1/2 inch, so that as they air dried they only spread to 1 inch.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

Hannah said...

Killer flavor combination, and what beautiful macs! You did a knock-out job. :)

minisuperbias said...

I've done macarons before with complete success, but this time I could not get a one of my 7 different batches to come out perfect. Maybe try again someday; I think the Macaron gods just have to be smiling! What a great flavor idea though!

Lisa said...

Wow..your black forest macs are beautiful, and the presentation is lovely. I can almost feel the buurst of cherry in my mouth just by looking at them. Amazing job!!

Linda@eatshowandtell said...

I Love the look of your blackforest macaron. It looks great, what a great flavour combination. I found it quite difficult coming up with flavour ideas.