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
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.