October 27, 2009

Failed French Macaroons aka Awesome Meringue Cookies!!

Finally, the long awaited moment is here.. revealing the DB challenge for the month of October - French Macaroons!! I was really excited about the challenge because once again, this was a first for me. I have seen all these cute pictures of macaroons all over the blogosphere, but I had never dared to attempt them, ever..... But I only got a chance to try the DB recipe out over the last wekeend.

I attempted the recipe once on Saturday. I made 3/5 of the recipe (with 3 egg whites). The eggs were left at room temperature overnight and I followed the recipe to my knowledge. But as I was piping the macaroons I knew they were not the right consistency because the meringue was spreading too much. So I ended up with a lot of flat delicious thin cookies, rather than macaroons. But they didnt sit out for too long, as lil LM and I stuffed them in our mouths, moments after they were taken out of the oven.

The second attempt was on Sunday. Once again I made 3/5 of the recipe, and didnt overfold the batter. The pipings were kind of thick, but still spread a bit. But once again the baked products was cake-like, kind of flat and crisp on the sides and chewy in the middle. I had to resign to the fact that this recipe was not going to work for me. But I decided that I will post this attempt anyways because I tried this out twice and nevertheless, the results were quite delicious!! I was really happy that my lil girl who doesnt like most of the stuff, loved these!

I sandwiched them with chocolate ganache and drizzled a bit of ganache on top to make these really awesome meringue cookies. They were really delicious, kind of chewy and really sweet!! I really doubt I will make this recipe again, but I definitely would try to make Tartelette's macaroons, as suggested by many of the DB members, sometime soon!! Thanks Ami for choosing these macaroons for the challenge, but unfortunately they didnt work for me.

VERDICT:

The recipe didnt work for me, but the results were really delicious. The components that go into the recipe really works well together. I believe my meringue and macaroon making skills need a lot of polishing. Either my technique of folding the macaroons were wrong or my proportions in reducing the recipe was off. I bet that this recipe would give good results for experienced macaroon makers, but for a novice like me, it didnt yield good results. I would like to try a sure-bet recipe soon and feature that recipe on Tasty treats!!



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.

Mandatory:

-Make Claudia Fleming’s recipe for macaroons
-Fill and sandwich the macaroons

Optional:
-Flavor variations and decoration
-If you have a nut allergy, find a good nutless meringue cookie recipe but you must make them into cookie sandwiches with some kind of filling

If you are vegan, I don’t know what you can use as an egg substitute. Suggestions are welcome.

Preparation time: Not taking into account the amount of time it takes for you to bring your egg whites to room temperature, the whole baking process, including making the batter, piping and baking will probably take you about an hour to an hour and a half. How long it takes to make your filling is dependent on what you choose to make.

Actual baking time: 12 minutes total, plus a few minutes to get your oven from 200°F to 375°F.

Equipment required:
• Electric mixer, preferably a stand mixer with a whisk attachment
• Rubber spatula
• Baking sheets
• Parchment paper or nonstick liners
• Pastry bag (can be disposable)
• Plain half-inch pastry bag tip
• Sifter or sieve
• If you don’t have a pastry bag and/or tips, you can use a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off
• Oven
• Cooling rack
• Thin-bladed spatula for removing the macaroons from the baking sheets
• Food processor or nut grinder, if grinding your own nuts (ouch!)



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. Ami's note: My yield was much smaller than this. I produced about two dozen filled macaroons.


Thank you for visiting Tasty treats! Check out all my previous successful Daring Bakers Challenge here. Do check out the awesome french macaroons by other DBers here.

10 comments:

Audax said...

Well they look lovely and taste delicious that is a fabulous result. Yes try Helen's recipe it is much easier. Your cookies look so nice with those chocolate lines. Well done cheers from Audax in Australia.

Jo said...

Even if they are flat, they look delicious to me. I like the way you've made the best of it - that's being a Daring Baker. I too failed the 1st time and tried again after a while. Other than Helen's recipe you could try David Lebowitz's recipe. It worked for me after my 1st disaster.

Wic said...

I think they look delicious and I myself did not get it right.

Esther said...

They still look fabulous even if not quite what you planned.

tonic said...

Despite the fact you didn't think you got the desired results, they still look fabulous! The chocolate drizzle is beautiful!

breadandjam said...

Wow, picture perfect! Nice work. I love the chocolate drizzle across the top. Even though mine turned out a bit thin, I enjoyed this challenge.

Rochelle said...

They look gorgeous though and in my eyes taste is what matters most even if they don't turn out looking as planned :)

Rachel said...

I love the cookies..I got some from my three attempts of four too...

maybelle's mom said...

great cookies, and if you hadn't said they were supposed to be macarons they would be a wild success.

Lauren said...

They look amazing to me! I'm glad you enjoyed them =D.