27 ottobre 2009

October Daring Bakers' Challenge - Macaroons

Ohhhh ... what a disaster!
Thumb down for this challenge, my first time with macaroons, and I was so willing to make them, but also my complete failure!
I suppose something went wrong while cooking, or perhaps I did not beaten (or overbeaten!) properly egg whites (though I thought so, I can make so wonderful meringues!), or ... I don't know, most macaroons were fluffy and not crispy, and all of them did not have the distinctive "foot" at the base! What a pity ... but taste is good, and with nutella in between they have been devoured by my kids (well, they were waiting around the table stretching out their hands to grab someone while they were cooling ... ).
Anyway, I would like to thank you to Amy S. for hosting this month challenge. And a big thank to Lisa and Ivonne, founders of the amazing Daring Baker's Challenge.
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.
In the United States, the term “macaroon” generally refers to a cookie made primarily of coconut. But European macaroons are based on either ground almonds or almond paste, combined with sugar and egg whites. The texture can run from chewy, crunchy or a combination of the two. Frequently, two macaroons are sandwiched together with ganache, buttercream or jam, which can cause the cookies to become more chewy. The flavor possibilities and combinations are nigh endless, allowing infinitely customizable permutations.

DB October 2009 - Macaroons

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!)


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.
DB October 2009 - Macaroons

Note: Macaroon making is somewhat labor intensive, yet simultaneously less difficult than you think it will be. One thing you must do is have your egg whites at room temperature. This ensures they beat up properly, as texture is an integral component to macaroons. You will be piping the batter onto parchment paper or nonstick liners, and some home bakers use stencils to make sure their macaroons are uniform in size. It’s your choice.
Be aware that you are beating your egg whites first to soft peaks. Soft peaks means that the peaks of the meringue curl over when you lift up the beaters. After you add the granulated sugar to the soft peak meringue, you will beat the mixture to stiff peaks, which, true to their name, stand straight up. Be careful not to overbeat your eggs.
You will also be folding the nut flour into the meringue. As with most recipes when you combine something with beaten egg whites, be gentle in your mixing to keep the egg whites light.
Some recipes call for drying the piped macaroons on the counter prior to baking for 30 minutes to an hour. This recipe stipulates that you bake the macaroons at a low temperature for 5 minutes, then take them out of the oven, raising the temperature, and baking them for an additional 7 to 8 minutes. Drying is necessary to get the trademark “feet” on your macaroons. Experiment to find the best technique for you.
If you plan on using parchment paper rather than nonstick pan liners, be careful when removing the macaroons from the paper, as they can stick and are very delicate. Some recipes suggest lifting up a corner of the paper and letting a drop of water fall onto the hot baking sheet, thus producing steam, which helps the macaroons release.

You'd better go and visit Daring Kitchen to find out the fantastic and gorgeous Macaroons my Daring Bakers' mates baked.

12 commenti:

Ago ha detto...

Beh Cindy, non saranno lucidissimi, ma non mi pare che ti siano venuti sto gran disastro! M'immagino quanto son buoni con la nutellina :-D
Io purtroppo sto mese passo e non sai quanto mi dispiace, ci tenevo proprio a provarli :-(
magari appena mi riprendo da quest'influenza, li provo :-)
Son felice di rivederti in queste sfide, mi mancavi! :-D

natalia ha detto...

Ciao ! Anche io non sono molto contenta dei miei !! Elra li vuole provare con la meringa italiana magari rifacciamo una 'colomba' macaron !!!

Mela ha detto...

Anche a me sembrano molto buoni, e anche carini a vedersi!
Complimenti, fanno venire l'acquolina.

Robin Sue ha detto...

Hi Cindy- I haven't been here in a while. I think the macaroons look good to me but I have never made them myself, always afraid too! Joan Nova is doing a new Culinary Tour and I think I may have to try it out, will you?

Dewi ha detto...

Just because it doesn't have feet, it doesn't mean that it fails Ci. It still tastes like macarons, that how unique this little cookie is.

Kitchenlander ha detto...

Anch'io ho mancato i piedini, ma questa sfida l'ho affrontata cosi' di malavoglia che e' stato un dettaglio.
Pazienza, non tutte le ciambelle riescono col buco! ;-)

Cindystar ha detto...

Ago, ero così felice di tornare con le DB, mancavano e mancavate anche a me! ... pensavo veramente mi sarebbero venuti bene e invece ... zacchete, slono scivolata sul "maccarone" traditore!!! Riprenditi bene da questa influenzaccia, io ho due ragazzi a casa in questi giorni: febbretta, mal di gola, tossetta, nausea e mal di testa ... speriamo di non prenderla!
Un abbraccio guaritore!

Natalia, i macaroons di Elra sono fantastici, ma sicuramente sarò dei vostri per una riprova "all'italiana"!!!

Mela, grazie, mi hai consolato un pochino!

Robin Sue, happy to read you again! I read about Joan's new Culinary Tour, I have already answered in her blog and no doubt I will travel again together! So, we'll absolutely meet there!

Elra, they are unique in their looking too!!! Nothing to do with yours ... !!!

Kitchenlander, pensare che invece io sono sempre stata tanto affascinata dai macaroons, e questa sfida era l'occasione giusta perprovarli! Vabbè, i ragazzi si sono consolati lo stesso e li hanno divorati ... la nutella ha contribuito, secondo me!

Sue ha detto...

It doesn't look like a failure to me! I'm sure they were very yummy! It was my first attempt also and I too used nutella, and produced a tiny bit of "feet.":)

Laura ha detto...

Cindy, prova la ricetta e il metodo di Helen a Tartelette, era la ricetta sbagliata, anche i miei non sono venuti usando la ricetta di Fleming.

Cindystar ha detto...

Sue, they really were yummy (and the boys loved them!) but not good-looking at all!

Laura, mi consoli! Proverò sicuramente la ricetta di Helen, però fra un pochino, quando ho digerito la malaparata!

Castagna e Albicocca ha detto...

Mai fatti, ma ovviamente stanno nell'elencio delle ricette da fare!

Io e Albicocca abbiamo lanciato la NOSTRA PRIMA RACCOLTA "Ricette in Compagnia", ti va di partecipare?


Cindystar ha detto...

Ciao Castagna,
ho appena esposto il banner e vi porterò anche io la mia ricettina al più presto!
Grazie per la segnalazione e ... buon w.e. a tutti!

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