Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chocolate Macarons (DB)

Thanks to this month's Daring Baker's Challenge, this was my first attempt at making macarons. I've assumed that these delicate European cookies were difficult and time consuming, so I never bothered to try making them at home. Besides, I'm fortunate to have Paulette Macarons within a short driving distance from mi casa. Paulette's macarons are works of art, and they are almost too pretty to eat (still, that hasn't stopped me from inhaling a box or two).
Confession time - I tried THREE times to make macarons using the recipe selected by our hostess Ami, and every attempt was a huge failure - ARGHHHH!!!! I had trouble getting the little "feet" on my cookies, and when cooled, they were as hard as rocks and pretty sad looking. I'm pretty sure that these failures were attributable to me and not the recipe, as the other DB'ers were sharing their picture perfect macarons using Claudia Fleming's recipe (which is included at the end of this post).

After taking a few minutes to swear like a sailor, I took a deep breath and decided to work with a different recipe. If this attempt didn't work, I vowed never to make macarons again. I went with a chocolate macaron recipe from David Lebovitz - the man has yet to fail me in the ice cream deparment, so I had faith in his recipe. The link to his recipe is here.

Voila - Macaron success!!!! The cookies had a nice crunchy exterior which gave into a nice chewy interior. The filling for these cookies is a simple bittersweet chocolate ganache.

I kicked back and relished in my macaron success with a plate of these sugary gems and a cup of tea.
Macarons
from The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern by Claudia Fleming

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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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.

21 comments:

crumbsoflove.wordpress.com said...

they are picture perfect!

Loie said...

Ooh you did chocolate too! Everyone has been telling me that chocolate is a really hard flavour to pick! Yours look wonderful, I wish I could reach in and try one :)

MeetaK said...

oh these look totally scrumptious! i gotta try out these choco macarons now!

Valerina said...

Bravo! You macarons are picture perfect. :))

Pontch said...

Perfect!
your macarons looks so tasty.

Nichi said...

Gorgeous!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Splendid and so perfect!

Cheers,

Rosa

Food.Baby said...

Fabulous! My chocolate macs were a total disaster. Will have a look at DL's recipe for next time.

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

These are totally pretty!

Ingrid said...

I appreciate your honesty as I really thought you were gonna get it, no sweat! :)

They turned out beautifully...kudos for sticking with it!
~ingrid

lisa @ dandysugar said...

Perfect little macarons- they are beautiful!!

Ninette said...

Pretty! My macarons were a failure, but I enjoy seeing everyone else's perfect macarons.

The Food Librarian said...

Just soooo lovely! David never lets us down! :)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

These are just perfection. So lovely to look at, and I'm sure tasty to bite into.

Anonymous said...

wow, that macaroon looks perfect! it made my tummy growl just now!!!

Tartelette said...

Lucky you for being within driving distance of Paulette! I tried their macs while in SF and loved them!
Yours turned out perfect!

Nico said...

what a cutie!! really nice macs, I bet they tasted really good also

Pam said...

omg, I sure need to try this recipe, I never made macarons before, but I think it is time to start :)
xx

Soraya said...

Oh looks good! I have had some troubles with macaron recipes. The closest I got to getting it right was setting my oven to 375F, then putting the sheets in the oven and lowering the temp to 330F immediately for 15 min. I'm not sure but it might just be my oven... because I have seen several different variations in macaron recipes through the net. Does anyone know if humidity can affect the process?

iheartcakes said...

These are the most flawless macarons ever! I'll try this recipe the next time...

iheartcakes said...

These are the most flawless macarons ever! I'll try this recipe the next time...

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