Tuesday, October 27, 2009

French Macaroons

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.

I was so excited. The notable "feet" at the bottom are difficult to achieve and although mine are a bit flat...you can see them! = )

These were a bit too sweet for my liking. The cookies tasted like chewy powdered sugar with a hint of almond flavor. Next time I'm going to try this recipe with more almond flour (almond meal) proportionate to powdered sugar.

The recipe suggests trying to add flavors or food coloring. Be careful adding liquid colorings or flavors, not to mess with the consistency of the batter.

Here is the recipe:

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 over fold, 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). (Alternatively, you can "dry" the macaroons at room temperature by leaving them on the cookie sheet for 30 minutes and then bake them at 375 for the 5-7 minutes. I tried both ways and achieved the little "feet" with both methods.) 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. (I only needed to cook them for 5 additional minutes in my oven.)
7. Cool on a rack before filling.
Yield: 10 dozen. Ami's note: My yield was much smaller than this.  (I found this to be true - it only made about 40 cookies for me)



Audax said...

Well done you got feet they look great. Cheers from Audax in Australia/

Lauren said...

Your macs are super cute! Love the idea of filling with jam =D.

Anonymous said...

Hi, thank to promote this wonderfull French speciality! Do you know where I can find Almond flour in Charlotte?(grinding your own almonds doesnt work as well)
A French woman in Charlotte.

Chantal said...

Hi! Thanks for the comments! : ))

To answer your question: I actually bought what they call "almond meal" at Trader Joe's - there are two locations in Charlotte. One is in the University area and another in South Charlotte. Welcome to Charlotte!!