Ok after a ridiculously long hiatus I am back. We have had computer malfunctions beyond repair...so much so that we have a whole new computer...LOL.
I am the worst Daring Baker, not trying to find another computer to post on. Well hopefully they will let me lump 2 challenges into one and post. Pics are both from this month and last month.
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.
The fact that we are doing Macarons this month is AMAZING. My whole obsession with food blogs began because of these little delectable kisses.The first food blog I was ever introduced to was Helene of "Tartelette" fame. Who in my opinion is the Queen of Macs, (Pierre Herme being the King, which I'm sure even Tartelette won't dispute).
On top of my own creations I have a picture of a masterpiece that my girlfriend made for a wedding tradeshow she recently attended. One word for this structure, AMAZING!
Nicole Arroyas, is the Executive Chef and Owner of Auberge du Petit Prince in London, ON. Amazing French food and desserts.
Nicole's passion however is wedding cakes. As you can tell her passion has paid off. This is a small sample of what she is capable of.
I had seen that a lot of people were having trouble getting the feet on the macs and some were looking a bit overcooked, so I decided to improvise. I used a combo recipe of Pierre Herme and this month's provided recipe.
Ingredients: (adapted from Pierre Herme)
Confectioners' sugar: 2 cups + 2 tbsp
Almond flour: 1 1/3 cups
Cocoa Powder: 1/4 c
Egg whites: 3 and a bit or 1/2 c (Have at room temperature)
Directions: (Adapted from Pierre Herme)
DON'T preheat the oven. Follow ALL the directions below, excluding the granulated sugar part to # 5.
Once everything is combined and you have piped your kisses out, then preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
This allows for the macs to have about 15 minutes of dry out time.
Place them in the oven once it's preheated and immediately turn the oven down to 350 degrees and place a wooden spoon in the oven door so it's slightly ajar.
Time the macs for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove and place on a cooling rack.
Yields: about 2 dozen filled macs
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.