I'm going to keep it real, here, gentle readers. I am not always amazing, all of the time. And I could explain that it was the wee hours (the clock, were you able to see it, reveals that it is six in the morning and does not reveal that I had work mere hours later) but that's not really the problem. The problem was, I suspect, egg whites. And my inability to make a french macaroon properly.
This is largely sad because I was making them for the tea party we were having the next day and also because I didn't have enough time this month to try again, but just the same, I am posting the recipe and such that, in theory, would have revealed lovely macaroons.
Mine were meant to be lemony. They were meant to have a sweet basil filling. The filling, actually, turned out wonderfully and so we dipped fresh strawberries in it and just devoured it like were were beasts (beautifully attired in party dresses and hats and things, but beasts just the same). So that much was nice.
At any rate! I shall try again, in the future, but am wise enough to say when I've made a mistake. My macaroons were cakey and dense, not at all proper, and even didn't taste all that great so I'll review it and see what went wrong BUT everyone should try this because it's good to try new things.
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.
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.