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 make macarons all the time and love them, in fact the picture below is on my menu right now. The macaron is the decoration and meant to be eaten by the lucky diner that orders the cookie plate. The filling for the macaron is passion fruit buttercream.
The macarons that I made for this challenge have a ganache filling in the yellow one, a caramel filling in the green one and an orange buttercream in the orange one.
They can be a little tricky to make so don't be disappointed if they aren't perfect the first time, just keep trying and they will eventually turn out the way they should. It's all in the folding of the dry ingredients into the egg white sugar mixture. Under folding will produce a macaron that is not perfectly smooth on top and over folding will not produce the "feet". I also like to let the piped unbaked macarons sit at room temperature for about an hour before baking.
2 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 cups Almond Flour
2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
5 Egg Whites (Have at room temperature)
1. Preheat the oven to 200°F . Combine the powdered 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 at 200 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven and raise the temperature to 375°F. 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.
Passion Fruit Puree & Buttercream mixed to taste