The 2009 October Daring Bakersâ€™ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macarons from Claudia Flemingâ€™s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavernas the challenge recipe.
Today, in case you haven’t noticed, is Daring Bakers’ reveal day.
This month’s challenge was to bake the ever-elusive and oh-so-popular macarons.
I would hazard a guess that next to the ubiquitous cupcake, the macarons is probably one of the most popular blog subjects among foodbloggers, especially those that specialize in baking. There’s something about these little treats that is so captivating. Made up of just a few ingredients, they are probably one of the most difficult cookies/pastries to master.
Our host for this month is the gracious LAmonkeygirl. She’s a non-blogger so you can read her challenge post here.
You’re probably wondering where the picture of my macarons is … well … there isn’t one. Not really, anyway.
I did make the macarons as part of the desserts that I prepared for a recent baptism I attended (more on that in another post). I made mini macarons and used blue food colouring to create a marbled effect on top (it was a baby boy being baptized). I filled the macarons with chocolate ganache, but I’ll be honest, while they tasted good, I was not impressed with the end result.
I found that the macarons turned out flat and didn’t have the smooth top that is key when it comes to successful macarons. I’m not completely sure what I did wrong. I’ve had similar problems with another macarons recipes and I’m beginning to suspect two things.
First of all, most macarons recipes ask you to sift the almond flour and icing but I always have difficulty with this step. My almond flour never makes it through the sieve. I’m not sure if I’m using too fine of a sieve or if my almond flour hasn’t been ground enough.
Secondly, when it comes time to fold the almond flour and icing sugar into the egg whites, I think I’m overfolding. I have a feeling that the mixture is too deflated and that might explain why the macarons tend to come out flat.
Of course this is all speculation on my part. To be honest, I think I give up when it comes to macarons. I know that there are many bloggers out there who are brilliant at these little pastries, many of them having turned macarons into a business. Maybe you have to make literally thousands of them before you get the hang of it. I’m not sure. All I know is that I don’t have the touch for them. And to be honest, I’d rather buy them from someone who really knows what they’re doing because nothing is as disappointing as a disappointing macaron.
I want to thank LAmonkeygirl, though. The whole point of The Daring Kitchen is challenge … go try something you normally wouldn’t. While my macarons weren’t the greatest, I’m very glad I tried them.