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 love macarons. They don’t take long to make, but it takes patients and knowledge about the process to get the perfect macaron. I have made them a few times, but I haven’t taken the time to perfect them yet. I have been lucky enough to get little feet on them every time, but I think I have over worked the batter because they are more flat than the traditional almost boxy look.
Since Halloween is on Saturday, I decided to make them a little festive. I made the macaron chocolate and dyed it black with black powdered color, and then I made a white chocolate ganache filling that I dyed orange. They turned about pretty good, but I think next time I will use a higher quality white chocolate. To get the pretty swirl design set aside a small amount of the batter before you add the cocoa powder and dye to it. Once you have the macarons piped out take a toothpick and swirl the white into the piped macarons.
Source: Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern
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 tbsp Black Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp powdered Black food coloring
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.