Ok- first of all, I will never go into a challenge ever again feeling a little cocky. This challenge definitely humbled me! I was so excited when I heard this challenge was going to be French Macarons, I had made them before, and each time I make them I feel I get better and better at master the technique. So this was going to be easy!!! Easy peasy I thought, such a simple challenge. Well.....as you can tell from my pictures, I failed miserably! I wish I had some excuse for how horrible they turned out but I don't, it was just a flop, and to be honest I have no idea why! Did I over stir the batter? Was my oven too hot?? Who knows! I have never made macarons that have turned out so horrible, they didn't even have their cute little feet. Anyways, enough of my negativity, although they looked ridiculous they tasted fabulous. I tried out a new French Buttercream which I will definitely make again. It took all I had from not liking the whole bowl! You can get the recipe for the buttercream here This is definitely not the end of my macaron making. This just makes me want to make some more right now to prove I really can do this!! Check out how all of the other wonderful Daring Bakers did here, if you want to see some respectable macarons:)
Actual baking time: 12 minutes total, plus a few minutes to get your oven from 200°F to 375°F.
• Electric mixer, preferably a stand mixer with a whisk attachment
• Rubber spatula
• Baking sheets
• Parchment paper or nonstick liners
• Pastry bag (can be disposable)
• Plain half-inch pastry bag tip
• Sifter or sieve
• If you don’t have a pastry bag and/or tips, you can use a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off
• Cooling rack
• Thin-bladed spatula for removing the macaroons from the baking sheets
• Food processor or nut grinder, if grinding your own nuts (ouch!)
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.
Yield: 10 dozen. Ami's note: My yield was much smaller than this. I produced about two dozen filled macaroons.