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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers Challenge: Macarons

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.

We've had quite the challenging month here, still dealing with house issues, so I am just barely getting in under the wire on this challenge. I was going to try to do something with hazelnut flour, but ended up going with the traditional almond. However, I added a little espresso powder to the cookie and used vanilla sugar for my granulated sugar. I was going to fill them with a dark chocolate ganache. Basically, I was going to make a mocha almond fudge macaron. Since I wasn't sure if we would like these, I made a half batch.

However, I had a colossal failure from start to finish. Because I didn't have time to redo these if I messed up, I had one shot. I started by overbeating the eggwhites. Which I've never done before. In my defense, I was distracted by a very cute three year old helper, who was sick and in need of amusement, since I didn't want to let him out in the wind and sleet with his older siblings.

I thought I could recover from this, but I also could not find the parchment paper, so I had to try to bake them either on a non-stick pan or on a heavily buttered pan. Both failed. I had nice little feet on my macarons, but they are hard to see now that they are completely crumbled from my trying to get them off the pan. The buttered pan batch ended up spread all over the place and with no feet.

So, I made lemonade with my lemons and crumbled them in a bowl and drizzled with the ganache. That, at least, turned out nicely. They tasted good, but they look nothing like they are supposed to look. Nor was I able to make a single sandwich with them. I would have had 14 sandwiches and an extra cookie had I succeeded. I think this is the first Daring Baker's Challenge I have completely and utterly failed on, so that is a little shaming.

I'm not sure I've ever had a traditional macaron, only the American, coconut based version. Honestly, I think I still prefer the coconut based cookie, though these tasted nice, so I don't know that I'll give them another go.

Thank you Amy for what was certainly a challenge for me this month!

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Oh, give it another go, Ranee! I need a recipe for all my almond flour... one the kids will eat.
We love the pineapple fried rice and the Lentils and roasted Poblano Tacos...
Oh, Kim! I have a recipe for you if you want to use almond flour. Give me a couple days, but I will post it. It is so good and it is healthy and you will crave it.

Also, I have two books for you to read and review. The Mysterious Benedict Society and its sequel The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. There was a third book I saw at the library this week that I wanted to remember to mention to you, but now I can't remember what it was. Oh! Mother Daughter Book Club.

I miss you so much. Sigh. Who am I going to go out to dinner with and make pay now?
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