Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cappuccino Macarons

This month's choice was the ever popular, Macarons......They are increasingly by -passing the ever popular cupcakes. You can get them in many, many flavors. I chose to make mine in Mocha flavor, because that is my favorite.

Macarons can be tricky little things, even when you have made countless batches. Sometimes you pipe them out and are convinced that they will be perfect, only to bake them and have them come out misshapen or with no feet. Other times you are convinced that something has gone wrong, and then they bake up spot-on. And you really never know how it will go when you make a recipe that is not the one you are used to. But give these a try. You'll see how delighted you'll be with yourself!

French Macarons
adapted from The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern by Claudia Fleming
2 ¼ cups confectioners’ (icing) sugar
2 cups almond flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 egg whites (room temperature; whites that are a few days old are best)

**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. (Even when using purchased almond four, I like to grind it, along with the full amount of confectoiners’ sugar and any other dry flavorings or colorings, in the food processor to throughly incorporate the dry ingredients.)

**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.

**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.

**Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain half-inch tip (Ateco #806)

**Pipe one-inch-sized (2.5 cm) mounds of batter onto baking sheets lined with nonstick liners (or parchment paper).

**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.

**Cool on a rack before filling

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.

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