Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers' Challenge #2: Not-quite-macarons

I got back a couple of weeks ago from an amazing trip to Tanzania and Rwanda (more on that later). Once the jet lag wore off, one of the first thing I did was to excitedly log on to the Daring Bakers' website to find out what this month's challenge was.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 was delighted to find that the challenge was macarons. It is almost as though the challenge hosts read my mind, choosing exactly those things that I have always wanted to do but was too afraid to try! I had a bag of almond flour that I'd bought expressly for this purpose, which had been slowly getting used up in other recipes. And since I had made molten chocolate cakes with creme anglaise for a dinner party last week, I even had the aged egg whites ready to go.

Well, I followed the instructions correctly, or so I thought. I have very little experience with meringue, so maybe the texture of the beaten egg whites wasn't right. Sadly, my macarons didn't have any "feet", the distinctive spread around the bottom. They flattened quite a bit and ended up more like flourless almond cookies than macarons. I went ahead and filled them with a chocolate-creme fraiche filling anyway, and they taste good...but I'm still disappointed! Oh well, there is always the next challenge to look forward to!