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Daring Bakers; French macarons

French macarons | insimoneskitchen.com

I want feet, I want feet, I want feet.. 🙁 But…. as you can see…. no feet (again) When I saw that the Daring Bakers challenge for october was making french macarons I figured I had a potentially good chance of succeeding. It would of-course be my fourth attempt at making macarons and with two fails and 1,5 success I figured it would be time for another little success… But noooo, it was not meant to be!

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.

The recipe that I normally follow is the one that I got from Helen (Tartelette) but Ami chose a slightly different recipe which didn’t involve drying the macarons prior to putting them into the oven, but instead baking them on a very low temperature first and then continuing the baking on higher. Which should basically get you the same result. Ofcourse the most important part would still be the macaronage and it appears I failed there again. Well, the good thing was that they did come off the baking sheet very easily (as you can see in some they are slightly browned due to their prolonged time in the oven) and they were absolutely delicious, so in that sense it was a success. And my friends wouldn’t notice that they didn’t have any feet, as they don’t really know the traditional macarons anyway, but I do so I was still slightly disappointed about the results.. O well, I will keep on trying!!

French macarons | insimoneskitchen.com

As for the filling; I made two different versions, one with red currants and one with blackberries. Both are combined with mascarpone which I think works beautifully with the macarons, but the blackberry filling came out looking very very lilac which didn’t really look very pretty with the pink macarons, but still nothing wrong with the taste.

I actually preferred the blackberry filling as I had also used lemon zest and since I love lemony flavours that was my favorite. Tom preferred the red currant one as it was less lemony 🙂 (is that even a word??) and you could taste the currants better that way. To be honest I loved them both and they were gone in a heartbeat so really that was the good part.

I do prefer the method that I am sort of familiar with now that is described here as for me that seems to get better results. Not perfect results (yet) but at least I had a few macarons with feet with that method as compaired to this method which had no feet whatsoever. It’s most likely entirely my fault since a lot of other daring bakers have made gorgeous looking macarons, so I am just bad at making them.

If you want to give it a try with this recipe here it is!

French macarons

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

  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.

 

Color clash macarons!

 

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About the author

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over.
She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats.
Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy.
Profession: Food photographer

51 Comments

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  • My dear Simone – I still think they look beautiful! I know you can make really pretty ones with a different recipe – I still remember the lemon mascarpone post! Yum!

  • God, I know what you mean. They have no feet AND they have cracked. Which suck if you have put all your energy into them! Macarons are becoming the legend of the blogosphere. They are notoriously hard to get right and everyone has a different tip to add. Anyway, I am not making them again, no-one likes them that much anyway, so it is too much effort for nothing. Better buy some Laduree ones when I get macaron cravings… But, have a lok at this: http://melanger.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/french-macarons-my-%E2%80%98how-to%E2%80%99/

  • Simone, you are formally invited to join our monthly Mac Attack which is announced and talked about on twitter. We make macs together in our virtual joint kitchen, asking questions, helping each other and encouraging until we can each produce a perfect mac! You are on your way! Your flavorings here are just fabulous!!!!

  • I love how pretty these are. I don’t like maracons, and I would think one would have LOVE them to go to such work. We have one french bakery here that sells them, and I find them too sweet for me. But you did a great job with what seems like a real true challenge.

  • Great job on this challenge, I am sad I did not get to participate this month but I will certainly be making these on my own very soon. Even if your macarons did not have feet, the colors were beautiful and from what you said they tasted good, so it seems to me that you’ve been successful.

  • I am impressed that so many great bakers are up for the challenge of making maracons. I love to cook but, can’t bake to save my life (laugh). I think your cookies looked quite pretty. Congratulations on rising to the challenge of teh Daring Bakers.

  • haha I wanted fee too…but alas they did not show up 🙂
    Your filling is so creative! And I think overall everything looks absolutely gorgeous.

    Maybe I should give Tartalette’s recipe a try.

  • The flavours sound delicious! I am dying to try macroons (making, and eating!) but I’m so intimidated. It seems like they are definitely a difficult dish to perfect- good on you!

  • Oh no! I skipped the given recipe and I went right for Tartelette’s recipes. I still am not a big fan of them. I like the color of yours. Good try on the challenge!

  • It’s great to try new recipes but if you love Helens, stick with it. Macarons are so much about the technique that if you have hers down, it’s best!

  • It’s great to try new recipes but if you love Helens, stick with it. Macarons are so much about the technique that if you have hers down, it’s best!

  • Yup, this recipe seems to have been problematic for a lot of people. But at least yours have a pretty colour! And the fillings sound refreshing, too! Good luck with your next batches!

  • I even never dare try making macarons as the amount of sugar required. I ate macarons just once at a bakery and it was so sweet. It scares me when I see the recipe. If I reduce sugar, I am afraid that I would not get the proper result. Having “feet” is so crucial to macarons 🙂

  • Feet or no feet, you have made them look gorgeous! I love the color, the fillings & I really don’t care about the feet.

    So sorry to hear about Joepie. A royally cute cat.

  • Well, you got mini feet, right? From what I understand the recipe was a dud for a lot of people. I went with Helen’s recipe. However, yours look very pretty and I love the flavors you chose.

  • Hallo Simone, ik was heel benieuwd hoe jouw “challenge” gegaan is, heb al vaak op je geweldige foodie blog gelezen! Wat maak je een verrukkelijke dingen en die fotos van je, echt para chuparse los dedos (om je vingers bij af te likken 😉 ).
    Vind je macaroons trouwens echt cuties 🙂
    Je zult wel niet (meer) weten wie ik ben, ik ben Lara van het taartenforum en Julio heeft ooit in NL nog een fotoworkshop (met de taarten) bij je gedaan… we wonen nu in Spanje overigens 😉 Veel groetjes en veel sukses met de volgende uitdaging!
    Lara

    • He Lara! Tuurlijk weet ik nog wel wie je bent!! Ik had in Mjam taart al gezien dat je naar Spanje bent verhuisd ja… 🙂 Ik wist helemaal niet dat je ook bij de Daring Bakers zat!!! Leuk! Ga ik zeker in de gaten houden!! En moooooie macarons heb je gemaakt!

  • Simone,,I LOVE your pink shells with the lavender like blackberry filling. I remember pink and purple used to be my two fav colors as a little girl, and I think they look lovely together. Plus, the flavor sounds incredible…red currants too! Mascarpone with berries is perfection, as berries and cream is classic. I used it in my pumpkin filling..and YUM!

    All in all, beautifully done, and I definitely preferred Helen’s method and recipe over the Felemings..n contest!

  • Mine didn’t turn out well to…in fact, looks worst than what you have! I didn’t grind the nuts fine enough. Anyway, I love your fillings…I too would love the blackberry-lemon ones 🙂 Back to Helen’s recipe, eh?! 🙂

  • I can get feet but my colors fade during last half of baking. BUMMER cuz they were a beautiful shade of blue!! Blueberry w/ Meyer lemon buttercream. Not sure how they taste yet. Only second time making them. First attempt I just focused on technique and made simple vanilla. Would love to hear some possible reasons for the lack of color. THANKS!!

  • Sorry – phone rang – Yours do look beautiful!!! I have been using the I HEART MACARONS book and they said overdrying can cause lack of feet.

  • I tried these and they were super and I got FEET!!!
    Here are a few tricks that worked for me 180F/350C perfect temp
    Recipe: 1cup icing sugar
    1/2 cup almond flour process these together to make finer or push through a seive/ it is worth doing
    5 tblspn sugar
    2 egg whites room temp and old(not rotten)
    usual method, beat eggs, add sugar, combine almonds and icing add half off that to the whites, mix up and add the rest
    pipe onto a wax/parchment paper sheet and place that over a silpat sheet. tap pan a couple times on your work table.
    Use 2 or 3 baking sheets together (no browning!)
    After 2.5 min, open the door a crack and leave a wooden spoon in to keep it propped open. watch them to see the feet!!! they will come. do not over fold the whites.
    good luck
    D

Welcome In Simone’s Kitchen

Hi. My name is Simone and I believe you can change your life by eating the right foods. I am a certified holistic nutritional coach, food photographer, recipe developer and story teller.
I am based in the Netherlands.

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March: Blankenberge, Belgium
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