Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daring Bakers October - 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.

Oooh boy, this month's DB challenge was a doozey! For the first time since I joined the Daring Bakers over a year ago I don't really have a finished product to blog about.

So many bloggers seem to have a macaron obsession that I was really keen to try them myself. After all, I'm not a complete novice now. How hard could they be?

Attempt #1 - I followed the DB recipe for a plain macaron. I weighed and measured everything carefully, aged the egg whites and ended up with these ...

Now I know they're not terrible but they're also not macarons. I didn't bother filling them since I had to scrape them off the baking paper (they were stuck like superglue) and I naievly assumed my next lot would be better. Ha!

Attempt #2 - I tried a different recipe (chocolate flavour) which called for them to be rested on the bench for an hour before baking. This time I didn't even make it to the baking part. Once I folded in the dry ingredients my mix turned almost solid. I could have rolled the dough into balls it was so stiff and dry. It just seemed like the ratio of eggwhites to dry ingredients was completely off. It all went straight in the bin.

Attempt #3
- Same recipe as attempt #2 but this time I added only half the amount of dry ingredients (I stopped as soon as the consistency seemed right).

Dry ingredients weighed, blitzed in the food processor and seived

Aged eggwhites at room temperature whipped with sugar until thick and glossy

Piped onto trays and hoping the peaks will soften

After 1 hour - nope, they look exactly the same

After 15 minutes at 150 deg C

Definitely not right

The best 2, sandwiched together with rosella jam

I am completely in awe of everyone else who made these successfully. Some of the results were absolutely stunning! But for me it was stressful, frustrating and a waste of time as I don't feel any closer to mastering them. I can't even learn from my mistakes because I have no idea what I did wrong.

As much as it pains me to say it, the macarons won. Final score Macarons 3: Susan 0.

Bring on November!


  1. Hey, the fact that they tasted good is important. And feet, schmeet - who needs 'em - you got round meringue cookies in 2 cases, which look very yummy. I am keen to try the chocolate flavoured version sometime.

  2. I'm impressed you tried the chocolate version - I'm still only at a 50% success rate with those! I'd definitely suggest checking out Helen (Tartelette) and her mac tips and recipes. They just don't fail, at least for me.

  3. I love your la joie de vivre in this challenge most people would of stopped after the 1st try but you persisted you really are Daring. As suggest try Helen's recipe it is a lot easier. Great photos. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

  4. Sorry they didn't come out as planned, but wow! They look amazing & I love your attitude - November's gonna rock =D.

  5. I think they look nice! Mine didn't have feet and didn't look like everyone else's, but they did taste good!

    What is rosella jam?? Sounds lovely


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