The 2009 October Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Ami S. She chose macaroons from Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
What, macaroons without coconut? Never heard of such a thing. But with a list of ingredients like this --
-- how hard could they be?
I’d never used almond flour. My husband, who does all the cooking in the house and sometimes a little baking, was happy to see it on the grocery list. He’d seen it in recipes for almond cookies and granola bars, but had never splurged. Meanwhile, I had no clue what almond flour goes for ($13/lb!), so I just put it on his list, despite the fact I had three pounds of almonds in the pantry and could have ground my own.
Interesting stuff, almond flour. Heavy and oily, not conducive to my usual method of sifting.
It took a while, but I got 98% of it through the sieve and whisked in the rest.
After our Milanos challenge in August, I decided penciling in circle templates wasn’t worth the effort, so I decided to wing it. Not bad…
The first batch I baked exactly according to the recipe. But I didn’t get the infamous “feet” on my macaroons that I’d read so much about.
The second batch I baked a few minutes longer, and ta-dah -- FEET!
The next part of the challenge was the filling. I decided on a Nutella-chocolate ganache.
1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. dark chocolate
3 T. Nutella
Anything made with Nutella gets a thumbs-up from me, but this needed more Nutella and less chocolate. Maybe even no chocolate at all.
I’d definitely call this challenge a success, and they were unquestionably delicious, but I don’t know if I’d make them again unless by specific request. I’ve discovered more “fussy” or “fancy” cookies aren’t my thing. I’m more of a comfort food girl, and to me comfort food is heartier, not so delicate. Verdict: impressive-looking and tasty, not difficult, but just not my thing.