October 2009 Daring Baker's Challenge and Swine flu

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.

Thank you Ami for choosing this recipe! I have wanted to try my hand at making French macarons ever since experiencing these tasty little cookies at Pierre Herme in Paris. The macaron shops in Paris reminded me of jewelry stores with their glass cases of beautifully coloured confections. We were equally impressed with the ones at Laduree, especially the pistachio macarons. Yum!

I was excited to make these and read nearly every post on the Daring Baker's forum in anticipation of possible failures. I, like everyone else, was after those illusive little feet that grow on the cookies during baking. A few too many or a few too little strokes while mixing up the batter will result in no feet. A too hot oven may result in no feet. Batter too wet? No feet! Needless to say I was nervous when I started this recipe on Sunday. A few days before I started I aged my egg whites in a bowl on the counter and I made my own almond flour too, which I left out to dry. That part was easy enough. Oh, and did I mention that I started making these as symptoms of Swine flu were coming on (more about that later)? That surely did not help matters.

Here are the shells drying before being put into the oven for the first time. They are green tea flavoured.
I held my breath as I opened the oven door after the second baking and low and behold......feet! Glorious feet! I think Mr. T heard my screams of "they have feet!" from the living room. I think I may have browned the shells a little too much but they didn't stick to the parchment paper at all and they were wonderfully chewy on the inside.After they cooled I sandwiched them with a green tea infused white chocolate ganache. These babies were tasty! Not quite Pierre Herme but they will do in a pinch when I feel like having macarons but don't have the time to fly to Paris. Oh, and as it turns out I most likely do have the H1N1 virus. I was prescribed Tamiflu today and will go in for tests tomorrow. I don't think I've gotten off of the couch for three days. Well, at least I don't have to share any of my macarons!


knitty_kat said...

Oh no! I hope you have a mild case & that it clears up quickly. Feel better soon!

And enjoy the macarons, they look scrumptious!