I guess the first question you want to ask is "Macaroon" or "Macaron"? This particular macaroon is that bit of confectionery consisting of two almond meringue cookies sandwiching a creamy filling. That very same French confectionery, in every colour and flavour imaginable, which is has so many food blogs obsessing over it.
The choice of whether to call it a macaron (which most people insist is the right name) or a macaroon (which to me is a soft sweet coconut cookie) is yours, as both trace their origins to the Italian word "maccharone" which means fine dough! Since our hostess this month calls them macaroons, that's what the macaron is in this post.
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.
Don't you think that these macarons look reasonably good? I think so too, but these macarons were not made for the Daring Baker challenge!
I made them last month as part of a challenge some of us food bloggers(many of whom happen to be DBs) set for ourselves.
For the record, these macarons happen to be my one and only successful attempt out of the many successful macaron failures I have endured so far!!
My Macaroon/ Macaron Experience:
I approached this month's challenge with quite a bit of nervousness, as I had this vague feeling that this was to be my make-or-break challenge.
Break it definitely was, because that's what happened to my first lot of macarons.
I was actually wearing a very stupid grin on my face when I saw my macaron batter puff up in the oven and develop something like "feet". That grin lasted till I took them out, allowed them to cool and tried to peel them off the paper. The top part of the macarons came away in my hands, broken, while the bottoms stuck fast to the paper.
I was prepared for disaster so I had mentally prepared myself to do them a second time. This time, my macarons were consistently a failure and different from the first ones only in that they had no "feet".
By now, all I could think was that I had nothing to show for my challenge this month, so I decided to try one last time using the David Lebovitz macaron recipe which worked for me last time.
I set out to make cardamom pistachio macarons, but ended up with cardamom pistachio almond meringue cookies without the trademark macaron "feet". Now, I at least had something to take a picture of. Actually, they were quite tasty too.
I can also console myself that I did make macaroons/ macarons as my "cookies" look quite like these which was how the original macaroons looked!
My cardamom pistachio macarons (I shall call them macarons, because the original French macarons did not have the "feet/ ruffles" that is a requirement for present day macarons) were quite nice. I was just mentally (and physically) so tired of trying to make macarons, I didn't bother to fill mine with anything.
My family is also fed up of my macaron trials and tribulations! At the end of the day, we do find them a bit too sweet for our taste. I wish there was a way of reducing the sugar in these cookies.
So would I make them again?
At the point that I am writing this post, my first inclination is to say never. I have , however, learnt that "never" is too strong a word. So by the time this post is published (I'll be away on a break and I have set this post to autopublish), I think I might say that I would probably like to make another batch of successful macarons some day!
Do not let my bad experience with macarons put you off making them, if never have before. Let the beautiful creations of my fellow Daring Bakers encourage you to make some too.