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New Baking Challenge

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alabubba's picture
alabubba

New Baking Challenge

There has been a lot of talk about extending the testing of recipes from the NYbakers. It would seem that many on this board like the challenge.


So, here is my proposal. Every couple of weeks one of us will propose a challenge. Open to all. To bake something OUTSIDE of their comfort zone. Lets find something interesting. Dig into those recipe books and the WWW.


With that said, After my last :o( bake for norm I have a bunch of egg whites left over. I have been wanting to try my had at french macaroons. Soo.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it is... French Macaroons! I will leave you to your own to choose the recipe, and give you until the 8th of September (although, there is no penalty for being late)


Post photos and whatnot here.


Allan...


 

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

But frankly, Allan, at the moment my greatest baking challenge is taking off the pounds I gained from all the cakes and cookies I baked for Stan and Norm! My waist is definitely "outside my comfort zone." ;-)


French macarons, eh?  Hmmmm ....


David


 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Those lemon macaroons at SFBI? The minute i saw them(in you log) I wanted some.


They looked delicious. Is there a recipe?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I believe there is a recipe in AB&P.


They don't just look delicious, I can assure you!


David

Ruralidle's picture
Ruralidle

I had some lovely French lemon macaroons the other week.  Perhaps a return trip to Normandy is called for to steal their recipe? 


Seriously though, I was absolutley amazed by the artisan boulangerie and patisserie in St Mere Eglise - a queue out onto the street at 10am on a Sunday morning and the variety and quality of the produce was staggering - from macaroons to their "baguette tradicion".

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

Can you point me to the recipe you're going to use? I love the idea of using the same recipe and seeing what variations there are.


 


Trish

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Actually, macarons are not so seemingly easy to make. Looks like you can do everything right, and they still might not turn out.


I had a lot of leftover egg whites also, but luckily, Stan sent out an easy coconut macaroon recipe. Or did I end up with a lot of leftover egg yolks? Oh well, I guess that's why I planned on making ice cream, lol.


Funny, I must have been the only one to receive it because I didn't see it mentioned at all in the threads.

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

They apparently did not turn out well for me - in fact I don't even have any pictures of the ones I made. That was the first recipe I got and I just had to laugh - I HATE coconut (!) so that may have been the reason mine didn't turn out so well for me =)

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

After so much "sweets" baking I would love to get back into some bread type recipes if anyone is interested in doing that...


Trish

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Great, I have been wanting to do daring baker's challenges but I simply can't find the time to run my own blog. You are on! One catch- can only bake on weekends except for the occasional school holiday.

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

I'm on it! Must we bake traditionally? or can we do untraditional variations and such?

alabubba's picture
alabubba

For this challenge, its the wild west. Anything goes. Although this is the thread that got me interested in trying these at home.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19016/i-heart-macarons


and there are a couple recipes there.


There are several other if you search macaroon on the board.


(I did it for you)


Break out the dewars of liquid nitrogen and Agar Agar!

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I think I'm not ready for that challenge. I am not usually a "sweets" baker and have baked the sweets we have done lately because I wanted to participate in the test recipe experience with the NY Bakers Group.  I guess I'm looking for a group that would like to do breads which is my first love in baking. I am still a novice baker and I'm looking for a simple bread recipe book to work my way through. I'd love to remain a part of this group and participate from time to time. Would that be acceptable? If anyone would like to get back into breads please let me know!


Trish

alabubba's picture
alabubba

That would be fine Trish. Next challenge can be bread. No problem with that. I just have been wanting to try the macaroons. I liked making things that I wouldn't have ordinarily tried.

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Me too!

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Maybe we could split this into two challenges: one for bread and one for sweets?, maybe yeasted vs chemically leavened? That way everybody could participate in what they wanted to bake. New forum topic?

BellesAZ's picture
BellesAZ

I saw this recipe today..


Can someone post the recipe for the Lemon Macaroons?  Of all the cookies you could eat.. these aren't half as bad for the waistline.. (as I sit here chomping on some leftover ciabatta bread and cheese!)

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

"A" recipe for lemon macaroons:


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/food_and_drink/article2531468.ece


Lemon macaroons

Lucas Hollweg


Why lemon? Because I prefer it to chocolate, and because pistachio is a tricky flavour to start with. Be warned that making macaroons takes practice - particularly the piping, which might make you grumpy and quite depressed. There's also a bit of advance preparation, so it's not an option for elevenses. Sorry. Anyway, here's how to get started.


Egg whites: these should be separated at least two days (preferably 72 hours) before you want to use them and be at room temperature before whisking. This helps to give them volume.


Baking trays: for the quantity below, you will need three "doubled" baking trays (that is, two trays of the same size slotted into one another to give a double-skinned tray). You will be baking in relay, though, so you could conceivably reuse the bottom tray three times.


Baking parchment: cut this to fit the top tray of each pair so that it lies flat in the bottom. Note: greaseproof paper is not the same thing.


Related Links

Piping bag and nozzle: I never thought I would want or need one of these, but it does make macaroons a lot easier. If you want, you can spoon them out with a teaspoon instead, although the shapes will be wonky.

Oven: I've had the best results in a fan-assisted oven, but I've given temperatures for a conventional oven as well.

Right, on with the recipe...

For the macaroon shells
225g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
125g egg whites (from about 4 medium eggs, but do weigh it out)
A few drops of lemon juice
25g caster sugar
20-30 drops of yellow food colouring

For the filling
Good-quality lemon curd
Mascarpone

1 In two batches, put the icing sugar and almonds in a food processor and blitz until you have a fine powder. Stop halfway through and loosen any bits that have clumped in the bottom of the processor bowl.

2 Sieve the powder into a large mixing bowl - again, do it in batches. Try to sieve all but a teaspoonful of chunky almond bits, which you can throw away.

3 Put the egg whites into a clean metal mixing bowl and whisk until they start to hold its shape. Add a few drops of lemon juice, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar in two lots until the whites form stiff peaks. Finally, whisk in the yellow colouring until well combined.

4 Mix one-third of the whites into the dry ingredients. Then tip the rest of the whites on top and, using a metal spoon, gently fold them in, using a figure-of-eight motion. It will be stiff at first, but it will gradually loosen. You want it to be smooth and glossy, but not too liquid. The texture is very important and tricky to judge: when you fold the mixture, it should form a ribbon on the surface. Too runny, and you'll end up with flat crisps; too stiff, and it's meringue.

5 Take your piping bag, fitted with an 8mm plain nozzle. Stand it upright in a jug, then turn down the wide opening of the bag. Fill the bag with the macaroon mix, then turn up the sides and twist to seal the mixture inside. The idea is to get rid of any air so that when you squeeze the bag, a solid stream of mixture comes out of the nozzle.

6 Hold the bag in your right hand and the nozzle in your left (or the other way round if you're left-handed). Hold the bag in front of you, tilted slightly and with the nozzle just above the surface of the first parchment-lined baking tray. Pipe a round, 2cm-diameter blob of mixture (by squeezing the closed end of the bag). Lift the nozzle sharply to finish the blob. Carry on piping more blobs, leaving about 2cm around each one to allow for spreading (they should spread to about 3cm). Continue until all the mixture has been piped - you should have about 50-60 blobs in all.

7 If any of the macaroons have nipples, smooth them gently with a wet finger. Leave them to stand for 45 minutes. This helps them to form a smooth shell when baked. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 130C fan (or 140C/280F/Gas Mark 1).

8 Bake the macaroons in the middle of the oven, one tray at a time. After 5 or 6 minutes, they should have started to rise, forming a lacy collar around the bottom. Cook for a total of 12-15 minutes - don't let them burn. The exact timing will depend on their size and your oven; try a small test batch first - leaving the uncooked macaroons on their trays won't hurt them.

9 Remove from the oven and leave to cool on their trays. You should then be able to remove them gently without leaving the insides behind. If not, carefully ease off with a knife.

10 Beat together the lemon curd and mascarpone to give a lemon cream (I'll leave the exact flavour to you). Pair macaroon shells of similar size and sandwich together with 1-2 tsp of the cream. Eat immediately, or keep in the fridge for a day - they'll be even better.

So there you have it. Lemon macaroons. Possibly.

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Here is my first attempt. I used the recipe from the KA website.


I added orange zest and used the juice for the liquid in the syrup. I think I overcooked the syrup, It was more like jelly than syrup.


Everything came together without any problems and after resting on the counter for an hour they had formed the "Skin" so I stuck them into the oven. I baked as directed with the exception of being wrinkled they came out well.


Anyone have any ideas about there prunish nature?


This also marks my first attempt at making a ganache. No problems with that.


Chocolate and Orange is one of my favorite combination.


I am going to try a second batch later but with a different recipe. Going to use a recipe that adds the sugar directly to the egg whites and also increase the oven temp.


 


Daisy_A's picture
Daisy_A

Haven't plucked up the courage to try macarons yet but the blog Canelle et Vanille by pastrychef Aran Goyoaga has a range of recipes (including Meyer Lemon based on her standard recipe), plus very precise tips on how to manage them.


Recipe index here 


http://cannelle-vanille.blogspot.com/2008/01/recipe-index-cakes-flourless-chocolate.html


Daisy_A

jrudnik's picture
jrudnik

Hi,


School work got ahead of me! Filing an extension!

alabubba's picture
alabubba

For my second attempt I made Chocolate Macaroons from a recipe on David Lobovitz's site.


http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/10/french-chocolat/


As I still had ooodles of ganache left over and this is about getting the shells correct so I filled them with the chocolate ganache.


These are chewy and O`so chocolaty! Its like the best part of the best brownie. (are they supposed to be chewy? with a crunchy outside)


They say they get better after a couple of days. I will never know!


My tops are still a bit wrinkled, They looked so good when I took them out of the oven and wrinkled as they cooled. Any one know why?


tempe's picture
tempe

alabubba you're macarons look fantastic!! Wow!! I hope you're pleased, they look amazing. I bought one (pistachio flavoured) last Saturday- yes one (pricey little things!!), at our local farmer's market from Monsieur Macaron and it was crunchy on the outside and chewy in the centre of the macaron which is how I remember them being from when I used to make them with my Mum when I was at high school - let's say that was a while ago.  I'm not sure about why your tops have wrinkled hopefully someone else can help with that.   You're second attempt looks less wrinkly in the photos.  Pity I can't take one off the screen to eat they look so good.


tempe


 


 

Elagins's picture
Elagins

I can't tell you how great it feels to have built up such a crew of hardcore bakers!  We're only a couple of weeks past the testing and I miss you all already!


Stan


www.nybakers.com

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

When will you have volume II in the works? =)


 


Trish

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I didn't join this challenge because I was ready to do something other than sweets so I focused on a sourdough bread recipe. I am following along and looking to jump in again when the next recipe comes along.


Trish

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Well Trish, My challenge is over (officially anyways) so why don't your post your sourdough as the next challenge. (that reminds me, I need to feed mine)


 

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

When I joined this community (3+ years ago) There was a frequent contributor who went by the name of Mountain Dog. She introduced to me to fantastic recipes one of which was Thom Leonard's Country French Boule recipe. It was one of the first sourdough recipes I tried and it turned out suprisingly well. Here's the link: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/1806/thom-leonard-country-french-boule-recipe.


Not sure if anyone is interested in doing this as I'm not sure how many have sourdough starter readily available. All I remember is that this bread was amazing. Anyone interested in trying this one?


Trish

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Ok Trish, I'm in. You say you have been working on this for a while, Any cliff notes/hints/tips?


allan

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

It's been at least a few years. I just remember it being a delicious bread and a very pretty loaf. I learned several things over the past Labor Day week-end regarding sourdough baking in general and starter maintenance in particular. That recipe was one that I discovered from Sylvia's post of last week. The original recipe came from northwestsourdough.com. Since I made six loaves of that last week-end while practicing I thought I'd like to branch out and try a recipe I rembember as being especially good. The Thom Leonard recipe made a 4 pound loaf and, if I remember correctly, I believe that I divided that up into two or three loaves. It's really tasty due to its use of more than one type of flour giving it a really good flavor. If others would like to give the Thom Leonard a go I'm up for it. Call the tentative end date as September 27th?


Trish

RobynNZ's picture
RobynNZ

Today MC has posted a link on her blog, Farine, to three Thom Leonard videos you might find useful:


http://www.lawrence.com/videos/sets/2010/jan/27/wheatfields-bakery-co-founder-thom-leonard-explain/


And here is MC's post, she made Thom's Olive Bread:


http://www.farine-mc.com/2010/09/thom-leonards-olive-bread.html


 

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I had a chance to view only one since I'm already late for work but I plan on watching the others when I get home tonight. I find these types of instructional videos so helpful. I have considered buying Mark's videos (From his Down Home Bakery) many times. Maybe I'll do that this week-end.


Trish

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

Anyone still here and up for the challenge? I've been Involved in the Mellow Bakers Challenges for a few weeks, lost my sweet Lab Betsy who let me live with her for 11 and 1/2 years and survived a bad case of fast food burger food poisoning (I won't mention names unless you ask but I'm off fast food for good). All this in the past week. At any rate my levain will be made tonight before bed and I'm proceeding with the recipe tomorrow morning. Anyone still up for it? BTW - gotta' post a photo of #1 granddaughter and sweet Betsy....


 


alabubba's picture
alabubba

Still here, Sorry to hear about your friend.


We had my daughter and her son (the pesto eater himself) had to move in for a bit, Has turned our sedate schedule upside down. (in a good way) but I have had very little time for any thing other that His Royal fussiness! (as it should be.) After all, the universe does revolve around him.


Things should settle down soon and I hope to get something baked next week.


allan

Elagins's picture
Elagins

My stepdaughter Becky, 32, who has Down syndrome and lives with us, has turned into the best baking assistant imaginable.  We bake breads of all kinds, pizza, cakes, pastries, cookies, and I have her involved in every phase of the process, from weighing and measuring ingredients to mixing, kneading, shaping and finishing.  


Not only is it a wonderful way of bonding with her, but it's turned into such a passion for her that not too long ago, on a trip to Costco, she picked up a KA 5-quart professional mixer and said, face beaming "I want this for my baking."  So now we have two mixers: our KA tilt-head and Becky's bowl-lift, which she and I use exclusively when we bake.


Bring your grandkids in on it ... the rewards are beyond description!!


Stan
www.nybakers.com

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

We had 4 year old Vivian and 3 year old Graham over last winter and they made their first pizza ever. It was so much fun. They really got into it so I'm hoping at least one of my grandkids (I have three so far) will want to bake with gramma. I could hardly keep from chuckling as I watched Graham oh so carefully place each piece of pepperoni on the pizza. The funny thing is they beg their parents to make homemade pizza at least once a week now - mom and dad think the kind that comes in the box is just fine but I think they oblige them once in awhile. See the picture with granpa..

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

Thanks for the kind regards and I understand about grandchildren! Lucky for us, ours live about six blocks down on the same street. We get asked to babysit from time to time and of course they have two toy boxes that stay here to keep them busy and out from in front of the TV when they are here. They can totally destroy my family room in about 10 minutes flat but they're fun to have around and...you get to give them back when you're tired of them =).


Trish

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Gee, where have I been?  Serious Question...


Can one make macaroons without a mixer?

alabubba's picture
alabubba

Where HAVE you been?


and I don't see why not. If you can make a soft meringue by hand.


allan

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

and grew nicely. I didn't have a rye starter so I mixed a bit of rye flour into the final flour mix. The dough went together beautifully. I have finally learned the lesson of mise in place and alway get everything weighed and ready to use before starting. This recipe comes in grams and ounces and I prefer gram measurement so it makes it very easy. I mixed the dough, autolysed for 20 minutes or so kneaded in the KA 6 qt. for about 5 minutes, added the sea salt and then mixed for about 4 minutes more since the mixer was warming up and seemed to be working hard and I didn't want to kill it. The dough went into an oiled bowl, envelope stretch and fold twice in an hour. It's now resting in the fridge overnight to be baked tomorrow. The dough is wonderful to work with, nice and elastic and smooth. I can't wait to get it out tomorrow and bake it.


Trish

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

Finally got the Thom Leonard Bread baked yesterday. The flavor is as good as I remembered. The recipe is not hard - it just takes awhile for it to all come together. Pictures follow:



 


 


 



 


Crumb:


 



 


There you have it. I guess no one was interested in bread so someone else needs to come up with the next challenge. I look forward to itl


 


Regards all and happy Monday night...


 


Trish

carluke's picture
carluke

Hi Trish,


I made this bread today, based on your challenge, and am very pleased with it. My husband referred to it as a 'keeper'.


I made a few mistakes, largely as a result of underestimating the size of the loaf/loaves, but I think I recovered fairly well and will certainly try it again.


Unfortunately, I am unable to post pictures, which makes me a poor participant for your challenge, but thank you for suggesting the recipe.


Janice

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

David

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

Mountain Dog was such a great contributor - I miss seeing her on the Boards. Also got to thinking about Zola Blue and Blue Zebra. I wonder where they went sometimes.

alabubba's picture
alabubba

I am still planning on doing this, but with my house in turmoil I havnt had a chance to bake (or even cook a decent meal) in weeks. I have several non-baking projects that need to get done as well. I actually bought a loaf of wonder bread the other day! (getting tired of fast food as well)


Hopefully, there will be some restoration of normalacy this week.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Oh dear!  You have all my sympathies!  I hope you won't be getting ill.  We might have to book you into a clinic or get you off an endangered list if you keep up this irrational behavior.

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

I would have joined if I had seen this befiore:)...I usually baked macarons (only ONE "O") every week....been trying to perfect it. My schedule would be something like, Thursday nite is a macaron nite and Fri & Sat is for bread making weekend.


One of my latest concoction:=> Grean Tea Macarons.... I made this for work the other week.


Green Tea Macarons

siuflower's picture
siuflower

Never see green tea macarons before will you share the recipe?


 


siuflower

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

For green tea macarons, I added about one tablespoon of green tea (matcha) powder into the shell mixture, sifting it together with icing sugar & almond meal.


With the green tea ganache, I mix about one teaspoon of matcha into the cream (about 100ml) and followed the usual white chocolate ganache recipe that you can find one from Internet, but I think I can actually add one more teaspoon into the ganache for more intense green tea flavour.


Here is the link of my post about macarons on TFL, which contains recipe for the macaron shell and some other inputs from TFL members.


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/19016/i-heart-macarons


Sue