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.
I can't believe that in over two years of existence, the Daring Bakers have never taken on a macaron challenge. To me, macarons are one of those things that everyone hopes to be able to accomplish in the kitchen at least once. I made my first successful batch of macarons last winter so I was excited to have the opportunity to try them again...until I heard about how many people were failing with the recipe. The Daring Bakers forums and Twitter were full of complaints about time and money spent on a recipe that didn't seem to work. I don't know about you, but as a broke Hollywood assistant, I don't have a lot of extra time or money to repeatedly make something that may or may not work. Since this past weekend was my only shot to get the macarons done before the challenge due date, I decided to go with a recipe and tips that worked for me before.
Chocolate and pistachios are a wonderful combo. I ground my own nuts and used half almonds and half pistachios. I didn't grind my nuts as finely as I should have, so there was an interesting crunch in the shells, but it wasn't unpleasant. I used a chocolate ganache recipe from Sherry Yard that was easy and absolutely heavenly! If you make this ganache, be sure to use good chocolate because the flavor really comes through. (eek, how Ina Garten did that sound?). Katrina of she's in the kitchen is the one who gave me the heads up about the ganache recipe. Thanks Katrina! Check out the other Daring Bakers to see how their macarons turned out!