Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oh la la! Daring Bakers’ October Challenge

For the second month in a row, I am running and rushing to get the challenge complete. At least this month I am on time… just barely. (Pictures will be posted later. I don’t feel like uploading them right now.)

Lately, I have just not felt like baking. I knew the challenge due date was coming up and I have slowly bought all the ingredients, but I just have had no inspiration to bake. The few things I have baked this month, mainly the simplest thing ever--chocolate chip cookies-- even came out as a wreck. There is just so much going on that not even baking has been able to life my spirits. But I digress; this post is about the challenge not obstacles.
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 did not use this recipe 1) because I made a vegan version and 2) I did not have any granulated sugar, so I used the Italian method to create a sugar syrup from raw sugar.]

I wanted to do a fall inspired cookie. In my head I was seeing orange and brown, though in execution the fruit flavoring did not turn the batter in color at all. I made Vegan Orange Tangerine Zinger Macrons. Sorry, I am not a fan of cookie fillings (I do not even like the filling in an Oreo! I know, I know.), so I did not fill these. I was going to dip the bottoms in chocolate, but truthfully, I did not want to waste the chocolate on cookies that will mostly like not be eaten.

I kind of winged it for this recipe. Turning a meringue based cookie vegan is difficult and I have very little experience veganizing recipes. So, take the recipe for what it is worth.

6 tbs Ener-g Egg Replacer
1 1/2 cup water

Whip the replacer and water together until it forms medium to stiff peaks. This will take several minutes. Be sure to scrap down the bowl.

150 grams sugar
50ml water

Boil in a pot until the temp. reads 117C. Add to the whipped mixture.

250 grams almond meal
125 grams confectioners sugar
1 bag orange tangerine zinger tea (no teas leaves, just dried fruit)

Process the almond mixture together in a food processor. Then fold the almond mixture into the whipped mixture above.

Pipe circles onto parchment paper and let the shells “dry out” on the counter for at least an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 280F and bake the shells for 25 minutes. Remove the shells. Turn the oven up to 350 and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Now my thoughts on the “macrons”…. The negatives: the cookies had no feet and not shiny shells. The positives: they held their shape once piped and baked.

Final thoughts: I never had a non-vegan version of this cookie. So I really have nothing to aspire them to. I really did not like them; nothing special as far as taste is concerned and I could do for a crisper texture. I will most likely not make them again.

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