So I dutifully aged one egg white for two days, ground some almonds and sifted them with icing sugar. The next part is tough. You beat the egg white to stiff peaks and then fold in the almond/sugar combo. Practically every possibility - underfolding, overfolding, even breathing - can result in your macarons coming out flat and without the coveted "feet".
Macaron gods must be looking over me this morning for when I looked in 2 minutes before end of baking time, my plain vanilla macarons had developed at least some skirts around them if not real feet. They did stick to the parchment though. Here's where our macaron guru Helen comes to rescue. She always says to sprinkle a drop of water below the parchment and the macarons come out clean.
I sandwiched them with some ganache (equal quantities of cream and dark chocolate melted in the microwave) and now I'm off to heaven to celebrate. I think it must be the sugar rush.
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.