Vegan French Macarons, from the left: Plain with white chocolate cranberry filling; chocolate with chocolate filling; goji berry with chocolate filling; barley malt with chocolate filling.
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 the Gramercy Tavern as the challenge recipe.
This was, of course, a huge challenge for me because French macarons are mostly egg whites, and I’m allergic to eggs. When I read that this would be the October challenge, I decided to order some Angel vegan meringue cookie mix, to replace the eggs, rather than reinvent the whole wheel. I ordered a few boxes on line to give it a try. This little box cost 6.95 (I found an online coupon for free shipping) The product comes in two pouches, part A and part B.
To make meringue cookies, you whip up part A with water until you have soft peaks and then you mix part B with fine sugar and whip it into part A until you have stiff peaks. I did this, and then I followed the macaron recipe as written, using the sugar called for in the macaron recipe. Here’s a picture of what happened to the first batch I baked. The nut/sugar part of the recipe separated from the meringue and made a little puddle, leaving behind an empty shell. The little tails didn’t flatten out either.
So, for the second batch, I used the cooking instructions for the meringue mix and left the oven at 200˚
instead of turning it up to 375˚. Baking them at 200˚ for 30 minutes seemed to do the trick. The second batch didn’t separate. I did my best to smooth down the peaks since I knew they weren’t going to melt away on their own. My macaroons were grainy (was my almond meal fine enough?) and never got shiny on top. I even tried a little spray oil on one but that was a terrible disaster.
Even though these looked looked ok, they were still somewhat hallow inside. I played around with flavors by adding some coco powder to half a batch.
I added goji berry powder to the other half, hoping I would get a red/orange macaron but sadly it was sort of spotted and flattened out more than the others. Malt powder was added to some others, but the flavor wasn't as strong as I would have liked. I made tow types of fillings, dark chocolate and white chocolate cranberry. Both were very tasty.