Get ready for a very macaron-heavy post…Don’t you just want to reach through the screen and grab one?Macarons are simply the prettiest, yummiest, mouth-wateringly cute little treat, and personally I can’t get enough of them.At the weekend, we pottered along to Wilmslow where Darren and I had booked in for a taster afternoon to try out The Real Macaron Company’s little gems. I have a massive sweet tooth, so naturally this was something that I’d quite been looking forward to. I’m not a particularly good baker, so I really appreciate the work of anybody who is!
From Hazelnut & Raisin.. …to Chilli & Chocolate. We were spoilt for choice and tried to have one of every flavour!They crumbled softly into your mouth and were filled with the most delicious ganache.My favourites had to be the Pistachio & Dark Chocolate (above) and the Earl Grey & White Chocolate (below).After enjoying so many macarons, Darren and I came away clutching our bellies, and I came away newly inspired to have an attempt at baking them myself.
Now I did mention above that I’m not much of a baker. ‘But how hard can it be?’ I thought. I googled ‘Macaron recipe’ and clicked on the BBC Food’s version and got down to work.
It started off OK as I made my almond paste. However I soon got into all sorts of bother, mostly when it came to attempting to turn the water and sugar into a syrupy mix. On my first go, I completely burnt the sugar. On my second try, it seemed to go OK and I left it whilst I went to whisk my egg whites. However when I came to mix it into my whipped egg whites, the sugar mixture had gone all hard. I tried to melt it and make it liquidy again, but the mixture seemed to retain sugar crystals, which meant that when I came to squeezing the macaron mixture out of the piping bag and onto the tray, sugary lumps kept getting caught in the nib of the piping bag. It just doesn’t look quite right does it?
Nevertheless I persevered, and promptly discovered that my oven is a bit fiercer than I thought it was. What were meant to be lilac-coloured macarons, ended up being slightly brown-tinged.So, unfortunately, they didn’t end up looking quite as good as the ones we’d enjoyed at the weekend!Surprisingly, they did actually taste quite good. They just weren’t very good looking! And when it comes to macarons, it’s all about the presentation. So it’s a baking fail for me!
I definitely need to have some degree of supervision from a pro, as I’m clearly not a natural. With that in mind, I’m hopeful that my macaron-baking luck will shortly improve, as I have booked onto a macaron master class with The Real Macaron Company, where I’m hoping that I will get taught all of the tricks of the trade. Fingers crossed that my second attempt will be a significant improvement!
Have you ever tried baking them? Any tips?