Macaron Inspiration and Disaster

Get ready for a very macaron-heavy post…IMG_3174Don’t you just want to reach through the screen and grab one?IMG_3175Macarons are simply the prettiest, yummiest, mouth-wateringly cute little treat, and personally I can’t get enough of them.IMG_3178At 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!

Holy moly these were good.macaronMore and more flavours just kept appearing in front of us. It was a macaron-lover’s paradise.

From Hazelnut & Raisin.. IMG_3180 …to Chilli & Chocolate. We were spoilt for choice and tried to have one of every flavour!IMG_3169They crumbled softly into your mouth and were filled with the most delicious ganache.IMG_3173My favourites had to be the Pistachio & Dark Chocolate (above) and the Earl Grey & White Chocolate (below).IMG_3177After 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. IMG_3254It 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.IMG_3255So, unfortunately, they didn’t end up looking quite as good as the ones we’d enjoyed at the weekend!IMG_3263Surprisingly, 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?

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5 Responses to Macaron Inspiration and Disaster

  1. Jennifer says:

    I went on The Real Macaron Company Course – it was very good. The recipe Gaye gives you to take away is the French method – none of that messing about with hot sugar. They take practice so the best advice I’ve got is keep trying and the course will give lots of tips about potential pitfalls. Mine aren’t perfect, but I’m about to have a couple of the chocolate shells with chocolate salted caramel ganache I made last night.

  2. Jane says:

    Well, I have to say…. your macaroons may not be picture perfect, but I’m sure they tasted amazing, and that’s all that matters. 🙂 X Jane http://janeheinrichs.blogspot.com

  3. Sofie says:

    I’m not a big fan of macarons, they’re a bit to sweet for my liking. But I do think they look really good because they have the most amazing colours.
    Actually, your macarons don’t look that bad at all! Wow, that master class sounds very fun! After some tips and tricks, your macarons will be perfect!

    Sofie x
    http://littlegreensofie.blogspot.be/

  4. I’ve never tried baking macarons mainly because of how much of a nightmare they sound like to bake! I think for a first attempt yours look really good!

  5. oooohhh I’m a big fan and those looks delicious! xxx

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