Tuesday, 12 March 2013


OK, I am sorry that you had to wait a couple of days before the news about the macarons, but actually you have to leave them for 24 hours after filling them before you can eat them.

I am not going to write extensively about how to make macarons and how to get the perfect macaron, for two reasons:

1. I don't know yet, as I have only made two batches
2. Gigabytes of internet server space is clogged up with such data

But, I will tell you that making macarons is the best way to learn about them and I can confirm that they are HARD!!!

The main problem I encountered was cracking. I need to experiment with where I position them in my oven since it was the oven that caused several of my macarons to crack. I know this because they were in the same part of the oven in every batch that I baked. (I ended up baking my two attempts in a total of 4 batches.) I already experimented during these batches with position in the oven and also timing: I think my first batch was undercooked and the final one overcooked which means that the next one will be just right!

The other thing I learned and cannot stress enough is the importance of allowing macarons to mature. After you have baked the shells, leave them in the fridge for a while and then after filling them leave them in the fridge for at least 24 hours. During this time an amazing alchemy takes place and faults such as hollow shells can even correct themselves, I kid you not.

I made two different types of macarons. Firstly, a dusky pink batch which I filled with buttercream, into which I had added and whisked in some fresh raspberries: this gave a really nice sweet but slightly tart filling. The second batch were chocolate flavoured and coloured, with a buttercream flavoured with nutella in the middle. I really like the tart fillings for macarons and always go for those, and would like to experiment with more types. However, I also love salty caramel as a filling and will be trying that one too.

I was really lucky that all my macarons developed the distinctive 'foot' which you read about and although I noticed many many faults with my first attempt, my audience (my best friend, whose birthday it was and my colleagues at work the next day) was very impressed.

'You made these yourself? Many I know have tried but all have failed!' (Swedish colleague)
'They were honestly the best I've ever had ...' (French best friend)
'You should sell these. When are you making some more?' (British colleague)

I will leave you with pictures of the macarons themselves, but watch this space as I think I will be making many, many more!

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