Craft Challenge number 5 - Macarons!

So there are 13 more weeks to get 7 more challenges done, seems do-able if I put my mind to it. Until then here is craft challenge number 5. Its not strictly a craft but I seem to accumulate as many cookery/baking books as I do craft ones so thought that it was in the same spirit. And hey its my game so my rules, can you tell I'm an only child!!

I've had the Laduree Sucre cookbook for ages and it is beautiful. It comes in a box lined with purple tissue paper and inside is a pistachio green velveteen book with gilded pages. This is not the type of book to use but look at, it is certainly not a book you keep in the kitchen when making your sweet treat. Instead leave it in a another room and go an look at it periodically, but don't touch it or it might get dirty!

After visiting Paris in the summer and scoffing a large number of macarons I felt that now was the time to ignore all of the messages that they are difficult and won;t work etc etc and just have a go. 
To help I bought a silicone macaroon mat from Lakeland and also some two chicks egg whites to make it easier to weight them and have less waste. The macaron mat had received mixed reviews but it worked fine for me and the shells came off easily. 

My chosen flavour was raspberry so ingredients assembled I got to work. 

It was a fiddly business with lots of steps. Before I started I looked at every possible video on you tube for advice to try and avoid common mistakes. The best tips were:
  • smack the baking tray down hard on the worktop a couple of times to get rid of air bubbles
  • Leave the macarons for at least 30 minutes for the tops to forms a skin. 

Here is my macaron meringue mix waiting for the almonds and the icing sugar to be added.

After piping them onto the silicon mat I duly whacked them on the worktop and then left them alone. I checked they had a skin and then popped them in a low oven. Lorraine Pascal also recommends leaving the oven door open a little bit and so I did that too. 

After a few minutes I peeked expecting a globby disaster but to my surprise they had little feet and the tops hadn't cracked. I imagine I felt a bit like Archimedes did when he had his eureka moment!

So here they are the finished macarons filled with raspberry butter cream. I am super pleased with how they turned out and how they tasted, mr cutie an the feast told me I am not allowed to make them again because he wanted to eat them all!

A baking triumph, but not sure one that I'll be able to replicate again!

Macarons and the Sucre recipe book

Yet another picture of the macarons. I was very happy they worked!

A successful craft challenge but not one if you are in a rush, distracted or in any way want to be doing something else other than faffing about with egg whites!


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