”My oven: where Macarons come to die.”
So it started with this picture:
When I first saw SprinkleBakes’ little tutorial of her Amadeus inspired little cake tutorial, my heart did a little happy dance and I fell in love! LOVE! http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2013/04/stanze-cake.html
I needed to make this cake. I HAD to make this cake! But first I had to learn how to macaron. Yes, I’m making it a verb, as it deserves to be after my experience. It’s also a fairly good expletive.
Now, those of you Macaron-ista purists, please look away now.
For all the rest, I do what most of you do to when wanting to learn something cakey and new. I turn to blogs, YouTube and of course this fabulous Cakesdecor website that I have grown to adore. After what I’ve been through, I really wanted to add my own two cents. Now, I don’t care what some blog sites say, these little beauties are fussy and temperamental. I don’t believe those who post picture perfect macarons and say it’s their first unaided try – I’m calling it and saying their pants are on fire! My final verdict: Lovely as they are, they are super time consuming and require a lot of patience and effort.
Pictured here are melon flavoured, pineapple and apple cinnamon. These are my second batch attempt. And by batch I mean the eighth tray onwards. So how many macarons in a batch? Enough to fill a rubbish carrier bag neatly. Speaking of the first batch, I will post photos soon as they were an exercise in hilarious. I have happily committed a huge macaron faux pas and used Italian Meringue buttercream for the filling – the result is a taste so fresh and light they practically float on air.
What I learnt:
1. Don’t use bubblegum flavoured meringue. We are conditioned not to swallow bubblegum so the result is confusing.
2. I still don’t like to eat ganache, so I refused to fill them in the traditional French way. Yes, I am a rebel and I bravely carry the torch leading those of you who feel the same. It works, they won’t combust and the result is amazing and eating them has a lovely “mouth feel”.
3. Too much cinnamon flavouring will blow your head off.
4. There is such thing as too tall feet. Too much filling. Not enough filling. Shell size malfunction, too chewy, too airy, too everything and you will be judged harshly by staunch Macaron-ista purists everywhere, so post photos with caution. I say, don’t worry about any of it. Bake it like you love it and forget all the rest. I’ve decided I don’t give a darn, and needed document proof for the lost two weeks of my life baking these babies in my kitchen.
5. You CAN put more than one tray in a fan forced oven at a time. I would be celebrating the tenth anniversary of my 30th birthday already if I kept to that advice. One tray? Really?
6. Don’t forget to mature your macarons in the fridge for a day before serving. Something about the flavours coming together and the science behind the perfect shell, etc. I forgot to do this and ate the whole lot immediately.
7. You CAN eat too many macarons and it will probably put you off them for life.
PS – If I make you a batch it means I really, really, REALLY adore you. Nina xoxo
PSS – I’d love to hear what your adventures in Macaron have been too! Is it just me??!!!
-- Nina, Make Pretty Cakes, New Zealand, http://www.facebook.com/divaliciouscakes