This whole week seems to have been taken up with the “Macarons versus Macaroons” debate ( in my own head anyway). I have baked Macaroons before when I ran my market stall and they proved to be quite popular. I think Macaroons were suggested to me by a regular customer who asked me why I didn’t make them. These Coconut Macaroons were probably the first thing I ever baked when I was at school. As for the French Macarons, I have never been interested in making them for the stall or for my own family and friends. I think part of me always thought that I wouldn’t be able to bake them. Maybe I thought they were too technical or something. How wrong could I be? Don’t get me wrong I am still learning how to make them to look perfect like they do on all the photos that I have seen and I am getting there slowly. My French Macarons are quite rustic and look like they have been thrown together even though they have been made with love. 🙂
OMG these little bites of deliciousness are really quite technical to make as there are so many different recipes and methods out there on the internet and the decision about which one to try is the hardest. After that, it is a case of practice, practice and more practice with a lot of trial and error before you decide what works for you. There are many factors to be taken into account such as quality of ingredients, different oven used, how good your technique is and so on that it really is a case of “Practice makes Perfect”
All this practice is going to have some Macarons that don’t hit the mark and rather than waste them (or let the children eat too many) I am trying to think of how to use them up in a recipe or two. As it is basically a meringue recipe there are plenty of ways to use them, for example, in a traybake, with cream and fresh fruit as in a Eton Mess, or as the topping on a Lemon Meringue Shortbread (which I haven’t baked in a long time). The good thing is that the French Macarons freeze so before I fill them I will pick out those that I can keep for some other time and freeze them in a tupperware box.
I have even added these French Macarons to my webshop (collection only) and to the Friday Treat Box this week as I am quietly confident with myself and what I have managed to create for my family and friends to try. Everyone, so far, has given me really positive feedback about the Macarons.
I have done an awful lot of research watching videos, reading up on blogs and looking up recipes to try and teach myself what I needed to do when making these Macarons. So far they seem to be working quite well with maybe the odd one or two not turning out as they should. My first batch of Chocolate Macarons were delicious and if can say so – my favourite still.
On Wednesday, I made Vanilla Macarons filled with Cookie Dough Buttercream which is the most delicious buttercream I have ever tasted and I found the recipe for it on a baking blog called Raspberri Cupcakes and Strawberry Macarons filled with White Chocolate Ganache. Now the Cookie Dough Buttercream with the Chocolate Macaron would be my idea of heaven. 🙂
So far, I have tried the Vanilla Macaron as I had to (because I love cookie dough) and I think they are supersweet as the buttercream has icing sugar in it which makes them even sweeter as there is icing sugar in the Macarons too. Surely there is a diabetic version of these macarons somewhere??. However, the saltiness of the cookie dough helps to cut through the sweetness slightly but not quite enough for my liking. All I ate yesterday, whilst making and filling these Macarons was salted pistachios as I am craving savoury and I am going to have to scrub the floor later as everything feels sticky and coated in sugar.
I think these dainty petit fours are a very summery treat as they are very light, have a crunch before the chewy centre comes through with the delicious filling and the colours are usually pastel shaded. They are perfect for an afternoon tea or as a Sunday treat after a roast dinner. A very adventurous bake to try and it would be great if you could share your photos and comments below to give me some more ideas of what to try next.
Well the Friday Treats have all been collected and the postal deliveries have all gone. I am away to a music festival tomorrow which should be good so I must try and get an early night. I have some great ideas for next week to try and to add to a treat box for my customers to try so I can’t wait for Monday. 🙂