Macarons

Well, so much for me posting here on a regular basis! I have been baking during my 10 month absence, but it’s not really been worth writing about. Lots of bread, a very tasty lemon drizzle layer cake, lots of cupcakes, and that’s about it.

I also tried making macarons again for the first time in a while, and kept failing. I appear to have lost my mac knack when it comes to the French meringue method. It probably didn’t help that I was using a recipe that included malted milk powder, but even when I made a plain batch following BraveTart’s wonderful how to, I failed miserably.

I’m choosing to blame my oven.

After hearing about my friend’s very talented teenage son having massive success making macarons using Italian meringue, I decided it was time to stop being scared of boiling sugar and try it for myself. I’d heard that Italian is more forgiving, and less likely to fail because of things like an inconsistent oven temperature, so I found myself a recipe, and got to it.

And it worked.

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I made a white chocolate ganache for the middle, which actually isn’t as overwhelmingly sweet as I feared it might be, and it’s lovely and smooth, despite me over-beating it to the point that it almost curdled. Whoops.

I matured them in the fridge, which I haven’t done before, and it does make a difference to the taste and the texture.

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Very very pleased. A friend has asked me to make some macarons for her daughter’s 5th birthday, so I’m going to make one more practise batch before saying yes.

They’re still not perfect. My piping technique defintely needs honing. But they look like macarons, and taste like macarons, and that makes me happy.

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