Category Archives: Uncategorized

Macarongs

Well, after all my happy “my macarons have feet, and look like macarons!” excitement the other day, I made a batch today that was mostly made of fail.

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They still taste lovely, but don’t look especially pretty.

I think the problem is that I halved the recipe. I didn’t have enough almonds for a full recipe, so thought I’d give it a go. When I scooped the meringue out of the bowl, there was lots of crystalised sugar stuck to the bottom, so I think the sugar was cooling too quickly to combine properly with the beaten egg whites.

So, I’ll eat my macarongs, chalk this up to experience, and make another, full, batch at the weekend.

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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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Cupcakes and puddings and muffins, oh my

Why The Accidental Cupcake? A friend made a comment about accidental cupcakes, and I decided that would be the name of my theoretical, won-the-lottery, bakery/geek-bookshop.

Let’s face it, that’s never going to happen, so instead,  I decided to start a blog about baking, because nobody else does that, right? 

As I’m fortunate enough to have the most amazing friends in the world, I recently became the proud owner of my very own beautiful and shiny Empire Red KitchenAid stand mixer and blender (which I’ve had less than a week, and I keep talking to them and telling them how gorgeous they are – that’s normal, isn’t it?). Given these recent additions to my life, and the fact that I want an excuse to a: cook more and b: take more photographs, now seems like the perfect time to start this blog.

So, here it is – The Accidental Cupcake. It’s going to take me a while to get up and running, but watch this space.