So I’ve finally had a little time to blog my most recent baking attempt. My hope is that this blog will take off again as soon as I get these pesky Accounts exams out of the way. I am experiencing a self imposed baking blackout so that I don’t use it as yet another distraction from revision. This blip was due to Easter. As I knew we were visiting my family I wanted to bring some treats. My original plan was to make macaroons for all the Easter bags I was putting together; well I shouldn’t have put all my eggs in one basket, so to speak. I recently bought this fabulous book I Love Macarons by Hisako Ogita which concentrates solely on Macaroons and how to perfect them. I’ve made them once before and knew they were tough but I figured this book would help speed the process up a lot.
I started to gather the ingredients for my macaroons (Chocolate with Nutella filling/ Lemon with raspberry filling/ Raspberry with lemon filling) but even that proved difficult when I could not get ground almonds anywhere. I paid over the odds but finally found them in my local Spar! Take that Tesco & Marks & Spencer. I made my first batch, concentrating very closely on the books instructions about macronnage (the method for folding the ingredients together in order to create the perfect batter) This batch was an epic fail, they overcooked, stuck to the parchment paper and were hard as rocks. Second batch in a lower temperature oven, and hey presto, perfect (or as perfect as I can get them) little macaroon feet. These were light, crisp and chewy in the middle. Unfortunately by this stage I’d used a lot of eggs, made a huge mess and essentially only had about 10 macaroons.
As I needed to provide treats in 7 different bags and I was leaving the next morning I realised I’d have to change my plans. I quickly searched for a plain cupcake recipe, added some lemon juice, made over 100 mini cupcakes, topped with lemon glace icing and a small lemon jelly slice. To add bulk and to be able to use more nutella I made simple little fork butter cookies which I sandwiched with nutella or seedless raspberry jam. I used the cute Easter bags the wife bought me in Lakeland with yellow and blue twist ties. My hopes of using nice ribbon ties and tags went out the window along with my macaroon dreams.
I will attempt Macaroons again & I will try some different combinations but this time I will ensure it’s not for a deadline. The few people that got to try them said they were delicious and I was really happy with how they turned out but they were hard work!
Keep an eye out for a few more posts where I’m going to have a look at my cookbook collection and baking equipment, including what I consider essential items in your baking repertoire.