Macarons are turning in to one of my favourite things to bake. Once you get the technique down they are really quite easy and they always look so adorable and eye-catching! These Neapolitan (it’s ridiculous how often I misspell that word!) Macarons are the epitome of cute food. They would be great for a girlie get together or afternoon tea and the classic Italian flavour work great together.
I was curious about the whole Neapolitan thing so I turned to Google and Wikipedia (…where else?) for some information. Neapolitan mean ‘of or pertaining to Naples’, which makes sense, and it seems that it was brought to the USA by Italian immigrants in the mid 1800s. I must confess I’m not crazy about the traditional ice cream variety but last year I baked a strawberry, vanilla and chocolate layer cake for my second cousins Christening and it really did taste delicious. (more…)
Currently, my favourite thing to bake is French macarons. After lots and lots of practice I’ve finally mastered the technique so not I get to focus on flavours and making them all kinds of pretty colours. (check out my Facebook page to see my latest Valentines Day designs).
For macaron inspiration Pintrest is great. There are some bloggers who are killing the macaron game too, my personal favourite it Raspberri Cupcakes, she’s a macaron queen! This particular recipe was inspired by some Lindtt orange chocolate I was gifted a while back. It was tasty, but I felt like it could be put to better use than my passing sweet tooth cravings. Also, macaron making always leads to leftover egg yolks which usually leads to curd for a filling! Orange curd is a great twist on the lime and cranberry versions I’ve posted before. It doesn’t have the tartness of the other and is sweet and creamy. Perfect when paired with a dark chocolate ganache like we have here. (more…)
Happy Sunday! I hope everyone has had a lovely relaxing weekend so far. My Saturday was unexpectedly full of my favourite things – family, friends and baking. After an abrupt end to my working day I found myself at home with a free afternoon which was quickly filled with a family gathering, baking for the gathering and then dinner with friends. So what started off a very bad day turned out to be pretty good.
I’d been desperate to try out the speckled egg technique for ages, so when I found myself at a bit of a loose end yesterday it was the perfect opportunity, and now I can’t wait to speckle everything! (Some pastel coloured Easter cookies will be make this week, I think.) Also I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll with macarons after last weeks success, and luckily my new found recipe didn’t let me down. (more…)
Today was a pretty exciting day for me. As you know, I gave up my job and moved back to Inverness last month. It was a big change but I’m settling in and starting to enjoy living up north again. That feeling in my stomach has gone. That one of constant worry, expectation, fear. It has been gradual but there is now a sense of relief that I’ve made a big change to my life which will hopefully lead to great things.
Today I took the first step towards those great things. The feeling in my stomach is now a little bit of anxiety but I think that is normal with any new job. It is for me anyway! I’m excited to be working as part of a Pastry Team, albeit for a trial period to begin with, but I’m going to work hard to get the most out of it as possible.
On the subject of learning, I’ve been trying to master macarons again. I’ve been hit or miss, the last attempt wasn’t great, but before that I made these delightful chocolate and peanut butter babies.
This time I stuck to a plain macaron mix, filled with different types of ganache, and others with shop bough dulche de leche. They were a success. So much so that I had to fight with my family to let the rest in the fridge overnight…and to be honest, after a few hours some had been eaten already! Light, sweet and chewy with a satisfying crunch just as you take a bite. Perfection. (more…)
Macarons make me think of three things. Decadence, holidays and Blair Waldorf.
Macarons are luxurious little delicacies. Often brightly coloured, usually exotic flavour combinations and almost always boxed to perfection. The very act of going in to a Ladurée shop and being hit by the overwhelming scent of sweetness, then choosing your box and selecting a bounty of treats, is so extravagant. Even the little bag they give you to carry away the little box is so over the top wonderful! Yes, they are a little pricey but it’s not something I do every day.
Which is why they remind me of holidays. No trip to London is complete without a stop at the Harrods branch of Ladurée, although last time I tried Pierre Herme instead. The macarons were divine it’s just the experience, a concession within Selfridges, isn’t quite as glamourous.
Glamour being an essential part of the perfect macaron, which is why, no doubt, they are Blair Waldorf’s , of Gossip Girl fame, favourite. Sure she’s kinda mean, and bitchy, but she had the best clothes and even dated Dan Humphrey, she had it all! Her favourite were pistachio, which is a excellent choice. I enjoy salted caramel and rose flavours.
Despite all that, these macarons are keeping it real and down to earth in the flavour department. The name, and the method, and the terminology may be fancy but chocolate and peanut butter is simple and delicious. My favourite EVER flavour combination. So making these macarons was a total no-braner! (more…)