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The Magnificent Macaron

Le Magnifique Macaron – what can I possibly say that hasn’t already been said about this most delectable of delectations.

Gold macarons, purple macarons
jewel-like macarons

My journey with making macarons began in 2016 when I signed up for a Craftsy class on how to make macarons using the French meringue method. I had wanted to add something unique to my product offering as no one else seemed to be making them up in our neck of the woods.

However this led to hours and hours of frustration and many, well seriously, loads of failed batches, mainly I think down to poor quality egg whites but who knows perhaps I just was not doing it right. I was not enjoying myself one iota and it got so bad at one stage that I said to my husband I’m not making these @#$#@ things anymore – I hate them! And with that they disappeared from my product offering.

After a long while and I had calmed down sufficiently, it dawned on me that I ought to get back onto the proverbial saddle. So I hunted out an alternate method using Italian meringue. Italian meringue for whatever reason was a mystery to me – I had a complete irrational fear of making it – for the life of me I don’t know why. With the power of YouTube on my side I reembarked on my macaron adventure and would you credit it – I rediscovered a fondness for them. What a marvel this Italian meringue is.

My macaron hero is Pierre Hermé – truly a master patissier. His book “Macaron, The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier” – is a treasure trove of the most glorious photos and unique flavour combinations. It’s an absolute delight to read especially their version of the Real Story of the Macaron. I particularly love the final paragraph where he talks about macaron vs macaroon. For me personally this is a complete bug bear – folks it’s MACARON – the French have taken ownership of this delicacy and we should honour how they pronounce it.

mise en place
mise en place

I do hope one day I will have the pleasure of visiting his shop in Paris. A friend recently visited there, and said that the macarons were literally to die for. Just so envious!! She brought back with her the latest flavour profile listing for me to drool over – so near yet so so far away.

Since I’ve been using his recipe as a base to work from, I have begun working on my own unique flavour combinations perhaps not so way out there but still tasty. So far the chocolate with salted caramel centre is odds on the favourite.

Honestly, I still suffer major bouts of anxiety when making them, always petrified that they will flop – it’s like they have a mind of their own, talk about being unpredictable. From mixing the batter (yes – it’s flowing like lava), to piping them, tapping them out, drying them (yes – there is a “skin” forming) to finally going into the oven which I then watch like a hawk – yep the foot is developing – quickly run and check the pictures in the Book – phew okay they look like those in the Book – we’re okay – breathe Gay breathe.

Macaron batter
macaron batter

Like life – making macarons is an adventure!

So if you fancy tasting some of my “macaron adventures” – please get in touch. They make for a fabulous accompaniment to a slice of wedding cake – a perfect way to round off your celebratory affair.

Gold glitter background photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

 

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