Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Macaron Bliss

As you know I've been trying to chasing the elusive Macaron Perfection and next on my hit list was tiramisu.  The freehand piping work has been improving...
And the bake is better now, there's less of a sticky goo left on the baking sheet where the centre of the shell falls out.  I've learned the lesson about leaving the shells to fully cool before trying to remove them from the baking sheet and achieved some great bottoms!
I'm still not 100% happy with the splayed pieds and have read that using aged eggs whites which have been left on your worktop give a better result. 
 These came out with uneven domes which has been my speciality!
But the proof of the pudding  macaron is in the eating and these are really very tasty.
Next up was Bloody Mary Macarons.  I like the precision required to make macarons and  how attentive you have to be to each stage.  I get all my cookware and ingredients to hand and weighed out before I begin. There's something satisfying about starting with a clean, organised table.  Maybe it gets you into the right state of mind before you begin.
I promise these really weren't this colour in real life.   I think such extensive pinkness affected the colour balance on my phone!
 These were soooo cute when they came out of the oven, about the size of the top of your thumb.  Some were cracked but others were tiny domes of smooth gorgeousness on titchy tiny pieds!
Once filled with the Bloody Mary mixture (vodka, lime, tomato puree, vodka, some other stuff and vodka)  these start off tasting sweet until the filling hits you with an intensity of flavours that demands you give them your full appreciation.  And have another one.  
Unexpected but very, very moorish!  I wanted to re-make the strawberry macarons, partly to try out the powdered red colour and see how little I needed for a soft pastel rose colour (I overdid it again!) and partly because I wanted some to take into the office and I wasn't willing to be parted from the Bloody Marys just as we were getting to know each other.  And then it happened. Imagine the roof above you opening up to a cloud covered sky.  Now imagine angelic singing gradually rising to a crescendo as the clouds part.  Dazzling shafts of sunlight stream down and pool around...these.
The domes are smooth and even, with no lumps, bumps or hats.  The colour is consistent, there's no browning round the edges. The pieds have just the right amount of rise and are not splayed and the filling is just right, visible all the way round the shell without spilling over.  I won't lie.  When these were finished I sat and stared at them.  I turned them around to make sure they weren't just presenting me with their best face.  I stroked their little domed loveliness and I took their photo. Sighhhhhhh
This shows the progression over several attempts.  It's not something you learn to do first go.  You'll have some doozies (although they'll all taste great!) but each batch you make will get better and better.  Happy Days :)

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