Category Archives: Macarons

Great British Bake Off – Episode 2

I meant to write a post last week about my experiences of the show and of the cotswolds but never quite got around to it so this week I was prepared. I loved filming this weeks episode, the weather was so much better than the previous week. You couldn’t tell on the show but it rained almost the whole weekend and it was bitterly cold as well. Scotland was warm and sunny and when we were not filming we were out enjoying the sun. I also felt very comfortable in the kitchen compared to the week before, I was relaxed and excited to be there doing what I love.

For the first challenge we had to make biscuits and yes my definiton of biscuits includes cookies! I went with my oatmeal raisin cookies which were inspired by and adapted from a recipe from a New York bakery called Momofuku Milk Bar (original recipe here). The really interesting thing about the recipe is that they used milk powder to make crumbs to add a creaminess which I loved. So I played around and came up with a recipe using the same idea. For the show I adapted it further and changed the way I make them to make simpler and more straight forward. The recipe I used on the show isnt on the BBC website but my original adaption is here.

The Second Challenge was scones and, well… yeah I didnt do great on the challenge. I grew up on my mum’s wonderful scones and holidays in devon with real cream teas, but the ones my mum taught me to make are slightly more rustic so maybe ill just brush over this challenge…

The third and final challenge was the big one, macarons, meringues and choux buns. I make macarons a lot but not so much choux pastry and meringue but i wasn’t uncomfortable with them either. My macarons were filled with raspberry jam and a rose flavoured French buttercream. If you want to look at the recipes I use most often take a look at this post here.

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Speculoos and Milk Chocolate Macarons

I joined the Mactweets group back in February and have unfortunately not been very good at posting each month (ive been a bit busy) in fact I posted hardly at all. I just managed to make this batch in time for this month deadline but as per normal I dont really have a link to the theme, which this month was favourite films. Im not sure why but I dont actually have just one favourite film. I love movies I just cant think of one when asked? For my macarons I have been trying to come up with my own recipe for the shells so I had another play around and whilst the results looks pretty good they need a little work texture wise, so I wont publish the recipe just yet. For the filling I decided I wanted to use some of the speculoos spread I brought back from Paris. Continue reading

Paris Macarons

Paris really does loves its macarons, almost every patiserrie I visited sold them (although I suspect some of the smaller cheaper ones buy them in) and I also saw them at supermarkets, department stores and even fastfood places. You could also buy them as keyrings, soaps, kitchen decorations and obviously as the subject of cookbooks (of which I counted over 20 in just one store). But im only really interested in the real thing so first off were they all good? No there were clearly places that were excellent and others that simply didn’t rate as high. But where to start, where should I visit. I wanted to try a broad range from all level of producers, unfortunately I forgot to buy any at the supermarket but I did manage to try some from McDonalds and tried many of the big names. Because I cant think of a great way of doing a comparison im just going to jump in and start. Continue reading

Mint Chocolate Macarons

I have an admission to make, I completely forgot about Mactweets this month so these were made pretty last minute. Unfortunately this means I didnt get too long to plan or even think about my flavour for this months theme – “Spring Fling: Be inspired by your favorite spring flowers”. Technically my flavour doesn’t really fit the theme as mint is not a flower, it is a plant though and the green reminds me of the fresh green colour of grass and maybe the dusted brown can represent the mud. Okay I might be, absolutely am stretching here but heres my post anyway. Continue reading

Rose Macarons

For tips from Pierre Herme’s “Macaron” book click here

I know I said previously that I would take a break from posting any more macaron recipes but I recently joined Mactweets a new blogroll for fellow macaron bakers. This month’s theme was Valentines and I was at bit of a loss for what to do. I’m single, gay and not really into valentines (im a bit of a cynic) and wasn’t really loving the theme. Originally I thought I could do an anti-valentines post but I couldn’t really think of anything other than liquorice (it being black!) but in the end I caved and thought I would go with the spirit of the theme and went all out romantic with a healthy sprinkling of pink with rose as the flavour. This post is also quite timely in that Pierre Herme has finally, after years of rumours, opened a shop in London. As of 5th February you can now buy his Macarons from a small concession in Selfridges on Oxford Street, and later this year he will be opening a fully-fledged store in Kensington. Just a shame I don’t live in London. Continue reading

Frivolité – Salted Caramel and Apple Macarons

For the third and final instalment of this weeks Macaron posts I am sharing my most successful and current favourite – Pierre Herme’s “Frivolté” which is his name for Salted Caramel and Apple, think tarte tatin or candy apples and you know this combination is a sure fire winner.  I think making these batches quite close together really helped with my technique, these were definitely the most successful batch I have made so far. For the first time I have also frozen half of the unfilled shells and come this weekend they will be defrosted and served as part of my Dad’s 60th birthday celebrations, which is just the icing on the cake. I think I may have overcommitted myself just a little because I have agreed to make a tripe-layer Dulce de Leche cake, a Lemon Tart, Chocolate Vanilla Cupcakes, on top of the Macarons.  I promise that after this current spate of Macaron posts I will refrain for posting anymore of these for a considerable time, I wouldn’t want to overwhelm or bore anyone! Continue reading

Lemon Macarons

As promised here is the first recipe from Pierre Herme’s “Macaron” book this time its for Lemon Macarons which were wonderful, the filling being both sweet and tart. Anyone who has cooked from Dorie Greenspans books might recognise the filling, as it’s basically the same as her Lemon Cream Tart filling (itself coming from Pierre Herme). It’s almost the same as a curd but made slightly differently resulting in a different and, in my opinion, more pleasing texture and taste. These were a good attempt but were not perfect. I didn’t take the folding far enough so my macarons didn’t have smooth tops but the great thing with these is that even if your not perfect they still taste great. I didn’t fancy using any more almonds so skipped the addition of then to the filling but they were still really tasty without them. I have tried to be as in-depth as possible in the description to be as useful as possible. If there is anything that I haven’t been clear about in this or the previous post leave me a comment and ill try to expand a bit.  Continue reading