Thursday, 3 May 2012

Macaroons - from a packet mix


As you may have gathered from previous posts, macarons or macaroons are not my strong point. I'm not usually one for using packet mixes but when I saw this on a baking website, I couldn't resist. It wasn't cheap - £7.50 - but considering how much macarons cost to buy, and even to make if you are making pistachio flavour for instance, I decided it was worth the money. I hoped this would be the answer to all my macaron problems!

Another bonus was that these seemed pretty quick to make and I was trying to bake about five different things over two days for my birthday party, so that was a bonus. The 250g box said it contained all the ingredients and only needed to be mixed with boiling water. So that's indeed what I did....


I also added a little pink food colouring.


 The next step was piping out the circles. I recently bought a macaron mat, as described in the limoncello macaron post, which has a guide to follow when piping. It is a two-sided silicon mat, and last time I used the larger circles, so this time decided to use the small ones. Unfortunately it's quite hard to pipe something into an outline that is only about the size of a two pence piece, and I also found the mixture was very runny - a lot more so than when I took the macaron-making class with Caroline's Tea and Scones. As you can see, the mixture ran outside of the guidelines and several of the macarons joined together. I knew this wouldn't bode well when I took them out of the oven!

The instructions didn't say to leave these to stand, but Caroline impressed on us the importance of leaving the macarons to form a skin, so I did leave them for about half an hour and then put them in the oven at the temperature recommended on the packet.


Yep, they're still fused together....
At least they came off the macaron mat more easily than last time!


I sandwiched them together with some white chocolate buttercream left over from another recipe I was making at the same time (I'm a real multi-tasker!).


Well, they look a bit rubbish - all different shapes, and quite cracked and not particularly glossy on top. But they still tasted really good!
I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting the packet mix to work miracles- unfair I know, and the main problem came down to my piping skills (or lack thereof). I thought it was interesting that the macarons turned brown in the oven, much as my yellow limoncello ones did; once you bit into them you could see they were pink on the inside but I have no idea how the professionals make different pastel-coloured macarons. Does anyone know?


So the macarons went down well at the party, but I probably won't try to make any more for a while...

19 comments:

  1. Oh my, at least they tasted good. I can't help you I've still not braved the macaron.

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  2. You're very brave to try. I've failed too many times to mention. I think I need a long weekend and nobody in the house for me to try again!

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    1. I honestly thought they would turn out differently as I was using a packet mix! But I think it was more down to my piping skills and my rubbish oven which I really want to replace. I've just had all the internal doors replaced in my house and had someone overhaul my garden so maybe the next thing is a new oven!

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  3. i don't think i will attempt them-if you can't do it,no way can i.

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    1. Haha I envy the people who can make them perfectly!

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  4. How disappointing! how can they sell packet mixes that turn out like that! at least you know to steer clear of that one next time!

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    1. I don't think there was anything wrong with the packet mix, it was my piping and my oven! It's a reputable brand and I'm sure many people have had more success with it than I did!

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  5. I had a macaron disaster a while ago as well, it was so disheartening! they inevitably stuck to the foil (which i stupidly thought would work as baking parchment) AND the buttercream curdled!

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    1. Oh dear! Were you following a recipe? Apparently the thing to do is try out several recipes and when you find the one that works for you, stick to it! But so many other factors affect how they turn out, even the humidity of the weather so I'm told!

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  6. At least they tasted nice! I haven't heard of a packet mix for macaroons before, it seems you can get mixes for everything though!

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    1. Yep, it's from Squires, I found it on a website when I was buying other cake decorating supplies but I forget where.

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  7. Oh dear. Haven't tried making them myself yet. I think to get a good colour you have to use gel colour rather than liquid food colouring.

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    1. I did use a paste colour actually rather than liquid, it was just a runny recipe I think! I guess I'm just not cut out to make macarons...

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  8. I never knew you could buy packet mix for macarons! Like Jacqueline says, I think gel colours works better than the liquid colouring. I think the liquid maybe alters the consistency of the mixture...(?) I've also read that it's better to pipe from the centre and stop when the mixture spreads to the edge of the mat rather than piping in a circular motion.

    I'm probably not the best to ask though, I'm too scared to even attempt macarons! Maybe one day!

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    1. Do try them because you never know how they will turn out, some people just have the knack!
      With the piping it was hard because the outlines were only about the size of a 2p piece so almost as soon as I started piping it had filled the circle! The mat has bigger outlines on the other side so I would use them next time, probably much easier to pipe!

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  9. It's a shame it didn't quite work out as you expected but I can definitely say for certain that they tasted good as I tried a few myself :)

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    1. I know, they tasted better than they looked, didn't they?!

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  10. Mine go a bit brown too, I get away with intense colours but pale pastels are tricky. Interested to see how you got on with the Squires kit, I'd wondered what they were like.

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    1. Useful tip, thanks - I'll have to use a really bright colour next time. If there is a next time!

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