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...