the beginning of a Macaron journey...

A few weeks ago, my lovely boyfriend bought me 'I Love Macarons' by Hisako Ogita, because I had become a bit obsessed with looking at pictures of other peoples perfectly risen, flat topped, so round they can stand on their side Macarons, but had never actually made them.

The book is so cute, and the photos are lovely. It has been translated into English, and sometimes this means the instructions are not quite clear enough (although the literal translations are sometimes quite amusing!) and on my first attempt, I definitely didn't mix the batter for long enough, the little peaks didn't settle, and they didn't dry out properly, hence these odd (yet tasty) cracked little things.

Also, the food colouring faded a lot, so they weren't exactly pink, more beige!

I had a look around the internet for other peoples tips and ideas, and found a number of little hints. I still used the recipe from 'I love Macarons' because they tasted good, but decided to add more food colouring, mix for a little longer (until the mark made in the batter when a knife is run through it disappears after 10 seconds...thanks Bakerella
So... attempt two: more food colouring, more mixing, more drying and smaller piped circles....

They're definitely pinker, and the little tips settled nicely. I decided to bake them at a lower temperature, and with the oven door slightly ajar, as the first attempt had too much colour on their bottoms.

And this is the result! Two bags of (nearly) perfect macarons, ready to give as gifts to my uni tutors! Considering this was only my second attempt, and they are known to be notoriously difficult to make, I'm pretty proud of myself! I made dark chocolate ganache to fill the pink vanilla ones, and spread Nutella inside the blue almond ones!  Now I just have to get them to uni in this ridiculous heat without them going all soft and melty... or eating them :D

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