Chocolate Macarons

10 years ago whilst visiting Paris with my brother, we visited La Grand Epicerie to buy some food for our dinner. We passed a counter that sold nothing but macarons in varying hues. Best of all they were handing out broken macarons for free. I can't tell you how many times we circled that counter until we were full. When I returned to Paris last year, I wasn't quite so lucky.

Macarons seem to be the flavour of 2009 on all the food blogs I visit so it was my turn to give them a try. I thought I'd use them to decorate a chocolate roulade that's yet to be made. I used a recipe from the Australian Masterchef website and to describe my attempts as a total disaster would be an understatement. The mixture was all wrong from the get go and when I visited my local Laurent patisserie it just confirmed how far from ideal they were. One batch was completely raw whilst the others looked good but were rock hard.

I bought a new piping tip, found another macaron recipe from Helen at Tartlette, added 2 tablespoons of sifted cocoa and followed her instructions to the letter. Even in a single tray some macarons turned out perfectly whilst others less so. In general the smaller the macaron and the longer they rested, the better they turned out. They're very delicate and I did lose a few through rough handling and if you look closely, you'll see the occasional thumb print in the macarons.

In the end I was pleased with my efforts but don't think I'll be making them again. I'll decorate the roulade some other way. The macarons won't be making it into the recipe book. I want the recipes in the book to be achievable for the average home cook without causing too much stress. I read of one blogger who tried making the macarons on 7 occasions before he was happy with the results! Not for me. I had lots of fun photographing my efforts though. If you're wondering, the pretty little glass cups and jug are new purchases of mine from T2.

Bye for now,


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