In search of the perfect macaron – Part I

Elderflower and dark chocolate macarons

After posting about visiting Pierre Hermé and having the most divine macarons there, I thought the time had come to try my hand yet again at these devilishly difficult biscuits. So, I used yet another recipe, this time BraveTart’s macaron recipe. Last time I used Marian Keyes’ recipe and they turned out ok…

I think BraveTart’s step-by-step recipe is really good and I think my meringue was as stiff as she suggested. I added some bitter lemon/lime Sugarflair colour paste and a bit of elderflower extract. The consistency looked great! I put it all in the piping bag (note to self, buy bigger piping bags, these 30cms ones are just too small for *anything*) and away I went. Still not sure about the best way to pipe them as again my ended out like piped buttercream on a cupcake… I rapped them on the worktop, 4 times for each tray. Popped them in the oven, but when they came out, the foot hadn’t developed enough and they had cracked. Meh. They’re also huge, must get a smaller cookie cutter to make the circles with (I use a cookie cutter and pen to make circles on the baking sheet, so they’re roughly the same size). They’re a bit underdone, and I am not happy with them.

Last time I let them stand for half an hour before popping them in the oven and that seemed to have a better effect. I will try this again next time and I must make them smaller, maybe that makes them easier to pipe as well.

Never mind, they taste great! I filled them with a dark chocolate buttercream and the elderflower in the meringue really comes through and the dark chocolate balances it out very nicely indeed. I’m sure we will scoff eat them all over the coming days, but the search is far from done.

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