If you have been watching the Great British Bake Off you will have seen Beca's perfect macarons. This is my second attempt. Whilst they look nowhere as good as Beca's they are a lot better than my first. I followed the recipe to the T and they turned into blobs that wouldn't sandwich together even if I tried (although texture and taste were right).
So I went to you tube. I have recommended you tube so many times to people wanting to learn a new skill but very rarely does it enter my head to do so myself. I can thank my knitting group ladies for always being on hand to help out there.
Anyway, I watched a few videos but the best was by 'The Joy of Cooking'. I just felt that she went into more detail than some of the others and there were a lot of tips. Plus, since she is Canadian she used the same measurements as here in the UK (always a bonus).
So here are some of the tips that worked for me.
1. Use the blender to help mix the icing sugar and ground almonds. It helps to further grind down the almonds.
2. Place some of this into the mix at a time (maybe thirds). This ensures that the meringue is mixed more evenly without taking all the air out.
3. No matter what the recipe says, use a piping bag to place the mixture onto the tray. Using spoons as the recipe I have suggested resulted in my blobby mess.
4. Ensure you have the right nozzle attached to the piping bag (something I failed to do).
5. Don't just bang the tray down once. Do it several times. It not only rids the macarons with air bubbles but it helps to even out the shape of the macarons.
6. Half way through the bake swap the trays round to ensure an even bake.
Mine tasted good and had that crunch with chewy centre so I call it a win even if they are cracked. I've since picked up a few tips on how to help with that so we'll see how I get on with that. I've also decided to play about with flavours and will be practising some for Christmas. So watch this space.