I finally attended a baking class. As melodramatic as it gets, it was a dark and stormy night, and I nearly lost my way. My ipad hung on me, so I had no way of finding the address. Eventually I found my way.
I had watched several youtube videos on macarons baking before the class, so I managed to grasp the concepts.
1. Sieve the fine powdered almond. If you prefer a smoother macaron, blend the almond powder further.
2. Bowl must be clean. Age your egg white for a few days. Beat egg white, powdered egg white and icing sugar together. Beat until stiff peaks. Fold in almond meal and caster sugar. If you want to add coloring, use only powdered coloring, NO Liquid coloring.
3. Pipe small rounds. Heat baking tray 3 times to get the air out and level the macaron. Don’t worry if the macaron is flat. Mine puffed up nicely during baking. Leave the mcaron to rest for 15-30 mins before baking to form a crusty shield.
4. Do not be tempted to open the oven during baking as the cold air rushing in will flaten the macaron. Bake at 150 degrees celsius top and bottom for 25 minutes.
5. Store macaron in air-tight container and wrap with cling film to prevent air from going in. Keeps in freezer for 1 week. Defrost for 10 min and its ready to eat.
I’m pleased to achieve “happy feet” on my macaron, and it looks nicely rounded. Most likely I will not do it again. I’ve concluded that I’m a savory kind of gal. I’ll only stick to banana loaf, biscotti, cupcakes, lana cakes and lemon curd bar.
We also made Christmas Fruit Cake. Wasn’t too difficult, just an extremely long shopping list. It tasted better after a few more days when the brown sugar and mixed fruit had more time to combine. Brush with cognac/ brandy over the top of the cake. Traditionally, this cake is made 2 months before Christmas to allow painstaking brushing on of alcohol.
AK tells me that she had to bake boxes of fruit cake for her wedding, as personal gifts to her friends. Now she has an aversion to fruit cakes. I love fruit cakes. I had a tiered fruit cake for my wedding, with butter-cream. The professionals made it, and I enjoyed it.
Now that I’ve successfully baked my own cakes, the pleasure of sipping tea and eating cake seem to have lost their magic on me.