Macaron disaster – and a few kitchen lessons

For the last week or so, I’ve been talking about finally tackling macarons.

I had initially planned to make them last Saturday, when I had plenty of time to spend on getting them right, but as usual the day ran away from me, and the weekend ended macaron-free.

After work this evening, I decided on a whim that tonight was the night. This was my first error. By doing it now, I was trying to force baking into a tiny gap I had between getting home and going for a swim, and that really isn’t the best conditions to be making macarons for the first time in.

I whisked up my egg whites, added my food colourings, folded in my ground almonds and icing sugar and..well.. the mixture just sort of sat there. I then tried to pop it into a piping bag, ready to create perfect little pert circles on my specially bought silicone baking sheet, ready to go straight into my pre-heated oven, and disaster struck. I ended up with fluoro green macaron mixture all over my hands, the worktop, the floor.. basically everywhere except the oven!

I tried again with my orange and pink mixture (yes, I went multicoloured) and it fared slightly better, although when I pulled them out of the oven, the baking paper I’d resorted to after covering my silicone in green slime had curled up into my little macarons, smushing them up into ugly shapes. After leaving them to cool, the orange ones peeled off the paper just fine, whereas the pink ones stuck firm and I got very frustrated and threw the whole lot in the bin.

As with most things in life, old faithfuls are usually the best, so I stuck with what I knew and whipped up a quick lemon and poppy seed loaf, which was in and out of the oven in just over an hour with no mess, fuss or tears.

You live and learn!