23 Jan 2013

The Macaroon, a French delight in London


London and Paris Fashion Polices are ruled by completely different laws.

On one side, you have The London girl, who will care about her style, only as long as her comfort is not compromised (apart from Friday and Saturday nights, where they go crazy with their ‘Going Out’ outfit) 
"My new stylettos? I can't wait to wear them at work, but I'll still take the tube with my favourite Suit-sneakers or my Suit-UGGs outfit (if you have a problem with that, Stranger, just close your eyes" 

The London girl even goes as far as convincing herself that some of her comfy essentials might actually be fashionable. (i.e. let's print some flowers on our rain boots and we'll end up with an ultra-fashionable rain-fighter outfit)

On the other side of the Channel, you have The Paris girl, who will take her comfort into account only within the limits of her style 
"I haven't paid my new Louboutins 700€ not to show them to the entire world... what if they hurt so much that I can't walk tomorrow? Well, at least I'll have suffered in style" 

And in the middle, you have me, a French girl living in London and trying to embrace the local habits and customs. And I'm torn apart. 
It didn't take me long to succomb to the temptation of getting a pair of flower printed Hunters and fake UGGs, because God, these shoes are so comfy!
But I'm still French and I forbid myself to wear my UGGs out of the house.

May this blog be my witness, if you ever see me in UGG boots, please slap me, cause I'll be a soul on the brink of getting lost for ever.


macaroons recipe


Macaroons (basic shells recipe)

Macarons, or "macaroons" as you call them in English, are not difficult to make (says the girl who's messed them up everytime she tried ah ah), but they need to be done carefully every step on the way. Take your time, follow each step, and you'll be fine!
If you leave in London, indulge yourself and go and learn how to make them with Caroline, who will make you have a wonderful time and will teach you so many tips and tricks to turn you into a Macaron Master!

Ingredients for the shells:
80g ground almonds

100g icing sugar
2 large egg whites (weight approx: 40g each egg)
40g caster sugar
Pinch of salt

Make the macaroons:
Preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes to approx 150deg C.

1/ Put all the dry ingredients; icing sugar, nuts and appropriate dry flavouring (apart from the caster sugar) into a food processor and grind to a fine powder, and sift them into a bowl

2/ Starting on a slow speed, whisk the egg whites and the salt into soft peaks. Gently add the caster sugar and continue to whisk until very stiff peaks and the mixture still look glossy.


3/ With a metal spoon or spatula, fold about one quarter of the sifted ingredients into the egg whites until combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Continue to fold the ingredients until you have a soft thick shiny lava. (You want to see a smooth ribbon effect falling down off the spoon if you hold it up and let it drop back down into the bowl)

4/ Line your baking tray with siliconised baking paper


5/ Pipe small rounds of the mixture onto your baking tray using a 1cm nozzle (you'll make approx 40 - 50). Try and get them similar sizes (so they all cook at the same speed)

6/ Pick up each tray about 30cm above the table and drop it two or three times. You will see the big air bubbles come to the surface. This ensures your macaroons will come out with smooth tops and helps to prevent cracking.

7/ Leave the macaroons to sit 30 – 45 minutes to form a ‘skin’ on top (ie dry to the touch).

8/ Place them in the pre-heated oven (150 degrees C5). Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Remove the macaroons from the oven and slide the baking parchment with the macaroons off the baking tray and onto a rack to cool. They should be set but not dried out.

9/ Once cool, carefully remove the macaroons from the paper.

10/ Sandwich the macaroons together with the appropriate filling (for example jam, peanut butter, chocolate ganache or homemade lemon curd) . Leave for couple of hours so the filling can set properly.

Not only will the macaroons  keep for a few days, but they even will be better 2 or 3 days after they've been made



homemade macarons

french macaroons recipe

macaroons

Even squirrels want to learn how to make macarons!
 homemade macaroons

macaron recipe

Caroline Hope Tea and Scones
 
Caroline Hope cookery classes: http://www.teaandscones.co.uk/

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