For my first post I have chosen something that is very close to my heart. 14th of July 2013, this was my third attempt at macarons: better than the first and a long way above the second (that time something went wrong with the amount of egg whites). My very last Sunday afternoon of proper baking in Cambridge. In about a month from there we would leave our jobs, get married, go to honeymoon, come back to UK for a few days and leave again our home, but this time for good, and start a new adventure. This has been by far the most emotionally-charged period of my whole life: full of laughs and tears, exhilarating and stressful times, so many things going on one after the other that I have very few recollections of it. That’s why I am particularly happy that the clearest memory I have of my last months in Cambridge is this. I made these macarons for friends at work, I wanted to say Goodbye with a little present, to thank them for all the help, the support they gave me and the great moments they shared with me in the last few years. And fortunately it looked like they enjoyed my little present very much.
The brown ones are hazelnuts and chocolate from The Hummingbird Bird “Home Sweet Home” book, the red are red velvet and the yellow are lemon, the macaron’s shells were made using the perfect recipe from Ladurée. If you have never made macarons and you want to give it a go, their recipe is a guarantee. The book I have (Ladurée – Sucré) looks more like a precious than a cook book, but it’s a true little jewel with very precise and reliable recipes.
I was told that in a baking blog one must always add the recipe of what is presented, I hope I can be excused if I am not more precise this time but the books I quoted are really the best reference for this. What I made up myself are the fillings for the red velvet and the lemon macarons. For the first ones, mix equal amounts of soft cheese and mascarpone with icing sugar and vanilla paste; for the lemon ones I gently whisked clotted cream with lemon curd (the ratio is about three parts of cream to one of curd) and added vanilla paste to taste. Mascarpone can easily replace the clotted cream.
I love macarons for their versatility (you can make a never ending array of flavours and combinations), the great of blend of creamy, soft and crunchy textures, but also because they will always remind me of some great, true friends.