Lemon Macarons

And so my macaron adventures continue! Last weekend I decided to have a go at baking lemon macarons. I followed the BBC Good Food macarons recipe for making the shells, and the BBC Food lemon curd recipe for the filling. It’s funny, because whilst this is the fourth time I’ve made macarons, the more I make them, the less confident I get! There is always some new issue to contend with! This time, I had a bit of an issue with air in my piping bag and bumpy tops. On the plus side, the shells were nice and full and they had lovely smooth bottoms! I’m not very keen on the shade of yellow I achieved, so I will need to work on that.

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Chocolate Macarons

Last weekend I made chocolate macarons! I followed Edd Kimber’s macaron recipe on the BBC Good Food website again, as I had good results with this recipe the first time I made macarons. However, this recipe is for plain shells and as I wanted to make chocolate shells, I made some adjustments. I decided to add some cocoa powder on top of the existing quantities of ground almonds and icing sugar to see what would happen. Well, whilst still being yummy, they turned out to be very hard, dry and chewy! Next time, I will remove some of the icing sugar and replace this with the cocoa powder to see if that works better. These were filled with a dark chocolate ganache which works really nicely with the chocolate shells. If you love chocolate, you will love these little beauties!

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Vanilla Macarons

Last weekend I made vanilla macarons using the French meringue method. I followed The Ultimate Macaron Recipe which I found on the Good Housekeeping website. I had okay results, but I could definitely tell the difference between the macarons I baked using the Italian meringue method last time round and these ones. These macarons were crumblier, drier, not chewy in the middle, not as smooth on top and had lower ‘feet’ (the ruffly bit at the bottom of the shell). The French meringue is known to be not as stable as the Italian meringue, which may be why I also had my first cracked shell!

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Raspberry & Chocolate Macarons

I have been wanting to make macarons for so long, and finally two weeks ago I tried making them for the first time! I’m not going to lie, they are not the easiest thing to bake, but they are so worth the effort. I followed Edd Kimber’s macaron recipe on the BBC Good Food website. This recipe uses the Italian meringue method, and features a raspberry jam filling with a dark chocolate ganache. I experimented baking on parchment paper and on a silicone mat, and I definitely had the best results from the silicone mat. These really are delicious! The bitter chocolate and the raspberry jam pair well with the sweet shells, which are perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. I highly recommend!

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Bara Brith

At the end of last month, I decided to bake bara brith for the first time. ‘Bara brith’ means ‘speckled bread’ in Welsh. Dw i’n dwlu ar yr enw (I love the name) – it’s such a descriptive name for this fruit cake which features currants and sultanas. I followed Mary Berry’s recipe on page 100 of her book Mary Berry 100 Cakes and Bakes. It’s a pretty simple cake to make and it came out a lovely brown colour. It was really delicious and quite moist, sticky, sweet and fruity. It’s a dense, heavy cake that will fill you up, so it was perfect for our wild camp trip to the Brecon Beacons earlier this month!

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