I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front for the past fortnight, as I soujorned to the wonderful city of Milan for a few days as a last minute holiday with the lovely boyfriend. I had no real preconceptions about Milan, other than it being a fashion city, so was pleasantly pleased with the architecture and the history surrounding the lovely city.
Like most of Italy, Milan prides itself on it’s Gelateria’s (Ice cream parlours) and needless to say we had to search out a gelateria; purely in the name of scientific testing of course. We stopped at La Voglia on Via Dante to sample some of these creamy delights. The Ice cream above is the one that Lee polished off in a matter of minutes!
Milan is also well known for its Pastericcia’s, where you can find the most amazing cakes, pastries and delights imaginable. The one to the right is my indulgence; I assure you that it’s much smaller than it looks in the picture!
After much trekking around Milan, and after numerous tram rides we found a pastericcia where they sold the delicacy macarons. I have always revered macarons as a thing of beauty, wonderful little jewel like treats for grown-ups. As I have a close friends wedding coming up very shortly (and I have a bridesmaid dress to ensure fits) I decided to buy one macaron and went for the Violette flavoured one. (Apologies for the poor picture below).
Once we returned home, I could not stop thinking about how these little beauties are baked. I knew that they consisted of an almost meringue mixed with almonds but could not understand how something as dense as almonds could result in something as light as a macaron.
After several searched online, I found the following recipe on the Delicious Magazine website and decided to give it a go. Recipe here
After sorting out the ingredients, I decided on the colours to use. It will come as no suprise to some that I chose a nice pastel green shade for one set of the macarons, and a lovely lilac for the other half.
These colours trigger thoughts of spring time and the memory of wonderful macarons on display when we visited Paris some years ago. I also added vanilla extract to keep it nice & simple.
I have to admit, the part of baking that I loathe the most is sifting the ingredients. I don’t know entirely why, maybe its the messy work surfaces or my own lack of patience, but this is the part I detest the most. So to make it more bearable, I took a photo and played with my camera!
Don’t they look pretty!?
I iced the macarons out onto baking trays, but as my icing skills are not yet up to scratch many of them were over the 3cms described in the recipe. I baked for the 15 minutes, but found that the light green macarons got a slight brownish colour to them as they had slightly overcooked.
Reading up on the art of macaron perfection, I have since discovered that the reason that my macaron tops cracked was that they had not had sufficient time to set prior to baking. Therefore on my next go I will leave them out longer than the recommended 15 minutes in the recipe.