… Strawberry macarons – trial and error …

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I have to admit this post is more like an error report than recipe sharing. This was actually the first macaron recipe I tried to create: some strawberry macarons with grounded dried strawberries. One thing I didn’t like about my pistachio macarons was that they were too sweet, so I lowered the sugar content in my strawberry macarons, neglecting the fact that adequate amount of sugar is essential for the structure of the shells.

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So in my first go I got all these cracked shells with no feet at all; the shells, after resting for more than 40 minutes and blow drying with a hair dryer, still felt a bit sticky when I touched them. Now I understand that it had something to do with the sugar content.

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… Pistachio macarons – the “happy nut” …

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I hadn’t been making any macaron after the gingerbread man batch I made at last Christmas! I was determined to only make round macarons (or something close to that) from then onwards because it was so hard to prevent the filling from squeezing out from the gingerbread man shaped shells! This time I made some round pistachio macarons with buttercream fillings. In Cantonese, we call pistachio “happy nut” because the half opened shells look like many little smiling faces 😀

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It is said that any kind of nut flour can be added to the macaron shell as long as 50% of  the flour is still almond flour. For these pistachio ones I bought some roasted pistachio from the supermarket; they were slightly salted so I didn’t add any additional salt to the shells. 

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… gingerbread man macarons …

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Holiday seasons are probably the best times to make cute looking stuff. I admit that when it comes to baking (or probably everything else) I am more of a practical than a decorative person; I would rather spend time on techniques that could enhance the texture or the flavour the food, than to spend the same amount of time decorating it. It is probably also because I am not an artistic person; I am not good at making stuff look nice.
But sometimes I reckon presentation is a key element too; people start enjoying nice looking food before tasting it. I feel particularly motivated to decorate my food a bit more when there’s a special occasion; whether it’s someone’s birthday or when there’s a festival.
I attended a macaron class just before Christmas last year and so wanted to put what I had learnt in class in practice. I was hoping to make “something Christmas” but would also like to make something that wasn’t “too ordinary”. So that’s how I came up with the idea of making some gingerbread macarons! Continue reading