Sunday, 22 September 2013

A Personal Challenge - Baking My Way Through An Entire Book

choux pastry caramel
When the amount of time available for baking is limited by a full time job, a long commute and the everyday tasks of running a house (and a husband!) it can sometimes feel that I end up making the same things over and over.  Delicious they may be but it's hardly developing me into a better baker or expanding my repertoire.  In the past when I've had more free time I have definitely been more experimental and I've been thinking of ways I can push this a bit more again.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Macarons - For the Very First Time

French macarons
Its hard to ignore the immense popularity of macarons these days and it felt about time that I tried my hand at making some. Initial reading up on recipes and tips didn't exactly fill me with confidence however. Macarons it seems have a reputation for being tricky and unpredictable.

I came across an American blog written by Stella Parks, a lady who bakes macarons 18 times a week so I figured she'd have a pretty good idea what she was on about.  I wanted to follow just one person's instructions rather than mashing a few together and then wondering which bit worked and which didn't.  Stella had also gone to the trouble of testing a good number of the things that get blamed for bad macaronage and exploded a number of myths, instead encouraging us all to face up to bad technique when its staring us in the face.