Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Macarons: #100bakeschallengeposter No 77.

EDIT: this was meant to be posted on 14th February! So wind yourself back four weeks!

I get more chance to bake and test out new recipes as well as trying out more complicated ones when I have more spare time. It was half term week and I had time to try out some recipes.

I’ve always loved pretty, pastel macarons. The sort you see in a high end bakery which have crisp shells with a decadent filling. If I go to Betty’s I sometimes buy a box to take to my Mum’s. I’ve always wanted to bake macarons but have had a bit of a hit and miss relationship with them.

The only two recipes I’ve tried is one by Lorraine Pascale and also this one I love in Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess. If you look back at previous blog posts, I featured this wonderful book in a challenge called Cooking The Books. Seems ages ago now, but I did this to encourage me to bake or cook recipes from books I had. I tried Nigella’s chocolate macarons as one of the challenges and oh my, they came out beautifully.

As it was Valentines Day on 14th February, I chose to make some macarons for Mr S. I would rather make him something handmade than something expensive and tacky that he wouldn’t like. He wouldn’t appreciate a giant pink teddy with a massive love heart on the front or anything over the top. So a little handmade chocolate treat would be much preferred.

Sadly, I had to make two attempts at the macarons to get them right. the first batch came out grainy as if the ground almonds hadn’t mixed in properly. The second was much better, and although not perfect, I was really happy with them.

Mr S liked them and although he doesn’t have a sweet tooth, I felt as if the macarons were a great compromise. Something sweet without being too over the top.

You may wonder why I’ve not posted this until now. Well, I just looked and found this post still in draft on the WordPress app. Must’ve forgotten to press the Publish button. So this bake, being no 77 is actually been published after number 78, the Chelsea Buns.

You may wonder why this post has a lack of pics. My phone was charging upstairs while I was making the macarons so I didn’t post progress photos.

One thing I swear by is my silicone macaron mat from Lakeland Ltd. It saves on greaseproof paper and drawing circles on the pieces of paper. Another vital piece of equipment: Lakeland do some disposable piping bags which are so useful for macarons, ganache, cream and piping the icing on top of cakes and cupcakes.

Chocolate Macarons make a great present and not just for Valentines Day either.

The filling for the macarons is a simple chocolate ganache. I waited for the shells to cool down before sandwiching them together and leaving them to set.

I often get asked about my heart shaped plate. It’s a few years old now and comes out every Valentines Day. It came free with some butter, I think. Can’t remember the brand.

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