I am not much of a cook. The thought of prepping food, having a million different cooking items, and waiting for things to rise or thaw or season, does not appeal to me. Now, baking on the other hand… well now that’s a totally different story! Maybe it’s because the final product satisfies my sweet tooth, or because everything always smells so yummy, or maybe (and most likely) because baked goods are so pretty, and colourful, and can be adorned with sprinkles!
I remember baking cookies, brownies, and all the cake type goodies (cupcakes, muffins, cake) when I was younger. I was always content with the basics, the vanilla and chocolate flavours if you will. In recent years though, I have tried to expand my culinary creativity. I attempted scones – when you’re told to freeze the butter, you should really freeze the butter! My first attempt was just a disaster, but I succeeded the second time and they tasted amazing! I’ve tried different cake designs (also experimenting with fondant), frosting flavours, homemade granola, DIY granola bars, and many more.
Lately my obsession has been French macarons. I fell in love with these delicate cookies and decided I was up for the challenge to try and make them on my own. From what I’ve read, and heard, macarons are difficult to make. You have to make sure the ingredients are measured properly, you can’t over mix them; everything just has to be precise. Before I took to the kitchen, I made sure to do my homework on the subject. I researched recipes, checked out step-by-step tutorials and made sure I had a good understanding of what I had to do, at the very least, to make my macarons edible…and hopefully a little pretty. I started basic, no fancy flavours, I did tint the shells, but that’s about it. I knew I had to get familiar with the technique before I could branch out. My first few batches were hit and miss. I had a few shells that were cracked, some that were hollow inside, but I did get a few that looked (for the most part) how they were supposed to look. I have made them a bunch of times since those first attempts and have learned that they aren’t so much hard to do, as they are finicky…you must have patience and take your time. My macarons aren’t super perfect; they will never be featured in a fancy bakery but they taste how they’re supposed to taste and I can make as many as I want and not spend a small fortune. For the macarons in this blog, I decided to try a filling I’ve never done before. The shells are a basic recipe but inside is a blueberry mascarpone…what can I say, I like the colour purple. I made them for a “girl’s night” I was hosting and they were a huge hit. I love making life fancy and what’s more fancy than a French baked good? I will include the links for both the shell instructions and the filling at the end of the blog; I wanted this to just be a quick read, not too in depth. There are a ton of different methods to prepare these; this was what worked for me. Note: The mascarpone link also includes directions for macaron shells, I DID NOT use these directions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t.
I will continue to try different flavour combinations, for any occasion…even just watching a movie by myself on a Saturday night. If you have some free time and are thinking if you have the skill to do it….just go for it! You don’t need to be a professional to make something, you just have to have the determination and understand that everything takes practice. Enjoy your baking experiences, get creative in the kitchen!
Link for Shell Directions: http://momsdish.com/recipe/256/perfect-macarons#_a5y_p=1471042
Link for Marscapone Directions: https://www.bakingamess.co.uk/blueberry-and-mascarpone-macarons/