Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cracked Pepper, Mint And Strawberry Macaron

Itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout, down came the rain and washed the spider out....

Even with the numerous sprinkles of rain, the 25 cobwebs along the railings on our patio are still there, very much intact. I wonder if they are all the work of one ambitious spider trying to be a property developer, or whether we have a village complex outside full of spiders of all shapes and sizes? Spiders are definitely the insect of this property. I have noticed during all of my house there would be a majority of one insect over others at each house. So far I do prefer spiders to ants or cockroaches or silverfish...just not when they go creeping into our bedroom or clothes.

Today my partner and I spent some time looking up the true origins of nursery rhymes, Three Blind Mice was one of the most interesting, as was Ring a Rosie, which I already knew the origin of. After we satiated our curiosity I went to check on my ripening strawberries; I have never grown strawberries before and had heard they are difficult to grow. Seeing my little ruby jewels grow plumper makes me all the more happy.

So in honor of my soon-to-be-plucked strawberries, I scrolled through one of my favourite blogs, Tartlette, and found a recipe that would use up my few store bought small strawberries. I have never made macarons before, so I am not expecting them to turn out well. It doesn't help that I noticed, after making a batch, that I do not have one piping tip that is just an open hole, if I get one circular shape I shall be happy :). Special thanks go out to my gorgeous fiance Ryan, who helped to shape the macarons on the baking paper.

ease: 1.5/5. So many ways to screw up and have not-so-perfect macarons.
prep time: 1 hour 10mins. 10mins to make mixture, then you have to let it sit for 1hour.
cooking time: 10mins per tray. I had three trays worth so it took 30mins to make 30sides.
total: 1hour 20mins. Additional 10mins per tray. I set up everything I needed to make the filling while they were resting, then made it while they were cooking.

taste: 3/5. My macarons were not a great success, as I was expecting. Maybe if I had a piping bag they would have come out a little neater. There were some decent frilly feet and they weren't grainy as I sifted my almond meal and sugar twice. I was dissappointed in the filling though as mine turned out quite runny. I forgot to add the pepper and mint to the shell so I added it to the filling instead. Didn't really like the taste combo that much, but hard to tell becuase it didn't turn out perfectly.

would I make it again: Yes/No. I will definitely try macarons again once I get a proper tip, but I will try a different flavour next time.


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