feet

14 Nov
Hi guys. Sorry for the silence. I’ve been spending my evenings engaged in alternative creative activities. As you can see above. Yes, those two badboys right there are chocolate, almond and raspberry macaroons. And they are delish.
Yesterday I made lemon macaroons – with homemade lemon curd, obvs (what sort of amateur do you take me for?).
At the weekend I made chocolate macaroons with a hint of orange.
What, you may ask, has occasioned this sudden frenzy?
Well, I’ll tell you. It’s feet.
Now before you go getting grammatically correct on my ass, let me explain a little bit of macaroon terminology. The crispy bits round the outside, right, are called the ‘shell’. They are made of almond, two types of sugar + egg white, plus a flavouring of your choosing – eg cocoa powder, lemon rind, pistachio etc. The bit in the middle is the ‘filling’ (see, it’s easy, eh?). Now then. This is the tricky bit. The domed part of the macaroon shell does not have a name as such (you can call it the ‘dome’ if you want to be fussy). BUT – the bottom, where dome meets baking tray – is known as ‘feet’. Macaroons have feet. What will they think of next, I hear you cry.
Well then, the achievement of feet on a macaroon is widely held to be the hard bit about making them. I’ve had a bash at macaroons before – last Christmas, with Emily, when we made lemon and coffee and chocolate macaroons, ate them all, sugar crashed wildly and spent the rest of the afternoon basically comatose on the sofa – being one occasion. I’ve also attempted them more recently. However, due to oven temperatures (agas are just a bit too hot for most macaroon recipes), equipment etc I have not succeeded. My macaroons have been footless. Or possibly feetless; I don’t know how many feet each macaroon has. They always seem to be referred to in the plural. Anyway. Onwards.
So. On Sunday, I trialled my new, wider piping nozzle. And lo and behold, when I checked my macaroons – glory be, there they were! Feet! Feeeeet! I nearly cried with happiness. They were perfect. Even Paul Hollywood couldn’t have criticised them that much.
I had to make more, to check I hadn’t imagined it. So I made lemon ones. Now, I don’t know that the addition of the lemon rind and the removal of the cocoa powder was absolutely 100% successful but nevertheless, they still tasted great and the FEET were back! Yes!
Buoyed by my recipe altering success, I was flicking through my recipe books this evening when I realised I was being drawn, irresistibly, to macaroons again. So I added extra almond essence to just about everything, a bit of flaked almond, and then some raspberry to lighten it all up. And whaddayaknow, FEET AGAIN! Not only that, but the flaked almond on the top of the shells looked pretty dayum professional. I felt really smug. So I took an artsy picture with my posh teaset and posted it on every social networking site of which I am a member and now here I am, gloating about it. Gloat gloat gloat. By the way, did I tell you I made choux swans? Yeah. I did, too. And they looked great, with their little whipped-cream piped tails.
My baking star is rising. My mojo has returned. And I probably shouldn’t have eaten the leftover ganache. G’night, lovelies.
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