Food

Recipe: French Macarons

Each time I’ve made French Macarons with this simple recipe they managed to turn out quite well. Before finding this recipe in the pages of Woman’s Day magazine, I tried MANY other recipes and failed each time. I don’t know what it is about this recipe, but the “webbing” always works! Honestly, the one thing that I still haven’t mastered is the smooth top, but with a bit more practice that too will work one day, I’m sure.

So here’s that magic recipe with which I baked these macarons for my sister’s birthday tomorrow. Enjoy!

MAKES: 20   PREP: 1 Hour (Plus resting & cooling)   COOK: 15-20mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • Icing sugar – 2 cups, firmly packed
  • Almond meal – 1.5 cups, firmly packed
  • Egg-whites – 4
  • Caster sugar – 1/3 cup
  • Food colouring – a few drops (personal preference on colour!)

STEP 1 – Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper. In a medium- sized bowl, sift icing sugar and almond meal together.

Step 1 - Sifting

STEP 2 – In a large bowl, beat egg-whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add caster sugar, beating between each addition, until sugar dissolves.

Step 3 - Adding Caster SugarSTEP 3 – Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in icing sugar mixture and food colouring to the egg white mixture. The consistency should be like lava, flowing and not runny. Try not to over do it (maximum of 50 folds should be fine)

Step 4 - Mixture Folded STEP 4 – Transfer mixture into a large piping bag, cut the tip off or fit with plain nozzle, and pipe straight down to create 4 cm rounds, 2.5 cm apart on the baking paper. (As you can see, I’m using a macaron template for greater ease). Lightly tap trays once on bench. Set aside for 30 minutes in a cool dry place, allowing a skin to develop over the top.

Step 5 - Piping

STEP 5 – Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool on trays.

STEP 6 – Prepare the ganache. I love to melt some white chocolate and combine it with sour cream. Google has heaps of recipes you can try! Pipe the ganache on one shell and prepare an identical sized shell to partner it with.

Step 7 - Frosting Frosting STEP 7 – Voila! Your macarons are complete. I enjoy them more after they’ve been in the fridge for a few hours!

Step 8 - Combine Shells Enjoy!

If anyone has tips on making the tops smooth and not pointy, please let me know! I tapped the tray and tried smoothing them down with a spoon but obviously they’re still not quite perfect. Oh well, practice makes perfect.

DIY

DIY: Recycled Magazine Mirror

On this rainy Sunday, I thought I’d sit down and create something. After all, what else are Sundays for? I’m going to show you how to make a funky mirror like one I recently saw on my favourite tv show, One Tree Hill (it appears in episodes #609 – Sympathy For The Devil and #716 – My Attendance Is Bad, But My Intentions Are Good). 

Image courtesy of Urban Outfitters

I opted to make a smaller version because I didn’t have the space to hang a large circular mirror but the process is the same no matter what size mirror you’re working with. Let’s get started!

Tools Needed

Step 1

Tear out some pages from the magazines you no longer wish to read. Here I used an old interior design magazine I wasn’t very interested in reading again. It’s a good idea to cut the torn edge of the page so that it’s straight and you have a nice page to work with.

Step 2

Now that you’ve got all your magazine pages ready, take a straw and roll a page around it until you have a tight cylinder form.

Rolling

Step 3

Put glue on the edge of the roll and push down to secure it. Repeat rolling and glueing for all the magazine pages you’ve cut out. It will take you some time to complete, so don’t hurry with this step.

Glueing

Step 4

Think about the look you’d like your mirror to have. With some scissors cut down the tubes to the right size required and put aside.

Rolled Pages

Step 5

Use a glue gun or some strong glue to secure the rolls onto the mirror. Work from the centre outwards and make sure the rolls are glued tightly beside one another. You don’t want gaps!

First

Step 6

Allow to dry and prepare the next rolls to size, as per your design. You can be really creative and make any shaped arrangement you like. I’ve chosen to make all my rolls the same size but it’s entirely up to you how you want your mirror to look. Glue down the next few rolls.

SecondStep 7

Continue the process of cutting and glueing.

Third

Step 8

Glue down the last batch of rolls, completely covering the black surface.

Fourth

And there you have it! The mirror looks funky, colourful and 3-dimensional and can be hung in any waterproof area of your home!

Final Result