Macarons have been on my ‘must make someday’ list for years now. I first saw these magical, airy, delicate, gluten-free (waaaaaay high maintenance & temperamental) meringue mushroom sandwich cookies when I spent an afternoon hanging with Adriano Zumbo (one of Australia’s most celebrated pâtissiers) at the CIT in 2012. A bunch of up and coming chef and bakery apprentices were selected to spend a day working with Zumbo, who claims some of his best ideas and inspiration come from the master of all sweets and lollies, Mr Willy Wonka himself. Yep, you can imagine just how much fun it was to watch and learn from him.
These delectable demons induced obsessive like behaviour in my kitchen for weeks. Too much blue colouring (I had hoped to make Cookie Monster Macarons) turned my first batch a delightful shade of Army camouflage. The second I was a little heavy handed with my almond meal and egg white fold, making rubbery lumps. And my third attempt I was left with with one giant slab of macaron because I didn’t space them enough. Sighhhh!
Feeling completely deflated after 3 failed attempts at making macarons from scratch, I hit the cake aisle of Woolworths in search of a box to boost the baking ego. I know…. #cusscuss I am a trained Chef, I should know better. But friends…. The point is not that you use a cake mix, but what you do with that cake mix that counts.
There…. like a haloed angel at the top of a Christmas Tree stood the answer to all my baking woes…. A Choc Malt Milkshake Macaron mix created by THE Australian Macaron King, Adriano Zumbo. #winning
Now as far as cake mixes go, this one was pretty fabulous. The piping bags and stencil to ensure perfectly shaped macarons are included, and you can jump online for step by step videos if you need.
These little beauties turned out wonderfully, they were round with a shiny dome and ‘feet’ around the base. The shell was crisp and delicate, the inside a light moist meringue that melted in your mouth, the perfect combination of crunchy and chewy. So good in fact…. I ate 6 for dinner, and finished the batch for breakfast the following day. #littlemisspiggy
I’d love to know, have you made Macarons before? Did they work for you? And what are your thoughts on using cake mixes?