August 12, 2015

The Lazy Baker’s Guide to Choc Malt Milkshake Macarons

Choc Malt Milkshake Macarons - www.shenannagans.com

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. 

The Lazy Baker's Guide to Magical Choc Malt Milkshake Macarons - Adriano Zumbo & Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Afternoon hangs with Australia’s King of the Macaron – Adriano Zumbo

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!

The Lazy Baker's Guide to Magical Choc Malt Milkshake Macarons - www.shenannagans.com

Zumbo’s Choc Malt Milkshake Macarons bring ALL the girls to the yard….

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

The Lazy Baker’s Guide to Choc Malt Milkshake Macarons -Adriano Zumbo - www.shenannagans.com

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 

One bite of AMAZE - Adriano Zumbo - Choc Malt Milkshake Macaron - www.shenannagans

One bite of AMAZE!

I’d love to know, have you made Macarons before? Did they work for you? And what are your thoughts on using cake mixes? 

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Anna

shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Jean | Holy Smithereens - September 18, 2015 Reply

I’ve always shied away from making macarons because I feel they are for ‘sophisticated’ bakers – I’m a cake mix or microwave mug cake kind of person hahaha! I used to make cakes/cupcakes from scratch but nowadays i just dont have the time hence have resorted to the easy, lazy way…tsk tsk tsk!

    Anna - September 22, 2015 Reply

    Haha…. I sooooo love your honesty Jean. 🙂 I reckon some of the best cakes have come from the instant mix, often prepared in the middle of the night, last minute too.
    You go girl, if it were me jetting it about the world, baking would be a second to that too.
    Hope you are well my lady. Happy hugs.

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - August 26, 2015 Reply

Yummy!!! Love the flavor of these macarons. He is super lucky for having had you in his kitchen. I am so glad that you enjoyed learning new things. Continue to have fun and sharing here with us. Love ya, girl!

    Anna - August 27, 2015 Reply

    Teehee! What a lovely thing to say Denise. Zumbo was pretty chill and respectful that the kitchen wasn’t his, he made baking approachable, it was a fun experience.
    Thanks as always for your super thoughtful and encouraging comments. All the love and hugs headed back at cya. Mwah! xoxo

Jasline (Foodie Baker) - August 25, 2015 Reply

Macarons are so annoying, I usually had to fail a couple of times before I get a batch right. I’ve not baked them for the longest time ever, guess it’s time to pick them up again!

    Anna - August 26, 2015 Reply

    Teehee…. I wish you the very best of luck on your macaron baking adventures. I’d be skipping the potential baking burdens and grabbing a premix box. 🙂

Ala - August 24, 2015 Reply

Hehe this post is adorable! I’ve been macaron-fearing for basically all of my baking life, so I’m definitely Camp Cake Mix. You’ve got such awesome experiences under your belt, girl! I could eat a dozen of those macarons! Wishing you a lovely lovely week, Anna!

    Anna - August 24, 2015 Reply

    Hahaha…. I so wish I had listened to ALL the things people said about making macarons from scratch, holy moly…. super fiddly and crazy temperamental they were. I say, totes stick with the cake mix for these bad boys. 🙂
    Yes, I really have had some amazing experiences, especially when it comes to food and working in kitchens.
    Hope you have a super dooper week ahead too, Ala. Hugs. xo

Kalyan - August 23, 2015 Reply

Just mouthwatering…looks lovely and delicious!

    Anna - August 26, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps Kalyan! 🙂 They really were delicious, and went down a super treat after all the effort I had put in trying to get them to work. 🙂

Dee @ The Casual Food Blogger - August 23, 2015 Reply

I would love to spend a day with Zumbo, he is amazing! Good for you! and those are some yummy looking macarons!

    Anna - August 23, 2015 Reply

    Dee, it was one awesome way to spend a day, super lucky I was. 🙂
    I am pretty sure he still runs classes, and word is, he is as down to earth now as he was when he was kicking it to fame. So you absolutely can spend a day with the Willy Wonka of Aus. Thanks for the compliments, although not sure it is entirely deserved, I just followed the instructions on the back of a premix cake box. LOL! Hope your weekend is amazing and you caught some sunshine & warmth yesterday.

Hannah - August 21, 2015 Reply

I LOVE macarons but have always been way too scared to make them!

I think packet mix is a wondrous invention! While I wholeheartedly believe that creating something from scratch is best, packet mix ticks many boxes. It’s quick, easy, comes with everything down to patty pans or piping bag AND almost always delicious!

What’s that you need 3 batches of brownies for afternoon tea tomorrow, and you’re telling me at 11pm the night before? Come at me packet mix!

Secret tip: Add something extra like nuts or sprinkles for a more ‘homemade’ feel. 🙂

    Anna - August 21, 2015 Reply

    Save yourself the trouble my friend, buy the macaron mix and get your bake on. 🙂

    You know, I totes agree about the packet mixes, they are pretty darn snazzy these days, save a heck of a lot of time, and they are really great for the last minute bake up too.

    LOVE your secret tip, sharing that on the twitter. Thanks lady! xox

Tim UrbanDuniya - August 19, 2015 Reply

You, my friend, are living the life!! An afternoon of macarons with Adriano Zumbo? Awesome!!!

Ok, when I come to Canberra in November, I expect at least one of these!!! 😀

Hope you’re having a great week – we’re just past hump day 🙂

    Anna - August 21, 2015 Reply

    Haha! I am indeed pretty darn lucky. Meeting and hanging with Zumbo sure was a highlight of my cooking career to date. 🙂
    Done & done…. I will get my macaron bake on especially for you. PS: Cant wait to catch up in November.
    Great week, hope you are having a rippa week too my friend. Big hugs.

Hotly Spiced - August 19, 2015 Reply

HI Anna, I was subscribed to your blog but lately I haven’t been getting notifications of new posts. I think there’s a glitch so I’ll try to re-subscribe. I haven’t had a lot of success with macarons. I don’t know what it is but I’ve tried all the tricks and I just can’t seem to get them to work. For others, it seems it’s of no effort at all to pump out tray after tray of perfect macarons. I’m so glad you have found the key to mastering macarons – I’ll give these a go myself xx

    Anna - August 21, 2015 Reply

    CHARLIE!!!! 🙂
    So great to see you back here on my blog, I’ve missed you. xox Not sure what happened with the subscription, but a few people dropped off when I moved across. Fingers crossed you start getting now you’ve re-subbed.
    Yesss, and here I was thinking people were being silly saying how fiddly they were to make from scratch. Hope you get some joy from the premix, certainly boosted my bruised bakers ego.

Krista - August 18, 2015 Reply

How great to spend time with such a creative person! Amazing. 🙂 I’ve never made macarons before, so I’m impressed that you even tried! 🙂 Delicious. XO

    Anna - August 19, 2015 Reply

    It was a whole bunch of fun, Krista. A ‘pinch me’ kinda experience. 🙂
    Hahaha…. not sure it was a win as I resorted to packet mix, but hey…. I tried.
    Happy week ahead to you sweets. xox

Rosemarie of Travel and Beyond - August 18, 2015 Reply

Wow, you must have learnt a lot from Adrian during your time at CIT! I suck at baking desserts so I just stick to buying them. 🙂 We should have a pot luck with a few of the Berra bloggers one of these days!

    Anna - August 18, 2015 Reply

    It was such a fun day hanging out with Zumbo, he made baking approachable, even big scary things like the V8 cake, eight textures of vanilla. Topped with a flower made of tempered white chocolate. 🙂
    Yep, wont be rushing back to bake macarons any time soon, buying them works a treat for me too.
    YES to a Berra Bloggers pot luck dinner. Sounds fun! 🙂 My dinner table can seat 10, lets do this!

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl - August 18, 2015 Reply

As soon as I saw the title of this post I said out loud “Oh, yes yes yes!” and then everyone in the office looked at me strange. These look incredible, I wish I could reach through the screen and grab a few!

    Anna - August 18, 2015 Reply

    My colleagues are SO used to me squealing with delight after reading my fave blogs. 🙂
    If I could get you some macaron, I sooooo would.

Brian Tam Food - August 17, 2015 Reply

I love the Zumbo macaron mixes – have done the salted caramel ones a couple of times but haven’t seen these choc malt ones! I told myself that I’d try and make them from scratch next time… by the time I get around to it they’ll probably have gone long out of fashion!

    Anna - August 17, 2015 Reply

    I am sooooooo pleased others use Zumbo’s macaron mix. 🙂
    Ooh, salted caramel, now that sounds amazing. I haven’t seen them here in Canberra, if you want to do a cheeky swap-see, let a sister know?!
    Haha… my advice, save yourself the potential bruised baker pride and stick to the box macaron mix.

Bam's Kitchen - August 17, 2015 Reply

Macarons for breakfast is totally the breakfast of champions! Macarons are huge here in HK, must be the British influence.

    Anna - August 17, 2015 Reply

    Haha…. Yep, totally the breakfast of champions. 🙂
    The macaron sure has remained the ‘it’ dessert, going on 5 years they have been popular, pretty impressive really.
    Although, after my attempts to make them, I can absolutely appreciate why.

Liz - August 17, 2015 Reply

I made macarons once in my early blogging days—they had feet and everything! But those were the days when it looked like I took my photos in a closet :/ So someday, I will have to try them again—but using a good mix is awfully tempting!!! Yours look perfect!

    Anna - August 17, 2015 Reply

    Go you good thing making macarons from scratch & them actually working. So impressed I am! I reckon if you did it once, you will be able to do it again.
    LOL! You made me giggle re the photos in a cupboard. 😀 But, its kinda fun looking back at really old posts and seeing just how far you have come too.

Agness - August 17, 2015 Reply

That wasn’t really very lazy day for you. Eating macarons is a hard job, girl!!! 🙂 Mniam mniam!!!

Jean (Bentodays) - August 17, 2015 Reply

I love macarons! Although when I bake them at home I actually enjoy eating the plain shells more than the ones with filling!

    Anna - August 17, 2015 Reply

    I love eating macarons Jean, but baking them, thinking I will leave that to the pro’s. 🙂
    The shells really are delicious, can totally understand your love of them.

Sue - August 16, 2015 Reply

Those look delicious! Would you mind sending some by? 🙂 I used to have a baking business years ago. Now I rarely bake anything but I prefer home made when possible, especially if someone else is baking it. 🙂

    Anna - August 16, 2015 Reply

    Almost any other dessert Id be happy to whip up a batch and send your way, but the macaron, nope…. won’t be making again any time soon.
    That is SO cool, you really have had a fun & full life to date.

Norma Chang - August 15, 2015 Reply

Great photo of you and the King of the Macaron. Never made macaron and don;t think I ever will as I do not enjoy baking.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - August 15, 2015 Reply

I’m not a fan of box mixes, but they do have their place. 🙂

    Anna - August 15, 2015 Reply

    This box REALLY was my baking saviour. I needed a positive outcome… Was praising Sir Zumbo for days when they worked. 🙂

Amanda (@lambsearshoney) - August 14, 2015 Reply

I’m a lazy cook, so hadn’t even thought of trying to make macarons – they just look way too fiddly. However, when I was a kid I learned to bake from boxes, so I have nothing against them at all. I might even give these a try!

    Anna - August 14, 2015 Reply

    Yep, I strongly recommend skipping the high maintenance macaron bake from scratch bit, and just go buy a premix box and be done with it. It was simple and the end result… sooooo delicious. 🙂

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella - August 14, 2015 Reply

Great job Missy! I wasn’t sure how the mix would go but yours look great! 😀

    Anna - August 14, 2015 Reply

    Weeeeeelllll…. Don’t know that nailing the preparation of a packet mix is worthy of praise, but… Ill take it. Thank you! 🙂 The mix worked a treat, and much easier than my attempts to prepare from scratch.

Mandy - August 13, 2015 Reply

Think I can safely say I shall go to my grave one day without ever having attempted making macarons. How cool are you though!
Just back from Kenya and have hit the ground running like a mad thing!
Catch up soon darling Anna.
🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

    Anna - August 14, 2015 Reply

    Hahaha! Yep, reckon that’s a pretty alright thing to miss out on too Miss Mandy! 🙂 Tell me all the stories about Kenya? And good luck settling back into a rhythm with life… We are almost upon the crazy Christmas energy. Again.
    Have a great weekend. Hugs and loves. xox

Jan (A gluttonous wife) - August 13, 2015 Reply

These are on my baking bucket list – yet to try!!! I’m scared I will be little miss piggy too if I make a batch!! They will be lucky to make sundown….Jan x

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Teehee…. that was the VERY best part about the whole macaron baking expedition. Eating them…. ALL! 🙂
    You only live once, get on baking a batch and eating them all too.
    Happy weekend to you Jan. xox

hassan - August 13, 2015 Reply

Happy Hellos to you Anna. pastry is a unique art. It needs care and patience and skill and a lot of interest.

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Big happy hellos back at cya Hassan! 🙂
    It really is an art that requires a good chunk of patience and skill.
    Thank goodness they have created cake mixes for when I just cant get the recipe right. Ha!
    Have a good rest of week my friend.

Housh - August 13, 2015 Reply

I have. The first time wasn’t great, but since then not bad at all. I looked at the basic recipes by Zumbo and Gabriel Gate, then tweaked them for the amount and flavours I wanted. Also haven’t used egg white powder as per Zumbo’s recipe.

This is how they turned out https://instagram.com/p/yhJLwYG7NW/

Quite interesting the difference in the rise for the ones with cocoa v the ones with milk powder.

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Housh…. You really are brilliant! Seriously, one of the coolest kids in the Berra. 🙂
    Your macarons turned out freakin’ amazingly, especially like that you tweaked the recipes used by a couple of macaron kings. Impressed!!!
    I will go back some day and try making from scratch, but for now… I shall celebrate my cake box mix win.
    Thanks for stopping by, see your face soon.

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - August 13, 2015 Reply

I love macarons but have always been too afraid to make them – but if I had a pack of Adriano’s mix I might just give it a go – lucky you to hang with him:-)

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Haha! Yep… I was much the same re making macarons, and boy was I right being afraid to make them. Siiiigh!
    Have a crack at Zumbo’s box mix, soooo delicious and much less stressful to make.
    Yep, he was a delight to hang with too, such a down to earth guy.

Kris - August 13, 2015 Reply

I have always been torn when it comes to making macarons. The chef in me makes me think that I would be able to do it. But….. historically speaking, I haven’t been particularly patient with deserts. Or anything fiddly really.

I am a massive fan of packet mixes. There are some sensational mixes out there.

I think I want macarons now…. 🙂

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    My advice…… buy a box mix of macarons and be done with it. That was a painful few weeks of cooking, kicked my baking ego butt, it did. 🙁

    Now, I too am a massive fan of the packet mix. Especially Macaron mix…. all the delicious in my belly!

Mabel Kwong - August 13, 2015 Reply

My gosh, Anna, your macarons look out of this world. Delicate, light, moist – it sounds like you have knocked another “to-cook” thing on chef list. And it’s a dessert, sweet treat 😀 You’ve come a long way since trying to make Cookie Monster ones…maybe give that a go again at some point down the road 😉

These are amazing photos, especially of the ones with Mr Zumbo in them. Great photography too as usual.

I am not much of a kitchen person, sadly. So no homemade macarons from my end for a while. As for cake mixes, I don’t know. I do prefer making cake and cookies from scratch 🙂 Much love <3

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Thanks lil sis. Mwah! Mwah! Mwah!

    If you are going to add to your list, and you are not really into baking or cooking, grab a premix macaron box, save yourself the stress of working with those temperamental little *bleeps, because there isn’t much worse than baking and not getting cake at the end of it. 🙂

    Such a fun day hanging out with Zumbo, he is one talented man.

    Have a rippa weekend little one. Lotsa loves headed your way. xoxo

Shari from GoodFoodWeek - August 13, 2015 Reply

I’ve only ever made macarons using Zumbo’s packet mix. I think that they work pretty well. It must have been amazing to meet him in person.

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    How delicious were they Shari? Had me one very happy tummy while I worked my way through the entire batch. 🙂

    Yes, he was lovely, it was such a fun afternoon.

Elizabeth - August 13, 2015 Reply

The very first time I made Macarons was with Adriano Zumbo at a Masterclass. He was amazing and we talked Thermomix’s and mine turned out perfectly, but I did have the master helping me. I received 2 packets of his mix, but have not made them yet (I know nearly a year old I better get to it) you have now inspired me to make some for this weekend and my new man… he is a caramel milkshake fan, so maybe I need to make caramel milkshake ones 🙂
Have a fantastic weekend!
liz xx

    Anna - August 15, 2015 Reply

    How freakin cool is Zumbo? Love that a) your macarons worked perfectly & b) you were able to chat Thermomix. Such a fab way to spend a day. 🙂

    Whaaaaat…… Fill a sista in on the deats of said new man. *Yay. Fist bumps, high fives and a cheeky happy dance. Much awesome you have a someone special.

    Let me know how you find the box mix, and happy spoiling Mr Caramel Milkshake.

    Wishing you a super weekend too. BIG Hugs! xox

Susan - August 13, 2015 Reply

Big thumbs up for these these, enjoyed (tremendously). Your diligence & stickability to bake “the perfect macaron”…. who would have thought a packet mix would be so good. Loved them, so thanks for your macaron shenANNAgans 🙂

    Anna - August 15, 2015 Reply

    Teehee…. They were crazy delicious huh? Scoffing 3 of these bad boys in my pie hole for brekkie was a super way to start the day. 🙂 Couldn’t agree more re the packet mix, they turned out beautifully.

    I am most pleased you enjoyed my macaron shenANNAgans love. Not gonna lie tho, won’t be rushing back in to try making them from scratch any time soon.

Christopher O'Connor - August 13, 2015 Reply

Great article Anna, I just lurve Macarons and think Zumbo is the bomb 🙂

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Yeah he is…. such a down to earth bloke too. Was a fun arvo with Zumbo.
    I was most pleased that his Macaron mix actually worked, although eating the entire batch…. Tasty at the time, but tummy says #nodeal

Raymund - August 13, 2015 Reply

This is a good way of doing it, I made one before and it was quite tough. The prep involved as well as the actual making is not for the fainthearted, this definitely is the way to go for lazy bakers like me 🙂

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Yep, the lazy baker’s way for sure. 🙂

    I thought all that hype about them being difficult was an exaggeration, turns out not! Enjoy them if you get around to making them.

Liz Posmyk (Good Things) - August 13, 2015 Reply

What a magical culinary experience for you, love, to have spent the time with Zumbo…. I didn’t know he had packet mixes available… macarons are on my must bake list too. Yours look scrummy XX

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    Oh it was super fun lovely Lizzy. Hanging with such a talented pastry chef and learning from a master. Yep, massive tick for the foodie bucket list. 🙂

    I know you wont be using the packet mix, so please do let me know how your macarons go.

    Squishy hugs, cant wait to catch up. xoxo

John/Kitchen Riffs - August 13, 2015 Reply

Don’t use cake mixes, but if someone wants to, why not? They usually produce pretty good tasting stuff (unlike the mixes of decades ago). I’ve not made macarons, but Mrs KR has — and they’re good! Although I think too much fuss for what you get. They’re really pretty, though. Fun post — thanks.

    Anna - August 13, 2015 Reply

    I was chatting with my Mom about her thoughts on cake mixes back when we were wee pups, and she said they were not so great too, and it was a much more viable & tastier product when prepared from scratch.

    When I worked in commercial kitchens, a scone, muffin & cake premix was used often, it was mostly delicious and difficult to fudge up. I guess I REALLY dont mind the premix, if it works……

    I tend to agree re the macaron, lot of work for what you get.

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