7. Make French Macarons

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Pretty professional right?

Rather than chocolate for Easter, my sister booked us in to a beginner macaron making course at Super Cute Macarons. The South London cafe and cookery school is run by Singapore-born, Loretta Liu. Liu supplies macarons to high-end London department store, Harvey Nicols, so we knew we would be in for something special.

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We arrived to the little classroom and took our places along with 14 others at our work stations and after a few short words of wisdom from Liu, “Macarons are very temperamental”, “You will need to practice, practice, practice”, suitably intimidated, we began beating our egg whites. We were using the French meringue method, which relies heavily on getting the right stiffness in the egg whites, and then being careful not to beat all this air out when folding in the dry ingredients.

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This is where the practice comes in. It takes a lot of trial and error to understand what works and what doesn’t. Luckily we had Liu’s professional eye to help us check on the beaten eggs and stop us before we over mixed and lost all the “bubbles in our bath”. Liu likened the precious and all so important air bubbles in the meringue mix to bubbles in a bath. If you churn them up too much, they’ll be gone, and nothing you can do will revive them.

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She also advised you must respect and compromise with your oven, as you do your partner. How well you know your oven, will determine how well your macarons turn out. So, you have to accept your ovens quirks and work with them, not against them. Liu has a very direct way of getting her point across. The point being that, for aomething with just three ingredients, egg white, sugar and ground almonds, there is a lot that can go wrong.

But for our first attempts, everyone took home something pretty and edible. Claire and I filled our macaron shells with chocolate ganache, lemon curd and raspberry compôte. Oh and we also experimented with peanut butter and soft feta cheese that we had in the fridge, both were surprisingly good.

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I will definitely be trying again (and again, and again….) at home, I still dream about the rose one I had in Paris.

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27 List: March Update

Hey all, hope you are having a lovely Easter break. I have been eating my weight in Hot Cross buns! Yum! I’ve also been doing some planning for my brief trip to Bristol tomorrow.

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Oh, and that’s my knitting practice in the background there.

So, here is what I have been up to this month:

1. Make a 3 tiered cake a la Sweetapolita Complete! Check out my practice run and the final baby shower cake.

2. Watch the entire series of Sex and the City  – Maybe I’ll be more productive with my evenings now that I have finished this. You can read my review here, spoiler – I loved it!

3. Write at least 27 more blog entries

4. See The Book of Mormon theatre show

5. Create a star constellation scarf

6. Host friends for a grown up dinner party

7. Make French macarons – Check out my research.

8. Plan a travel trip to Morocco

9. Make lolly infused vodka See my colourful attempt here.

10. Knit a peggy square blanket, maybe like thisColours chosen and wool has arrived. I’m really happy with the bright colours, summery colours and, I’m excited to start knitting. 

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11. Try out dance classes – Life got in the way and I stopped going to classes, I keep telling myself I’ll go back to it, but it has been a couple of months now…

12. Run a 10K cancer research race

13. Make salted caramel as gifts

14. Develop a uniform work wardrobe of at least 8 outfits

15. Go to see an inspirational speaker (like a Ted Talk) –  I was inspired by many speakers at the Women of the World Festival

16. Take a DSLR camera course – I have bought the ABM DSLR Basics course and have been reading through the lessons slowly. I am waiting for some more sunlight to truly start practicing.

17. Read these books –  The Robber Bride – Finished 13/03/2015, see my first attempt at a book review here. The Colour Purple – Finished 20/03/2015, my thoughts on this are coming. The Kite Runner

18. Make gimmick tea bag craft idea for friends

19. Hike along the White Cliffs of Dover

20. Move into a 1 bed flat with Ben

21. Stay at/visit a National Trust site

22. See a netball match, hopefully to support New Zealand. – It doesn’t look like NZ is touring England this year, booo! But England will be playing a few World Cup warm up matches in the next few months.

23. Have a cocktail at the Ritz

24. Climb Snowdon Mountain, Wales

25. Do some study through work. Hopefully a Prince2 Project Management qualification.

26. Print a photo book

27. Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant