Number 11 on my 30 before 30 list is 'learn how to make macarons'.
I always held these delicious, dainty, perfect cookies up on a pedestal, accessible only to the pastry chefs or the French.
At the weekend, however, I had the task of taking a few baked goods to a rather special baby shower, so decided to bit the bullet and give macarons a go. The baby shower was for twins, so I wanted two colours, but not pink and blue. I also wanted two very distinct flavours.
I settled on lemon and blackberry macaroons, both with an additional buttercream filling.
I was lucky to only cook one dodgy batch and immediately know what I'd done wrong. The blackberry ones pictured were the second batch (good) and the lemon ones the third (perfect). In this case, it would seem practice really does make perfect.
There are tips and tricks abound to make macarons successfully, but the one thing I learnt was patience. Whip the whites well. Wait for an hour for a skin to form. Cook them low and slow. Let them cool down fully before you even look at them.
Fickle things, but I am over-joyed to have mastered them!
You can see more of my 30 before 30 here