I decided to start 2009 as I mean to go on, with an adventure and of course, using the Kitchenaid! I still can't believe it's mine, and that I'll be able to use it whenever I want, I keep scanning recipes for ones that use the magic phrase "with an electric mixer"! There is of course no urgency, it's not going anywhere and I'll have plenty of time to use the attachements, and hopefully add more.
However, it only seemed right that the first thing I made in 2009 used my beautiful new machine, and that it used it for something that I couldn't have done as well by hand. So I decided to go all out and try making macarons. I've been coveting their pretty little sandwich shapes ever since a friend shared one with me in a French Patisserie when I first moved to London. Then I discovered the world of food blogging and the delightful Tartelette, and my eyes were filled with images of these dainty sweets and their flavour combination potential.
They are a meringue and almond base, cooked and filled with buttercream, ganache, or whatever you fancy. You can also add other nuts to the base and colours and all sorts.
Having read lots about them, and discovered a basic recipe in Ottolenghi's book I knew this would be the thing to do in the mixer for the first time. It would be perfect for whipping the egg whites and sugar, and I could even do the ganache and buttercream in them.
Off I went! It was very exciting. I whipped, folded and then piped onto baking sheets. I then added a swirl of red food colouring - I was going for a red and white, Arsenal/Christmas feel - and then baked them.
Mostly they turned out alright. Not perfection, but pretty good for a first bash I thought. I left them to cool and made a quick white chocolate ganache and a plain buttercream filling, both coloured with red food colouring. Then I delicately filled and sandwiched them.
Having scoffed the last of the mince pies last night, in a noble effort to finish them up before they went off we didn't have space to try the macrons, so we were naughty and had once each for breakfast with our coffee. Oh yes, a healthy start to the new year! I always thought that was a rubbish resolution anyway because I was bound to break it within seconds!I was very pleased with the outcome, they may not have all turned out perfectly, but they had a crisp outside, slightly chewy middle and then the cream of the filling. I can't wait to try them again, this time with more complex flavours, hopefully the salted peanut caramel ones in Ottolenghi's book.
I'm afraid I won't post the recipe as I just used the base from Ottolenghi with no adaptations - I'm not that confident yet! But hopefully it won't be long before I am playing with flavours.
More Kitchenaid adventures to come, including my first dough hook experiements! Did I mention I love it already?