An Intricate Christmas Macaron

The last round of mad macaron baking was Christmas 2009. I stopped taking orders for macarons in May 2010, a month before giving birth. It wasn’t my intention to be baking macarons this Christmas for sale but when there’s a request, I couldn’t resist. It’s not about making the extra bucks; it’s about the subsequent flow of inspirations that really gets me high. And strangely, this flow seems to be particularly active in the moments leading up to sleep. I would literally be drifting off to lala land and then an idea would hit me. Does this happen to you too?

Last Thursday night, I had this vision of Christmas symbols painted onto the macaron shells in glitter before I dropped off. Pink reindeers on white shells, green Christmas tress on brown shells, blue snowflakes on pink shells… Then I started thinking about the process. How am I to get that done? Images of templates made out of paper and acrylic, liquid food colours, paint brushes, floated around in a mishmash. I got so excited I was tempted to jump out of bed there and then to bake them. Good that I was too lazy. And fortunately, I didn’t forget the idea when I got up. Sometimes certain inspirations go missing.

Unfortunately, inspiration is not enough to materialise the dream this Christmas. Baking a series of Christmas cookies on top of macarons for sale resulted a pretty quick bake-burnout. The only piece of art I managed to eventually produce is a hand-piped snowflake covered with metallic powder dust on a purple macaron.

On a side note, I’m very pleased with the violet colour achieved this round. It’s a hit-and-miss affair wth this hue because I only have primary coloured food powder and it’s impossible to measure the teeny amount of colouring needed. If you remember a previous post years ago about violet macarons, you will be glad for me that I finally found the required violet essence. (It was found at a baking supply shop in the city centre of Hamburg called ‘KD Torten’. It’s a wonderland of colours and shapes and ideas and tastes. Step in with caution.) The essence is potent and a drop more would result in a bitter aftertaste; so be prudent with such essence. The men did not enjoy this floral flavour very much but I did. It’s as delicate as rose but more unsual.

There wasn’t time to produce own stencils and the ones I bought from Wilton were too large. Piping was a quick resort but the result was not pleasing. I need a lot more practice. The template idea requires a try out for sure. More experiments in the kitchen coming up!


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