4 November: Just come back to French routine this week after an enlightening macaron voyage home to Scotland during the school holidays. I’m surprised we even got there at all with the tense French strike delays.
Packed to the eyeballs with as-much-as-you-dare-with-Ryanair, my children’s job was to guard our boxes of macarons like the Crown Jewels from menacing backpack crushers. They were motivated: these macarons were for the book’s launch at the BBC Good Food Show. From the airport we stepped on it (or as the French say, “we pushed on the mushroom”) to Glasgow’s Exhibition Centre, plein d’emotion.
It’s not difficult to de-stress completely with chatty sing-song-accented Glaswegians around you. “That was a wee ball o’ heaven!” sang this lovely woman who had never even heard of a macaron (or Parisian macaroon). Living near Paris, you honestly think everybody knows about macarons. But, like many, she had discovered them at the show and I’m sure it wasn’t her last, either. It was also surprising just how many youngsters wanted confirmation that they were gluten free and so happily tasted away. We met so many lovely people over the two days and I do hope they’ll keep in touch via the website. We want to know how they get on making macarons! Chele surprised us with a lovely post on her blog and I met a few macaron addicts that had discovered macarons on trips to Paris. They’re going to make their own macarons since have realized just what an expensive habit macaron-tasting can be and how frustratingly difficult it is to find them north of the border.
As I was travelling, I was fortunate that Waverley Books had organized macaron reinforcements. They came in the form of beautiful mini tasters from the Editor, Eleanor, who is hooked and just loves making them, too. The others were by Dave McCormack at Sucré Coeur (don’t you just love that name?) who had made them from the recipes in the book first time around. He already had them to perfection with their typical glossy crispy outer shell with the characteristic ruffled foot and melt-in-the-mouth fondant centre. As the saying goes, Chapeau to you, Monsieur! They’ll be making even more from Mad About Macarons! for tastings at the Country Living Show (SECC, Glasgow 18-21 November).
Hallowe’en Liquorice Macarons with Radio Headphones…
I couldn’t resist the temptation of Hallowe’en with these liquorice and white chocolate macarons. I added an extra touch of mint to the ganache plus a good square of soft liquorice in the middle that gave an extra chilling shiver down the spine and brushed them off with silver food dusting. These were for the Fred MacAuley show on BBC Radio Scotland, who kindly invited me in for a wee chat about macaroons or macarons on his Foodie Tuesday programme.
I have learned a lesson, however. I’ve been so obsessed by these little French delicacies that getting into the mini savoury macs are perhaps not the best way of introducing macarons to unsuspecting first-time macaron tasters. Leave them for later. They do like them but Jill, next time just stick to the all-time macaron classics like vanilla, pistachio or rose!