My little sister turned 25 in August. As per family birthday tradition, I planned an epic cake. The only requests were no fondant and make it chocolate, please.
Since she has been learning new cooking techniques every week and also enjoy a french food, I went with macarons.
I made the macaron shells a few weeks before, in case they didn’t work and I had to either try again or come up with a different plan. I added an extra surprise on the inside of the cake, with some chocolate mousse. Chocolate overload.
About two years ago, I went through a bit of a phase of trying to make macarons. My second attempt was reasonable. The third was not; I vowed never to make macarons again. Then I helped a friend make them and picked up a couple of tips. It took me nearly a year to try after that. One more youtube clip that made them look like the easiest things in the world, and i was ready. Also, since last time, i had invested in a candy thermometre, non stick saucepan, and electric scales. This is how it went on attempt number four.
I was quite pleased with how they turned out. Conditions were quite good; it was a cold but dry day. The most difficult thing I had to contend with was my cat. I lost a few shells to her licking them, before and after baking.
I made them a few weeks ahead. I layer them in a container with baking paper and froze them, then took them out a few hours before I needed them, to defrost. The filling was made the day before.