french macarons with elderflower buttercream

So I tried to make macarons a second time. I wanted to see how I did using the french method.

Yesterday I got some ground almonds, some icing sugar, eggs, and so on; and then decided – okay, this is it, I will now give this a try. I did. And it failed miserably. I didn’t even bother baking the piped mixture. I use the term piped quite loosely, as the batter just ran out of the piping bag as if it was on 100m sprint trials. Somewhat annoyed, I dragged myself back to the computer and googled “how to make macarons without ageing the whites”. Best. Google. Search. Ever.

macarons with elderflower buttercream

macarons with elderflower buttercream

The website it took me to is just incredible – it belongs to a professional baker who has a completely no-nonsense approach to her work. Her posts on macarons are really inspiring and demystifying, and it made me want to try making them again. And try again I did. I followed her recommendations to the letter, and got feet on my macarons, first time I managed to do that using the french method.


my best results so far using the french method

my best results so far using the french method

The macarons weren’t perfect – but that is more to do with my mixing and piping than the recipe, I think. I used a huge silicone mat I own, which may have messed a bit with the temperature, insulation, etc. ; it’s not a huge problem though, I’ll keep trying until I get the perfect consistency and look. But yeah, it was a massive confidence boost, and I am now a huge Stella fan.

I filled them with an elderflower buttercream (recipe taken from Stella’s blog – Brave Tart – with a splash of elderflower cordial added); I am not sure it turned out the way it’s supposed to, but I scaled the recipe down to 1/10. I didn’t need that much buttercream, and I still had some leftover when I was done with filling the macarons.

elderflower buttercream

elderflower buttercreammmmm

I’m thinking of trying them again today, maybe going for a little change in colour, or something bold like that. With British Summertime starting today, there’s also loads more time to experiment with light and photography in a day (but mostly learning about it), so it makes me want to bake twice as much – let’s see how this pans out.

If you’re trying to make macarons, please please please read Brave Tart’s posts and give her method at least one try; I promise you won’t regret it.

Brave Tart’s Macarons Mythbuster post

Brave Tart’s Macarons Recipe

Brave Tart’s Swiss Buttercream Recipe


one more

one more picture just because I like it

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5 Responses to french macarons with elderflower buttercream

  1. nancy says:

    Its a brilliant blog isn’t it?! Honestly All the mystery surrounding macarons was starting to get quite annoying, but yours look lovely!

  2. amanda says:

    Congrats! I also made them for the first time following BraveTart’s myth-busting post. I was so chuffed, I made them a 2nd time and it didn’t work out at all like the first near-perfect batch. These ones were all cracked on the tops, didn’t rise as high, and they stuck to the bottom. And the only difference was that I used a silpat the second time, so I think you’re on to something there…

    • It’s an amazing post really – brave tart’s, that is. To be honest I think the most awesome thing about it is that it enables you to approach macarons in the same way as any other baked good. I need to try them with parchment, hopefully they’ll come out as well – and even if they don’t, still tasty, which pretty much = win!

  3. gauchogran says:

    Please cancel my subscription. I must not eat sweets any longer.

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