I tend to get a little over excited with themes. Themed birthdays, themed dinners, themed movie marathons….Most people may roll their eyes but I’m generally the first one to ‘sqqueeee’ in excitement and spend two weeks discussing decor ideas. It’s like crack to me. I don’t care how old I am, themes are FUN AS HELL and I will not be persuaded otherwise! We’ve had some good ones this year; a jungle party, my Turkish themed birthday and a ‘crazy pants’ theme this weekend.
Last weekend I was asked to make a cake for my friend’s sister’s baby shower; Mad Hatter’s Tea Party themed. Being myself, I got super excited and had offered to make cookies, meringues, macarons and a cake…all in the name of fun. Plus, all the fun styling I could come up with from all my little knick knacks. Honestly, part of me wonders every now and again about throwing in my career and starting up a little side project; vintage high teas, themed parties….it would be so much fun! Sadly, it’s a realistic world and there are just SO many amazingly talented people out there. Ah well, it’s nice to have a pipe dream some times….
I worked up some vanilla sugar cookie pocket watches for the White Rabbit, pink and purple striped Meringue kisses for the Cheshire Cat, little sugar cookie playing cards for the Queen of Hearts…and little pink macarons for the baby girl. Plus one of my first fondant cakes… holy shit, that stuff can be troublesome! Styling all the sugary goods with with gorgeous vintage tea cups, some beautiful vintage leather bound books and a little kitsch toadstools for the touch of whimsy, I think the overall effect was pretty damn adorable.
Whilst this way very much an overall themed dessert table, one of my favorites were these rosewater ‘eat me’ macarons. I have finally found a macaron recipe that accepts my temperamental oven, impatient self and less than precise attitude to macaronage. Full credit for the recipe for http://www.myfoodgeek.com; I am in huge debt to them as this is already my second go around for this recipe within two weeks! When almond meal is as expensive as it is here in Melbourne, they are saving me serious $$ in failed macaron misery!
For the Macarons:
120g egg whites, divided
150g finely ground almonds
150g powdered sugar
For the sugar syrup:
150g sugar and 50g water
Process the ground almonds and powdered sugar in the work bowl of a food processor. Most recipes call for sifting, but I think this works better and gets everything combined.
In a stand mixer, whip 60g egg whites to soft peaks, add 35g sugar.
In the meantime, in a saucepan on high heat bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 230 F. on a candy thermometer. Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium – high speed until they are completely cooled and you have a shiny meringue (10-15 minutes). Mix the remaining 60g of egg whites and the sifted almond/sugar and carefully fold into the meringue.Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the mixture and pipe macarons about 3 inches in diameter on silpat lined baking sheet. Bake at 320 for 15-25 minutes.
Check to see if macarons are done by grabbing the top of one macaron and trying to shake it. They are done when the top barely slides against the skirt. If they are not done, extend baking time by two minutes intervals, checking after each extension.
For the Mad Hatter Macarons, I whipped up a simple rosewater buttercream, tinted a nice hot pink. Head to my Turkish Delight cupcakes page for the recipe (https://hurricanesnozbakes.com/2016/09/21/turkish-delight-cupcakes/).
Happy baking and remember…