Black forest gateau macarons

11.8.15 - 22:34

I'll start today by telling you that this is a bit of an experiment. Not my baking, well, maybe. Actually that's always a bit of an experiment, but that's not what I'm talking about.

I'm attempting to blog from a tablet rather than a proper computer. I have a fond idea that I'll get more written if I don't have to sit at a desk. That it won't feel like work. Less formal. We shall see.

On to the baking. The start of a new series of the Great British Bake Off has once again ignited my interest in baking. Last week I made the rookie error of not having any treats in for scoffing whilst the program was on! So my brain was quickly running through what was in the cupboards in an attempt to find something to reconcile the situation.

What it noticed was that we had ground almonds, icing sugar and eggs. In the house on the same day. If you are a baker yourself you'll recognise these simple ingredients as the basis of macarons.

The next night (because I've learnt that starting a bake at 9pm is not a good idea) I embarked on making my first macarons since probably these: red nose day macarons in 2013.

Chocolate macarons are my favourite, but since I was going to take these to a picnic, outside, several hours train ride from my house and the weather report said highs of 27°c ...
Ganache was out. So I decided to try a Black Forest cake style macaron.

All sorts of picnic foods!

I used Pierre Hermé's recipe for the shells with some green & black's cocoa powder. Then for the filling. I knew I couldn't use fresh cream because it makes the macs soggy and does even worse than ganache in the heat. I made a chocolate cherry cake last year with a great Morello cherry jam which go I thought would be ideal for the cherry flavour but was still stumped on the cream.

Eventually I went for an ermine frosting which is new to me but worked out really well. It's like a buttercream mixed with a sweet white sauce. You can pipe it and its quite stable and didn't turn into a melty mess!

Macaroons in Hyde Park

I piped a ring if frosting onto each shell and put a spoonful of posh conserve in the middle, it tastes even better if you add a teaspoon of kirsch to a couple of tablespoons of jam.

They went down brilliantly at the picnic and a couple of people even asked where I bought them from (score!).


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