A long overdue post on our appearance at the Cake & Bake Show in Manchester during the beginning of April, as we've been manically macaroning ever since being back!
It was my first time in Manchester. I wasn't really sure what to expect, except I'd heard it was a bustling city, full of friendly people. To find that it also had such a pretty city centre was such a wonderful bonus.
We were blessed with surprising sunshine as well which must've helped all the smiles at The Cake & Bake Show at Manchester Central, aka G-Mex. Either that, or the abundance of CAKE
. Or Paul Hollywood.
I was scheduled to host two demos on Demystifying Macarons. Due to not having an oven in the classroom and just the one plugpoint instead of doing a full-on baking demo I focused on the main stumbling points when it came to macaron
shell-making and how to solve them:
- No feet - the crowning glory of any well-made macaron, that frilly and flirty skirt around the bottom of a macaron shell.
- Hollow - ever bitten into a macaron where it's a crusty crack, then nothingness, and then whatever filling? That nothingness on your bite's way to the filling should've been a chewy almond meringue that's instead vaporised in the poorly made waste-of-calories macaron you've just bitten. Don't bother ingesting.
- Cracked - resembling an earthquake or even a volcano, these are probably the most distressing results, tied up there with no feet. While they have a face only a mother could love, they might still taste good. You may ingest.
- Lopsided - feet on, feet off. Uneven risen shells aren't all doom and gloom. Yes, imperfect they may be but they might still have good texture and flavour. And hey, halfway there right?
- Nipple-peaks - you may have feet, you may have chewy goodness, but you've got these peaks, lumps, knobs, and bumps on the top of your shells.
- Translucent and soggy - Moisture. Yukh. Bin.
All these boo-boos are to do with how you make your meringue and fold into your almond-icing sugar mix. So despite the technical limitations of the classroom, I was able to demonstrate how to overcome all of the above by instructing on how to whip up and fold an Italian Meringue into a smooth macaron batter and pipe to perfection.
Pretty recipe cards and Amalfi Citron, Dark as Sin Chocolate, and Morning Sunshine macarons for each and every keen macaron aficionado
Our classrooms for both the demos were fully subscribed and really animated! We had some giggles, some intense stares, some intelligent questions, and lots of "aha" moments. We had some visitors from London, Norway, Malaysia and India! All with the common love for the Macaronage.
Classroom ready prepped
Demonstrating with our could-not-do-without equipment from KitchenAid and Mason Cash
Meringue inspection queue (can you spot me on the telly? I pulled some real special faces)
Piped batter beauties using our template which you can find at the bottom of this post (for FREE! Weehee!)
In between our demos, we had a wander around the show spotting gorgeous cake displays including stunning wedding creations by Elizabeth's Cake Emporium
on the "Cake-Walk", sampling fluffy sponges, marvelling at the variety of cutters, colours and all sorts of cake-bake paraphernalia while also indulging in some pretty prop shopping from Baker & Maker
and Simply Vintage
These little milk bottles are all the rage in entertaining now - so cute for lemonade and milkshakes!
Cupcake case bunting?
Thanks for having us Cake & Bake Show
- we had a great time, meeting some talented fabulous baking stars from the hit TV series The Great British Bake Off, and teaching some really lovely people! For those of you who missed seeing us, here's the recipe for some summer-appropriate Strawberries & Cream macarons
also available to buy from our online bakery
. And here's the freebie template to download for piping-ease - simply print on an A4 sheet, place on a baking tray and under baking parchment cut to size, pipe batter over within the outline, tap the tray once done on the work surface, slide out the template, repeat.