It hasn't been all that long since I last featured my macaron failures, but the bloody things are frustrating me so much that I have essentially been trying to make them every weekend. The amount of egg whites and ground almonds I've been through in the past month is almost criminal. Only a few things are keeping me sane in the process of making macarons and that's that sometimes the people who do this for a living find it as hard as me to make them (I'm looking at you Juniper Cakery...) and secondly, is that even macaron failures taste pretty
edible good even if they do look a little bit pants.
Unlike last time, my issue wasn't the browning of the colour on the top of the macaron. I've recently invested in some pretty awesome food colouring, and they've withstood the oven a little better than previously. Not to mention I pretty much sat on the floor of the kitchen staring into the oven à la Bake Off so that they wouldn't brown. We'll just ignore the previous batch that I accidentally grilled, yep? They're still not smooth and I really am going to have to take my own advice and start to blitz the crap out of my dry ingredients before they go into the wet ingredients. But you know, progress is being made. Maybe? And at least I'm getting the fillings right each time.
I wanted to document each failure until I got it wrong. Honestly, when I first started making macarons a few years ago I had no idea they were this difficult, and that was just from me reading blogs and being naive. I don't think it harms anyone to see that everything isn't always perfect.
Lemon is one of my favourite flavours to use in cakes, but I never really use limoncello. I don't know why this is, but I do think it might have something to do with one of my earliest memories of going on holiday to Sorrento in Italy and being dragged on a limoncello tasting tour. I was nowhere near old enough to drink and found the whole thing to be incredibly dull. I vividly remember being given an almond to eat on the tour too and hating it, and my brain brings up the almond hatred each time I think of limoncello. It's funny how the brain works. I think I'd quite like a limoncello tasting tour these days...
I don't know about you though, but everyone seems to have a bottle of limoncello hiding away in a cupboard somewhere, whether it's because of someone else's trip to Italy or because they once needed a drop for a cocktail, and I've found that rather than drinking it, I'd rather be whacking it into a bake.
So here's a quick and easy recipe for limoncello buttercream, which can easily be used on cakes, and not just rubbish macarons
90g butter softened
300g soft cheese
100g icing sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons limoncello
Beat the butter until it's really soft
Add in the icing sugar and cream cheese
Beat until it becomes smooth and glossy
Add in the limoncello
You can add in a little more limoncello if you think the icing can handle it!
As always, tips are welcome!