Mactweets September: Childhood summers

No, no, it’s not a macaron up there ^^ but before you click away let me explain…

I have to say I wasn’t entirely thrilled with this month’s Mactweets theme, A Childhood Summer.  For me, summers meant Christmas – and I am not ready to start thinking about that just yet, having just started school with the longest term ahead of me before we leave for Mexico on December 18th (to escape Christmas).  I am not a beach girl (case in point, no beaches for us in Mexico) and so the summer often stretched ahead of me with the constant challenge of finding things to do when we were not travelling – my favourite summers were when we escaped to other countries, I guess the start of my love for travel.

So, as a child during the holidays, I read a lot and I baked a little but Christmas really overshadowed much of the summer so, I decided to attempt some Christmas-coloured (not themed, mind you!) macarons.  Except that I kind of forgot that folding dry ingredients into egg whites wasn’t really something I can do properly as I nurse my injured hand back to health (yes, yes, Mum – I know you are reading this thinking what on earth was I doing baking with an injured hand but I *am* you and Dad’s daughter after all. Nuff said).  So yeah, the macaronnage stage didn’t quite turn out as it was supposed to (batter not firm enough…) and even as I was putting them in the oven, I knew that they wouldn’t work out. Let’s blame the Christmas influence, shall we?

Yes, there are the beginnings of feet and the tops are lovely and shiny, but the collapsing effect isn’t quite what I was going for. Though it could be argued that after Christmas with the family, one feels a little battered about and unsightly.

Sigh.  Check out those ones melting into each other. Double sigh.  I *knew* I couldn’t attempt any more, even though I had a tiny amount of aged whites left over.  I was in too bad a mood and I am of the opinion that you infuse your mood into whatever you are making, thus a second batch wouldn’t work either.  Yes, I am nothing if not a pessimist sometimes!

So I put them in a Tupperware and pondered what I could do with them. I have folded crumbled bits of macaron into ice cream before, which tasted great.  But I kind of wanted to finish what I started – the dreaded Christmas colours – so I put them to work decorating some mini lemon cupcakes, iced using the same lime buttercream I had planned on sandwiching the macs together with.

I crushed the failed shells in a coffee grinder and it made a pretty powder…

And since said injured hand can’t really pipe very well, I did a little squiggle of buttercream and sprinkled the macaron crumbs on top…

I actually think they’re really pretty and I love the texture the crumbs give to the cake.

And since I am experimenting with light and learning how to shoot for texture in my food photography class,  I took about 14 000 pictures of the little darlings.

Which photo you prefer?

So there you have it.  Hopefully I will be back in the Mac saddle next month but as I said in my Project Food Blog Post #1, I am nothing if not honest and am not afraid to post my failures.  Because, like life, cooking and baking are a constant learning process.

Speaking of Project Food Blog – did you like my first entry?  If you did, please head on over here (note: link no longer live) and vote for me before 6pm PST/9pm EST Thursday September 23rd.   I have the most fabulous post planned for Challenge 2 and it would be a shame to not be able to post it because I did not advance to the next round…

(if you are not a member of Foodbuzz, you can still vote too – you just need to sign up, only takes a few clicks)

As a thanks for bearing with me through the ups and downs of my culinary adventures, I’m also hosting a $75 CSN Stores gift card giveaway – click here to enter before September 26th.

58 thoughts on “Mactweets September: Childhood summers”

  1. I definitely wasn’t expecting Christmas. Love the picture with the white background – really makes the red and green pop. Fun idea to use them as sprinkles.

    How can you not like beaches?

  2. This is what I love about your posts, its the good and the bad 🙂 I love the way that you turned it around and made something equally as yummy. Working a stones throw away from La Durée I see enough macaroons on a daily basis but twists like this always make me smile 🙂

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  4. Mardi, these are truly the perfect Christmas macs. So many people have a story of a Christmas lunch failure – the mother-in-law whose oven broke half way through cooking the turkey so she finished it off in the microwave and everyone ended up with food poisoning; the roast pork some aunty brought round and threw everyone into choking fits with its dryness that no amount of apple sauce could fix; some dodgy uncle getting on the turps and cracking onto someone half (or twice) his age. You’ve managed to capture this perfectly, and then pull off some fantastic cupcakes and photos. I like the dark mat ones, the colours really pop 🙂

  5. I hear you Mardi girl, I really do. It’s humid as can be here, I’m down with the flu, I’ve tried 4 times since the morning, but just buttons is all I get. What a life eh?
    Glad you shared those beautiful memories, and really happy to see how beautifully you salvaged the challenge! Well done my dear! Cheers to your spirit! Thank you for joining Jamie & me at MacTweets!

  6. I forget that half the world has summer in December! LOL! But I love how you used these amazingly colored macs! And I think the cupcakes are beautiful! See that adventures you have with a busted hand? And personally I love the last picture! Onward and upward Mardi! You mac attacked this theme with a roaring success!

  7. Summers meant Christmas? In Australia? Cause surely not in Toronto or global warming is REALLY on a rampage!

    I love the last photo, the direction, the bokeh…it’s my most fav. And wherever you are, Merry Christmas!

  8. First off I hope you hand is feeling better. Secondly, this is what I love about you… you tell it like it is!

    I think you definitely achieved what you were hoping for… Christmas Colors. The mac powder on sprinkled delicately over those yummy cupcakes was a very clever touch. 🙂

  9. I LOVE your way of turning lemons into lemonade 🙂 What a great idea! Your cupcakes look great.

    BTW – I would have eaten your macarons, even the ones that melted into each other.

  10. Love the colors in the second picture. What a funny story, I love how you used the macaroons to decorate the cupcakes. I would have never of thought of that! 🙂

  11. Urgh. Can’t believe your hand still isn’t better?! So sorry, Mardi! And talk about turning a sticky situation around…I love what you did with the crumbs of these! I probably would’ve just tossed them in a sulk. And these photos are looking great. How awesome to get the opportunity to take an extended class!

  12. ok.. so i did have a bit of a giggle when reading i have to say the pic with them macaroons melting into each other is my favourite ( because of story behind it only I promise). But love your ability to turn a baddie into a goodie. It’s amazing how often these things happen I reckon we just need to look at it with a new pair of eyes sometimes! the last pic is really my favourite – just teasing before. cheers kari

  13. I’d say you salvaged those pretty well. I tried to make macarons once and had a hellish time.

    I’m an amateur food photographer and I take 100s of photos and even make my husband pose as a hand model sometimes…

  14. So, you are from Australia? …or where? I didn’t know that. It is a weird perspective for me… Christmas in the summer. Kudos to your using your macaron differently. I am certain they were delicious, anyway. How frustrating that after all of your incredible success, there are still occasional problems. I love the intense colour. And, they would also be great in a parfait!

  15. So, you took 14,000 pictures of these. My mother-in-law says that when we have kids there will always be more pictures of food taken than the kids. These turned out awesome as sometimes improvisation urges us toward new creations. Good luck with Project Food Blog. Dawn and I are too busy to do it which saddens me greatly.

  16. I am guessing they taste absolutely delicious, despite their somewhat compromised appearance. In terms of the photos, I think my fave is the one you led with, of course I couldn’t shoot a cupcake out of a paper bag, so… Loving it tho- we have to be honest, right?

  17. Out of the last 2 photos, I think I like the first one better (you asked) :). The neutral white background really makes the colors pop, and the texture of the crumbs is great! Question though – why does summer remind you of Christmas? (possibly a naive question, but I still had to ask, lol)

  18. What a cool use for macarons! I’ll definitely keep this in mind next time I have a batch that turns out less than perfect…which is rather often. 😀

    Beautiful photos, by the way!

  19. The second photo is my favourite. The cupcakes look wonderful, and I loved what you did with the macaron crumbs. Just reminding you about the bad Christmas family story…. something about too many drinks and your father’s new red B.M.W.! Wish I could get the cupcake papers like you have, mine ( and I have tried many brands) always collapse, maybe my cupcake days are over!


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