Back in October I proudly, and somewhat premature, announced that I was going to try out some French inspired recipes after being inspired by my holiday. It started off well, with pistachio ice cream and macarons, but I didn't even get any decent pictures of them and haven't done any Franco-baking since!
But anyway, let's celebrate what I did make...
Firstly, the pistachio ice cream. I don't know why but I've suddenly become obsessed with pistachios and while on holiday I would happily bypass all manner of amazing sounding ice cream flavours for plain old pistachio. I had been made up to receive an ice cream maker for my birthday so knew that pistachio had to be the first flavour I tried!
I used this recipe from BBC Good Food and it did not disappoint! I was initially a bit skeptical about using the ice cream maker as I'm notorious rubbish with technology and gadgets but it was really easy to use, you just have to remember to put the base in the freezer a good while beforehand (I think the instructions said 24 hours, but I had to make do with about 2 because I couldn't possibly wait). I was pleased with the ice cream, it was lovely and creamy, it was just a shame that most of my guinea pigs hate pistachio... although not that much of a shame - all the more for me!
We had our ice cream with some melting middle chocolate puddings (not home made!) and bashed up digestives. Could do with getting a proper ice cream scoop as the presentation wasn't great, but I also couldn't wait for it to soften after taking it out of the fridge! Mmm, revisiting these photos is making me want to crack out the ice cream maker again...
Next up were less successful macarons. I didn't have high hopes as I know macarons are a tough nut to crack, but I followed this recipe for the salted caramel filled ones to the letter and it was *almost* a success! I think I know where I went wrong anyway - the macarons are supposed to rest until they are no longer sticky to the touch, but after over an hour mine were still a bit sticky. OK, quite sticky. But typically I ran out of patience and just shoved them in the oven.
Although they tasted pretty OK and macaron-like, the shells were cracked and biscuit-like, and there was no classic 'foot' on any of them. Tellingly, the ones from the second batch I baked were a bit smoother and there was just one that was completely smooth, so I definitely think longer to rest was needed. Not sure what happened on the 'feet', maybe that's a resting thing too.
|The ONE smooth macaron!|