Friday, 27 January 2012

Mini Doughnuts / Donuts (by the bucketload !)


I've stared playing with some of the new moulds that have arrived in an effort to start getting photos, measurements and recipes online. There are SO many to do that it's going to be quite a task !

I must say, I've always been sceptical about doughnut / donut moulds - after all, aren't the best doughnuts deep fried ? I'd never given baked ones a second thought. A couple of months ago, I made some mini jam doughnuts which I've yet to blog the recipe for. Very good they were too - but an awful lot of faffing around to be honest.... I found a recipe online at www.allrecipes.com for cake doughnuts and have modified it a fair bit.

I'll warn you now. These doughnuts (UK spelling!) are paler coloured. They're surely healthier - but a bit denser in texture than the yeast risen kind. They DO taste just as good and are easy enough for young children to help bake along with mum. This recipe makes LOADS - 40 infact, but they are small and disappear fast.... especially if your kid wants to take them to nursery with him / her as Oliver did ! It should be very simple to half the given quantities.


Oliver and I made 3 variations from the one base recipe - rolled in cinnamon sugar, dipped in pink icing and dipped in coffee and maple syrup icing. All were superb ! If you try them without rolling in sugar or dipping in icing, you will find they are not very sweet. Given we're coating the outside in copious amounts, the inside doesn't need to be overkill on sugar too.

The 8 cell Mini Donut Silicone Bakeware mould is now available here : http://www.siliconemoulds.com/cell-mini-doughnut-baba-details-follow-p-411.html


Thanks goes to John Masters who helped me photograph these and also did some taste testing (he was the one holding a half eaten mini doughnut below !) Hope you enjoyed them John !

Prepare your silicone mini donut / doughnut pans but either greasing and flouring or with a very light coating of cake release. Dr Oeteker does an aerosol one and Wilton's comes in a little bottle. Goes a long way - and both are fast becoming by friends. Cake release is so fast and easy for prepping pans.

Place mould on baking tray for support. I can get two of these pans on one tray at the same time.

Preheat the oven to 200deg C / 180deg C fan

Recipe 

1 cup (250ml volume) white granulated sugar
3 cups of self raising flour *
2 tsp vanilla extract
300ml milk (warmed)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons of honey
115g melted butter or use vegetable oil

can be substituted for 3 cups normal plain (cake flour) plus 4 tsp baking powder



Spoon some batter into each cell. Go easy ! You want to fill to just BELOW the centre section - a little LESS than 1/2 full. First couple of trays, I had a tendancy to way overfill.

You only need a small amount of batter per cell - about a dessert spoonful. I spooned it in and then used a damp finger to level it in the cell and expose the raised bit in the centre to ensure it was not covered over.


Bake in the oven for 9 > 10 mins. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for just a few minutes - long enough to firm up a little... then simply flip the mould over and turn them out.

If you have over filled them, you only have holes about half way through. My first 16 (two trays) were like that. No problem - easy and quick to fix. Oliver was quite happy to stamp out (and devour) the middles using an apple corer.

To toss in cinnamon sugar : mix 1 tsp ground cinnamon with 100g of caster sugar. Brush each donut with melted butter and roll in the cinnamon sugar

To ice : Mix icing sugar with a little boiling water into dipping consistency. Needs to be quite thick. Can easily be flavoured and coloured. For the coffee and maple glaze, I used 1tsp espresso powder with a tiny bit of boiler water and a table spoon of maple syrup. The pink ones were not flavoured.

Hely's Big, Hearty........ SCOTTISH HAGGIS PIZZA



Hello, it's Helen again!

Well I'm getting to grips with Sarah-Jane's bread recipes, and I have to say I have turned out several lovely loaves. 
Basic Bread Recipe

500g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 sachet quick action yeast (same stuff they use for breadmakers)
1 tablespoon sugar
approx 300ml of luke warm water


While making up her basic bread dough this afternoon, I had a sudden craving for a PIZZA for dinner ............................and why not?

Time to raid the fridge for ideas. 
With 'Burns' Night' being only just gone, I had a couple of small fresh HAGGIS in the fridge... (as one does) 
(You can buy the real thing, already bagged and ready to microwave for just 6 minutes) ............PERFECT!



I turned on the oven (with the big flat grill pan in it, lightly oiled) as high as it goes, 250deg. to heat up HOT,
and looked out everything I fancied that might make good ingredients.

I rolled out 1/2 of my bread dough on to my big silicone pastry mat to a 12" dia. 

It didn't stick in the slightest - in fact, it didn't even stick to my rolling pin ......whatever had I been worrying about?????

Ingredients  (Just make yours up as you go along!)

1/2  standard bread dough mix (equiv. of a 1lb loaf)
1     haggis (I used ‘McSween's' - serves 2-3)
1/2  carton of Sainsbury's chopped tomatoes with olive oil & garlic (390g carton)
2     onions (mine were quite small) - sliced
3     tomatoes - sliced
2     sticks of celery (de-strung and chopped)
2     red hot chillies - sliced
+ some grated cheese - I only had cheddar (Scottish matured - of course!)
                                    (Be very generous with the 'toppings' and it'll be a 'WOW!')

I opened up the haggis & chopped it up into a bowl, microwaving it for 4 minutes. Everything else I had chopped and ready in bowls, ready for the big rush....

I took the hot grill pan from the oven, slapped in the rolled-out pizza base, slathered on the chopped tomatoes, spread the haggis, then the rest of the toppings - with the cheese on top, and slammed it back into the HOT oven.......... Phew! NO PROBLEMO!



About 10 minutes later it was ready to serve. Lovely crispy base and the toppings looked thick, meaty, tasty, juicy and crunchy, easily enough for 4 people, with a good portion for each. 



FANDABBYDOZEY!
Now THAT’s what I CALL a PIZZA!

Now tell us what YOU will put in YOUR PIZZA!





Thursday, 26 January 2012

COFFEE BUNS


Hello everyone!

This is not Sarah-Jane blogging, but ME - I'm her mum, Helen. I hope you don't mind the intrusion, but I'm 'helping' out today.
It's many years since Sarah-Jane baked her first fairy cakes and made chocolate rice crispies and smartie marshmallows with me and she's come a long way since then. Now it is me who very much follows HER baking and asks HER advice!

I have been thinking recently of an old family recipe we all enjoyed, so I 'dug it out'.
Coffee Buns.
They are more of a sort of soft biscuit, and if, like me, you love coffee - you should love Coffee Buns!
BUT - horror of horror, this old recipe was all in imperial - even the oven temperature!

The 'secret ingredient' is 'Camp Coffee' which is a liquid coffee with chicory, which you can buy in any supermarket. If you don't have any, you can always make some strong liquid coffee to add instead.

Ingredients
1/2 lb marg  (I used 250g)
2 cups of demerara sugar
2 eggs
1 tablesp Camp Coffee   (the recipe said 2, but was changed to 1 - or maybe it was a 1 changed to 2....
1 lb (500g) self raising flour                                                                             so I just used 1.1/2 tblsp)
1/2 lb currants (250g)

First, I washed and soaked the currents for a little while, so they wouldn't turn out like bits of grit.
Cream the marg and sugar
Whisk the egg  (save a little for glazing), and add with the coffee to the mixture
Stir in the sifted flour and the currants

Roll into balls the size of a large walnut (I got 30) and space them out on your baking trays (prob.2).
I lined my trays (the grill pans, actually - nice and big) with my wonderful plain black silicone mats from www.siliconemoulds.com, and very lightly oiled them. Just overlap them to cover the trays. (They worked a treat, as usual, so I only had the mats to wipe and no trays to wash up.)



Slightly flatten, and brush the tops with egg before putting into the pre-heated oven.
This old recipe said 375deg (old money) or 190deg C, and I thought that looked rather on the hot side, which probably explains how my mum often burned them.

Here's a handy conversion chart

FahrenheitCelciusGas Mark
250°F120°CGas Mark ½
275°F135°CGas Mark 1
300°F149°CGas Mark 2
325°F162°CGas Mark 3
350°F176°CGas Mark 4
375°F190°CGas Mark 5
400°F204°CGas Mark 6
425°F218°CGas Mark 7
450°F232°CGas Mark 8
475°F246°CGas Mark 9
500°F260°CGas Mark 10


I decided that 160/170deg would be better, but as my oven control panel is decidedly difficult to read (even with my specs on and standing on a chair!), I confess I guessed where to turn the dial and set the timer for the required 30 mins.

They turned out just as good as I remembered them! Delicious!


Sarah-Jane


I seem to remember Sarah-Jane enjoyed Coffee Buns too!  
.........and something tells me now that I'm in for BIG trouble!!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Cinnamon Macarons with Brown Sugar and White Chocolate Ganache


Many of you will already have seen from my earlier blog post, that I've designed a new double sided macaron mat which should make the art of macarons all the same size that bit easier. It has been quite a big project prototyping and getting it right. I'm very thankful that Dr Tim Kinnaird of MacaronsandMore.com gave me some initial help and suggestions during some trials. It's been a secret up until now whilst my design registration was pending, but these WILL be available for sale in around TEN DAYS time.

 

The mat has 25 x 2" / 50mm diameter cells on one side and 64 x 30mm cells on the reverse. It will fit on a 300mm / 12" square (or larger) cookie tray and easily go into any standard oven.

Double size mats (600 x 300mm) will also be available for use by bakeries.


Don't get me wrong, I've had quite a number of failed batches due to experimentation along the way. You do need to follow some of the basic rules of making macarons. As an example replacing the water with fruit juice to make the syrup for the italian meringue really does NOT work !

 Macarons do have a bit of a learning curve, but once you master your macaronange (macaron batter) and cooking times / temperatures - it is possible to make batch after batch of near identical dainty delicacies. I've been successfully making macarons with both the French meringue and Italian meringue methods. For me, the Italian meringue is the hands-down winner. The shells are a little firmer and easier to handle and I prefer the feel in the mouth when you bite into them. The lemon ones in the other blog post were French meringue method and I'll post the recipe for those soon

Ok, enough chattering and on with the recipe. Note that you WILL need a sugar thermometer for this recipe. A double sided macaron mat is not essential (but having all your macarons the same size is such a pleasure and delight !)

I used two mats and made 50 large shells (25 x 2" macarons) and 26 shells (13 x 30mm macarons) from this recipe

Ingredients

180g icing (powdered) sugar
180g ground almonds
30g cocoa powder
5g cinnamon
160g of egg whites (split into two batches of 80g)
80ml water
200g of caster sugar

For the ganache

200g white chocolate
200g double (heavy) cream
5g cinnamon
3 heaped tablespoons of soft brown sugar

Set your oven to 150deg C fan / 170deg C electric.


Put the ground almonds and icing sugar into a food processor and blitz until superfine. Add the cocoa and cinnamon and blitz again. I use my hand held bamix and grinding mill attachment for this.

Break up any big lumps that have formed and sift into a large mixing bowl. Throw away any bits too large to fit through the seive.


Add one batch of egg whites and mix until a thick paste forms.


Put the caster sugar and water into a saucepan and boil until the sugar thermometer hits 110deg. As soon as temperature reaches 110deg C, whip your egg whites until stiff peaks form. Get the sugar syrup off the heat as soon as temperature hits 118deg C

You know your egg whites are stiff enough when you can hold the bowl upside down above your head and the whites stay put !


Using a hand held or stand mixer, whip the egg whites and add in the sugar syrup in a slow stream. Take care to try and keep the sugar syrup from coming into direct contact with the beaters (or the syrup may crystallise and change the texture). Keep whipping until the italian meringue is cool, stiff and glossy. 


Mix about 1/3 of this into your paste of icing sugar, ground almonds, egg whites etc we already made to loosen in.

Fold in the remaining 2 /3rds. Make sure to incorporate it all fully. You want to mix it enough so that a ribbon of macaronage will start to disappear back into the bowl after about 30 seconds. If it doesn't fold another couple of times and try again. I reckon it takes about 25 full strokes (variable)


Once the macaronage is ready, put into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. I like to use a 5mm nozzle for optimum control. I sometimes use a 10mm (1cm) tip - but the batter can flow a bit too fast, especially if you are using the small side of the mat.

Unfortuantely, I cannot pipe and take photos at the same time. Hopefully, I might have a macaron fanatic blogger friend that is good at photography too and might like to do some photos for me. If that sounds like you - do let me know !

Put the macaron mats on to baking trays.

Pipe the macaronage into the centre of each cell - leaving approx 3 > 4mm space around the outside of the batter to the cell walls to allow for expansion as they relax. You will only need to leave about 2mm on the smaller side. Once you've got the hang of it and made your first batch, you'll know what's right for you. Pipe in too much and it will overflow the cell walls.

If the macaronage is not dead centre, wet your finger and this will allow you to centre it. Handy trick whilst you get the hang of piping them centrally !

Rap the tray once or twice on your worktop to dispel any air bubbles and level the macaronage. Don't worry if not so level - they'll smooth out in the oven.

If you wish to add any edible glitter or sprinkles to the top of your macarons, do so now.

All macaron instructions I've ever seen involved leaving your macarons out for about 30mins to 1hour until a skin forms on the top before baking. Dr Tim Kinnaird was good enough to share a tip with me that I've used ever since.....

Simply pop the baking tray straight into the oven at 150deg C Fan, BUT leave the door open about 6" / 150mm for the first 5 minutes to dry off the tops. After that, shut the door to complete baking.

Baking time can be variable. I find in my oven that 2" / 50mm macarons always take 18mins to cook (excluding the first 5 mins with the door open) and the 30mm macarons take 13mins (excluding the first 5 mins with the door open)


When done, they should look like this when you remove from the oven. Out of this batch of macarons, I had not one with a cracked shell and all matched up size wise beautifully with the others.

Slide the mat from the tray on to a worktop and leave until TOTALLY cool before attempting to remove from the mat.

Macarons will be impossible to remove from the mat (or baking paper etc) if under cooked.

With silicone, general rules of baking as with any non-stick bakeware apply. Where there is a higher or equal sugar to fat content, always grease and flour before use, otherwise, your cake mix is likely to weld itself to any surface !  When making macarons however, you really DON'T want to grease or flour. I've found that every two or three uses, rubbing a tiny bit of cake release or vegetable fat rubbed into the mat seals the pores and makes a massive difference. You don't want it greasy or oily for macarons. You only want the tiniest tiniest bit so that after rubbing in it literally is invisible and totally dry to the touch.


This is a macaron peeled straight off the mat. I was too impatient and these were still a little warm. You will always get a little residue on the mats when they lift off, but this one had a little more than most (see bottom of cell in photo) as was still a touch warm. I left the rest another 5 > 10mins before removing.


For the ganache :


Put the white chocolate in a bowl

Add the cinnamon to the double cream and bring to a boil to scald. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve.

Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate fully melts. Allow to cool, and then chill in the refrigerator for around 1 hour until firm enough to pipe between your shells.

For packaging, I rolled two pieces of fancy card around a rolling pin. I let the the first spring out enough in my hand to allow a macaron to slide down the centre of the tube. I then secured with double sided tape. I made a second, just a microscopic amount larger and secured again with double sided tape and some fancy ribbon.

I then made a cello wrap sleeve to go over the first tube. I put the macarons down tube 1, which made an easy job of packaging the macs into the cello wraps and tied at the top. The cello wrap was then small enough to fit inside the pretty outer sleeve. This way, you can make bespoke packaging any size and colour you wish.

More macarons coming soon !

Sarah-Jane Nash, www.siliconemoulds.com - January 2012



Cardomom, Saffron & Lemon Yogurt Cake


Ok - so this involved some playing around.... with a couple of new mould designs (due for release in March), a sponge cake recipe and then the cakes themselves.

Well - with small castle cakes, playing with the actual cakes became irresistible and simply had to be done ! From the minute I saw these, I was intent on making a cake to be played with and destroyed. Yes.... like most kids I was told not to play with my food, and have often found myself saying the same to Oliver. For once however, playing with food was actually encouraged !

The cake recipe should fill a large bundt / tube ring form. I used it to make 6 x round turret style cakes (like the one above) and 4 x more typical castle style ones that you can see further below. Each cake was probably plenty for 2 > 3 people to share and we had plenty fun reducing a few to crumbs.

It's lovely and moist and a rather delicate sponge. It could stand up well to some glace icing or buttercream perhaps. It managed to stand up to some rigorous play and destruction ! The saffron didn't do much. I hoped it would add another little twist of interest and perhaps a good injection of colour - but I don't think I used enough of it for that. I'll give you the recipe as I used it - but this cake was more about the annihalation !


225g butter
1.1/2 cups of sugar (my cup was 250ml volume)
6 eggs
4 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp lemon extract
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup of plain yogurt
pinch of saffron infused in a tablespoon of boiling water
1 tsp of salt
3 cups of self raising flour

Crack eggs and separate yolks and whites.

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks. Alternately add 1/3 of sifted self raising flour, yogurt and egg whites until all incorporated. Add lemon juice, lemon extract and the saffron strands plus liquid they have infused in.

Grease and flour a large bundt ring mould (or two small castle / turret moulds) with a hard fat such as butter and tap out any excess flour. Put on a baking tray for support.

Small castle cakes baked at 170deg C Fan (about 190deg C normal) for approx 30 mins.

Allow to cool until just warm before carefully turning out.


Let your battle commence !


The two new moulds for these round turret and castle cakes will be available around the end of March.

Sarah-Jane Nash, www.siliconemmoulds.com - January, 2012

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Sour Cherry & Cinnamon Griddle Cakes


These are similar to Welsh cakes. Welsh cakes are traditionally cooked on a griddle and are similar to a cross between a scone and shortcrust pastry, packed full of currants and then tossed in sugar. They are delicious on their own warm, or cold with butter, jam or honey.

This recipe is a bit of a variation from the norm. I replaced lard with butter and mixed spice with vanilla. I changed the currants to chopped sour cherries and tossed in cinnamon sugar.

Absolutely delicious and the smell of the warm cinnamon sugar is intoxicating. 

I made the dough this morning and took the griddle cakes, uncooked on a tray to work. I planned to cook them on a new cast iron pancake pan, but forgot I had not seasoned it first. It took a considerable time to burn off the wax before the pan was ready to use for the first time. So much so, that these griddle cakes were literally ready as we were packing up to go home !

The photos were terribly rushed, and I can back into the office with the tray of griddle cakes to get my laptop. In the 30 seconds it took me to put my laptop in it's bag..... my colleagues had snaffled all but one of them ! I don't think I've ever seen anything disappear so fast !


Perhaps I should rephrase that. Actually - I missed the event. I didn't see even one of those griddle cakes leave that tray. I only know mice that big just DON'T exist.

These are simple, quick and easy to make.

Ingredients

225g plain flour
85g granulated sugar
100g salted butter
1tsp of baking powder
1tsp vanilla extract
75g dried sour cherries (chopped)
1 beaten egg.

1/3 cup caster sugar (fine granulated) mixed with 1tsp of ground cinnamon (for tossing)


Rub the dry ingredients together and mix in the chopped sour cherries. Add beaten egg and vanilla. 

Gently combine to form a ball of dough - similar to shortcrust pastry.

Roll to about 6mm thick (I rolled mine out on a silicone rolling mat) and cut out with 3" / 7.5cm cutter.

Mine made 15 griddle cakes.

Heat a frying pan and lightly grease. I used a cast iron pancake griddle (will be available very soon - we now have these in stock) and sprayed it with a little Frylight.


I cooked these 4 at a time on top of a cast iron wood burning stove in our showroom !

They take about 3 minutes on each side. They will rise a little - but really not much. These are MEANT to be very flat.


Remove from griddle pan and toss in the cinnamon sugar. Stand on a wire rack until cool enough to handle / eat. The only reason mine managed to make it as far as the rack is because staff know that eating before photos are taken would be a sackable  offence ......

Monday, 16 January 2012

Simple Farmer's Curd Cheese


I found the original recipe for this very simple and low fat curd cheese on Allrecipes.com 

Many people seemed to struggle with it a bit, so I made my own revisions based on the reviews and used vinegar in place of the original lemon juice added. It was VERY simple and easy to make. The vinegar cannot be tasted in the resulting cheese.

With all the whey pressed out, it makes quite a dense cheese that can be sliced almost a little rubbery. Almost  something like the drier mozzarella you put on top of pizzas I suppose. Rolling it in crushed peppercorms made it a little more exciting. Loads of whey / buttermilk left over which I'm intending making into soda bread tomorrow

True - this IS a bit bland - but I think this would be a super easy thing to make with kids to teach them the basic principles of cheesemaking. I've seen a riacotta recipe on Foodbuzz here that I'd like to try. Similar principles but a lot more fat content due to the cream and no squeezing out all the whey.


RECIPE

2 pints whole milk (organic, unhomoginised)
1/4 cup vinegar
good pinch of salt (or two)
crushed peppercorns (to roll in)

First of all - make SURE you get unhomogenised milk. Most supermarkets keep pasturised and homoginised. That means that the milk has been treated so the cream is suspended in it and does not float to the top. You will likely need to buy organic milk to get UNHOMOGENISED. 


Put the milk in a pan and bring JUST to the boil on a medium heat, stirring so it does not scorch.


Remove from the heat. Add the salt and stir, followed by the vinegar.

Within a couple of minutes, the milk will curdle and the curds have formed


The curds should be white and the remaining liquid a yellowy colour. This shows that the milk proteins have all been separated. You can purposely see the bowl of whey in the background of one of photos further up.

Line a sieve with muslin and drain the whey from the curds.


Once cooled enough to handle, twist the muslin around the cheese to squeeze out any remaining whey. Roll the resulting ball of cheese in crushed peppercorns. Can be kept refrigerated for up to a week.


Yesterday, we had a lovely family afternoon out in Bury St Edmunds in the Abbey grounds.  Oliver had a ball in the super play area and chasing seagulls and squirrels !


Rather chilly and overcast - but it was nice for all three of us to spend a Sunday together. Doesn't happen very often at all, but we've been lucky to have my husband Steve around the last TWO Sundays !


Oliver did get a bit of a telling off. He was rather too excited and a bit bargy. I told him off for trying to push in front of another kid to get on the slide. Huge sulk followed and it took him a good 5 minutes or more to get himself together and join in again.


I'm not so sure this wall of logs was really meant for walking on... but it was heaving in kids !


This is one angry face - actually - it was Oliver pretending to be a wild animal on a treetop bridge. He looked pretty wild to me !





Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Revolutionising Macarons - My Exciting New Secret !


Lemon macarons with lemony white chocolate ganache filling

I've been itching to share news on this for a while.... and I guarantee it will be new to all of you.

Macarons are the most wonderful little almondy meringue cookies with a chewy centre - often recognised in leading patisseries for their little ruffled feet and being displayed in a wide range of often lurid colours. They are notorious for being hard to make (which actually is not true). Macaroons on the other hand are normally little coconut cookie moulds.... which I really must get round to making again soon.

The real problems in making macarons lie in the mixing - mixing too much, not mixing long enough and also in the baking times. I was very lucky and my first ever batch turned out really well. Since then, I've had many successes and a few failed batches which have taught me valuable lessons in baking macarons along the way. 

One thing that really irritated me was the fact that I did not have enough oven space to bake an entire batch of macarons at one time. My big bug bear was getting them all exactly the same diameter. The OCD in me (obsessive compulsive disorder) was finding a way to get ALL my macarons exactly the same size !

The accepted way for pastry chefs to do this is by drawing circles out on a piece of baking paper, turning it over and then piping on the reverse. You need to leave about 2" / 50mm between the macarons as once the mix is piped it will spread. It's a darn good idea and most macarons will be near enough the same size once you get the hang of it. However, me being me, I had my digital calipers out measuring every macaron to make sure they were absolutely the same size to within quarter of a mm before pairing them together.

I found that the perfect size for macarons (in my opinion) is 50mm..... but I also like teeny weeny ones too !
Don't worry - I'll share my various macaron recipes very soon.


NOW - WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO SEE IS A NEW DESIGN CONCEPT. 

 (This product is patented to us and these will be available for sale from early next month.) At the moment, I have the only two in existence and have been using them LOTS with superb results every time.

Dr Tim Kinnaird of Macarons and More has kindly assisted me in initial testings before product development. He'll be getting the very first one available as soon as they arrive, and we'll be launching them at the SPRING FAIR trade show at the NEC in Birmingham next month.

I've designed a DOUBLE SIDED MACARON MAT. The mat is 300mm x 300mm and fits on a standard cookie sheet. Cookie sheets are widely available from all baking shops and most supermarkets at a low price - generally around £2.99 in the UK. If you want to splash out, I can personally recommend the slightly bigger (about 14" square) Bakingenius vegetable roasting tray from Lakeland (as shown below) which is far more robust.


This is what it looks like on a baking tray. What you do is pipe your macaronage (macaron batter) into the centre of each cell until about 3/4 full (leaving a gap of about 5mm right round the mix).  The cells have a very tiny marked rim. As the macaronage spreads after piping, it should just get to the edges of each cell and give your macaron a perfect shape and size. It does take a batch or two practise piping and get it perfect every time.


This is what they looked like piped. The little ringed cells mean you can pipe more macarons on one baking sheet. On top of that, it's reusable too !

The large side makes 25 x 50mm / 2" macaron shells. See the picture below for a close up view, before they go in the oven. 

THIS IS THE VERY FIRST BATCH OF MACARONS I MADE ON OUR NEW PROTOTYPE MAT !


Here is what they look like baked - ok - a couple of slightly wonky ones, but it WAS my first attempt !


These ones were peppermint and I filled them with white chocolate ganache


I so wanted to share these photos and this recipe at Christmas - but I've had to wait. It's impossible to explain how hard it's been to keep a secret !

As if that is not enough, don't forget, our mats are double sided.

YES ! Flip it over, and you can use the other side to make little mini macs.


The other side lets you make SIXTY FOUR mini macaron shells ! This picture shows the mat on a 12" square cookie sheet.

I've found that one batch of macaron mix lets me make two sheets worth of macarons. Even better - make two batches and flip your sheets over to use the other side too before you bother washing up.


This is what 64 mini shells look like.... almost the same size as a two pence piece.


These were chocolate with dark chocolate orange ganache filling. Oh - and if you spotted an EDIBLE GIFT TAG..... you might have a clue at what else is coming very soon !

The double sided macaron mats will also be available in double size - ie 600 x 300mm (50 shell one side, 128 shell on the other) to suit larger commercial ovens.

All comments and shares are very welcome. I'm really excited about my new product design and will be giving a few away on arrival to some bloggers for product testing and reviews.

Happy Baking !

Sarah-Jane Nash, January 2012