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macarons

1st October 2016 // 0 Comments

5 Essential Tips For Perfect Macarons

Juniper Cakery's tips for perfect macarons

Tips for perfect macarons vary between vague aloof answers (some blogs don’t want to share secrets, but they want the traffic) to heavy weekend ready material (which will make you stressed and frustrated). Sometimes all you need to do is simplify the situation. Find out what you’re doing or using and be logical about how it could be hindering your macarons. Think about it… rough looking macarons just need the dry mix refining a little, wonky shapes need to be controlled more when piping, rock hard macarons need less bake time. Sometimes, in all the excitement, a step or ingredient may be getting looked over on the recipe meaning flat and unappetising treats. Check out our quick and simple top 5 essential tips for perfect macarons below for a little nudge in the right direction!

5 Essential Tips For Perfect Macarons

Tips for perfect macarons by Juniper Cakery

01: Read the recipe 

This tip might sound crazy and obvious, but it’s the one most people get insanely wrong. We’ve had people think that whipping your egg whites means adding in whipped cream. Seriously. When you’ve found a recipe that you want to try print it out, sit down, READ it, make notes even, make sure you understand it and then plan when you can give it a try. The last thing you want is for a recipe to fail because you’ve gotten really excited and just rushed into making it. It’s pretty easy to do, but it’s also easy to avoid too.

Once you mess up a recipe it starts to feel like a chore so slow it down. If we find a recipe that’s got our taste buds a-tingling we print it out, discuss it between us, maybe tweak it a little (but we’ve worked as recipe developers so we’re used to this bit), sometimes put a twist on the flavour and schedule in some free time to give it a try.

Some good books on macarons…

Macaron by Pierre Hermé

Macarons – The Recipes by Ladurée

Blackberry and pistachio macaron by Juniper Cakery

02: Blitz and sieve 

The amount of macarons we’ve spotted that have looked like baked versions of the Hunchback of Notre Dame is ridiculous. One of our tips for perfect macarons is to invest in a good food processor and blitz your ground almonds down to a fine powder. Also, sieve your icing / powdered / confectioner’s sugar. Even though icing sugar contains a little anti-caking agent to stop it from clumping it’s still going to have lumps and bumps in it. You’ll know you’ve got your dry ingredients to a lovely fine feel when you’ve piped out your macarons and they ‘settle’ and show as fabulous glossy discs with minimal bumps!

One handy tip (especially for anyone who hates sifting) is to layer your dry ingredients (half of the icing sugar then ground almonds and then the rest of the icing sugar) in your food processor before blitzing. This grinds down your icing sugar even further taking out the sieve step as well as keeping those ground almonds blitzed yet cool (once they heat too much they produce oil which isn’t good for macarons).

KitchenAid food processor / chopper in white

Stainless steel sieve by KitchenCraft

Tip tips for perfect macarons

03: Use scales

Another one of our top tips for perfect macarons. Accuracy with macarons is beyond essential so cups just are not going to cut it. If you don’t have any scales then we’d strongly recommend buying some. Cups are never going to be accurate and cup amounts can vary depending on what you’re measuring… e.g. solids and liquids. When it comes to weighing, however, grams (for powders and solids) is the same as millilitres (liquids). So 100g of flour weighs the exact same as 100ml of water. Easy.

Your scales will also come in damn handy for weighing out equal balls for cake pops and even equal amounts of buttercream to layer between cakes. Keep it simple if you’re not used to scales, however, buying a set of beautiful Victorian style scales is not going to serve you well in the long run.

White digital scales by Morphy Richards

Easy tips for perfect macarons

04: Use a template

All macarons should be fairly uniform. It’s a fairly runny mixture so this is hard to do at times, but by using a template underneath your baking sheet OR by getting hold of a baking mat specifically for macarons you get more consistent results. It also takes away quite a bit of stress that comes with piping them AND gives you a good idea of how many shells you’re going to get out of a sheet.

Silpat baking mat with macaron template

Blue ombre macarons by Juniper Cakery

05: Test, test, test

Macarons are tricky. A few things can hinder their development both in the oven and out. Never think your macarons will turn out perfect every time (until maybe you’ve been testing them frustratingly for 2 years) or you’re destined to tempt fate. If your first or 50th batch comes out of the oven all wrong don’t feel bad. You probably need to try making batches and batches with slight variations of the recipe to find what works for you. Sorry, but it’s pretty true. For almost 2 years we baked macarons at least once or twice a week until we were happy. We’d try some with cream of tartar and some without. Some with a certain brand of food colorant. Some would be made with a stiff meringue whipped for 5 minutes and some whipped a little less. Even baking times and placements in the oven changed. We nerdy catalogued a few from each batch and wrote down pros, cons and what we did/used. Sometimes it just takes time and practice.

Sometimes it’s just a little problem solving work. One of the most essential tips for perfect macarons is to think logically… if your macaron shells are hard and crunchy they are either over baked because they’ve been in the oven too long or they’re on too high a temperature. If they’re browning then check if you left the oven light on or if there are heating bars inside (they glow red when hot) that could be caramelising the tops. Try switching the light off, lowering your tray or block the red bars with a baking try slid underneath but above the macarons and upping the bake time a little.

Edible pen

Gold dot notepad

20th September 2016 // 0 Comments

Our Macarons in Love Our Wedding Magazine!

Assorted macarons by Juniper Cakery

Did you spot our fabulous macarons adorning the pages of Love Our Wedding magazine? If not then you should really head on over to their site, download a copy of their amazing FREE magazine and enter the competition! If you’re in the UK and you’re recently engaged or planning your wedding (lengthy engagements are welcome too) then winning lots of lovely things to help make your wedding happen is going to be a no brainer right?

Love Our Wedding magazing

We’re honoured to have our macarons be the main image on their blog and contents page too! We created these as favours for a fun yet glamorous wedding reception with romantic pinks as the main colour palette. They’re pretty darn popular for weddings and so easily customised to fit in with so many different themes too. We’ve whipped up deep navy blue macarons streaked with 24k gold, pink champagne ones filled with Gosset Grand Rose Brut NV infused buttercream, oversized macarons, even pink candy cane studded beauties!

Tips for perfect macarons by Juniper Cakery

Flavours in the image include… Raspberry Chambord, Strawberry Milkshake and Vanilla Confetti! Our Raspberry Chambord option is a mid-pink macaron filled with Fortnum & Mason raspberry preserve infused with Chambord liqueur and fruity raspberry buttercream, drizzled with Belgian white chocolate and sprinkled with raspberry pieces. Strawberry Milkshake features a creamy strawberry and Belgian white chocolate ganache filling with shells drizzled in more Belgian white chocolate and finished with miniature edible sugar pearls. Finally our Vanilla Confetti flavour is created using white macaron shells sandwiched with Madagascan vanilla buttercream and studded with fun rainbow confetti sprinkles!

Love Our Wedding Magazine October 2016

Remember, head over to Love Our Wedding magazine for your chance to win our macaron wedding favours as well as wedding rings, a manicure, designer veil and lots more! You can even fill out a form and enter via this blog post on their site. Good luck!

4th July 2016 // 0 Comments

Our Macarons in Perfect Wedding Magazine!

Pink champagne macarons by Juniper Cakery

We LOVE Perfect Wedding magazine. It’s an amazing monthly mag that features anything and everything that could inspire your perfect wedding from stunning floral arrangements to delicious cakes! Our picture perfect ruffled peony wedding cake was featured in issue 117 (page 209 to be exact) and recently our freshly baked macarons graced the pages of issue number 121 as part of their sweet wedding favours feature. Glistening from the pages is a photograph of our popular Pink Champagne macarons; pretty pink shells filled with Gosset Grand Rosé Brut NV infused buttercream and splattered with edible 24k gold paint!

Selection of macarons by Juniper Cakery

Our macarons in Perfect Wedding Magazine… plus a macaron FAQ!

We thought we’d put together a little more information about our most popular treats. Macarons. Possibly the daintiest, alluring and strangely photogenic (if made well) of sweets. They’re also finicky little things and so hard to perfect. A lot of people contact us daily about how our macarons look or make them feel (seriously), what tips can we give them and how they can book them for their birthday/wedding/anniversary/weekend treat. We also get the odd “are they OK for people with nut allergies?”… the main ingredient in them is almonds. So treat (pun intended) this blog post of ours as a sort of F.A.Q on macarons if you will.

Juniper Cakery macarons in Perfect Wedding Magazine

Perfect Wedding Magazine

Please note: Prices for our macarons are correct at time of press (June 2016), however, they are subject to change.

Do you make your own macarons?

This might sound like a crazy question, but we’ve been asked this A LOT. We found ourselves utterly confused as to why this would even be asked until someone mentioned that they found out a cake shop bought in pre-frozen shells and macarons made by another company. Maybe it’s just the way we are, but that shocked us. Anyway, let’s get to our answer, which is a definite yes. YES we make our own macarons. In fact, we love making them. We also simply wouldn’t get the range of flavours we have if we didn’t. Plus it’s just plain fun for us to whip them up, think of fun flavours, add sprinkles and drizzles, style with them and photograph them. No mass made, pre-frozen, someone else’s hard work here.

How do you make your macarons?

They’re made of two baked shells containing mainly finely ground almond flour, confectioners’ sugar (aka icing sugar or powdered) and egg whites. Sounds simple right? Wrong. Getting our macaron recipe right took a process of 2 whole years of testing various recipes, adjusting amounts and bake times, experimenting with resting various stages or ingredients and also repeatedly banging our heads on the wall. We changed our recipe a total of 18 times before we established the one that worked for us. We even spent weeks baking the shells on different racks in our convection oven and with different brands of baking trays and silicone sheets before labelling each batch and assessing them. Our obsession did get that insane. So the short answer of that question is… our recipe came from hard work, pure stubbornness and a hell of a lot of testing.

Salted Caramel Macarons and Lemonade Macarons by Juniper Cakery

Are your macarons gluten free?

Macaron recipes don’t contain any wheat or gluten as the whipped egg white meringue is what makes them rise a little. Some flavours may contain a little gluten in, but this may come from the filling variety. Back in the day we tested amazing flavours like Cookie Dough and Brownie (which may come back so don’t worry). To get the flavour and textures the Cookie Dough included a no-bake and egg-free dollop of chocolate chip dough in the middle of Madagascan vanilla bean buttercream. Brownie featured Belgian chocolate buttercream and a small piece of chocolate brownie in the centre. Both due to the cookie and brownie fillings contained gluten.

Valentine's Day Macarons by Juniper Cakery

Are macarons OK for nut allergies?

The short answer is no. Macarons are created using ground almonds, which definitely aren’t suitable for nut allergies. Some people, however, are only allergic to peanuts and are OK with other types, but make sure that you check with any guests or anyone you’d love to purchase them for!

Can you ship to the US (or any other country outside of the UK)?

No. Sorry, but they just wouldn’t make the journey. They need to be fresh and given the amount of time it could take to get to you they just wouldn’t be. Also, your country may have restrictions on certain food items being sent through international mail. International postage can also get a little rough so these delicate morsels wouldn’t be in a fit state when they finally hit your doorstep!

We get the above question with cakes and cupcakes too and our answer is the same.

Strawberries and Champagne macarons by Juniper Cakery

Luxurious pink champagne macarons by Juniper Cakery

Can you ship macarons across the UK?

Right now when it comes to larger quantities (e.g, parties or wedding favours) we sure can! In fact we have a number of macaron orders booked in for 2017-18 for wedding receptions and birthday parties in London, Essex, North Wales, South Wales, Harrogate, York, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Manchester. Our minimum order is 100 macarons which vary in price slightly depending on flavour choices. Macarons that include champagne flavours for example cost a little more than a more straight forward vanilla bean flavour. All our macarons will be baked and filled fresh, packed up in boxes with acid-free tissue paper and other packing materials before being posted out via Next Day/Sign For delivery. We’ll continuously check tracking (as well as send over the details so you can track them yourself too) then text, email or call you (or your venue) to make sure they’ve arrived safely!

Pink candy cane macarons by Juniper Cakery

How do I store my macarons?

We advise our customers to store them in their fridge if they’re not going to devour them immediately (which to be honest doesn’t always happen – we get a lot of emails for customers who only just managed a few minutes of looking at them before polishing them all off). To make them last even longer a great tip is to transfer them into airtight containers before placing them in the fridge.

When should I eat / serve them?

As soon as possible. Macarons are hygroscopic which means that they soak up the moisture around them and get softer and softer with time. It’s best to enjoy your macarons within the 48 hours of purchasing them so you can taste them at their best of course! If you’re planning a wedding or dinner party make sure that you don’t buy your macarons too far in advance.

Assorted macarons by Juniper Cakery

There you have it! As well as lots of images of our gorgeous macarons (including a fabulous press article too) we’ve tried our best to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding those petite treats. We do get lots of queries every day via email, Instagram comments and Facebook messages about how/what/where/wtf we make and even photograph our macarons. If we tired to answer every single one then we’d never be able to make them ourselves so here are the basics! If you have any quick questions feel free to comment!

24th February 2016 // 0 Comments

Our Mother’s Day Collection!

Mother's Day cupcakes and macarons in Hull and Yorkshire area

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (March 6th in the UK)! Between all our orders, editorial work, pick-ups and photoshoots we’ve been jotting down a few ideas for our eagerly awaited (we’ve lost track of how many emails and messages we’ve had asking if we’re doing anything for March 6th) Mother’s Day collection! We’ve kept everything simple yet sweet with a box of mixed cupcakes inspired by wildflower bouquets, cheesecake selection macarons and a tempting box of mixed treats! To order simply email/Facebook us or you can even fill in the handy contact form at the end of this post to get in touch. We’ll reply and organise payment, quantities, pick-up times etc.

Please keep in mind that we are busy and we’re often in the kitchen, finishing orders, out on delivery or in the middle of order pick-ups so emailing or FB messaging us is the best mode of contact right now.

Mother’s Day cupcakes in Hull and Yorkshire!

Mother's Day cupcake with sugar daisy

Box of mixed gourmet Mother’s Day cupcakes – £15

Our gourmet and bouquet inspired box of Mother’s Day cupcakes includes…

Sicilian Lemon Cupcakes

– Madagascan vanilla cake filled with tangy lemon curd, swirled with Sicilian lemon oil infused buttercream and finished with a hand-painted Mother’s Day message plaque and small edible fondant daisies

Strawberries & Champagne Cupcakes

– Madagascan vanilla cake filled with strawberry and Taittinger champagne preserve, swirled with pink strawberry buttercream piped in a pretty rose and finished with an edible fondant rose leaf

Chocolate & Raspberry Chambord Cupcakes

– Belgian chocolate cake filled with Fortnum & Mason raspberry preserve infused with Chambord liqueur, swirled with pink raspberry buttercream and finished with a raspberry and chocolate cake truffle

Perfect Mother's Day cupcakes in Hull and Yorkshire

Mother's Day cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Mother’s Day macarons in Hull and Yorkshire!

Mother's Day macarons in Hull and Yorkshire

Box of 7 assorted cheesecake inspired macarons – £8

Box of 14 assorted cheesecake inspired macarons – £14

Macarons are quickly becoming THE must-have sweet and for Mother’s Day we’ve whipped up a small selection of tempting cheesecake inspired flavours from raspberry to classic vanilla! Here are our Mother’s Day macarons available in Hull and Yorkshire…

Please note that macarons are naturally gluten-free, however, the main ingredient is ground almonds which makes them unsuitable for those with nut allergies.

Raspberry Cheesecake Macarons

– soft pink macaron shells filled with Fortnum & Mason raspberry preserve and cheesecake flavoured buttercream, drizzled with Belgian white chocolate and finished with raspberry pieces

Lemon Cheesecake Macarons

– yellow macaron shells featuring a dollop of tangy lemon curd with cheesecake buttercream, drizzled with Belgian white chocolate and sprinkled with dainty mini sugar pearls

Vanilla Cheesecake Macarons

– ivory macaron shells filled with Madagascan vanilla bean and cheesecake infused buttercream, finished with miniature sugar pearls

Cheesecake selection of macarons in Hull and Yorkshire

Mother's Day macarons in Yorkshire

Mother’s Day Sweet Treats Selection!

Mother's Day macarons, truffles and chocolates in Hull and Yorkshire

Selection box of 10 sweet treats – £10

If a tasty selection is what you need for the perfect Mother’s Day gift (or if you just can’t decide) then maybe our box of sweet treats is the answer! Nestled into a stylish clear box are an assorted mix of our cheesecake flavour macarons along with 2 salted caramel filled chocolate jewels (in dark and white) and 3 of our raspberry and chocolate cake truffles!

Mother's Day macarons, cake truffles and chocolates in Yorkshire

19th January 2016 // 2 Comments

Valentine’s Cupcakes, Macarons & Marshmallows – Available in Hull and Yorkshire!

Gourmet cupcakes for Valentine's Day by Juniper Cakery

Yay! Valentine’s Day is around the corner! If you’re in the Hull and Yorkshire area then you can easily book some sweets for your sweetheart with us. It’s pretty easy… simply email/Facebook/call us (07512832892) or you can even fill in the handy contact form at the end of this post to get in touch. We’ll reply and organise payment, quantities, pick-up times etc. Then all you need to do is be ready to impress that special someone on the 14th! For details, pricing and more on our collection of Valentine’s cupcakes, marshmallows and macarons in Hull and Yorkshire read on…

Valentine’s Day cupcakes in Hull and Yorkshire

Cupcakes are always popular – not even just at Valentine’s. This year we have a selection of taste bud tempting gourmet cupcakes as well as the option of a pretty ‘bouquet’ of cupcake roses! Oh la la!

Gourmet cupcakes for Valentine's by Juniper Cakery

Valentine Strawberry Milkshake Cupcake by Juniper Cakery

Ferrero Rocher cupcake by Juniper Cakery

Box of 6 gourmet Valentine’s Day cupcakes – £12.50

Our gourmet selection of freshly baked cupcakes includes the following flavours…

Ferrero Rocher Cupcake

– chocolate cake dipped in dark Belgian chocolate, sprinkled with chopped hazelnuts, swirled with hazelnut buttercream, drizzled with dark Belgian chocolate and finished with a single Ferrero Rocher.

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcake

– Madagascan vanilla cake swirled with light pink strawberry and white chocolate buttercream, drizzled with Belgian white chocolate and finished with a white chocolate dipped strawberry finished with edible pearls.

Red Velvet Cupcake

– Deep and vibrant red velvet cupcake swirled with Madagascan vanilla buttercream, drizzled with Belgian white chocolate and finished with a Red Velvet macaron!

Valentine rose cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Boxed Valentine cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Box of 6 ‘Rose bouquet’ Valentine’s Day cupcakes – £8

The flavours in our ‘bouquet’ collection of cupcakes includes…

Classic Vanilla

– Madagascan vanilla cake swirled with silky Madagascan vanilla buttercream in a pretty rose finished with an edible fondant leaf.

Pink Champagne

– Madagascan vanilla cupcake featuring a Moët & Chandon pink champagne infused buttercream rose finished with an edible fondant leaf.

Raspberry

– Madagascan cake filled with Fortnum & Mason raspberry preserve, swirled with a pink raspberry buttercream rose and finished with an edible fondant leaf!

Rose cupcakes by Juniper Cakery

Valentine macarons in Hull and East Yorkshire!

Pink, red and white Valentine's macarons by Juniper Cakery

Box of 7 assorted Valentine’s Day macarons – £8

Box of 14 assorted Valentine’s Day macarons – £14

If dainty and sweet macarons are your thing we have three amazing Valentine’s Day themed flavours available. You can opt for an entire box of one flavour or go for all three from Red Velvet, Raspberry Chambord and Vanilla & White Chocolate Truffle! Here are our available Valentine macarons in Hull and Yorkshire…

Red Velvet

– features striking red macarons filled with Madagascan vanilla buttercream.

Raspberry Chambord

– pink macarons are filled with a fruity dollop of Fortnum & Mason’s Raspberry Preserve infused with Chambord Black Raspberry liquor encircled with raspberry buttercream.

Vanilla and White Chocolate Truffle macarons

– feature a creamy Madagascan vanilla and Belgian white chocolate buttercream with an extra drizzle of Belgian white chocolate on top!

Valentine's Day macarons by Juniper Cakery

Champagne marshmallows by Juniper Cakery

Box of 8 large pink & white champagne marshmallows – £6

Gourmet marshmallows for Valentine’s Day!

We love marshmallows. When homemade these beauties are incredibly soft and fluffy. For Valentine’s Day we’ve whipped up both pink and white champagne marshmallow squares (2 inches x 2 inches… very generous) sprinkled with chic golden hearts. Each box contains 8 marshmallows in both colours before being finished with a hand tied bow and a Juniper Cakery tag!

Fluffy pink champagne marshmallows by Juniper Cakery

Our pink champagne marshmallows contain reduced Moët & Chandon Rose Champagne, a touch of pink, and a sprinkling of edible gold hearts!

White champagne marshmallows by Juniper Cakery

Our bright white champagne marshmallows are infused with Taittinger brut champagne, with a light dusting of powered sugar and some more of those pretty gold heart shaped sprinkles.