Blackberries – stung, scratched and stained!

One of my most popular wedding macarons to date have been the blackberry one’s – they are intense in flavour and produce an amazing naturally coloured pink buttercream. For those brides who choose a secret centre there is also the extra delight of a hidden centre of pure fruit jelly.

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I always make my own blackberry jelly adding a little less sugar so the fruity flavour is intensified. Making my own jam does involve going out and picking my own blackberries and of course the obligatory nettle stings, bramble scratches and the stained hands!

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My favourite spot to pick blackberries is at the bottom of a local field where the brambles intermingle with the hawthorn. This year’s crop has been fantastic – the result of a sunny, warm summer. The blackberries are large, plump and super juicy and super sweet.

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Armed with ‘granddad’s brolley’ I have managed to pick 5 lbs of blackberries the last two days – so plenty to make enough jars of jelly for all of next year’s weddings.

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Malted milk macarons

Its been a very wet, cold and windy August Bank Holiday. Luckily I was safe in my kitchen baking! These malted milk macarons that I made taste and smell divine – the perfect macarons to be making on a dull, wet day as they remind you of sofas, cups of tea and of course malted milk biscuits.
I have been making these macarons as I have had an enquiry from a bride-to-be who was interested in having a macaron tower for her wedding. She was looking for something a little bit different from a traditional wedding cake – and she loves macarons too! The colour theme for the wedding is cream and orange and I thought this colour and flavour would work well – so a sample will be heading her way very shortly.
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Macarons and wedding dessert tables

There seems to be a growing trend in wedding dessert tables. Personally I think they are great idea – you can cater to everyone’s tastes and of course for anyone’s food allergies too.

Macarons make a great addition to any wedding dessert table and what’s more they are right ‘on trend’ too. Macarons provide mouthfuls of sheer delight – and once more they are gluten free as well. They can be made to match or compliment the wedding colours and with a wondrous array of flavours no one wedding will be the same.

A wedding dessert table can have the macarons displayed as a dramatic centre piece on a tower or they can be placed on individual cake stands (vintage or modern), on plates, on trays or even rustic logs.

I was recently approached by Becky and Sam who I had first meet at the Broughton Hall Wedding Festival. They had enquired about  some macarons for their wedding dessert table. They chose pistachio, lemon, blackberry & elderberry, rhubarb & custard macarons and displayed them in these large storage jars.  Thanks to Laura Calderwood for the fabulous photos.BeSaWed-91BeSaWed-320

French macarons in Yorkshire for a typically French affair

Well over a year ago when it was announced that the Grand Depart for the 2014 Tour de France was to pass by where I live I just knew I wanted to have a one-off market stall to sell my macarons.
I spent some time deliberating about  what flavours to make and in the end I created 4 macarons each inspired by one of the four jerseys and flavoured with classic French fillings. I made: The green jersey (best sprinter)- maillot vert which was pistachio-pistache. The white jersey (best young ride) – maillot blanc which was vanilla-vanilla. The polka dot jersey (King of the Mountains)- maillot à pois rouges which was raspberry – frambois. The yellow jersey – maillot jeune (winners jersey) which was lemon – citron. I have had real fun designing and making these macarons and they sold really well amongst the huge crowds. It was anamazing day and one that I will never forget.
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Medici Macarons features in Your Yorkshire Wedding ‘Eat Local’ feature

Through my fellow local producers Luddenden Valley Wines I was recently introduced to Jo Fletcher Cross the Editor of  Yorkshire’s County Weddings Magazine – Your Yorkshire Wedding. Jo was looking for local food and drink producers who showcased the best Yorkshire could offer for those brides and groom’s who were interested in food miles and provenance. The May/June 2014 magazine is now on the bookshelves and Medici Macarons has been lucky enough to be included.

Local food is important to me. For me ‘local food’ is very much about using ingredients that are on my doorstep. What makes my macarons taste that little bit extra special is that I  use local and seasonal ingredients to make a macaron filling  – this might be from foraging in the hedgerows for blackberries or on the moorland for bilberries. But I also use fruit from my own garden and I  am also a voracious taker of friend’s surplus fruit too.  I also have a fantastic local free range egg producer in The Rainbow Egg Company 

The magazine is now available in the newsagents. Here is a sneek peek.

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A little box of macaron delights

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I was recently contacted by Sophie from The Wedding Planner saying she’d spotted my macarons on Twitter and would love to blog about them. Wedding macaron towers (or macaron cakes as they are sometimes referred to) do really make excellent alternatives to a wedding cake and are ideally suited to fit in to wonderful boxes to be made up as extra special favours.

This selection of macarons were sent to Sophie:

  • rhubarb and custard macaron. Made with a homemade jam from this seasons Yorkshire forced rhubarb. It has such a wonderful distinctive rhubarb flavour and matches well with the creamy vanilla of the buttercream.
  • blackberry macaron. Made with homemade jelly from fruits foraged from the local lanes. The buutercream is mixed with the jelly and then there is a signature secret centre of pure jelly. Its intense and fruity and very lovely!
  • vanilla. Made with wonderful heady Ndali Fairtrade and organic vanilla
  • pistachio. Made with a buttercream mixed with pistachio paste made with 100% dark green pistachios from Whynut.
  • coconut and pineapple. A bespoke flavour created for a bridge and groom. The buttercream is flavoured with creamed and dessicated coconut and pineapple fruit and juice which has been reduced down to increase the fruity intensity.
  • Lady Grey. Lightly fragranced with bergamot from the Lady Grey tea and with a citrus orange and lemon buttercream.

What never ceases to maze me is how much colour can be achieved in the macarons without use of any artificial colourings. These macarons are all naturally flavoured too and made with local free range eggs.

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I hope Sophie enjoys her little box of macaron delights.

PapaKåta Spring Open Weekend

I have had a great time this weekend. I was lucky enough to be invited to display one of my macaron towers at the PapaKåta Spring Open Weekend in Escrick just outside of York. If you haven’t come across PapaKåta then I strongly suggest you head over to their website and have a look at their amazing teepees and sperry’s.

Here are a few photo’s that I took of the macaron tower that I created to compliment the Open Weekend’s ‘Radiant Orchid’ theme – apologies for their poor quality. The beautiful flower arrangements (sweet peas and astilbe) were supplied and created by the very talented Fiona from Firenza Floral Design.

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Broughton Hall Weddings and Celebrations Festival 23rd March 2014

Yesterday Medici Macarons attended their very first wedding fair! I had a thoroughly good time and met some lovely brides and grooms who were able to sample my lovely macarons. Broughton Hall wanted to create a different type of wedding fair from the usual – no trestle tables here with exhibitors standing behind. Spread over 3 very different and stunning venues exhibitors had the opportunity to recreate a wedding scene.

I was based in the modern, light filled Utopia and had the glass presentation table that the wedding cake would normally be displayed upon.

I also had a small table to display my other macaron wedding towers. My absolute favourite was the vintage inspired 4 tier glass cake stand filled with 4 different coloured macarons and dressed with beautiful ranunculus and Spring blossom.

My extra special lavender macarons decorated with silver leaf were displayed on one of the styled tables in the main room and they looked stunning. They were packed in intricately cut silver favour boxes, lined with a deep purple tissue paper and tied with deep purple ribbon.

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The tastings went down exceptionally well with lots of lovely comments – the best being from the father of a bride to be who said my macarons were the ‘most suprising thing I have ever eaten’ – it seems he wasn’t quite expecting the pastel coloured macaron to pack such a gorgeous flavoursome punch!