Summer's nearly here and I couldn't be happier.
I can't believe we've been in the new flat for almost two months now, and this whole time we haven't been connected to the internet - what bliss! I've been working on my magazine almost every day and I doubt I would have got as much done had I been online. Just like with today's blog post - I should be working on the magazine today, but I'm writing this instead. Mind you, a blog post is long overdue.
It's finally strawberry season again which means it's summertime and I couldn't be happier about that. I bought myself some flowering strawberry plants for the balcony - they're bursting with green fruit and it feels like they're taking forever to ripen! It's also funny how much they look like the pineberries in my last post. I can't wait to start harvesting them. There's just something about growing and picking your own fruit that makes them taste just that much better.
In the meantime, I was very happy with these strawberries I'd bought at the market the other day. I'd been meaning to make a galette recently, but these gorgeous ripe and juicy strawberries were just too perfect to be baked and begged to be eaten fresh. So I included half the fruit in the baking process, and added the other half after I'd taken the galette out of the oven.
And since we had some more strawberries left over, I thought I'd make some macarons as I haven't made some in quite a while. Bruce has really taken to making macarons recently, and he's very good at it - it's like he was born to be a pastry chef. I think he's really perfected this recipe and made it (almost) foolproof. We haven't had any failures in our new fan oven and I really think that's one of the tricks to making macarons - the fan! What a difference when compared to the antique oven in the old flat - that thing belonged in a museum! Another trick for successful macarons is ensuring all dry ingredients are sifted at least once. The macs turn out lighter, always get feet, and peel off beautifully from the baking parchment every time so far.
For more tips and tricks on making macarons, see the macaron category of my blog.
Now I've always found macarons a little too sweet, even for my liking. So for Bruce's recipe, I decided to use a very light strawberry and cream filling, without adding any sugar to the cream, as I think the macaron shells are sweet enough. The result is a great balance of light whipped cream, mixed with juicy bits of strawberries bursting with flavour and complementing the sweetness of the macaron shells, instead of overpowering it. Another great thing about Bruce's recipe is that the egg whites don't need aging and can be used fresh.
In other news, as I mentioned, I've been working really hard on my online magazine and I can't wait until it's out. It's been an amazing experience trying to create it and it's so different when compared with blogging. I've packed it with recipes and photos and also included our recent trip to Turkey in there too - I really hope you'll like it. I'm just shooting a few more photos for it, then it's time to put it all together. It should be out on the 15th of June.
In the meantime, I've got a little tiny request: do any of you know any Apple iPad/iPhone app developers/designers that you could possibly put me in touch with? I'd really love to have the magazine available as an iPad app too, but it's proving to be a bit of mission to find a good developer/designer, and it's nearly impossible to create an app yourself.
Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!