Rose & Vanilla Macarons

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This post has been sponsored by SelfPackaging.

 

It’s been a while since my last baking post so today I wanted to share twist on my original macaron recipe with the help of the guys at SelfPackaging. Keep reading for a Rose and Vanilla Macaron recipe and to see some super cute packaging ideas. These macarons make great thank you gifts or wedding favours and with a bit of practice, they are not too difficult to make, I promise!

Ingredients (makes 16):

  • 75g Ground Almonds
  • 115g Icing Sugar
  • 2 x Egg White (aged are best)
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
  • 1/4 tsp rose water
  • Pink food colouring
  • Vanilla icing – I used this ready made one
  • Baking sheet
Vanilla-Bean-Paste

Begin by sifting the ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl. I whizzed them in the food processor to get a fine mix.

Whisk the egg whites until holding soft peaks. Some argue that aged egg whites are not necessary, but I find that it does make a difference to the texture of the macaron and the feet. (You should aim to separate the egg whites and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days before baking.)

Gradually add the caster sugar, vanilla paste and rose water continuing to whisk until the meringue is glossy and stiff.

The next step is to fold in the almond and icing sugar mixture in 3 portions until throughly blended. Cut and fold until the consistency is shiny and thick. At this point you can also add a small amount of food colouring and fold in.

Making-Macarons

Pipe onto your baking sheet in 32 rounds using a plain nozzle (these will be sandwiched to make 16 total).

I use a nifty silicone mat with baking paper on so I have a guide when piping. I’d highly recommend them (this one is from Squires Kitchen).

Piping-Macarons

The next step is important as it ensures the macarons are even and without air bubbles. Tap the baking tray firmly onto your work surface a couple of times.

The macarons must now be left to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. This will allow them to form a ‘shell’.

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (325 Fahrenheit / Gas Mark 3).  I baked my macarons for 6 minutes in a fan oven. Leave the macarons to cool for 10 minutes before peeling off the baking tray.

Assemble the macarons by sandwiching each one with the vanilla buttercream.

Rose-and-Vanilla-Macarons Next up, it’s time to box up your macarons! SelfPackaging have some great single macaron boxes that are easy to assemble and come flat packed for delivery.
Self-Packaging-Macaron Boxes The food protection sleeve keeps the macarons in place for gifting and they are easy to fold and secure with the tab, just as the box sleeve does too. Macaron-Boxes-Self-Packaging The ribbon and tags were a great excuse to practice my brush lettering to give the boxes a final finish. Rose-and-Vanilla-Macaron Now I’m going to confess that macarons never last long in my house! However, they usually have a shelf life of 2-3 days if you store the individual boxes in an air tight container. Self-Packaging-Macaron Boxes-ClaireabellemakesNow, who is ready for a macaron party?!
Macaron-Recipe-ClaireabellemakesA big thanks to SelfPackaging for sponsoring today’s post and keeping the blog side of my business going. I loved having an excuse to bake and share their boxes – now I’m thinking about all the handmade gifts I want to make so I can try out the rest of what they have on offer. Be sure to check them out and let me know if you have any ideas on what I can make next!

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Tourist In Cambridge #10 – Wisteria Hysteria

It’s time for another post in the long running series – Tourist in Cambridge. This week the weather has been glorious in between storms, so I got out on my bicycle Florence to get in on the wisteria hysteria!

It’s a picture heavy post today, but I couldn’t help myself. Cambridge in the sunshine is just too good.Wisteria-Covered-Houses Cambridge-Wisteria-Spotting Cambridge-Houses-With-Wisteria I think due to the long winter we had, the wisteria season has been much shorter and also less ‘full’. I tend to visit the same spots each year and there definitely wasn’t as much in bloom. Sidney-Sussex-College-Cambridge Christs-College-Cambridge Cottages-and-Bicycles-Cambridge Wisteria-Doorways-Cambridge I couldn’t help doing a little bike spotting too – especially as this one was wisteria coloured!Lilac-Bike-Spotting-Cambridge We visited this wisteria covered cottage for the Cambridge Creatives Photowalk last April and it looked so different! It’s much greener this year and definitely has less flowers. Bicycles-and-Wisteria-Cambridge Florence-Bicycle Spring-Time-In-Cambridge The meadows are also looking super pretty with lots of buttercups among the cows. The long evenings have been so nice, perfect weather for riverside walks and hanging out in the hammock.Buttercup-Meadows-Cambridge Bicycles-and-Meadows-CambridgeThis summer I’m planning to use this book to explore more of the city and to see if I can find some more gems I haven’t discovered yet! Even after 12 years here, I love playing tourist. Especially when it involves ice cream 🙂

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*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.

Bank Holiday Sale for Claireabellemakes

It’s time for a bank holiday sale here! I am hoping to make some space in the studio for new stock, so everything is on offer at 30% off. Even the new glitter collections and card/pin bundle deals are included!Bank Holiday Sale May 2018

Grab a bargain in the Claireabellemakes Etsy shop here. Have a super bank holiday if you are in the UK!

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The Nomad Factory Traveler’s Notebook Review

It’s time for another stationery review! Over the last year, I’ve seen traveler’s notebooks become a huge trend in the planner community. From classic leather midori notebooks, to handmade fabric TNs, there are so many to choose from.

Today I’m sharing a Traveler’s Notebook from new indie stationery brand The Nomad FactoryTN-Reviews-Gold-Paper-Clips These guys take their packaging seriously. It’s simple, eco and classic. The notebooks are handmade from full-grain leather which is sourced from Yorkshire.

Travellers Notebook review The-Nomad-Factory-Notebook-Packaging The accessories are right up my street – metallics and cute tins for all the clips!
Nomad-Factory-Notebook-Review Travellers Notebook review-The-Nomad-FactoryYou can click on my review video to hear my thoughts and to look at the strings in detail! I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have ever tried a traveler’s notebook? I am going to be using mine for creative journaling and memory keeping. Let me know if you’d like to see my progress!

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The Nomad Factory gifted me these products. As always with reviews, all opinions are my own.

Life Lately #16: Fun Days Off

Anyone else feeling a little bewildered that it’s May already?! I’ve had a pretty hectic calendar these last couple of months, so I thought I’d share an update on what I’ve been up to. In between all the biz stuff I’ve managed to have a few fun days off.

At the end of April I joined the In Colourful Company folk on a colour walk around Brighton. We discovered some great murals and colourful buildings, enjoyed the pier and stopped at the C:\ Side Quest gaming cafe to hang out afterwards. I love Brighton (even if it was so cold with the seaside wind!) and seeing all my favourite creative pals was great. Especially as a few of them were wearing pins and necklaces from the shop!

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Top photos credit: HAH

Over the May bank holiday weekend, I had the pleasure of celebrating Jo’s hen do with a camping break in Burton-on-Trent. Now, I’m not one for camping usually, but we had the best time and the weather was really on our side. We had camping picnics and embraced the theme of “Jo’s Llama Llama Duck Do” with lots of decorations and a Llama pinata filled with mini cheese. We had pub lunches, went stand up paddle boarding and took Llama’s for a walk. What a dream weekend!! It was amazing to see Jo’s happy face all weekend and we had THE BEST time at the wedding yesterday – it was truly magical!

Jo's-Llama-Llama-Duck-Do Jo's-Llama-Llama-Duck-Do

Jo-and-Will-WeddingI’ve also been enjoying the sunshine in Cambridge now Spring has finally sprung. This week I had a day off with my fellow creative business friend Fuz who visited Cambridge with her little boy. I took them out on the river, we ate tasty food from the market (so much choice there these days!) and enjoyed treats from Jack’s Gelato.

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So it has been a fun couple of months! I’m still working on new collections, the website behind the scenes. Make sure you’re signed up to the newsletter to be the first to hear all the business news 🙂

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