Claireabellemakes Crafty Giveaway – Winners

Claireabellemakes Giveaway

WOWZERS! There were over 150 entries for the giveaway which I totally wasn’t expecting. Thank you to all of you who visited my blog and took part by commenting, following and tweeting. I loved hearing about your favourite crafts – so many different techniques and ideas.

G very kindly picked the winner and runner up and makes his debut on the blog.

Claireabellemakes Crafty Giveaway Winner

And the winner is…………………….Jo at Adventures and Tea Parties! I’ll be in touch by email to arrange delivery of your goodies!

Claireabellemakes Crafty Giveaway Winners

Don’t worry I’m going to be reusing/recycling all that paper!

The lucky runner up wins some of my Vanilla Macarons. Anna at The Dusty Attic, you are in for a little treat (hope you like macarons?!).

Vanilla Macarons by Claireabellemakes

THANK YOU all for following and supporting me. This week I also passed 1500 followers on Twitter which blew my mind. How did that happen?!! Each comment, repost and shout out you give me is so appreciated.

Don’t forget to visit me here next week for the last of my April giveaways. If you like crochet you might like it *hint hint*.

Have a super weekend.


Vanilla Macarons

Vanilla Macarons by Claireabellemakes

My first bake with “THE KITCHEN AID” was naturally going to be macarons. I have to fuel my obsession somehow and making them myself is cheaper than a train trip to Laduree in London. So I share with you today my adapted recipe for Vanilla Macarons.

Vanilla Macarons by Claireabellemakes

Ingredients (makes 16):

  • 75g Ground Almonds
  • 115g Icing Sugar
  • 2 x Egg White (aged are best)
  • 50g Caster Sugar
  • 1 x Vanilla Pod
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 50g Unsalted Butter (filling)
  • 115g Icing Sugar (filling)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (filling)

Sift ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl. Scrape seeds from the vanilla pod and mix well. You can whizz in the food processor to get a fine mix if you prefer. Line a tray with baking paper.

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).

Vanilla Macarons by Claireabellemakes

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 separate the egg whites and store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days before baking.)

Gradually add the caster sugar and vanilla extract continuing to whisk until the meringue is glossy and stiff.

Fold in the almond and icing sugar mixture in 3 portions until throughly blended. Cut and fold until the consistency is shiny and thick.

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

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, but I have practised A LOT so it all depends on your oven and a bit of trial and error.

Leave the macarons to cool for 10 minutes before peeling off the baking tray.

Vanilla Macarons by Claireabellemakes

You are looking for your macarons to have ‘feet’ (the crispy edge on the underside), which will shrink slightly as you remove them from the oven. If you didn’t leave your macarons to dry before baking or you overbeat the mixture, you will end up with cracked or feetless macarons.

For the filling, beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Assemble the macarons by sandwiching each one with the vanilla buttercream.

Vanilla Macarons by Claireabellemakes

The macarons will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days in a sealed container. However, if you live in my house they will not last that long as G and I love them!

Vanilla Macarons by Claireabellemakes

Have you ever made macarons?