It’s been so cold in London all week and I’m looking forward to a lazy weekend hanging out at home. The fire will be on, pampering will be taking place, favourite comfort foods will be eaten and a few great movies will be watched. I’ve been inspired to treat myself to this lazy weekend after finding this photo above and below of Kate Moss taken in one of her old apartments.
I love the craziness of this season’s nails but I’m going down the neutral route this weekend. I’m in good company though as Alexander Wang sent his models down the runway with a grey translucent nail polish (see Daily Candy’s video clip behind the scenes at Alexander Wang and how they got the nail effect using nail polish from the Butter range). I love Chanel nail polish as seen in the photo but even better than Chanel for durability is the nail polish by Urban Outfitters.
I’m going to have a go at making macaroons. I can’t imagine that they are going to turn out like this but I’ll let you know if the recipe I find is any good (or if you have a good recipe, pass it on). If you pass by Selfridges you could always drop in and pick up a batch of freshly made macaroons at the Pierre Herme Boutique. Pierre Hermé being one of France’s most celebrated dessert chefs. It seems that Lanvin has taken fashion inspiration from the colour of the macaroons.
Update on the post: this is the recipe I will be using which is one of Lorraine Pascale’s recipes. Lorraine was a former model who gave up modelling to pursue her passion in baking. Lorraine currently has her own hugely popular TV show and a cake shop called Ella’s Bakehouse. Her macaroon recipe is nice and simple.
Equipment and preparation: You will need a piping bag fitted with a 1cm/½in nozzle.
125g/4½oz icing sugar
125g/4½oz ground almonds
90g/3½oz free-range egg whites
2 tbsp water
110g/4oz caster sugar
food colouring (optional)
desiccated coconut, for sprinkling (optional)
150ml/5fl oz double or whipped cream, whipped
Preheat the oven to 170/C/325F/Gas 5 and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Put the icing sugar, ground almonds and 40g/1½oz egg whites together in a large bowl and mix to a paste.
Put the water and caster sugar in a small pan and heat gently to melt the sugar, then turn up the heat and boil until the mixture starts to go syrupy and thickens – I don’t use a thermometer but if you prefer to use one, it should read 115C/239F at this stage.
Whisk the remaining 50g/2oz egg whites in a small bowl until medium-stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl, then pour in the sugar syrup, whisking until the mixture becomes stiff and shiny. For coloured macaroons, add a few drops of food colouring. Tip this meringue mixture into the almond paste mixture and stir gently until the becomes stiff and shiny again.
Spoon into the piping bag. Pipe a little mixture under each corner of the baking paper to stop it sliding around. With the bag held vertically, pipe 4cm/1½in flat circles onto the lined tray, about 2cm/¾in apart, twisting the bag after each one. The mixture should be quite loose to give a smooth finish. The piping will leave a small ‘tip’ on each circle so, when they’re all piped, give the tray 2–3 slams on a flat surface to flatten them. At this stage, sprinkle with desiccated coconut if you want.
Leave to stand for 30 minutes to form a skin then bake in the oven for 12–15 minutes with the door slightly ajar until firm. Remove from the oven, lift the paper off the baking tray and leave the macaroons to cool on the paper.
When cool, sandwich the macaroons together with whipped cream. They can be kept for a couple of days, if they hang around that long!
Here is Lorraine cooking her macaroons. She first cooks pumpkin and rosemary muffins. If you want to skip straight to the macaroons, go to 6.45 on the video timer. Enjoy!