So today it's our 9 year wedding anniversary. 9 years. I mean, 9 years! That's almost a lifetime, right? Any time before we were together is a dim and distant memory now, but we have lots of happy memories and two wonderful boys to show for it :)
Continuing my experimentation with macarons, I thought they would make a nice treat to celebrate our anniversary and decided to look at shapes this time - and what better shape for love than hearts! To make the shell batter, I followed the same recipe and process that I used for my Matcha Macarons - minus the Matcha powder and I used Hollyberry Pink colouring instead of the green to colour them.
To create the heart shape, I created a PowerPoint slide with 12 standard Clipart heart shapes on an A4 sheet of paper and slipped this under the baking paper on my tray to use as a template. It's a little trickier to pipe the hearts and also I didn't achieve the smooth, flat surface that I usually have with the small round macarons but they just have a little more texture than usual! I also thought I'd experiment with some edible heart decorations and these worked well (some decorations can burn in the oven so I thought I'd try just a few with these until I was sure they would work).
We had a family party in the summer and I made a few different flavoured macarons and the most popular filling turned out to be Nutella. I personally find it a bit sweet but since hubby is a chocolate fiend, I thought these would work well with the contrasting dark colour of the chocolate spread.
If you'd like to have a go with these, please use my Matcha Macaron recipe but omit the ½ tsp of Matcha powder from the batter. Then to colour them, I used Sugarflair Sugartint Droplets in Hollyberry/Pink - I had to use quite a lot of this to achieve a dark colour but you can add as much as you like, just remembering that once you add the meringue to the mixture, it will tend to lighten in colour.
Finally, you'll need a jar of Nutella spread or whatever filling you choose for these - simple jam would be just as effective or you can mix the jam with a little buttercream to give a richer filling. The beauty of macarons is that they're so versatile once you master the shell, you can then experiment with lots of flavours, colours and toppings. I use a piping bag to fill my macarons and then sandwich the top onto them. If I had edible glitter, you'd probably see a little of that on there too - but then again, that might not be quite manly enough for this gift!