Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Lekue Macaron Kit with 2 Mats


Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

I'm a fan of these troubles. They are really pretty and playful to make, and are simple yet elegant (and trust me, when they are made correctly, they are delicious too!). But just one wrong step in the whole process can send a whole batch of Macarons straight into the bin. Last year the baker inside me has gone on a holiday, leaving me with a train of baking failures. It felt like ages since I last baked Macarons!

When Lekue approached me with this lovely opportunity to review their Macaron Kit with 2 Mats, I was really excited! I have always wanted one of these Macaron mats as I can never make perfect circles that are all the same size. Perhaps it's also time to see whether that baker has finally come home?


Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

Lekue Macaron Kit with 2 Mats (rrp 50 EURO, approx £41.60) comes with their Decomax set, which includes 6 nozzels and is made of platinum silicone and ABS plastic, 2 silicone mat, each with 24 Macaron markings (a small one inside the bigger one), and a recipe book.


Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

The Decomax was very easy to use, can hold plenty of batter, and is super easy to clean. I love it that it comes with 6 nozzles, so it isn't just for making Macarons, but can also be used for piping shaped cookies, icing or cream, as well as chocolate too! The only down side is that when the batter is almost gone, you have to unscrew it, scrape the batter down towards the nozzle, screw it back up and pipe with a bit more difficulty as there aren't much of the batter left to pipe. I'm still very happy with it as disposable piping bags (I'm not keen in reusable ones) I used to use aren't eco friendly at all. And it really is very easy to fill and clean.


Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

The thing with Macarons is that you should always stick to the recipe that worked for you (and keep practising!). I decided to try a batch with my own recipe (pink), and a batch using Lekue's Basic Macaron recipe (blue), to compare the difference.

After a whole year not doing any baking, my first batch of Macarons didn't turn out as nice as it used to be (seriously, not an excuse!). I had a few hiccups but at least I know where it went wrong. It's still delicious and they disappeared within minutes! I had to quickly save the last one so I can get hubby's opinion.


On to batch 2. While reading Lekue's recipe, I got a bit worried. The recipe called for 3 egg whites, instead of measuring them in grams, which I'm used to. I stuck to it anyway, and also stirred the ground almond and icing sugar into the whipped egg white (to meringue state). Again, I wasn't very comfortable with this as I only fold dry ingredients into the whisked wet one, never stir!

While watching the air being stirred out of the batter, I couldn't help myself and started folding them instead. I think I can understand what the recipe was trying to achieve (reaching the right consistency by knocking air out from the overly whipped egg white, instead of trying to whip it to the right state, which is just before the white forms soft peaks, and then folding more air in), but after years of baking, I just can't bring myself to do it.

I did stick to the 25 minutes baking time without dropping temperature or keeping the oven door ajar, though my gut told me that they are gonna turn golden brown instead of retaining their colours.

I was surprised that the Macarons turned out with foot (the "ribbon" edge), but as predicted, the Macarons were browned, and it was a bit overcooked as well. However, the crispy shell was thicker, and it tasted nuttier too (do note that mine was undercooked *ehem*)


Even though both batches of Macarons weren't perfect, they were gobbled up in no time, so I didn't bother making a filling for them. I might try to re-adjust my recipe again and combine the good from both recipes.

I also made a 3rd batch (purple), which was almost perfect if I haven't open the oven door too wide apart. You can tell that they were smoother and shinier though!  


Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

Macarons Silicon Mat, Macarons Baking Kit, Lekue Decomax

The silicone mats were fantastic for the job. The markings have saved me from doing a lot of guess work and I didn't have to try to find a match from a bunch of oval shaped Macaron shells. They are fairly easy to clean and eco friendly as well. The Macaron silicone mats will be perfect for making pipped out cookies too!

Whether you are technical like me or just enjoy the convenience and taste, if you like pipped cookies or Macarons, this is definitely a kit worth buying or gifting. They also have a Macaron Kit with 1 Mat (38.00 EURO, approx £31.62) that makes 24 pipped cookies or 12 Macarons, or other gift sets as well (chocolate piping templates, waffles, whoopie pie, etc) that comes with their popular Decomax.


Disclosure: I was sent a baking kit for review purpose; all opinions are honest and my own