Let discuss the numerous Macaron attempts... 

Trust me you need a moment to breathe between attempts and/or to save up for the ground almond meal, which is bloody expensive!

Attempt No.1: Too sweet, 4 trays and 10 successful macarons.  Actually they were all crap now that I have Attempt Number 5 to compare them to... 

Attempt No. 2: New recipe, new book and perfect taste, 4 trays and 8 successful macarons! 

Attempt No.3:  New recipe, worked out okay 2/4 trays, but what was that brown ring (not burnt?) maybe it was to do with the blueberry?!

Attempt No. 4: By this stage I'd given up on the books and resorted to google for research.  I found a few useful tips which resulted in 3/4 trays a success. The first batch came out of the oven too quickly - "this nervous baker saw those feet and panicked out of fear that something may happen to them..." As for the filling, sadly the idea of using melted caramel as a filler was great in theory but too hard when chewing! But at last, success. All my macarons got their beautiful 'feet'...    " You could say I had a Cinderella moment!"

Use these books with caution: Scrumptious filling recipes but as for the actual macaron mixture, the best advise I can give you is to ignore the cup measurements and weigh everything (refer to precise chart below).
Only refer to the books once you have made the basic shell recipe below and then add in the extras (spices, rose water and colouring) that are outlined in the books...

Attempt No.5: Nine months of testing and experimenting down.  To finally give birth to the perfect macaron was a moment to be proud of.  You may think I'm mad, bored or a just a desperate housewife with too much time on her hands and in need of a job (and also a visa let's not forget)...But I did it. The below baby photo is the third successful batch using this method by Syrup and Tang...

Recipe is adapted from Macarons - Chic and Delicious French Treats by Annie Riggs
Click here for more information
The French Macaron 
Sugar and spice
195g: Almond meal 
240g: Icing Sugar
120g: Castor Sugar
150g: Egg Whites

Spices: Fresh grated nutmeg, cinammon, and a pinch of cloves
The Filling
A buttercream icing
or 150g of Mascarpone
1 big tablespoon of dulce de leche
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Place icing or mascarpone into a bowl and stir in spices and dulce de leche...
Preparation: Line 3 trays with parchment paper and using a circle cutter trace circles onto the paper about 2 cm apart. Then turn the paper upside down as you don't want the outline of circle imprinting onto your macarons (yes, that happened in attempted Number 1)!

  1.  Using room temp egg whites ( that have been left out overnight), beat at a medium speed until white and stiff.  Slowly add sugar and continue to mixture until a peak forms.
  2.  Then fold in the sifted icing sugar, spices and almond meal (sift together, to ensure that it is super fine).
  3.  Using a piping bag with a large round nozzle, scoop in the mixture. Place the noszzle in the centre of the circle and squeeze until the circle is filled with mixture. Then repeat...
  4. Tap the tray 3 times on the kitchen counter to release the air bubbles.
  5. Then leave your macarons to sit for 30 minutes to an hour. (Test: they should not be sticky to touch).
  6.  While they are standing, make filling and preheat oven to 325F.
  7. Drop to 300 when your ready to bake your macarons
  8.  Bake them one tray at a time- place the macaron tray onto another tray (this is Referred to as double tray baking)...
  9.  Bake for 5 minutes. Then using a wooden spoon, slightly wedge your oven open and bake for another 7- 10 minutes. Repeat for each batch. Remember before placing the next tray into the oven return the heat to 325F and then drop the oven to 300F 
  10. Let your macarons cool completely before removing from the tray.
  11. Sandwich your macarons together using the above ginger filling and let them sit for a moment or two xo

Serve with tea, coffee or a glass of champagne xo

The Organised Housewife