This week (& month!) is all about the macarons. I've made two new types every day of the week, all in 1:24 scale. The progress in consistency as well as ease of making them in this scale has been surprising. I really didn't think that my hands were capable of making improvements in details smaller than half a millimeter in size, but here we are.
These were my very first maracons, meant to be vanilla bean beauties. While the vanilla bean detail came out wonderfully, I would not exactly call these beauties, though I still love my wee misshapen creations. When I first started making them, I was shocked that I could make them with any amount of detail. How could such blunt & unweildly fingers create anything that even vaguely resembled such decadent pastry?
After a solid week of working on them daily, my newest beauties (blueberries & cream) have improved in proportion & shape. These ones were far easier to balance on the plate, having a smoother bottom to rest on. I've gotten better at creating a scant half a mm of detailing on one side of the millimeter & a half top & bottom. The creamy filling has gotten more proportionate to the overall size & is better contained between the top & bottom.
That's one of the things I've found in my macaron research - real, edible ones nearly always have the filling fully contained within the top & bottom. Often, the macaron foot & small amount of filling used mostly obscure the filling, especially one the ones that have a more jellied filling (versus the ones with a stiffer frosting-esque filling). I want my creations to be as realistic as possible in this case, so I'm doing my best to fully contain the filling within the top & bottom.
My template is working beautifully & is getting more tweaks as I use it. The spacing between sweets is ample enough to easily detail in each macaron foot. I've also added information on approximately how much clay is needed to create a 1:24 macaron of the proper size, so that there's less guessing in the future.
For the macarons themselves, I now have a dozen delightful flavors. I think I may go back to redo some of the original flavors (like the leftmost vanilla bean & raspberry cream ones) using my improved technique. Now that they're all much more precisely made, I'd like to try my hand at some tiny macaron trees or haphazard towers of them, which will look far more pleasing with better-proportioned maracons.
Starting on Tuesday, I plan on leveling up to 1:12 maracons, to see how my skills translate into working on something bigger and easier to detail proportionally.