French Macarons: Take 2 - Hints and Tips

Pastel Week continues, and we're back today with French Macarons! You may have seen my post a little while agao (if not you can read it here) on my love-hate relationship with these little beauties. Well for the pastel party I gave them another go, and was suitably pleased with my results! Most (well, quite a few) of them worked this time, only a few cracked/crumbled and had to be eaten (whoops!). I used my usual Martha Stewart recipe, which can be found here.
I have a few hints and tips to share, which will hopefully help if you fancy giving these a go!
1) Colour: Use a gel colour rather than a liquid. The liquid will change the consistency, which will mess everything up!
2) Pipe using a round tip. Some recipes say to just cut a piping bag, but it is SO much easier with a tip!
3) Give them a good hard tap once you've piped them onto the tray. A good way to do this is to drop the tray onto the counter/table, but from not too high obviously!
4) Baking. This is where things get tricky. I reckon, through a fair amount of trial and error, the best thing to do is to pop them in the oven at about 110/120oC. You will need to watch them. Turn the tray around regularly. Wait until they rise, then wait a little bit more to ensure they are cooked through, but make sure they don't turn brown.
5) Wait until they are completely cool before you remove them from the tray. Then wait a little bit longer. Pulling them off when they are still warm will cause them to break. This is one of those times when patience is definitely a virtue!
Macarons served with cupcakes, biscuits and fresh fruit, more to come on this later in the week!
Let me know if you have a go at making these, I'd love to add any advice you can give to my list!

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