Sally is the macaron whisperer. She's also the super sweet, decadent dessert creator behind Simmer and Boyle, and a fellow more is more-r. In a nut (or macaron) shell, I like her a lot and you will too. We had a baking filled morning last week where things may have turned slightly obscene and these macaron ice cream sandwiches with ALL the trimmings were born. Between bites, I asked her some questions to find out all her secrets.
In the interest of you not having to scroll through a mile long post, the recipe for both chocolate and hazelnut macaron shells, salted caramel, cherry compote and chocolate ganache (I told you we went crazy) are all on Sally's blog right over here (with some gorgeous photos of her daughter showing us how a macaron ice cream sandwich is to be devoured).
// Have you ever actually screamed for ice cream?
Kind of. When we went to the moves in Melbourne we bought Ben and Jerry’s, always cherry garcia for me. Back in Sydney our local cinemas do not have cherry garcia, and I scream internally every time.
// Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a mum of 3, married to a great guy I met while enrolling at uni a long time ago. I was born in the UK, and moved to Aus when I was 16. I used to teach, but spend my time now running after the kids, and baking - there’s lots of baking. I’ve dabbled in home based catering, that’s on hold until we install our new kitchen. My dishwasher broke in March, I keep the oven door closed with a rolled up beer carton, it’s time.
I’m a bit of a collector - vintage furniture, china, cutlery, Liberty fabric, stationery. We’re out of space and I need to edit. Maybe a market stall in my future...
// You've travelled around a fair bit. What has been your favourite place to live?
Definitely Sydney, with Melbourne as a close second. I do miss the distinct seasons of the UK, as well as the old buildings, bonfire night, and Christmas when it’s cold. We spent a lovely couple of years in Scotland a decade ago, living in a beautiful early victorian house with the prettiest garden. We were lucky with great summers; you can’t beat a good British summer - balmy days and long, light filled evenings. On the whole the weather can be crap - I’m nostalgic but not deluded!
// What the heck is macaron maths?
Even in baking you can’t escape maths! I use an italian meringue macaron recipe based on the ratio of egg white to all other ingredients. I weigh my whites then calculate the quantities of the other ingredients.
// How long have you been blogging for and how did you get into it?
I’ve been blogging for 2 years. When we moved to Melbourne I put catering on hold and decided to start blogging to keep experimenting with food. I’m a procrastinator and a bit of a perfectionist. I enrolled in a food photography workshop because you can’t start blogging with dodgy photos, right? The course wasn’t great for me, but I met a lovely blogger, Jas @theglutenfreescallywag. Months later we ran into each other prop shopping at the Camberwell Markets and Jas helped me set up my blog. I’m in Sydney and Jas has moved to Perth but we’ve kept in touch. Blogging may be online, but I’ve met lots of lovely people and made many “actual” friends.
// You're a baker extraordinaire so you must have had one or two good flops. Tell us about it!
Not so sure about extraordinaire... I’ve had many flops! Most recently the disaster was macarons made with coconut meal - they didn’t even make it to the piping bag! Last month there was pavlovagate; pavlovas are my go to dessert when I don’t want to faff about. This one I screwed up spectacularly. I think I mistook tapioca flour for cornflour - don’t do that!
// How many macarons you've made in your life? Be precise please.
Close to 10,000 I’d guess (sorry about the guessing!) but I’ve probably binned at least 500. Again with the perfectionism.
Thanks you so much for sharing some of your baking wisdom and lovely self with us Sally!