I made around 150 Macaroons over Christmas

I'm not sure where it all came from, but I woke up one morning and thought, today i'm going to make some macaroons. Didn't give it a second thought that macaroons are very difficult to make or that i'm as good as baking as I am at football (crap by the way)

So thanks to Mary Berry I attempted my first batch, which to be fair went better than expected, but they weren't as smooth as they should be, the colour was a bit pale and the 'feet' (the fluffy bit) was blowing out. See below:

Made my first ever macaroons, not bad really

So a bit or research on the texture and I found out that even though the ground almonds you buy are very fine, they need to be sieved and processed further to get a smoother finish. This did help the texture, but it's still not as smooth as it should be. Colour was still a problem though, it was still very pale, as you can see in the below pictures they go in quite pink but come out pale. The feet are still blowing out though, so two problems to tackle

More macaroons ready to go in the oven

More macaroons!!

Ok, so liquid food colouring is a no no, it thins our the mixture a bit but more importantly it really fades when cooking. The solution? gel food paste, it's very thick so doesn't thin the mixture out and keeps it colour when cooking, problem solved. Next problem, the feet, so more research and the heat in the oven is crucial and I don't trust my oven so an oven thermometer was purchased. Turns out my oven is about 10 - 20 degrees out!, so I have the perfect temperature, but what else? I found that I should be using two sheets of parchment paper to insulate the bottom of the macaroons, this stops them cooking to quick and causing the blow out of the feet! Things are looking up now, but I still need to get the mixture smoother and the right consistency, I think this is to do with the eggs. I have read that there is an ageing process to the egg whites and that you should separate them out and leave them in an air tight container for 2 days before mixing as fresh egg whites are not the best for mixing? Below are the latest efforts, I will be carrying on with experimenting to get them perfect!