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Playing with new packaging

Just spent some time messing with my lovely new boxes and took a few photographs as well. I have been asked for some ideas for wedding favours so looked at one or two in a box which seems to work well. The larger boxes hold 4,6 or 8 so they will be used as gift boxes I think. All of the colours can be changed to coordinate with corporate themes as well as weddings by not only changing the macarons colours but also the ribbons.i can see the options are going to be endless!

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A wonderful creative session

I went to see a good friend today who is the top events florist in Manchester and the north west, to play with macarons and flowers. We were creating unusual ideas for weddings and functions that combine the two items .I have been asked to collaborate with piccolinos restaurant in Liverpool to provide macarons and table centres for their wedding functions and wanted to enlist Annaliisa@springbankflowers.co.uk as she is so talented!! We only spent 30 minutes together but these photos hopefully show a little of our joint passion for trying something different.

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Macaron tower

I made my first macaron tower yesterday for a friends 50th birthday party,as I needed to practice on friends before making one for clients! It was a brilliant opportunity to cost the cake as well as time myself assembling it on site. I had tried to work out how many I would need using the mathematical formula for finding the surface area of a cone,but had underestimated by about 35!! It took 215 macarons and over an hour,hence the premium price charged for these cakes!!!
Everyone loved eating my experiment and the most popular flavour ? Blackcurrant!!
Off to do some prep for a new corporate client meeting tomorrow and prepare a quote for wedding favours so my planned quiet day not happening. At least the expected hangover has not appeared yet! The most amazing entertainment was provided by penny mac who took charge of the music in more ways than one!!

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My fist attempt at blog with iPad!

I have just found an app for my iPad that I downloaded months ago! I remember looking at it and thinking I had no idea what to do with it and just left it alone. So this is my first blog on my iPad and I’m going to see what I an get up to with it!!

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I am hoping a picture will appear of the summer berry muffins that have just come out of the oven,and I will now attempt a picture of the chocolate chip brownie cooling in my kitchen,or should that be” from my kitchen”?!

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Feedback from a taste of Trafford

As predicted it was a very busy day at the market yesterday and I am about to put the dishwasher on yet again as the clearing and cleaning up is taking forever today. As I thought,I was vigorously questioned about my recipe and production methods for the macarons! I was as helpful as possible without giving too much away but I am amazed at how many people are determined to crack the macaron challenge!! One lady asked if I would give a lesson and I think that would be great fun(apparently there is a groupon offer at the moment of a macaron lesson for £29 !)I will have to look at the logistics and costs involved to see if it’s a viable proposition.
I can feel the business is gradually building and I am cooking more and more each week but events like yesterday are perfect for market research and chatting with customers and I am amazed at how the gluten free products are becoming more widely recognised. A local tea shop came to see me on the stall and they were specifically interested in my gluten free range as more and more of their customers are asking for a choice of gluten free cakes and deseserts.
Perhaps this is te direction the business might take to cater for a growing specialised sector of the food retail market?
You just never know what lies ahead and over the years I have learnt to embrace change and challenges rather than fighting against them as there is normally a good reason behind both!!

Taste of Trafford

I am really excited about tomorrow and I always look forward to meeting fellow foodies! My son who helps me on the stall says I talk to much,and maybe I do, but it’s so lovely when people are genuinely interested in our products. The funniest thing is that now macarons are appearing in the media more and on cookery programmes people come up to me to ask me how I make mine as they are so difficult to produce. I don’t mind passing on tips but stop short of giving my exact recipe away,as it took me over 6 months and many disasters to create the macarons I feel are as good as I can get. My recipe allows for a slightly softer middle texture than some as I like the contrast of crisp shell and velvety centre. Strangely I still haven’t tired of trying new flavours,colours,and products using macarons as they are so very versatile. The rocky road I make uses my reject shells rather than biscuit and I have been trying to think of a more appropriate name to convey the more luxurious taste so any suggestions gratefully received.

What a difference  2 hours makes! Sunshine and a lovely buzzing atmosphere at the market,some brisk early trade with our regulars. We have a particular guy who stops every Saturday on his way to work and buys an enormous choux bun for his breakfast because his wife won’t make him anything on a Saturday,I wonder what she would think if she knew ??!!

All things chocolate sell well and it looks like I will be baking again this afternoon for tomorrow’s @ Taste of Trafford event. The advertising seems to be more successful this time and I just hope the rain holds off as here are lots of brilliant outdoor attractions as well as the food producers on the indoor market.

I cannot believe that I have only been blogging for 2 days and I have already had an enquiry about macarons for wedding favours from a lady who had read my blog ,went on the website,and the called me! Is it just a coincidence or does this social media thing really work??!!

Rainy morning. If there’s one thing you do not want to see at 7am on the morning of a market it’s rain!! Oh well stiill got to get out there and load the car,wake up my assistant(large ,grumpy son ) and get to the market!

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A quick coffee before collecting my daughter from school and a stock take for the markets we are doing this weekend.Lots available for gluten free friends and customers; clementine cake,rocky road,coconut cake,macarons,pear and banana loaf and macaron geant!! For everyone else I have just finished the large choux buns , no coffee  flavour this week,just lemon or chocolate and vanilla. After a few requests I have made some fruit pies as well as the cheeses and onion pies. ( not sure if anyone will want rhubarb? Or pear and rhubarb??)

I like to use what I can get locally from alty market and the rhubarb was too good to resist last week but none of my family keen,only as a rhubarb fool which isn’t the healthiest option!.

Hazel I hope you are reading this as you helped create my website but couldn’t quite get me blogging, until now!!!

Taste of Trafford

up since 6.30am, trying to decide what to cook for the stall tomorrow on Altrincham market and the big event on Sunday! Seems people love to see the macaron on specialist food markets and the more flavours the better so will start there I think! Going to make sure lots of gluten free products are available after meeting such lovely people last weekend at a coeliac meeting in Poynton . I was really suprised and flattered at the positive feedback I received and it seems my coeliac pals are right that there is very little on the market that can be eaten as a treat or given as a gift. Not everyone has the time or the inclination to bake and that side of the business seems to be growing.

Well, signing off now to get my daughters breakfast, and then going to check if I have actually managed to ‘blog’ as its all very new to me !!

Lulu Macaron - Born to Bake

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