We quiz Tim on Masterchef, macarons, medicine and more…

Macarons from Macarons & More by Tim Kinnaird

You were a Masterchef finalist in 2010. What is your favourite memory from your time on the show?
It’s really tough to choose one, but the thing I treasure most was the friendship and camaraderie with my fellow finalists Dhruv and Alex.

What has been your biggest challenge in making the move from medicine to macarons?
None of it’s a challenge – sort of – it’s been a huge amount of fun.

Why did you decide to focus on creating macarons and cakes?
I love the precision and elegance of macarons. I think cakes and patisserie are ripe for reinterpretation with more modern techniques and flavours.

What does a usual working day at Macarons & More hold for you?
Usually a bit of everything. Baking, serving in the shop, running the business. Every day is definitely different from the next.

As well as your famous macarons, you also create bespoke celebration cakes – do you have a favourite commissioned creation so far?
Yes – we recently made the Swiss Re Gherkin out of macarons with an accompanying River Thames.

You opened your first Macarons & More shop in Norwich last year. How have you found making the move from being an online-only business? Are you still hands-on with the baking?
I’m still baking, more so at the weekends in the shop. It’s been a steep learning curve running a shop. Producing a wider range and keeping our counters full has been hard work. The response locally has been brilliant but has pressured our production kitchen.

Baking at Macarons & More

Where do you source your ingredients?
Where we can, we source locally, including free-range eggs and dry goods. Fruit is from Norwich market.

How long does it take to create new flavours and hone new recipes?
Sometimes it takes five minutes to come up with something new, sometimes months.

Aside from ordering online, how can people not in Norwich get to taste your macarons and cakes? Do you attend any food festivals and shows?
Yes – we attended the BBC Winter Good Food Show at the NEC last November.

What’s next for Macarons & More? Another shop perhaps?
Possibly more shops, but we need bigger kitchens and storage first. Maybe Cambridge, then London, New York…Tokyo next! I’d like to add more products to our online range.

You recently published a book, Perfecting Patisserie, for ambitious home cooks looking to take their baking to the next level. Have you got any other books or side projects planned?
I’ve just finished a second book on marshmallows and I’d like to write more.

Do you have any top tips for readers wanting to try making macarons at home?
Don’t – buy ours (I’m joking!). Use a recipe that uses Italian meringue and concentrate on getting the final macaron batter texture correct.

Does it annoy you when people say ‘macaroons’ rather than ‘macarons’?
No – I used to call them macarooooons and did on MasterChef. It doesn’t matter what they are called as long as you enjoy eating them.

And finally – and perhaps most importantly – what is your favourite macaron flavour?
Always salt caramel!

 

Michelle Grady

Michelle is an ex-Fed Up & Drunker who has now been released into the wild.

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