Why buy Christmas tree ornaments when you can make them yourself, and then eat them?! This was the very epiphany I had last week when after moving into a new house I suddenly realised I had nothing to decorate a tree with (in my spring-cleaning chuck-everything-away state they were tossed in the bin). But if you’re a baker, who needs glass/plastic baubles when you can make your own which coincidentally look and ARE good enough to eat. My infatuation with macarons continues this year (I tried to convince you all last year to give them a bash with this Christmas mince pie macaron version) with my spiced gingerbread macaron – which I might add, if Christmas had a taste, would taste like this! And with the beautiful edible copper, gold and silver dusts and glitter you can buy these days, it’s super easy to add sparkle to your tree. Hang them up and after Christmas dinner, when the family asks where’s dessert? Channel your inner Heston Blumenthal and just point to the tree!

I know macarons are daunting but I’ve tested this recipe so many times I can recite the quantities and it works every time. My five crucial points to success are:
 
1. Grind and sift the almonds and icing sugar thoroughly
2. Beat the egg whites until very stiff – they should form very stiff peaks.
3. Fold until the mixture looks like lava – it should ooze when dropped from your spoon.
4. Check your oven temperature!
5. Bake on the lower third rack of your oven.