Completed macarons! Courtesy of the Marshall Cavendish team and Hongde photography that composed and took these photos during the photoshoot!
The examples shown here will be featured in my upcoming book on creative macarons, published by Marshall Cavendish :).
Earlier on, I took the photos of as-baked shells with all of them looking incomplete except for the clouds. The royal icing/edible marker decorating madness began only when I had completed baking all 30 types of designs.
Begin by tracing the base of the car, taking care not to cover the wheels with red batter. Trace the top of the car by increasing pressure on the piping bag towards the middle of the car and reducing pressure towards the end. Use a toothpick to nudge the batter into tight corners. You may ask isn't it easier to pipe the car body with a straight line for the base before the wheels? The reason why I pipe the wheels before the car body is because the shape of the wheels will not be round if part of the batter falls on the car body and part of it falls on the baking paper.
The second way to pipe a complex shape is to break down the complex shape into simple shapes like the cloud example here.
The cloud is broken down into a series of circles. End off the piping by filling the center. Remember to bang the tray on the table after piping.
Sometimes you may want pop-up features on a macaron shell e.g. snout and limbs of a bear in this example. Pipe the pop-up features after letting the base shell dry for 15 minutes under the fan or in an air-conditioned room until a thin membrane forms on the surface. This membrane may feel a little sticky to touch but the batter should not stick to your finger.
In order to make a cute character macaron, sometimes you have to pull the batter to create fine parts like pointy ears or hair on the head. Here's how it is done with a toothpick.
I hope this is helpful for you! These videos are linked to my Creative Baking: Macarons book!