Macarons Part 1
This is Macarons part 1 because I haven’t actually achieved the perfect Macaron yet. I’m determined I will, but until then I have to release my frustration in a blog post. I first tried to make Macarons last year; at the time I thought they were an utter disaster (see here) but actually that was my best effort to date (if you ignore the very first attempt which looked pretty similar to the ones I made on the weekend, and a few weeks ago).
Macarons are a dish I read about all the time and the dish I see on TV portrayed as the ultimate challenge; I don’t have a single cook book with a published recipe, so that suggests to me that most chef’s want to avoid them too. Difficult to get right, so if you can bake the perfect Macaron, you’re an awesome cook/chef in my eyes. I really do feel you can’t be really serious about food without mastering the art. I’ve been having Macaron envy for months reading blog posts from BraveTart and eat. live. travel. write. who have both achieved perfection. And, if you do a quick search online you will find umpteen other sites dedicated to the art of Macarons.
I’m usually pretty good at following a recipe, my internal rules of cooking usually go something like this: the first time I follow I recipe to the letter, once I’ve sussed out how it’s meant to be I can tweak and substitute to my hearts content. I was convinced I followed both the recipe on BraveTart blog while simultaneously checking the photos on eat.live.travel.write to the letter (maybe multi-tasking was my problem?) but still it didn’t work. I have made a classic meringue many times, to perfection, so couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get the meringue for the Macaron to work. Why, oh why was I failing?
It was time to consult Twitter. I still cannot believe it took me so long to embrace the delights of Twitter, I am constantly amazed my the generosity of strangers who are willing to give you advice just because. Many of my dear followers offered advice, and even a few non followers after I #tagged my Tweet with #Macaron; but because I was convinced I had followed the recipe to the letter it was difficult for people to say what had gone wrong. My favourite comment, after posting a photo of said disaster was “I’ve never seen them turn out quite like that, hey, if you’re gonna fail at least do it uniquely!”
My solution was to try and book myself on a Macaron course at Essential Ingredient, but a week before the event they were fully booked. I’m not even sure if I am going to like the taste of Macarons once I finally succeed, but ask anyone who knows me, once I have an idea in my head there is no giving up until it’s achieved.
So this was where my tale was going to end, as I waited for another cooking course to be scheduled. Until tonight. I was approving my comments on my blog when I read the latest comment from Jill at Mad about Macarons she wasn’t actually commenting about Macarons but I decided to look at her site, as you do, if you don’t think it’s spam. This lead me to the Mactweets site and their meringue tutorial. And this is when I realised I had mis-read BravTart’s recipe and I was adding the wrong sugar at the wrong time and when I tried to rectify it myself I added completely the wrong quantity. So after the double, triple and quadruple checking of the recipe, I AM going to get it right this weekend. Macarons Part 2 will be posted sooner than you think.
Posted: May 24th, 2011 under desserts.