I chose to make the delicious and elegant Macarons. Studying French for a few years and being blessed to visit Paris and tasting the delicate joy of the macaron… I fell in love.
I recalled a couple of years ago deciding on whim to make Macarons, remembering it easy, flawless and successful…
*cue black & white montage of me in cute 50s French style baking gear cutely presenting the tray of PERFECT Macarons I had made.
Only later as I glumly threw the first batch of burnt macarons into the bin it occurred to me that I may have…potentially…just slightly…raised that successful macaron memory to…well, I don’t know…Mythic proportions?
Now don’t get me wrong – Making the macarons was fun. I blasted French music from my laptop like it was a machine gun; Edith Piaf and the cast from the French musical Notre Dame de Paris (a personal favourite) roared as the soundtrack to my tranquil mixing of the ingrediants (40 folds exactly!)
It was going well, I hadn’t skimped on ingredients and followed instructions carefully. Oh I banged that tray…loudly…on the table…so the air bubbles were released. Cracks? I’d like to see you try I thought, smugly.
The first batch was in and that’s when the challenge became apparent. The oven was not adequately strong! The macarons refused to come off the tray and had already been there twice as long as the recipe said. Frustrated I turned the oven up even higher.
Then 5 minutes later I checked the oven only to find my light blue macarons were a lovely shade of burnt. Chucking them into the bin, in damage control I put the next blue batch on. These ended up not burnt but cracked. So cracked…Oh well.
C’est la vie right?
Sighing, I had half given up by then. I’d try make the pink batch, hardening my heart to the inevitable disappointment.
The blue batch had been runny. I assumed this could have been due to the measurements not being quite right as a result of me losing some ingrediants due to the nature of the sifting. (Integral, we don’t want chunky macarons!) With the rose pink batch, I added a little bit extra icing sugar and almond meal.
Skip to the end result…
Magic. They were out, cooked perfectly in the required time. Not following the recipe exactly but gut intuition was amazing!
I fell asleep thinking of Macarons and awoke likewise. Next morning I warmed up the ganache.
…I tried again that evening…
For presentation, I piled them on a white plate with along with a sheet describing them.
This is the presentation result. Sure they’re cracked and bulky and chocolate is oozing out like dangerous lava for ones hips…but still didn’t this just add a rustic charm? These are the macarons a grandma would serve in her Nancy house in Lorraine. Grand-mere Maria indeed!
So…being pretty, bucolic and befitting of its name I decided on the name of ‘Macaron Rustique!’
It seemed to be received well by people at the food fair. As I wondered around nibbling on the delicious food my fellow classmates had prepared, I kept an eye occasionally checking the gradually diminishing plate. Until just one was left…and then none at all! Talking to people about the macarons resulted in many people telling me that macarons are tricky to make and giving me many overly generous compliments about the ganache filling and the success with the macaron feet that made my heart swell with pride. I’m glad they appeared to be well received, but despite the drama involved in making I felt humbled when put in perspective with the effort my fellow classmates went to to make such wonderful and tasty dishes!