The first (and last) time I made macaroons I was distracted. Never be distracted with macaroons. The first batch I put in the oven sunk, the second batch burned. I got cranky at the idea of macaroons and have not attempted them since. After two years, I decided it was time to try again!
I don’t have a good track record with meringues, so I was super conscious of doing things as perfectly as possible.
I wiped Penelope’s bowl down with a lemon to eliminate any fats or oils that could be lingering from its last use. I washed the lemon juice off and dried the bowl, then let it sit for a while to ensure that no moisture had hung about. I don’t usually have much patience for things like this, but I was determined to get these macaroons made!
I was so determined that this was going to be a successful macaroon making session that I planned three flavours. This was going to be a macaroonathon.
So I managed to make meringue with no problems. I was actually really impressed that I had made successful meringue. That is the extent of my success with macaroons. My first batch were lumpy and did not hold a nice shape. I’ll be honest, they looked like little lumps of poo. My second bunch was much more promising. The mixture was smooth and shiny, it glinted at me from the bowl even after I put the pink food colouring in. I tapped the bottom of the baking tray to remove excess air bubbles and I got prematurely excited. They were perfect circles, no lumps in the mixture – they were smooth, glossy little discs on the baking paper.
And then something went wrong. They expanded too much, they deflated, they looked like pancakes.
Is it too much to ask that I produce one successful macaroon? My creations tasted fab (which made it worth the time I put into double sifting the tant pour tant, the almond meal and icing sugar mixture) and they formed the shell but remained soft on the inside. They just didn’t look right.
One of my pet hates is cooks who put too much emphasis on aesthetics and ignore taste, but even I have my limits. These thing tasted fine, but I would never serve them! Not even a sprinkling of icing sugar could mask these abominations.
Luckily I had friends to mourn the macaroons disaster with me. We chomped on ill-formed marshmallowy-pancakey-pooey-things and had a laugh. This isn’t the end though! For the moment I’m going to recommend you leave it to the experts. Go visit Zumbo or your local patisserie.
Macaroons: 1 Gabby: 0 – they’ve won this round.
Until next time, macaroons.