I’m not too proud to admit that for every glorious success I have in the kitchen, I have as many disastrous failures. Once trying desperately to impress my husband’s family with my cooking skills, I tried making profiteroles three times and each time they failed miserably. Almost in tears and definitely out of eggs, I gave up. It just wasn’t my day to make choux pastry.
So today I awoke with bright-eyed enthusiasm at the thought of cooking…macaroons! Let me just preface this whole story by saying I’d already tried making these babies a few times…once with success…twice with failure. But today I was determined to make these work. I did everything the little pink book told me to and worked that kitchen like a boss. By the time I got to letting them set, I was feeling good. They looked just right.
Then into the oven with them. I was being overly cocky and yelled out to my husband “They look perfect! They’re going to work!” But then everything started to go horribly wrong. They were cooking too quickly and colouring up more than they should. I escalated this situation to code red and pulled those soldiers from the hot zone. Sustaining one heck of a burnt hand injury in the process. So…they didn’t cook and deflated more quickly than my spirit.
I still made the chocolate ganache which is supposed to sandwich each half together but most of them were not coming off the paper. So I just dumped the chocolate on top with a ‘whatever’ shrug of my shoulders. I sat there despondent, with a distant stare and ate about five broken cookies. They still tasted ok. But I was making them as a gift for a friend and there was no way these passed quality control. So they got dumped into a container to make a ‘macaroon mess’. A few berries and ice-cream…and voila!
So, what have I learned from this experience?
- That macaroons are more fickle than a five-year old;
- Leftover chocolate ganache is easily turned into a lunchtime snack of chocolate milk by your husband;
- Don’t choose difficult baking items as a gift for friends;
- Even the most unappealing things can still taste delicious; and
- Never count your macaroons before they hatch!
And to show you what they should look in all their perfection…here is a picture of the one and only time they worked for me. If you have a macaroon secret….I would love to know it. I will not let these little almond delights beat me!