I made macarons. Yes, you heard right - I FINALLY made macarons. Did I ever share about my previous two failed attempts at making this lovely french cookie? Perhaps not, cos it's supposed to be stored away in the deepest end of my memory. not to be dug out. Those experiences are too painful to be worth recalling.
Half a year on since my last attempt at making macarons using the French method, I decided to muster my courage and attempt the Italian meringue or sucre cuit method. Pastry chefs swear by it, even the famed Pierre Herme uses it, what excuse do I have to not try it? None. None at all.
Looking at the recipe, it does look a tad more tricky than the French method. But after breaking down the steps, the only additional one was the cooking of the sugar syrup to 118 degrees, which is supposed to yield a more stable meringue structure. There were a couple of differences in the ingredient composition as well, but after peering closely, this doesn't seem much more difficult than the French method.
After doing some more research and scrutinising various recipes, I decided to use Pierre Herme's. Since he's the pastry king, it should be fine right? If it isn't, it would be my fault, not his, narrowing down the error sources ...haha.
This time round, I put my heart and soul into making these delicate cookies. Sifting ground almonds can be such a pain, but I did it patiently for almost 30 minutes straight. Even mum was really encouraging, telling me to take my time in the kitchen. I didn't do everything according to plan - my instant read thermometer didn't quite reach 118 degrees, possibly because of the shallow level of liquid. Once it passed the 100 mark, saucepan brimming with bubbles, I decided to pour it in. The meringue turned out thick and glossy - just like how the recipe described, and the macaron batter looked really promising.
Once the pan was in the oven, I couldn't bear to look. I lay my head on the kitchen table and prayed that it will be a success. 3 minutes on, I peeped - no feet. Sigh. 6 minutes on, I couldn't resist and peeped again - ahhhhh I see feet! Finally! I was so happy I swear I could have danced right out of the kitchen...haha.
Finally! the elusive macaron is no longer elusive to me...
Finally! I no longer shudder with fear at the mention of its name...
Finally! no more disappointments...
Finally! I can make these lovely cookies in the comfort of my very own kitchen :)
7. Sandwich macaron shells with chocolate ganache.