Thursday, April 14, 2011

A journey

I first came across a French macaron a couple of years ago when I was reading Tartlette. She posts the most amazing pics and recipes of macarons ever. When she recommended visiting Paulette in San Francisco, I knew the macarons there would be the best. When A and I decided to visit the west coast, we had to drop by at Paulette. And Oh My God, I (we) have never been more enamored by a dessert. Those amazing colors and that awesome flavor - we were big fans.

Ever since then, a corner of my mind has been nagging me to try them out at home but I knew that an attempt would be pretty disastrous. This year I finally decided to give in and just do it - and for no less an occasion than A's bday! And I did, and I was right - it was disastrous!!

The first attempt was something like this - this was some kind of chocolate flavor that went straight from the tray to dustbin even before i baked it.

But, I did not give up and tried again. Attempt 2 - Rose - started off well, but I used wax paper instead of parchment paper (stupid me) and very horribly burnt them and had to wrestle out off the tray. Most of them were inedible but A was brave enough to try one (and got his teeth stuck together!).

Attempt 3 - Green tea - this time I used aluminum foil and A claims that there were edible, but I was extremely disappointed. You can see the burnt edges :(

 For attempt 4, A decided to help me and I was so irritated by this point that I did not even bother getting the process right. It was just discarded and the mixture never saw the light of the day.

At this point I almost gave up and decided not to ever try macarons again.
But that would have been really sad, because macarons are so colorful and summer is here and I want to be able to make them.

So with a heavy heart, I tried my next attempt - this is #6, if you are still counting. I ran out of new flavors and went back to chocolate (remember #1?).

The mixture was decent, it gave me enough for 3 trays. But I was not very optimistic.

The first batch was not a happy one - most of the crust was wafer thin and I was still having trouble removing it from the tray (in spite of the parchment paper)

 And then my luck changed - a bit :)

And things got a little better...
And a little more ...

And then finally, 1 dozen eggs, 1 pound sugar, 12 oz of almonds and a lot of blood, sweat and tears later (okay exaggerating a bit)...

What can I say... I am happy! They are still not what I aimed for, but at least I know, I can now try them again and hopefully someday will make my perfect macaron.

Happy b'day AJ