Thursday, August 26, 2010

Do not try this at home...

See a pic of my macarons? No? Now you know why.

Do not try this at home...

Straight up – the chocolate macarons I made in honour of one of my work mate’s leaving do were an unqualified disaster. (So was Ling leaving work. Please come back!) In fact, they were so bad, they provided the inspiration behind this blog. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just have to laugh at how crap things turn out – then share it with the rest of the world. There aren’t even any photos of my attempt. And this is a good thing. Adriano Zumbo himself would probably fly the five hours to Perth just to permanently ban me, in person, from trying to make them ever again if he’d seen what I did.

Chocolate macarons. But not mine.
I’ve heard that to make perfect macarons, consistently, is the equivalent of reaching the summit of Everest for patissiers – so, they’re hard to make. Much harder than I thought. The chocolate macarons to the right are what they should look like. But no, clearly they’re not mine. This shot of these actually come courtesy of San Churro in Leederville. These macarons were light, crisp on the outside, soft and gooey in the middle; just decadent little pillows of… yumness. Yes, I know that’s not a word.

Here are some adjectives to describe mine: burnt; hard as bullets; bitter; uneven; just plain crap. I did get some positive feedback from the poor work mates I inflicted them on. A few said they actually tasted okay. They kind of did too. Initially I said they were macarons, but after awhile I was just so embarrassed that I started introducing them to people as ‘chocolate biscuits with chocolate ganache’. Even that’s a generous description of them. In reality, I should never have plated them up. (I hear you groaning!) Matt Preston would have smashed the plate on the floor and said ‘that’s disgusting’. And he would’ve left it at that.

But I think I know what went wrong. Firstly, I started to make these at 9pm the night before, after a long day of work. That’s just inviting disaster. Secondly, I’d never made these before. Normally, not a problem; the dulce de leche cheesecake was the first time I’d made that too and that was a success. But these are macarons we’re talking about. Thirdly, the recipe was fairly simple. Sounds silly, but I’ve seen these made on Masterchef. They shouldn’t be that simple to make. I need to try a new recipe for the next attempt (and don’t worry, I’ve got loads). Other things: my oven is crap (too hot, which is why they burnt); I don’t think I got the right consistency with the macaron batter; and lastly, by the time I’d made the ganache (again, which I’d never made before), it was really late, I wasn’t thinking clearly and took it off the heat too soon. It was uber runny.

And this is the point of this blog – its raison d’être. It’s to show that when things go right, I love to share that with everyone and celebrate an achievement. When it goes horribly wrong, it shows that I (usually) know what went wrong and how I can fix it next time. And hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. Watch this space for the next attempt.

1 comment:

  1. Hot ovens are good, not bad. Just set it 20C lower than the temp suggested by the recipe.