The classic French macaroon became wildly popular in Australia about 4 – 5 years ago. I don’t know if it was the rest of the world as well, but it seemed you couldn’t walk down any street without being confronted by macaroons. Even milk bars and chinese take away restaurants had them.
If you’ve never experienced one, please stop reading immediately and find one – but only if it’s good. And by good, I mean two delicate biscuits with wafer thin crusts, a sweet chewy inner and sandwiched together with a complimenting cream, ganache or other surpise. Salted caramel will always be my favourite. You have my blessing to put your keto diet to the side for 5 delicious minutes but beware the sugar rush afterward.
Once I had discovered these little, expensive bites of French patisserie heaven, I set out on a mission to make them.
I spent hours, days, weeks on these things. Dozens of eggs, 20+ recipes, tears, new baking sheets, finer almond meal, organic powdered sugar. A Thermomix to help break down the almond meal and whisk the egg whites. And finally, a new oven.
After months of attempts and slowly fattening my boyfriend up, I got a few good macaroons. I know I am hard on myself, but each batch had something not quite right about it so I tried and tried again. But it continued. My google search history read along the lines of …Why won’t my macaroon feet rise? Why are my macaroons wonky? Why is there an air pocket on the inside? Why has the top cracked? How long until the skin develops? How hard should I fold the almond flour in? Should I use traditional meringue or Italian meringue? Why have they stuck to the baking paper, when they didn’t the other 27 times?
And then one day, the perfect macaroon was made.
It felt like a miracle. The problem is, what did I do differently?
I had no idea and I still don’t, because I will never cook another macaroon. Ever.
Now, when at a café and I am charged $4.50 for a macaroon, I savour every bite. If it is good, I insist on thanking the chef. Because those sweet little, perfectly footed, crack and air pocket free morsels are hard.
I think my months of eating failed macaroons eventually lead me to keto – just so I never had to bake another one of those damn things again!