My affinity for macarons began when I was sixteen. One biteand I was in love. It was like heaven had descended in my mouth—the crackle of the crisp shell, the chewiness of the macaron cookie, held together with the richest, deepest caramel buttercream.
I’ve travelled far and wide in search of delicious macarons. Like croissants, they are of the impossibly-difficult-to-make-at-home variety. I’ve heard the horror stories: the lumps, the oil stains, the flat cookies.
French pastries and desserts, in my opinion, are best enjoyed over a cup of coffee with a friend, sitting on the patio of a bustling bakery in a quaint neighbourhood on a beautiful spring day. That was what I thought, anyways, until I actually tried making macarons at home.
I had avoided the inevitable for as long as possible. I had tried to stop making custards and crème brulee and other egg yolk based desserts. I had eaten rather flavourless egg white omelettes. I had used up leftover egg whites to make Swiss meringue buttercream.
But then then it happened. A couple Fridays ago, my younger brother attempted to make a custard for a chocolate ice cream base. I came home later to Kyle dejectedly standing over the stove, stirring an unsalvageable curdled chocolate custard.
“We can still use it, right?” he asked hopefully, as if the ice cream machine could turn the lumpy mixture into a light, smooth ice cream. I shook my head and told him that I would take care of throwing out the curdled custard if he would separate some more eggs to make a new one. With ten egg whites in my fridge, I knew it was time to attempt the infamous macaron.
My first tray of macarons ended up spreading and cracking, but surprisingly, my second tray of macarons, which had rested an additional twenty minutes on the counter, came out rather well. In the end, I was able to produce eight decent-looking macarons. Beginner’s luck, perhaps...?
Click below for the recipe.