Like many other people, I have become obsessed with the macaron. I need to perfect them – and soon. They are the trickiest little things I have ever attempted to bake and require such extreme precision…the age of the egg whites, the texture of the almond and icing sugar, the consistency of the mixture, the piping of the batter, the time required to rest the piped cookie, and temperature regulation of the oven. Sacre bleu!
My notebook for baking these elusive treats resembles something a science student would take to class over a collection of jottings from the kitchen. It contains copious details of all my macaron ‘experiments’, as my macaron obsession has become a science project in a way. Yet at the same time, I cannot ignore the simple beauty and art of the macaron.
I am fortunate to have tasted many macarons from a number of Paris’ top patisserie houses…Gérald Mulot, Ladurée and Pierre Hermé. These macarons were perfect specimens. Faultless in every way. From the perfectly smooth top, the frilly feet, and the delicate texture. The combination of the crispy exterior and chewy interior of these most perfect macarons was a delight to savour.
Being so very far away from these patisserie houses now does limit my options for ongoing sampling. Perhaps a bit of a windfall for my waistline but not for curing my obsession. A few small bakeries in my hometown sell macarons, yet not quite to the calibre I tasted in France. There are limited options here. Buy them or bake them myself? Unfortunately, I can only see win, win? How terrible.