Friday, December 23, 2011


I have an inflated sense of my own abilities.  Whenever I come across something I like, my first instinct is to proclaim that I could make it myself - cheaper, better and in more satisfactory quantities.  And then I rush out to buy powertools/sewing machines/musical instruments/surgical equipment and/or piping bags.

Thus it happened that the purchase of a perfect little box of crisp-shelled macarons at the farmers' market some months ago resulted in the urgent acquisition of Secrets of Macarons and much strutting and bold boasting of the sweet treats that were to come.

I decided early on pistachio macarons.  The Fella likes anything with pistachios in it, and they seemed like a sophisticated entree into the world of this most beautiful biscuit.  I could just see them, all lined up in their glossy-domed glory, a flirtation of sweet ganache hinting at the rewards that lay within their glorious shells.

In my biscuity fantasy land they looked like this:

Perfect macarons that look as though they might have been made by a professional pastry chef.

But alas, what emerged from my kitchen yesterday after a whole day's work was less exquisite.

Pastry chef?

No, these looked like they had been made by a duck.  Using locally-sourced ingredients.  From his own swamp.

And to add insult to injury, the recipe made 136 of these!  136 little bites of failure and shattered dreams.

All except the final batch I baked.

Having become fed up with piping tiny little circles, I made four big ones, which were to be my crowning glory.

These are not little bites of failure and shattered dreams.

These are large bites of failure and shattered dreams.

The recipe (from Marechal, J. Secrets of Macarons Murdoch Books 2010 - which is the source of the attractive macaron image) is not scannable.  

But I don't imagine you want it anyway.


  1. I can't believe you're having a day long biscuit festival when you've got EIGHTY-NINE books to go. Cook! Cook faster!

  2. I've still got five days. No need to panic.

  3. Where did the current fascination with macaroons come from? Not just you, everyone. Why macaroons? Why not, I dunno, eclairs? Easier to make (and to spell...)

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