I am back! I know you have all been waiting SO anxiously for a new post! Every week I thought about how I needed to write up a post, and the next thing I knew, a whole month flew by. What has everyone been up to? Sometimes I can’t even think of what I’ve been busy with, but I know I must have been doing something. Let’s see…sometime over the last few weeks, I took a croissant-making class (which pretty much convinced me that I will very likely never ever make my own croissants at home–if anyone has a quickie recipe that doesn’t come from a can, I’d like to know), learned how to zip around on a Segway for a friend’s birthday (which was kind of scary at first–you feel like you might tip over–but then super fun once we started doing a little off-roading), decorated a wedding for good friends (I love weddings, I love how people come together for a special occasion–and okay, I admit it, I kind of like getting all dressed up too), oh, and got my taxes done (pretty dull but very necessary).
I also had a really fun visit from three of my cousins (they’re sisters) to learn how to make macarons this past weekend (to be clear, they wanted to learn from me how to make macarons). They say I’m like their 4th sister; we don’t see each other often, but when we get together, we’re always talking over each other trying to catch up. Unfortunately for them, they had the misfortune of having me instruct them on how to make macarons. I’ve had about a 50% success rate, hardly enough to qualify me to teach anyone. We set out to make strawberry macarons, and I thought I’d try a new recipe (of course I would do that when showing someone how to make macarons for the first time). I bought this book from Amazon, which got good ratings. The discrepancy in the spelling of “macarons” should have tipped me off–the title of the book was “Macarons”, but each recipe referred to them as “macaroons”. Very strange, I don’t know who did the editing (we all know it should be “macarons”!). Something seemed off when whipping the egg whites so I tried to trouble shoot it, given my expansive knowledge of making macarons. Suffice it to say they did not turn out perfect–or even close. I think we were maybe able to make six (SIX!) macaron sandwiches out of a batch that should have made 24. My cousins were so gracious and kind, saying they were delicious, as we sat down to our 6 macaron sandwiches with tea. They really were quite good. But how disappointing to put so much effort into something that turned out so disastrous. Of course we took pics of the few that did turn out, pretending like it was a successful afternoon of macaron-making (the beauty of the iPhone camera and filters!)–the world doesn’t need to know what really happened (except now I just told you).
Coming off of that debacle, I had to prove to myself that I *CAN* make macarons. So this week, I wanted to make blackberry lime macarons. I wanted to celebrate Spring (pastel colors and berries and all), and I thought the flavors might go together. I returned to the only recipe that has worked for me so far, which comes from Laduree: The Sweet Recipes. I have gotten the most consistent results from their macaron recipes–their instructions assume you know the basic steps to making macarons, so they’re not very detailed, but their proportions are correct. My blackberries didn’t survive until the day I got to make these macarons, so the macarons ended up being simply lime flavored. But no matter, the Laduree recipe still worked for me, and as the French would say, voilà, my macarons were beautiful! (well, most of them; and as you can see, some still had a little dimple on them) I’ve learned my lesson to use a recipe I know works when showing someone how to make something.
I’m not going to include the recipe, since it’s very similar to the Macarons Citron (substitute lime for the lemon), except I also added lime zest to the macaron shells (if using 3 egg whites, the zest from one lime was enough flavoring). It also takes me forever to type out these recipes. I hope you try making them though. As frustrating as it can be when macarons don’t turn out, it is truly a victory when they do, and so worth it.