Sometimes, a recipe goes exactly the way you want it to the first time around. Then, the second time, you think it's going to be just as great as the first. And somehow, it just screws up. Strange oven parameters or even the weather outside can account for this type of situation--whatever the reason, it usually leaves you extremely frustrated. "But I did everything right!". Well, maybe, but maybe not.
Oh, frustration. Frustration is my stalker right now. See, I'm learning how to drive, and no, this doesn't have anything to do whatsoever with baking. I take that back. Yes it does: I would rather be baking than stalling right in the middle of intersections. Just because, you know, all you can do to harm yourself when you bake is pick up a baking sheet from the oven with your bare hands (which, granted, hurts a lot). Stalling in an intersection? I guess you could harm much more than your hands. Thankfully, I came out of that physically unharmed, but with a great sense of frustration. I thought I had done everything right, and I didn't stall so much last week. I'm supposed to take my license exam in a little under two weeks. At this point, learning to chop vegetables at the speed of light seems like a more simple task.
Back to baking: my point is that it's good to know when something you used to be doing right goes wrong all of a sudden. Many cooking blogs out there showcase a recipe only once, and don't focus on how great it is in the long run. (Some blogs do though, and thank you to them!) Difficult pastries, for example, are easy to mess up the second time around, even if the first time worked out great. Beginner's luck?
Remember my lemon macarons? They were pretty amazing the first time around. Last week, I made them again, using American ingredients and without a piping tip. I was scared, at least for a few minutes. Then, I tasted the lemon cream. I tasted a macaron top. And I breathed a sigh of relief.
So, just to let you know, this macaron recipe really does work. And what's a better way to celebrate the arrival of Summer than a bite of creamy lemon heaven?
You'll find the recipe right here, taken from Pierre Hermé's book Macarons. Great book!
On a side note, I'm leaving tomorrow for the island of Vieques for a long weekend with my sister. When I get back on Monday, be ready to hear about failed lemon sticky buns and how to maybe make them magical, baking cookies with twelve year-olds, and who knows, a Puerto Rican specialty dessert?
Happy end of the week to everyone!