Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No Beginner's Luck Here

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!
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Paris Pastry said...

What a coincidence! I was planning on making macarons for tomorrow (I already aged the egg whites, as Pierre suggest) and wanted to look up your lemon macarons you made a while back, and here you are, with the lemon macarons!! So thanks for posting this! Have a fun weekend!

claudia said...

I tested those macarons and indeed they ARE good!

claudia said...

I really meant "tested" past of "to test". I could also say that i tasted them too!

Barbara said...

Hmmm. I still haven't made these, have the recipe sitting on my desk top. I was hoping to have good luck on my first attempt and have to admit I probably won't make them again....just want to prove I can do it once. I usually do try to tell people when a recipe is an old favorite.
Have a lovely long weekend!

Chef Bee said...

I have never tried to make macarons but these look delicious. I should give this recipe a whirl.


Ingrid said...

Very nicely done, Lucie!

Can't wait to read all about your upcoming posts. Have a wonderful weekend and good luck with the driving thing!

cookies and cups said...

glad to know they tasted great!

Anonymous said...

Spooky! I made macaroons for the first time yesterday- they look fantastiques!

Sinful Southern Sweets said...

I am going to get around to those macarons one day!! Yours are just lovely. Hope you have a fabulous trip!!

grace said...

learning to drive is definitely a bit of a challenge, but it's such an awesome skill to possess--keep on keepin' on!
and wow, i'm not usually keen on lemony desserts, but your macarons look perfect for this balmy weather! huzzah for a successful round 2!
have a nice trip. me = jealous. :)

Lucie said...

Paris Pastry: Just noticed your recipe and it looks great!!

Barbara: You definitely should make these if you have a spare couple of hours--they're pretty easy if you follow the recipe to a t, and sooo worth it taste-wise!