MACARONS BY IKE MALADA
As you've noticed recently there is macaron madness around Australia these days. If you haven't noticed you must have been living under a rock. Either way here are some words to add to your vocabulary:
macaron (noun) [ma-kuh-ron] ~ a drop cookie made of egg whites, sugar, almond meal. Sometimes also known as the 'macaroon'.
macar'owned (noun) [ma-kuh-rouhn-d] ~ The act of making macarons and totally failing
macaron'ed (noun) [ma-kuh-rohn-d] ~ The act of overdosing on macarons.
macaron-gasm (noun) [ma-kuh-rohn-gaz-uh m] ~ The physical and emotional sensation experienced at the peak of having some excellent macarons.
In the past few weeks, I've pretty much experienced all of the above. A few weeks ago I attempted to make macarons since I was given the book, The Secret of Macarons by Jose Marachel. My friend thought it was time for me to try making something else besides cakes...and so I can make them for her (she said it when she gave it to me!)
|ma petite cherie, je t'aime...|
I've been fascinated by the elusive macaron. I have seen my friends post photos of their macaron successes and failures...I've seen them express their happiness, relief and frustation at their macarons. I was scared. But as one of my favourite quote goes:
"Everything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile...initially scared me to death" - Betty Bender
I decided I had to face the macaron music. So I tried. To cut a long story short it was an epic fail. The batter was too runny, some of them went crispy in the oven, the macarons went soggy after putting the filling in them and my experience joined the long list of fail macaron stories..But I wasn't going to give up. I was going to find out how one makes them properly.
|The Macaron Milky Way|
Recently I have managed to meet a few amazing people in the baking world. Call it good fortune or serendipity but whatever it is I feel very lucky that I randomly meet people who have brought me closer to this world and I find people in this baking world are often sharers and carers. They love sharing their passion and are constantly happy to help you, give you a bit of advice and also feed you with the fruits of their labour!
Last weekend I was lucky enough to meet Ms Ike Malada, an amazing lady, who is not only talented but sooooo totally gorgeous (who ever said that us bakers are a frumpy lot?). Ms Ike is a consultant in the food and beverage world who has had many years experience in being a chef, running a restaurant and now has a few businesses in the food world. Check her out on www.ikemalada.com.au!
A mutual friend of ours introduced us and Ms Ike was kind enough to invite me to her home to watch her make macarons. I was going with the hopes to learn a few things but spending the afternoon with Ms Ike was so amazing I felt like I was in Disneyland (not that I've ever been to Disneyland but I'm sure that's what it feels like!)
Ms Ike made making macarons look so easy. I was in awe watching her move swiftly around her work bench. Whilst observing I learnt the following:
* Slow and Steady - Rushing is one of the biggest enemies in macaron making as you might screw up your measurements, overwork the batter and have a bunch of different size macaron shells...actually rushing is a big enemy in baking generally as I did smash a pastry tart shell last week due to being in a bad mood and exhaustion so note to self: NEVER RUSH IN BAKING
* Temperature - The temperature should never be over 120 degrees celcius. I had mine on 180 when I was making mine. No wonder they went crispy...
* Peaks - The meringue should be stiff peaks. I thought my meringue was done but when I saw Ms Ike's meringue I realised my meringue could have been beaten longer...