You never eat a macaron fresh out of the oven; instead, you put the shells and filling together and let them sit overnight in the refrigerator. The shells absorb the moisture from the filling overnight while being protected from either drying out or absorbing too much humidity. Even when I’ve overcooked my shells (like, almost every time), storing them filled in the fridge overnight brings everything into balance, more or less. What happens, however, when the shells are undercooked?
What happens is not much. The macarons were a little too chewy at first bite. Once again, the decision goes to the meringue, and even though I said I was going to beat this recipe into submission in my last post, now I say screw it, I’m trying a different recipe.
That’s for a later date, however. For the rest of this blog post, let’s answer some FAQs!
Dude, what’s with the macarons?
My wife and I were watching Masterchef, Season 4, Episode 12, in which the pressure test was to make macarons. I’d probably eaten one at some point in my life, but I hadn’t given them much thought until I saw how many interesting flavor combinations the chefs could put into their creations. Plus, being essentially a five-year-old, I was hypnotized by the pretty colors:
Credit where credit is due: This image comes from the Atlantic website, http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/how-the-french-macaron-became-american/381965/, via Google search.
You started doing this in January 2014. Why can’t you get them right, already?
Bite me. Well, macarons are very difficult to make. I tried about a dozen times between January and May 2014, with varying results. Although I was getting them to look pretty good, they began to flop, and with our upcoming move to Greece, I gave it up. A few weeks ago, however, I decided that I needed a new project, so here I am.
|January – May 2014: signs of progress. And then …|
How often are you going to keep torturing yourself?
As long as it takes. Let’s just say that the National Association of Egg Farmers has started sending me thank-you notes.
What the deal with Smackie?
Smackie was a 50th birthday gift from some good friends who knew about my macaron fascination. He is part of the Sonny Angels collection. As their website says,
Sonny Angel is a cute boy with headgear. He doesn’t talk to you, but Sonny Angel makes you smile, makes you happy, makes your daily life bit more delightful. As your tiny friend, Sonny Angel is always by your side, to protect you, give you comfort, and make you smile… that is Sonny Angel’s mission.
I’d never heard of the collection by name; I only found it by finally Googling “Laduree” and “figurine” after months of wondering. Bizarrely enough, however, I had seen a set of similar looking cherubs, all sporting hats that looked like giraffes and clown fish and cats and such (but no macarons), in Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, after our dog sledding trip. Kiruna is not a place where I would have expected to find these tchotchkes. Even more bizarrely, I was there with those same friends, who had just given me Smackie five days earlier.
Unfortunately, Smackie may be a counterfeit. The Sonny Angel website warns:
Dear Sonny Angel fans and collectors,
Thank you, as always, for supporting Sonny Angel.
We regret to announce that unofficial/counterfeit Sonny Angel mini figures from the Ladurée Patisseries Collection have recently been reported in the market.
The last production of this series was completed at the end of 2014. The Ladurée series was very popular and there are a limited quantity of genuine mini figures from this series still available for sale at retail stores.
If you find these figures in the market, there is a possibility of them being unofficial/counterfeit products.
Please understand that we cannot accept or take any responsibility for the replacement or return of any unofficial/counterfeit Sonny Angel products. We suggest you take caution if you find Sonny Angel Ladurée Patisseries Collection mini figures at unofficial sources.
We also strongly advise that you avoid purchasing any Sonny Angel products from unauthorized channels or shops so that you are not cheated or mislead by unlawful merchants.
Thank you for your continued interest in Sonny Angel and your understanding regarding this issue.
Mine has “2011” stamped into his foot, so he’s probably legit, but you never know.
More next week!