Its 10pm, 24 days and counting till exams, and I'm banging my head against an economics text book. My solution is macarons! I run to the local shop, pick up all necessary ingredients and return home feeling hopeful and ready to create a masterpiece! I first learnt to make macarons in a baking class last summer and haven't been able to recreate them as perfectly since, and I decide tonight is the night. But who would've guessed that cheap scales, loud whisking, and my unhealthy obsession of watching 90210 reruns would be the cause of my downfall.
When it comes to macarons I think it's fair to say that one of the most important things is precision, the perfect balance of ingredients is what gives that glossy shell and the delightful chewy texture when you bite into it. It turns out that my £5 scales made of lime green plastic didn't quite help me achieve the precision I so desired. Strike 1.
After "measuring" out my ingredients it was time to whisk my egg whites. However it wasn't until I turned on my electric whisk and the noise began to fill my kitchen that it hit me. It was now 11pm and I live with 2 housemates who were now sleeping. I decided I was in too deep to stop baking now and carried on. So after trying to whisk the egg whites inside the cupboard under the sink, under a towel, out the kitchen window (anything to lessen the noise inside the house), I decided they were whisked enough. Strike 2.
Sat in front of the TV, I then began to combine my ingredients, prepare my baking tray, and finally pour the mixture into a piping bag. Piping bag in hand, hovering above the greaseproof paper, I'm just about to start squeezing when I hear "I'm pregnant!" My head snaps up and I'm drawn into a dramatic and heart wrenching episode of 90210. 20 minutes later, piping bag still in hand and not a macaron in sight. Strike 3, and I have successfully made my worst batch of macarons ever. Spending 20 minutes against the heat of my hands doesn't do good things to macaron mixture it turns out. I tried to bring it back, and carefully pipe the macarons, but 10 minutes of resting the piped macarons left me with a baking tray covered in macaron mixture — just faint grooves where the perfect circles used to be. The mixture had spread and every macaron had merged with every other. To call this a disaster would be an understatement. What did I learn? Buy new scales, never whisk timidly, and stop trying to pretend I can multitask!