I’m spoilt by everyone around me.
I spoil everyone around me.
So I suppose that means we’re all even then.
We’re all Spoilers, on top of being Snobs.
I’d like things to stay that way.
(Funny how using the same word repeatedly makes the word itself look and sound strange and foreign suddenly. Try it.)
Ash came back from Perth, and I got soft, gooey nougats.
Gushi came back from Sydney, and I got liquor chocolates.
I voiced the thought to Gushi of never having a single macaron in my entire life and I wanted one.
I got six. From Canele.
I was convinced that I was tragically missing out on something good when adorable pictures of macarons starting popping up all over the web. They were taunting me, and made me feel strongly that my not having one of these French confectionaries immediately would seriously damage the food hedonist in me.
Those pictures were driving me insane! Those macarons were in every single possible colour! Vibrant Cassis crimson, pastel yellows and violets, bold aquamarine, delicate pinks and oranges, frighteningly vivid lime greens and blues…
Where on earth do these people get those food colourings from?!
Thing is, I’m not someone who squeals over prettyfied, cutesy food. I prefer rustic, wholesome, artistically messy food. You won’t find me purchasing piping bags and edible paints, food colourings for fondants, making colourful icings for cakes and decorating my food with fake or edible flowers. I can’t be bothered.
But these! These itty bitty kaleidoscopic coloured hamburgers were irresistibly cute!
Alright, so Canele’s ones aren’t that tiny. But there are tiny, tiny ones that I’ve seen, that make you want to display them on a glass pedestal, preferably within some sort of casing that’ll preserve them for the rest of your life. You won’t want to eat them. To do so will make you feel like a vile, barbaric monster, and you’ll crucify yourself willingly for harming such an innocent confectionary.
Which was why I wanted one. My conscience would pardon me for one, hopefully.
I had to have one, for the sake of trying it. I was even willing to brave leaving the comfort of my air-conditioned room into the physical wall of humidty, travelling 45 minutes to town to Canele. What if my life ended abruptly and I’ve never had a macaron in my entire existence?!
Maybe Gushi could tell my desperation from the text message I sent her, and she probably felt the need to be sure I didn’t do anything stupid trying to get my hands on one so she bought me a box of six. That should be more than enough to calm Christine, she must have thought.
And now, I can’t bear to eat them.
She spoilt me, so I spoilt her back with chocolate chip cookies. We’re such masochistic people.
Macarons are intriguing little buggers. Expensive too. A box of 6 from Canele costs $15 (which I still feel bad cuz she keeps spending on me). One little devil costs more than $2, and I know exactly why.
Macarons are maddeningly painstaking to make, a little too much sugar, one extra fold of the meringue, uneven heat distribution of the oven…and they won’t grow that ‘foot’, the little stand, that ruffled curcimference the dome rests on. It’s easy to ruin a batch. Some people advise the use of double baking sheets, or start baking at crazy high temperatures and turning the heat down the second the tray goes in, or letting the tray sit for 2 hours before baking for a shell to develop over the domes, or rapping the tray against the counter to flatten the batter… Which is why I shouldn’t attempt to make macarons. I’m addicted to challenges. I really should find another way to use up the almond meal in the pantry.
My first macaron from the box was a pale yellow, with a crisp sugary outter shell giving way to a moist, airy, marzipan-like interior. Passion Chocolat – smooth milk chocolate ganache with passion fruit.
My second one, which I had for breakfast this morning (O.O) was the Caramel Sel – Milky sweet white shells with salted caramel filling, a good combination really.
I still have four of them left: Praline Noisette (hazelnut), Citron (lemon), Bergamote (orange) and 70% Guanaja (dark chocolate).
I’ve heard of even more exotic flavour combinations, and the fillings can be jams, ganaches, creams…
I recently saw a recipe for Yuzu citrus macaron, with candied grapefruit and wasabi ganache. I think that’s from the famed Pierre Hermes’ recipe book.
Oh there’s foie gras, black truffle, rose petals, ketchup…
People are crazy for these things.
I, however, am a little worried.
A restraining order from Pierre Hermes’ shop (physically and financially) might be required when I head to Paris in June.