Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Blues.

To the right, moderate success. To the left, disaster.
 Fun fact: there are no blue foods in nature. For example, blueberries are actually dark purple, not blue at all. Actually, the color blue is believed to be an appetite suppressant. Years ago, weight loss experts used to suggest eating off of a blue plate or to put a blue light in the refrigerator as a way of curbing appetite. It's hardwired into our primal nature to avoid blue foods because millions of years ago, blue and black were warning signs of poison (I should note that despite the color, my latest macarons were not in any way poisonous).
Here's another fun fact: I knew all of this when I selected "Cornflower Blue" gel food coloring at the Bulk Barn a couple of weeks ago. The blue food thing is actually one of those useless tidbits of knowledge that I've had stored in my mind for years.  
 So it should come as no surprise that blue was a bad omen yesterday when I arrogantly dove into attempt #4.
One recipe makes two full pans of macarons. As i piped my first pan, i tried to ignore the sinking feeling that I had over-compensated for under-macaronner last time around and over-mixed this time. I continued to ignore it even though the first batch spread too thin, got too brown and had pathetic, weak feet. Upon the first pan rotation of batch #2, I couldn't ignore the feeling anymore. They were a mess. A hot mess. But not in the sexy-Project-Runway-cool kind of way. They were just hot and sloppy. Actually, there was so much wrong with them, I'm not entirely sure that over j-folding was the only problem. I consulted the Trouble Shooting guide but didn't even know where to start. So instead, I went with "Fuck it". That's not officially in the Trouble Shooting guide but i reckon it outta be. Just for those times when shit's gone wrong enough that you're gonna call it a write-off. I accept that now, a day later, but yesterday I was stomping around the house like a beast, feeling rather blue.

On the up side, when i was still feeling pre-failure cocky, I made some maple buttercream. I bought a candy thermometer last week and got to break it in and what's more is that the only other time I ever tried making buttercream was 3 summers ago and it was a horseradish-looking flop that i vowed never to try again. But this time, it was a calorie and fat laden success! Maple Buttercream. Mm-hmmmm.
Not wanting to waste it, i filled the Cornflower Blue macarons (I'm not sure what a cornflower looks like but the color of the macarons kind of made me think of storm clouds which doesn't really make me think of meringue. Well, it didn't before but as i type this, it occurs to me that from now on, I'll probably associate the two) and took them to Easter dinner at my sister-in-law's house, dropping some off along the way at a friend's house as well. I got my moment as a food stylist (yes, that is actually a real job) as i hid the ugly second batch beneath the somewhat pretty looking first batch so that people looking at the bowl were misled into thinking they were all pretty.
They were a hit at dinner and my macaron blues are starting to lift. I also plan to lift that little jar of Cornflower Blue coloring into the trash can as it was probably destined to be bad luck from the start. As far as my little french darlings go, i think I'll tell them that blue isn't a part of their color wheel anymore.

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