Friday, 13 April 2012

Rotten Eggs and Lessons Learned

As I sit and clack away on my computer, with a batch of purple colored macarons baking, I want to put a question out there into the universe. We've all heard and said "smells like rotten eggs" but my question is this: who out there has actually smelled rotten eggs? I have tonight and continue to smell them as I have them splashed on my shirt. Its horrible.
My grandmother Sally (rest in peace) taught me a lot about baking and cooking and this evening I foolishly disregarded two valuable lessons.
Lesson one: wear an apron to protect your clothing. I usually do but for some reason, I didn't tonight hence the rotten egg on my shirt.
Lesson two: when cracking eggs into anything, never ever crack them right into the bowl. As previously mentioned, the egg whites used in macarons must be aged for several hours on the counter top. This strengthens the protein and makes the meringue stronger. While measuring my 115 grams of egg white (from approximately 3 eggs), I made two mistakes. I almost broke yolk into the whites (which would prevent the whites from whipping) and i also cracked a rotten egg which kind of egg-sploded all over me, the counter and quite nearly into the other egg whites. Since i only had 3 aged eggs, i had to use one non-aged white to replace the stink bomb (I will never use the term "smells like rotten eggs" lightly again).
So maybe tonight's failure at attempt #5 was my grandma's way of giving me hell from beyond the grave. Okay, okay. Lesson learned grandma.
My whole first batch of macarons cracked this time. A new and exciting problem that I hadn't encountered yet. Hooray! This means one of two things. Either I didn't have the oven set at exactly 200 degrees for the first baking stage, causing the batter to remain wet too long which forms too much steam and causes the shell to crack. The other possibility is that I either over whipped the egg whites or over mixed the dry with the wet ingredients again. Oh boy.
I just took them out the oven and that is a far as I have gotten. I still plan to fill them with something delicious and eat them tomorrow night when I have friends over for dinner. While I'm boring my dinner guests with an explanation of they did not turn out, I'll be hearing my grandmother's voice in my head telling me that it serves me right for being careless. Kitchen karma, I reckon.  
First batch. Fail.
BUT WAIT! As I was about to post this entry, I took the second batch out the oven. I was very careful with the oven temperature this time and EGADZ!-they look nearly perfect! But I mustn't say another word for that karma is still lurking. I don't want my cat to jump on them or something....

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