macarons must be the most difficult thing in the world to make
they don't lend themselves to 'taking it easy'. you can't just drop everything in a bowl, mix it up, bung it in the oven and bobs your uncle. they are temperamental, if you whisk the batter too much, if you whisk it too less; if you dont grind the almond fine enough; if you use the wrong type of food colour product; if you have errant thoughts instead of sending positive loving (pleading) energy towards the oven. they are heartless, every little flaw, crack and general misdemeanour shows through.
i made macarons once, under close supervision of none other than Eric Lanlard. those macarons fell into line without a word, puffed up, smooth, flawless with the little feet. chewy, soft, yummy. they were chocolate macarons with a salted caramel buttercream filling, yeah, you know the one i made for those raspberry cupcakes. how shameless was i to want to lick the bowl clean? anyway, they turned out perfect. well of course they did.
he was french, they were french, who wasn't going to cooperate?
i never made them again. i'm terrified. i think they will forever be my everest. but i am more than happy to eat them. theres something about those bright beautiful almost jewel-tone colours which makes me say 'ill have a pistachio and a rose and a lemon and a...
the macarons however are signs of a much deeper story - that of my attempt to break out of my quiet, serious wardrobe and move into dangerous territory. you know, like colour. its not that i don't like colour, i love it actually, but i spend so much time in black, beige, grey, navy and suitable subtle colours for work that i realised i was seeing the world in a series of monochromes instead of technicolour.
this dull plodding along had spilled over into my fun time. really? the only thing i have to wear for a girls night out, is black?! id become a 'can't see the woods for the trees' type. something had to give. i threw my arms in the air and marched out one bright weekend morning with the fierce and utter determination which has seen empires topple, to shake thing up... with a macaron or two help me along the way, naturally.
so far i've made some breakthroughs: pistachio trousers? check; rose skinnies? - why yes; cafe au lait skirt? - goodness me; vanilla jacket?- it goes with everything; crimson blouson? - how many ways can you say raspberry? recently though, i broke some real boundaries:
coppery satiny trousers
they are gorgeous, sexy, hip-hugging, flare-y and so far out of my comfort zone, i went 360 degrees to end up facing myself in the changing room mirror and telling myself not to be such a wuss. much later that afternoon, laden with bags, i was standing in front of the macaron counter at angelinas, picking four favourites from the line-up when it struck me: there is no macaron like that; no coppery satiny macaron. it looked like i had finally cracked wide open.