You possibly remember this post where I revelled in the glory that is Zumbo’s packet mix brownie.
Well guess what. There is no revelling this time. Only deflated and cracked macaron shells and an awful lot of naughty words (I understand this is a recurring theme but you are gonna have to bear with me on this one. Can’t kick it.).
So, I would like to preface this with saying that I HAVE made macarons before. And whilst they were not the kind you would place in the front window of a bakery, they were fine, salvageable, edible…. you get the gist.
These ones were NOT.
(Also, why so orange? The mixture looked like it had come out of the bum of a jack-o-lantern.)
I don’t think this is necessarily a bad reflection on Zumbo himself, but probably my cooking skills. Anything with egg whites is touch and go. Particularly macarons, and timing is everything. A moment too long in the oven and they’re gone, a moment out too soon and you have the same problem.
But what I was most concerned by is the fact that they were so damn insistent on sticking to the grease-proof cooking paper! Non-stick means non-stick, SO WHY ARE THEY STICKING? Perhaps I should have cornfloured it too, but all I know is that the few shells that looked promising took on the appearance of their mates when I tried to peel them off the paper.
The mix (obviously) uses powdered egg whites, and I have to admit I am not a fan. I love powdered egg whites for small amounts of royal icing and things like that, but if you are actually cooking them in something, and need lots, I find the powdered stuff has a distinct taste, smell and texture and I cannot stand it. So if you share my dislike of powdered egg whites, steer clear of this mix.
The filling was okay… but super salty, I think I added too much salt, or perhaps I have just not acquired a taste for the level of saltiness that this salted caramel delivered.
The worst part of this was that it took a whole afternoon and I ate half the shells along the way because they looked so tragic that I couldn’t stand them staring at me, so putting them in my belly seemed the obvious solution. Yeah… just TRY and not feel sick after you do that. I dare you.
But… I think bailures (baking failures, obviously) are part and parcel with the kitchen. I think I have learned most things I know from trial and error… usually the hard way! What fun is baking, really, if you always turn out perfect cakes and un-cracked macaron shells?
…Actually, probably a lot of fun. I wouldn’t know.