A sharp pang arcs through the muscle connecting my shoulder and neck. I have no idea if this will work, if the egg whites will go to waste and the pained muscle in my neck will be for nought. My body feels battered after the first attempt but I must try again. I am loathe to waste the egg whites aging in their compact container on my kitchen counter.
I am an impatient perfectionist. I have already tried this recipe and I barely whipped myself past the first step. Intense need drove me to embark on this potentially failed enterprise. I have yet to see one measly macaron in all of Halifax. Instead, for the last year I have sighed dramatically as I scrolled through countless pictures on the web and devised schemes to befriend and dazzle a Parisian into making or sending me just one package. I dutifully stored my spare egg whites in the freezer and longed for the day when I could make my very own macarons. I agonized over the flavours. Chocolate was enticing but also the most notoriously difficult. I was determined but not stupid (the whole impatient perfectionist thing can really bite me in the ass sometimes).
Why did I wait so long? Why did I torture myself with over a cookie (legendary, but still a cookie) that can be easily found in bakeries and pastry shops in Paris? Besides the obvious location problem I do not own an electric mixer. My reticence was completely unfounded. Thanks to the handy dandy internet I learned a couple of important things about whipping egg whites by hand:
1. Egg whites need air to whip. I tilted the bowl on its side to be able to properly toss the whites.
2. Whipping the egg whites properly literally takes only minutes. My first attempt found me uselessly whisking my eggs to no avail. If you leave the whisk pointed down and fail to incorporate sufficient air you'll get nowhere except heaps of frustration.
If you follow these recommendations it takes minutes.
I often play around with recipes but if David Lebovitz had to make 7 batches to perfect his recipe I wasn't going to mess around. I followed the recipe from seriouseats.com and didn't change a thing. Now that I'm more comfortable with the process I don't mind making adjustments. My strict adherence to the recipe did have one small change: I didn't age the whites as long as Robyn Lee suggests, I let the whites reach room temperature and only let them sit for a couple of hours. Overnight seemed a bit excessive.
The Macarons Recipe
From Robyn Lee at seriouseats.com: posted October 24, 2007.