Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Macaroon Craze

It started at a couple of up market pastissier and spread to the rest of food crazy Singapore. I had to go try and learn to bake them. What might you ask, am I talking about? Macaroon [mak-uh-ROON] is a French pastry. In Italy they are known as Amaretti.
Macaroons are small chewy cookies made of almond paste or ground almonds mixed with sugar and egg whites. They can be flavored with various ingredients such as chocolate.
It finally reached the HDB heartlands and so has Silpat® which is a must for any patisserie chef.
I attended a macaroon baking class yesterday to check things out. The class at Toa Payoh Lorong 1, was well attended and I was quite amaze by the women who showed up for class. .
However, they were an extremely aggressive bunch and the poor pastry chef got harassed to a point that his macaroons were not turning out the way it should. Authentic Parisian macarons, with the multifarious flavors and colors are difficult to make and it didn't when he kept getting distracted by the constant bombardment of questions and losing control of the class. I was initially amused but got utterly bored after two hours. Despite two attempts, the chocolate macaroons were still too dry and cracked.
The owner of the bakery supplies and cooking school, who collected $50 from me sure does not know how to placate an unhappy customer. What really got my dander up was the two miserly macaroon samples that were given to me when I finally abandoned the class. I had originally wanted to buy other baking supplies from her but I decided to not spend more money there but to take my business elsewhere.
I will bake them but I'll have to find lots of people who have extreme sweet tooths to eat them as I found the sample that I ate way too sweet for my liking and no one can't cut down on the sugar content any further.

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