Delicious Failures

I made macaroons tonight. Orange and pistachio shells, and a white chocolate grapefruit ganache for filling. The orange shells cracked – turns out my oven runs hot, and what was set to 200 degrees was actually cooking at 300. I had a method for piping down by the time I made it to doing the pistachio shells, but I was rushed, and they turned out too thick. It wasn’t till the very last batch of shells that I actually had the patience and the insight to read past the recipe’s directions and cook the double the amount of time listed – but now I know what a perfectly cooked macaroon shell looks like. Despite the outward flaws, the taste was stunning; a burst of true orange (no flavoring here kids, just a teaspoon of orange peel) and the rolling subtly of pistachio. Macaroons seem to me to be an opportunity to put a flavour on a pedestal. Eggwhites give the shell form (and are the other major ingredient, really), so whatever flavour you decide to make will have to stand on it’s own – and oh did these two do so brilliantly.

And then the ganache. Oh the ganache. Delicious. Just the right amount of white chocolate sweetness, paired with a surprise kick of grapefruit. But the ganache decided not to thicken, staying a delicious, runny syrup instead. Perfect for dipping, or maybe the base of a tart, but not so great at being the middle of a macaroon. Delicious, delicious failures.

I’m someone who sees life lessons everywhere I look, and the kitchen is always especially full of them for me. Something about the nature of creating something to nourish and delight others makes me more thoughtful. So, here’s my end of evening thoughts on this one:

I’m doing a lot of things at the moment that I’m relatively new at, and I’m doing them publicly. Most of them aren’t turning out perfectly. Pieces are missing, things don’t set right, the timing is off, the environment isn’t well understood. But most of the things that I’m doing are showing promise. They’re delicious. And they’re only failures if I let this be my last batch. Otherwise, they’re the drafts that made the final product possible.

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