new skill + disappointments

Today I finally dragged my butt off the bed and went to try my hand at baking some macarons. I  decided to whip up the meringue by hand. Even though I’ve done it before and it took forever (20mins+ by hand vs. 5-10mins by an electric mixer)! Not to mention having to switch between two people after we tired our arms out… But watching my friend whip up his meringue in practically no time(!?!?!!!), I realised it’s all down to technique (duhh!).

I’ve always whipped in a circular motion, which proved itself to be inefficient and always left my arms sore and spirit defeated (and I’d swear to never try to attempt this ever again). But today, I was determined to employ this new skill I observed and SUCCEED. I cracked my eggs and seperated the whites into my mixing bowl. Here goes nothing! I beat the egg whites in a zig-zag motion until they were frothy and added in the castor sugar and continued beating in the same motion. To my surprise, the meringue was already taking shape! I continued beating for a few more minutes and got a beautifully stiff and glossy meringue. I was so amazed! Especially because it was whipped up in less than 10 minutes, and my arms were okay! Here is a picture of my triumph 🙂

ImageBut of course, things spiraled down from here… First off, I decided to use the full-sized gas oven, as opposed to my mini electric oven which I’ve always used. Secondly, I haven’t baked in a while, so getting a little rusty is probably a given. I must’ve overmixed my batter after adding in the ground almonds and icing sugar. Also couldn’t find my piping bag and we ran out of freezer bags so I spooned my macarons onto the baking sheets which probably deflated the batter even more. The result? Macaron super-failage. ALL my macarons came out cracked, with no feet 😦 But I guess they at least made for pretty delicious meringue cookies…

After getting over the disappointment, I decided to quickly whip up a creme brulee with the leftover yolks. It would’ve turned out rich and creamy if I hadn’t tried to caramalise the top in the oven. In the end, my creme brulee turned out over baked and sans the crispy layer everyone fights for. Guess I really needed a blow torch to do it! Sigh. That’s two fails in a row…

Speaking of disappointments… My new phone turns out to be a downer. It was perfect in many ways – the phone’s profile is sexy, the screen is beautiful, the system is awesome, and the battery life is decent. But the major flaw is in it’s camera. There’s some freak post-processing that the phone does after you take the photo, and more than often I’m left with photos that come out hazy because of the phone’s efforts to reduce noise. The most frustrating thing is, there’s no way to stop it, even if you use a different camera app! For someone who records life in the form of photos, it is absolutely painful to see what would’ve been a perfect photo turn into… crap.

ANYHOW. Apologies for a long whiny post… I should really be more grateful for what I have and what I can do (baking is considered a luxury in HK, as many don’t have enough space at home for an oven) than complain! I guess this is what they call… First world problems. Tsk.


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