March 24, 2013
March of Macarons: Blueberry Macaron Flop Fruit Dip
I am a sucker for old movies. Theatrical, dramatic, no CGI -- the actors had only their talent to rely on. So the other day, I was rewatching The Agony and the Ectasy, which is based on the story of how the Sistine Chapel ceiling was painted by Michelangelo under the direction of Pope Julius II. Man, Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison have such a fiery dynamic in that film. You just have to see it!
So why do I bring up an obscure old film in the middle of my March of Macaron series?
Early in the movie, Michelangelo is downtrodden and frustrated. The ceiling is being done exactly to the Pope's direction, but it's just not right. It's not inspired, not perfect yet. Michelangelo goes to the bar to get drunk in his despair, but he finds that even the wine at the pub isn't good. He complains and the barkeep dumps his entire tank full of wine, stating that if the wine is bad, throw it out! With those words, Michelangelo is inspired to take the mediocre ceiling, throw it out, and start again to make what would become one of history's most famous frescos.
In the creative process, there will be failures, but you have to let it go, so you can try again next time with a fresh start.
When dealing with a dessert that's notoriously challenging to learn, you have to expect that every batch will not be perfect. Even professionals sometimes make less than perfection -- just look at Michelangelo. But there's no reason to give up creating or making macarons. All you have to do is start again!
When dealing with a dessert that is just so sweet and tasty, it's an awful shame to throw it away just because it doesn't look perfect. So why not reinvent it?
When experimenting with new flavors and new techniques, a batch is bound to fail every now and then. Here, I tried out a new powdered blueberry flavoring, but to get the right color and flavor, I used far too much powder and totally changed the texture of the macaron.
Hardly the smooth shell you'd expect!
So, rather than throw out the lumpy and sticky, but still sweet macaron shells, I created a Macaron Flop Fruit Dip. Like a parfait, this sweet dish can be customized with other ingredients as much as you wish.
Macaron Flop Fruit Dip
Dozen less-than-perfect macarons
1 cup cream cheese
1 cup yogurt
1 cup blueberries
Blend yogurt and cream cheese.
Crumble macarons into bite-sized pieces and add with remaining ingredients and serve!
Best when consumed within a day or the macarons will get soggy.
Rating of Difficulty: 1 out of 5. Simple and comforting after the emotional trauma of a failed batch of macs. The blue coloring in the center really shone through when the macarons were crumbled making a lovely sweet mix.
How do you handle failures in the kitchen? How have you reinvented a mistake into a sweet success?
A Southern Fairytale