Sunday, September 19, 2010
This morning I met the luckiest person in Bangkok. As usual, my morning ritual includes taking a taxi to office, and as I was sitting in the cab, I couldn’t help but notice that the vehicle is truly brand new with that very particular out-of-car-assembly smell. So with my curiosity in tact, I started a conversation with the driver - a guy in his thirties, crew-cut, masculine with a fierce look that would normally stop other passengers to kick start a conversation. But I was just in my talkative mood, and that didn’t hold me back.
Basically I was asking him when he got this seemingly new cab. He answered with almost no-expression kind of face. “Just about two weeks ago, a first prize from a beer lucky draw!”. And from there he elaborated. Apparently one of the well-known Thai beer conducted an annual lucky draw and the first prize was a car. And this guy struck it out of his unforeseen luck.
I asked further how he felt upon the announcement. He said he was totally stunned and didn’t manage to compose correct sentences in that particular moment. Like there was a sudden mental jam. An overwhelming joy. An appreciation of goodness life has brought for him. An ecstacy!
That just reminded me of a special baking moment I encountered. The lucky moment applied to me and most probably many other food bloggers - yes that includes you there! It is that particular “There are feet! There are feet! My macaron is perfect!” moment. I experienced such a high level of joy whilst my first ever macaron baking came out with perfect feet or skirts. Although I didn’t have anyone around to share that particular moment, I was feeling extremely overwhelmed. I was a lucky man for once!
So when next time I am sad or down, this guy or my macaron baking episode will remind me that this moment will pass, better things are on their way.
For some of you who have been experiencing misfortune or feeling down for a while now, this taxi driver is the proof that life could not be bad all the time. In fact there are always ups and downs. And if you are currently in the lowest point in that life circle, that means things will quickly turn for the best in the future, soon or later.
PINK CARNATION MACARON
Makes 10 macarons
1. Pink Macarons
Prepare: 1 big baking tray lined with a Silpat or parchment paper
- Egg white > 70 grams
- Sugar > 50 grams
- Icing sugar > 90 grams
- Ground almond > 45 grams
- Carnation essence > 1/2 teaspoon
- Pink coloring > 2 drops
- Combine icing sugar and ground almond. Sieve.
- Whip egg white until frothy. Add sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
- Fold almond and icing mixture gradually into the egg white in 2 additions. In between the additions fold in carnation essence and pink coloring. Mix carefully with a spatula until batter is shiny and flowy like magma.
- Fill batter into piping bag tipped with a plain circular nozzle and pipe into a circle with a diameter of 3 cm. Piping makes 20 pieces.
- Leave to rest until surface of these pipings are flat and dry or when touched, it doesn't stick to our finger.
- Preheat oven at 150°C.
- Bake at 150°C for 8-10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 125°C, turn tray 180 degrees and continue baking for 8-10 minutes.
- Cool on the rack and detach from Silpat or parchment paper.
2. Orange Ganache
- White chocolate > 90 grams
- Whipping cream > 40 grams
- Orange concentrate > 1 teaspoon
- Orange coloring > 1 drop
- Butter > 16 grams
- Place white chocolate in a bowl.
- Heat whipping cream until boiled. Pour into white chocolate. Leave for a while until white chocolate melts. Stir thoroughly.
- Add butter, orange concentrate, and orange coloring. Mix well.
- Leave to cool and thicken.
- Fill orange ganache into piping bag and pipe on the macaron. Top with the other macaron to form like a sandwich.