Panda Inspired Macarons

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An almost successful batch of macaroons.

Often while watching a drama, I’ll feel inspired to take up a new hobby. A few weeks ago I finished watching Panda and Hedgehog. This drama was really interesting in the way it combined loving family values with makjang plot twists. However, the romance between the two main characters was like watching two dead fish interact. And even though this is what I’ve come to expect from a drama about 20 something’s who have never been kissed it still makes me cringe.

Despite this, the supporting cast and characters really made it watchable, especially Choi Won Yi and Kang Eun Bi. Won Yi’s tomboy character was really refreshing to see especially since dramas often put girls into narrow slots, all of which are girly. Even characters that kick major ass (think Protect the Boss) are stylish, wear ridiculous high heels, and always have on makeup. Won Yi on the other hand is just a girl with a messy ponytail in jeans and a tee shirt who wants to hang with her “hyung”. Eun Bi’s character was also pretty refreshing since she is not the typical female rival who follows the same old evil villain tropes. She has a bright personality and is both bold and naive; she is also moral and has her own silly traditions. It’s the unique qualities of the supporting cast that made me go back to this funny little drama and while it might not make the “Top 10 Dramas of 2012” it did inspire me to learn how to make French macarons.

photo 2-2 photo 1-5Now, macarons are a cookie that made me a little confused at first. I’ve always known them as macroons (two oo’s) the sweet mounds of golden coconut held together by egg whites and sugar. However, in the drama they make French macarons (one “o”), which are apparently NOT the same thing.

photo 1-4French macarons are a cookie sandwich made from two cookies with a ganache filling made from various flavors. While the whole sandwich set up is delicious, the cookies are unique unto themselves. The outside is light with a very slight crunch while the insides are airy and slightly spongy. They have a distinctive look, if made right, with a smooth rounded top and a firm base, also known as the “foot” or “feet” of the cookie. The cookies also have a distinct flavor that comes from the almond meal that is used instead of flour.

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Fail!

All of these unique qualities make French macarons really, really hard to make. There are blogs galore dedicated to making the perfect macaron and have lots of tips and tricks. I’ve made three attempts so far and have yet to get a perfect macaron. They’re either cracked or I forgot to add the confectioners sugar or the insides didn’t cook properly so the top crust and the spongy inside separated.

Maybe in my next attempt I’ll make macarons as lovely delicate and delicious as Pandas but if not I’ll keep trying until a new drama inspires me to take up a new hobby. My wardrobe is looking a little shabby… Maybe I’ll try my hand at designing clothes. Just kidding, there are more than enough designers in dramas already.

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