The Many Macaron Myths

Let me first start things off by saying that, unlike what I usually do, I will not be providing a recipe for today.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First the recipe I used for this little experiment is too close to the ones found in Pierre Hermé’s excellent book on the subject and secondly because I’m not wholly happy with the final result.  Most pastry chefs work for years on their own macaron recipe and mine is still in its infancy.  Besides which, the recipe is not the point of this particular excursion.  My purpose here is to examine the making of these mysterious confections to see if they are truly as complicated as you may have heard. Continue reading

Montreal

Here I am in Montreal, the first time I have been in a city with more than a century or so of history. A history in which the arts of battle I’ve spent years studying were actually practiced. True, rumours persist that in Victoria it is illegal to accompany a Lady after dark down Government Street without your sword, but here is different. Montreal has an actual sword history. There were battles and no doubt duels that happened in this area and perhaps on the very streets I now tread. I almost feel naked without a sword of my own. Sadly, however, despite being a pacifist by nature who would never draw a sword except in the most extreme cases of defence of myself or my honour I was not permitted to bring one. And I have to say, airport security was not very polite when I tried to explain it to them. Continue reading