Macarons are incredibly beautiful to look at. They are such dainty treats that I feel satisfied by just looking at them. Eating them is a different story altogether, so many factors affect whether a macaron is good or not that oftentimes I am disappointed by store bought macarons. My ideal macaron needs to have a slightly crispy outer shell, slightly chewy middle with just the right amount of delicious fillings.
Making macarons is not easy, it is always a challenge for me because so many things can go wrong even if everything remained the same. I always get macarons with feet but that doesn’t mean everything. They could be hollow, too crunchy or under baked and every time there is slight failure, it makes me want to bake them again even more.
When I started making macarons, I was at a cross road in my life. I think I might have already graduated from one of my degrees at that time and was deciding what I should be doing with my life.
I have always enjoyed baking but never took it as anything more than a hobby. A friend of mine was baking more seriously and have attended several classes to advance her knowledge and I was influenced by her to take my interest one step further. However, because it was such a big change from what I studied (Commerce and Law), I felt scared and didn’t have the courage to take the leap completely.
At the time, my life was just like this tray of piped macarons, almost there but not complete. After many serious thoughts and support from my boyfriend and my family, I decided to test the waters by attending a short course at the William Angliss Institute on macarons and it changed my views on baking for the better.
It made me realise that baking can be taken seriously and can be made into a career. I think I was blinded by all the law and commerce related career pathways that I completely ignored the fact that there are other opportunities that are available for me. Since that first class, I attended many more short courses at the William Angliss Institute and Savour School to learn more about chocolates and patisserie and my passion for baking has never been stronger.
At one point, I started selling macarons to earn some money and it was generally well received. Although the pressure was immense to manage everything, I really enjoyed seeing the smiles on my customers’ faces when they receive the cakes and macarons that I make and when they give me feedback, good and bad.
However, not everything was sunshine and butterflies, I think the stress was too much for me to handle and my depression recurred. In the end, I decided to stop selling and to rethink what I wanted to do with my life, and what else I could do with my passion in baking.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemon macarons”
It wasn’t easy for me to let go baking as a side business but for my health, I had to stop, at least for now and the foreseeable future until my ability to manage my emotions and stress improves. Fast forward a year later, here I am in Singapore, still baking for a living. I am no longer making french cakes and macarons all day everyday, but I am baking and learning more about baking everyday, producing different baked goods for different clients.
Macarons have a special place in my heart. It signifies my decision to change career paths and my passion in baking. Life is like baking macarons, there are so many factors affecting the outcome and it is just as temperamental. You just need to stand tall, know what is most important to you and hold on to it… stand tall against all adversity and one day you will succeed.
I may not be considered successful at this stage of my life, but I feel that I am making the right choices so far to get me to the right direction.