>> Friday, June 11, 2010
This is the story of a failure. No, my dear little creatures, not everything in my life is success. Not everything in my life is luxury, beauty, power and gigolos, as you would imagine. Sometimes I suffer reversals of fate. I don't know if I'll ever recover from this setback in particular.I fear that it can ruin my incipient and already uncertain career as a master pastry chef... it could force my confinement in bed, reduced to a wreck without the strength to overcome it, as Charlie's grandparents, yes, Charlie of the chocolate factory. So much distress in such a small body (in vertical direction). I shall now tell everything... Everything? Yes, everything... I will spare no gory details.
I happened to have a substantial surplus of egg whites, from past cakes, custards and various pastries. So I rose one day and I told to myself, you could try to make paciencias (literally patiences), you liked them a lot when you were small. Paciencias are small round cookies typical from various parts of Castilla, the central part of Spain. So intelligent of me. There's little information about them in the net, poor creatures, but I found a recipe for a regiment (which I divided by four) in one of my cookbooks. I had to convert the old units in the recipe to less ancient units, but I was determined to overcome any obstacle to prepare my dear paciencias (which in certain places are also called pedos de monja, nun farts...). The recipe, from some pastry shop in Soria, was utterly vague about the stiffness of the egg whites, about the type of sugar to be used and about the temperature of the oven... I interpreted the recipe as best as I could, but I obviously did something wrong.
Yields around 200 (yes, sooo many)
Well... genuine paciencias have a finer texture and a more uniform color than mine. These were a tad grainy. I remember paciencias as fine and hard little things, toasted on the outside. Maybe it's not necessary to make the meringue so stiff, but somewhat more runny. Maybe the sugar has to be superfine instead of regular. I don't know. If anyone owns the secret for making perfect paciencias, I'm willing to buy it. Make yourself apparent. Now.
Anyway, my kids loved them, they found them addictive and the cookies were gone in no time... They were pretty yummy, as the flavor was indeed almost as it should be, but I should give mine another name... templanzas, esperanzas, caridades or... failures. You can't always get what you want.