“Look,” Emmy Rossum stated, squeezing an extra of rose buttercream onto a ready meringue. “We can’t all be excellent the primary time.”
Ms. Rossum, 35, a star and govt producer of “Angelyne,” the restricted sequence in regards to the mysterious blonde bombshell featured on Los Angeles billboards within the Eighties, had come to Ladurée, the restaurant and patisserie within the SoHo part of Manhattan, on a stormy Monday afternoon.
Diagnosed with celiac illness as a toddler, she has lengthy been a fan of Ladurée’s specialty: the macaron, a wheat-free confection of almond and egg white. When she met with the true Angelyne for the primary time, within the fall of 2018, she introduced, as tribute, a field of Ladurée macarons in scorching pink, Angelyne’s signature shade. (The tribute labored: That first assembly lasted 4 hours.)
A couple of years earlier than, she had realized to make that confection at Ladurée. On this go to, she would try the shop’s best-selling signature dessert, a raspberry and rose extravagance referred to as the Ispahan.
A classically educated singer and a onetime pupil of the elite women’ faculty Spence, Ms. Rossum has a status for precision, if not perfectionism — all of which could appear to make her a pure at baking. But whereas she likes to cook dinner (“It’s simply completely enjoyable and really one thing that I do to alleviate nervousness”), she doesn’t bake a lot.
“With baking, it’s a must to be so particular,” she stated. “It’s far more like math. Cooking is extra like jazz.”
Ms. Rossum arrived at Ladurée between rain showers. For “Angelyne,” she had spent months in caked make-up, three kilos of enhanced bosom and a sequence of blond bouffants. But as she descended the steps to the freshly mopped basement on wedges paired with high-waisted pants and a ribbed, short-sleeved sweater, she appeared poised, streamlined and decidedly brunette.
Jimmy Leclerc, the chief pastry chef, immaculate in a monogrammed jacket, greeted her warmly and provided her a white apron, which she accepted, and an identical toque, which she declined. Her curls have been tidily piled atop her head like a pastry topper. Why disguise them?
She washed her arms, then surveyed the elements, signaling her appreciation with a really Angelyne-like “Oooh!” At Mr. Leclerc’s urging, she poured sliced almonds and icing sugar right into a meals processor and set them to mix right into a coarsegrained combine. Then she whipped egg whites into gentle peaks earlier than asking Mr. Leclerc so as to add the simmering sugar water.
“I’m going to allow you to do something that might create one other scar on my physique,” she stated.
After folding the egg whites into the almond combination and including pink coloring, Ms. Rossum piped the combination onto a baking sheet in tidy spirals in regards to the measurement of a powder puff. One meringue she freestyled into the form of a coronary heart. Jazz!
A splotch of blush-colored batter landed on her forearm. “My life could be very pink proper now,” she stated. Then she licked the splotch away. “No sugar left behind,” she stated.
“Angelyne” is a humorous type of ardour venture for an actress who broke via within the 2004 film adaptation of “The Phantom of the Opera,” through which she wore Pre-Raphaelite ringlets and virginal white robes. But Ms. Rossum was obsessive about Angelyne, after seeing the billboards as a young person. (“I bear in mind being struck by the audaciousness of the picture,” she recalled.)
Angelyne might be dismissed as a bimbo, a fame chaser, an influencer with out discernible affect. But Ms. Rossum prefers to see her as a efficiency artist and an exemplar of third-wave feminism.
“She did that every one herself,” Ms. Rossum stated, sipping an almond-milk cappuccino because the meringues baked. “There was no man behind her calling the pictures. It was all the time her.”
The secrecy that Angelyne maintains additionally appealed to Ms. Rossum, who stays discreet about her marriage to the director Sam Esmail and their child daughter.
“She has all the time been shrouded in thriller, which is an attention-grabbing factor for anyone who’s so provocative and noisy in each different approach,” Ms. Rossum stated.
While The Hollywood Reporter claimed in 2017 to have solved the riddle of Angelyne’s identity, an id that features some early tragedy, Angelyne has by no means acknowledged it.
“People should not mysteries meant to be solved,” Ms. Rossum stated. “If there was a need to flee from a sorrow or ache, it’s that very intense struggle away from that towards pink, towards positivity, towards lightness.” Pink, as Ms. Rossum sees it, is a radical alternative.
With the meringues out of the oven and principally cool, Ms. Rossum continued her personal journey towards pink. After watching Mr. Leclerc put together a pattern pastry, Ms. Rossum started to assemble her personal. On the underside meringue, she piped the buttercream, flavored with rosewater, rose syrup and some drops from an $800 bottle of rose extract, then squashed it down with a raspberry, putting a number of extra raspberries and a few lychee slices across the facet.
“If you’re an O.C.D. Virgo, that is for you,” Ms. Rossum, a Virgo, stated, as she aligned the slices excellent.
She topped it with a second meringue, then added a number of extra daubs of pastry cream (the higher to connect an ornamental raspberry), a chocolate L and an ideal fuchsia rose petal. At Mr. Leclerc’s urging, she added a number of drops of sugar and pectin, which made the rose seem to shine with dew.
“I wish to be certain I’m doing the House of Ladurée justice,” she stated.
Ms. Rossum admired her irrefutably pink creation, which might be eaten that night time, after a number of hours’ refrigeration to crisp the meringue.
“She’s so fairly,” Ms. Rossum cooed. “I imply, have a look at the little dew drops. So shiny. I couldn’t be prouder. I really feel very completed. Really.”