Until I attended a cookery class recently at Atelier des chefs on macaron making, I had never made any attempt to master them myself. I have read up on them ,read so many recipes, watched cookery shows featuring them and have eaten them at any opportunity when in France but never ever had I risen to the challenge of making them for myself.
Luckily for me, I was invited along to a macaron class at The Atelier des chefs cookery school and by the end of my 2 hour group lesson, I had the macaron bug. They taste so much better, if that’s possible, freshly baked. The crisp shell melts away almost instantaneously leaving only the richly flavoured filling and it is impossible to stop at just one.
Atelier des chefs is a cookery school based in central London, providing a wide range of courses to cater to many cookery tastes and skill levels.The class I attended was in association with Lactofree, the only lactose free dairy range available in the UK. The Mastering Macarons class was based at their St.Paul’s venue. In two hours I was taught how to make pastel hued macarons with a selection of luxurious fillings.
I met a fellow blogger there too, always a good thing. Becca at RUSTANDFLOUR it was lovely to meet you!
Peanut butter caramel crunch
Matcha tea creme patisserie
Chocolate orange ganache
Candied gingerbread cream cheese (Lactofree)
The macarons were not flavoured themselves but had the most vivid, intense colour powders to add to them. We made a rainbow of acid yellows, bright orange and neon pinks as pretty as anything you will see in the finest French patisseries.
My Top Macaron Tips
1. Use a fine sieve to sift the ground almonds and the icing. It is important to the finished texture to do this.
2. If you can find them, pasteurised egg whites work better than fresh egg whites when making macarons.
3. Do not over whisk your egg white and caster sugar mix as it will start to break down if you do.
4. Add the ground almonds and icing sugar into the egg white and caster sugar mix in thirds, using large sweeping folds to keep in as much air as possible.
5. When adding in your colour, fold it in and once it is streaky use a more vigorous folding in technique working quickly. Again this is to keep as much air in the mix as possible.
6. Never overwork a macaron mixture. It can be very prone to losing it’s lightness with just one or two extra folds.
7. Always hold you piping bag, filled with macaron mix vertically, working as close to the table as possible.
8. Macarons need warmth to form their essential “skin” before baking.
9. After piping, lift your baking tray then drop it down onto the work surface. This is to remove any lurking air bubbles.
10. Never make macarons when you are in a hurry. They are time consuming and each stage of the making process is crucial if you want to achieve perfect results. Macarons are all about the technique. Leave no room for error at any stage of their production. Perfection or perfectionist tendencies would be very welcome here.
I am now even more obsessed with macarons than before I knew how to make them. I have my mind set on making some orange and spiced delights of my own and when I do, I will be putting into practice all of the tips above.
If you have any top Macaron making tips you would like to share then please do, I would love to hear about them.
AND do you call them Macaron like Paul Hollywood) or plain old Macaroons?
I was offered a place on the Atelier des chefs Macaron making course in association with Lactofree. However, all opinions expressed here are my own and have not been influenced in any way.